Hello. Welcome back from the extended Labor Day weekend in the US. I sometimes miss this holiday, in large part because it is socially acceptable to consume excessive amounts of BBQ and beer.

It is a short work week for many, and correspondingly a slow blog week(recovering from BBQ and beer?), so there is no better time to share some interesting blog data… I know not everyone loves behind the scenes blog details. (What?!)

But here it is: Sometime today blog traffic for 2018 will exceed traffic for all of 2017. This is about 40% year-over-year growth. Blog revenue passed the previous annual record about a month ago.

Here are the details on what I did to grow Go Curry Cracker.

Growing Go Curry Cracker

I have been following the not so top secret 3 step approach to GCC18 that I outlined in the 2017 Business Review.

  • Create and grow a forum
  • Become a better member of the personal finance community
  • Drive more page views

I’ll outline a bit of what I’ve been doing on each of these items below.

Create and grow a forum

Did you know there is a Go Curry Cracker forum? Of course you did!

It now has over 100 members, discussing a wide range of topics from early retirement to life as an expat to travel hacking. Good times.

The value of a forum in terms of growth is 2-fold:

  1. It is far easier to support and encourage a larger audience with the help of a community
  2. Easier support means more time to focus on other things…

But it is also just an overall good place to discuss anything of interest. Check it out.

Become a better member of the personal finance community

I feel pretty fortunate that we have been able to share our story in a way that has helped others. But there are a great number of fascinating people pursuing their own dreams (financial and otherwise) that are even more inspiring.

Our life is completely unconventional, and I really enjoy thinking about things in an unconventional way.
And I have a massive list of topics I want to write about, many of which I’m not an expert on (but want to be.) But why reinvent the wheel…

So I reached out to inspiring people who happen to already be experts doing unconventional things and asked them to write guest posts. Bonus points if these experts had smaller sites (so I could help) and didn’t fit the typical stereotypes (caucasian, male, tech worker.) Because what better way to be opened up to new ways of thinking than from somebody who is non-stereotypical?

Being a better member of the personal finance community

Drive more page views

Page views can come either from reaching a larger audience or an existing audience reading more. I tried to make improvements to both.

Regular publishing

In years past I just kind of published stuff when it was available and convenient. Sometimes weeks or months went by with nothing, particularly while we were busy traveling. This year new content has been published every week sans one. Guest posts are great here too.

Sharing new posts via email is one of the biggest traffic drivers, so I automated this with ConvertKit. (affiliate link, 1st month free.)

Social Media

Sharing posts on social media is a guaranteed way to increase page views, but it is such a hassle to keep it going. I experimented with Hootsuite and Buffer, but they required constant effort on my part to share older posts.

Now I’m using Revive Social (affiliate link) to regularly share posts on Twitter (and soon Facebook.) Their tech support has been incredible in getting this working. This one change alone has boosted views by 10%+.

Traditional Media

The best way I have found to increase traffic is to get exposure in traditional media. In just one day we had over 500,000 page views when we were on the front page of Forbes and Yahoo, for example.

This year, we were featured by Time Money and ABC World News Tonight, which brought a good amount of new eyeballs our way. It always pays to reach out to media people and to drop everything when they reach out to you.

Paid Traffic

People need to know you have content before they can view it. One way to make them aware is through paid advertising.

I threw about $4,000 at paid advertising on Facebook this year (on a credit card that gives bonus points for online advertising.)

Conclusion: it cost more than it was worth. (Although that credit card got us some free flights around the US, saving $900.)

I also joined the paid Rockstar Finance VIB program, which helps raise awareness, boost SEO, and raise page views. I also just think Rockstar Finance is great and want to make sure it continues being great, so sending some $ that way is also part of being a better member of the personal finance community.

Reducing bounce rate / increase time on site

Sometimes people show up at a site, read a few things on one page and then bounce, never to return. Bummer.

Page load time is a big factor in bounce rate, so I upgraded my server, improved caching, and made some backend changes.

But sometimes people really like what they see and want to read more, so they click on a link. Which leads them to another site, never to return.

I had a large number of links offsite, so I went through and added target=”_blank” to all of them. This opens all outbound links in a new tab/page, increasing the number of people who come back for more.

And in some cases, I had outbound links to sites where I had my own content on the same topics. So I changed the outbound links with the most clicks to point to my own site instead. I did this subjectively… if a site also sent a lot of traffic back to GCC, I kept the outbound links. But if it wasn’t a reciprocal relationship, I didn’t. {For example, IRS.com doesn’t send many views my way ;) }


At the heart of blogging is producing great content.

Right nearby is making sure people are aware that your content exists and want to read it. It’s more fun to write when people read your work and enjoy it.

This year I put significant effort into both of these. It seems to be paying off.

Now… where can I find some beer and BBQ around here?

How are you growing your blog?

Don’t have a blog? Check out why I think everyone should blog and our step by step guide on how to start one.

Editorial Note – Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.