At the end of the year, I always take time to look back at what was accomplished and where things fell short. It shapes how I move forward in order to provide you with an experience that is informative, inspirational and even fun sometimes.
Overall I characterize 2018 as a year where I sharpened my focus, broadened my audience and strove to improve content.
The primary way that I sharpened focus was by transitioning Retirement Journeys to Retire Hoppy. There was considerable overlap between the two which was costly to maintain as well as confusing. Now I have just one user-facing brand identity.
Twitter is the main way that I broadened my audience. In addition to traditional pre-retirees and retirees, Twitter enables me to engage with people who are still years away from retirement or are members of the FIRE community (Financial Independence Retire Early). This new audience segment adds more shared experience and perspectives for everyone’s benefit.
Improving content is a never-ending process across all mediums. Here are a few examples of what I changed in 2018: when writing a blog post I now follow an audience-centric, structured approach that I picked up in a class; I’ve shifted the tone of podcasts that feature a guest from “interview” to “conversation” which requires me to act more like a show director; and I’m reaching out and collaborating with colleagues. For example, I worked on my retiree survey with Fritz Gilbert of The Retirement Manifesto.
Numbers (users, subscribers, views, etc.) and dollars are much sought after in the world of social media. I am fortunate in the sense that I do not have to compete. I can pursue Retire Hoppy as a “passion project”, i.e. I do it to hopefully be of service to others and because I enjoy it. So I’m comfortable being a niche player. I’m happy to do my best to produce quality content for whoever wants it.
There are a couple of areas where it would be nice to see more results: get more podcast reviews on iTunes; and get more user comments on articles.
All in all a decent year.
By the Numbers
This is a quantitative summary of 2018 content I produced and audience engagement.
Posts (articles): 23
Growth in newsletter subscribers :+13%
Growth in Twitter followers: I’ve organically grown to over 400 followers. By that I mean I select each person who follows me. There are automated tools that enable you to rapidly grow your followers but I prefer to add followers that I can relate to on some level.
Growth in YouTube followers: +33%
Page views and users: The highest number of page views and users occurred in August and the lowest in February. I don’t really know why. Overall the number has stayed relatively constant for 2018.
Podcasts: The podcast with the most unique downloads is RH 013 That Beer Guru and Adroit Theory. There’s no way of knowing how many people subscribe.
Tweet: this isn’t what I expected!
“The originator of the touchdown celebration was Elmo Wright. As a junior at the University of Houston back in 1969, he began celebrating touchdowns with a high-stepping dance routine that always ended with him spiking the ball.”
Video: I thought I’d share this video (even though I produced it 3 years ago) because it is the most popular video I’ve ever produced (over 6,100 views). The 6 Stages of Retirement
- Saying good-bye to Retirement Journeys
- Migrated website to RetireHoppy.com
- Changed newsletter and YouTube to Retire Hoppy format.
- Note: an archive of Retirement Journeys posts can be found here.
- RetirementJourneys.com will remain a valid domain through September 2019.
- Start of Season 2 of the Retire Hoppy podcast
- Steve of ThinkSaveRetire (RH 009 FIRE and Deep Canyon Ale)
- Kathe Kline of RockYourRetirement (R 011 Health Shares and Stone’s Go To Session IPA)
- Jeff Barger of ThatBeerGuru (RH 013 That Beer Guru and Adroit Theory)
- Jim of RoutetoRetire (RH 014 Route to Retire and Wells Banana Bread Beer)
- Matt of MethodtoYourMoney (RH 016 Growth Mindset and Steamworks IPA)
- Bill Bennett (RH 017 Volunteering and Founders Centennial IPA)
- Fritz Gilbert of TheRetirementManifesto (RH 018 Early Retirement and Voodoo Ranger)
- Andrew of BeerCapCountry (RH 019 Beer Cap Country and Belching Beaver)
- Dave Hughes of RetireFabulously (RH 020 Smooth Sailing Into Retirement and Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing)
- Gina of TheFrugalConvert (RH 023 The Frugal Convert and Oktoberfest)
- John of RetiredNowWhat (RH 024 Retired Now What and Hop Water)
- Michelle of utsc.utoronto.ca (RH 025 Retirement & Its Discontents and Molson Canadian)