2018: A New Blog and a Whole Lotta Firsts

2018: A New Blog and a Whole Lotta Firsts

Last updated on March 21st, 2019 at 11:21 am.

On February 24th, 2018, I started a new blog. No need to check my first post here, though, because that date doesn’t match up. I initially started a blog where I intended to talk about green technology. That is still a strong interest of mine, and I still talk about it here and there. But I wanted to have a blog that would appeal to the masses a little more.

So I wondered: what is something I care about that everyone cares about? I then thought about my student loans and how I was deep in student loan debt. And I knew I was not alone.

Alas, this blog was born. A blog where I would talk about personal finance for millennials.

A New Blog About Personal Finance

In case you didn’t check my first post here, I published it on March 14, 2018. Yeah, I changed directions pretty fast. It’s probably good that I did rather than working on a blog for two years and then deciding to do something else. I spent very little on that blog compared to how much I’ve already spent on this one.

Oh, and by the way, I think I had it in my head that I started my first blog in December of 2017. In fact, I’m pretty sure I told a bunch of people that. I have no idea why – maybe because it was still uncharacteristically cold here in March of this year. Either way, if you were confused, hopefully that is cleared up now. Hopefully.

My First Travel Hacking Card

Around the first time I started my first blog, I also opened the first credit card that I would specifically use for travel hacking. The oldest transaction I could find is 2/23/18, which sounds about right.

That card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

I successfully earned the signup bonus, which netted me 50,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. Chase cards are some of the most popular cards out there for travel hacking – in part because UR points are so dang valuable.

The plan is to use those points (and some other points I’ve accumulated) toward a trip to Europe in the near future. Keep an eye out if that piques your interest because I plan to do that (and write about it) in 2019!

My First Guest Post

I’ll be honest – I haven’t written that many guests posts. One of my goals for 2019 is to collaborate with my blogger friends more.

While I’m told that from an SEO perspective that guest posts might not help that much, I still think it’s a great way to get your name out there and to get a little bit more exposure than you otherwise would.

That said, I’d like to thank Lauren of Bustin Out Beauty for being the first one to feature a guest post of mine. Thanks, Lauren!

My First Major Feature

Sometimes it feels like progress on the blog is very slow. I’m sure all you bloggers out there know exactly what I mean. But despite that, in my first year blogging, I also got my first major feature! On July 9th, 2018, I had my first feature on Rockstar Finance. The post that was featured was this one.

It was actually Penny who was the guest curator that week even though you see Amanda‘s bio at the bottom of the page. Huge shout out to Penny for that. 🙂

I also got to meet Amanda at FinCon this year, which brings me to my next first…

My First FinCon

2018 was the first year I attended FinCon!

I said this was the year of firsts, and that’s because it absolutely was. Add to those firsts the very first time I attended FinCon.

When I first started my blog, I almost immediately became active on Twitter.

I’m so glad I did because I ended up meeting a lot of people at FinCon who I already knew from Twitter which made it SO much easier. To name a few – Emilie, Lisa, Laura, Erik, Deanna, Dr. Nikki, and so many more.

All in all, it was a really awesome experience.

Read my full post about FinCon 18 here.

My First Trip to Portland

A visited my sister in November 2018 in Portland, and it was a great time!

Me and a Goat
Me petting a goat. Be jealous.

I was only there for a few days, but we did many of the typical Portland things, like going to Voodoo Donuts and Powell’s.

Oh and by the way, the goats are just a couple of blocks away from my sister’s apartment. In other words, in the middle of a residential area. Because, ya know, Portland.

We did other fun things, like we went to a Blazer’s game, walked around Mt. Tabor Park, and went to the Chinese garden.

Chinese Garden
At the Chinese garden. I spilled coffee on myself that day, in case you can see the stain on my shirt…

We did a few other cool things, like we went to a retro-themed arcade. We also went to an escape room and to Rimsky-Korsakoffee – a coffeehouse that is weird and quirky, but I kind of loved it. Again, it’s Portland, so pretty standard.

All in all, it was a great trip and I’d like to make it back someday!

My First (Hybrid) Electric Vehicle

I just had to mention this because it was something I wanted to do for such a long time.

Right around the time of starting this blog, I leased a Chevy Volt.

2018 Chevy Volt

And trust me – I know leasing is, financially, not the best move. Especially since before getting the Volt, I was driving a 2010 Mazda 3 that I had paid off back in 2014.

Honestly, of all the financial decisions I made in 2018, this is probably the least frugal one of them all.

But that’s because it wasn’t about the money. I drive this thing exclusively on electricity nearly 100% of the time. Reducing my emissions was just that important to me.

Plans for 2019

I must admit that I don’t have a whole lot of concrete plans for 2019. I tend to “play it by ear” and this is something I definitely need to improve.

That said, now that I’ve made it over the six-month hump, I am confident in saying I fully intend to keep this blog going!

One thing I will say is that traffic has mostly stayed the same, but it does look like my search engine presence is improving slightly. That said, I want to continue to improve that and see if I can get my first month with 5,000 views. It’s a lofty goal for me, but I think with enough hard work, I can get there.

Other than that, I would also like to secure my first long-term freelance writing contract. I guess that will be another first if it happens!

What are your plans for 2019? Goals? Maybe something you’d like to accomplish financially? Let me know.

Bob Haegele

Hey there. My name is Bob and I blog about personal finance here at The Frugal Fellow. In particular, I focus on topics related to student loans, investing, credit cards, and sometimes sustainability. Interested in starting a blog? Find out how to become a blogger!

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Great job with the blog this year Bob! Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to read about that trip when you take it.

    1. Thanks Andrea. And you can definitely plan on reading about it. 🙂

  2. Wow! A lot of great firsts, Bob! We published our first post in the same month – mine was March 17. I also joined Twitter around April and got the chance to connect with other bloggers. It’s nice that you were able to meet a lot of people on FinCon. Anyway, for this year, my goal is to pay off my debts and save more this 2019. Hope you’ll have a great year ahead!

    1. Dang, almost twins! That is definitely a good goal as well. Eliminating debt should always be a priority!

  3. Congrats Bob. I can’t wait for FinCon 19 which will be my first (hope you attend as well).

    And great job getting a Rockstar feature. Blogging takes a lot of time and effort but it really is sweet when you start getting recognized for it

    1. I already have my ticket for FinCon 19 – barring any changes, I’ll see ya there. 🙂

  4. Lots of great firsts! We’ve had the sapphire card too, but also capital one and an Amex so we’re consolidating those in 2019 after we use the points! Look forward to reading more about your adventures this year!

    1. Thanks Emma!

  5. Congrats on a great year! You’re making me want to start another blog now! 🙂

    1. Do it!

    2. Yeah, do it!

  6. Lots of great first, Bob. Here’s to one more view towards your 5000 month goal. Getting close to your 1 year anniversary! Exciting! I totally get you with the views but as long as I’m enjoying the jorney that’s always a good take away too. Would love to start making money off the blog though 😅 Portland sounds fun, I’ve only made it as far north as San Francisco when we lived in Cali. Someday we will visit it. I want to see all 50 states. Here’s to a fruitful 2019. Cheers!

    1. Yep, the views are not extremely important – more engagement is more important in reality.

      And yes, I’d recommend visiting Portland if you have a chance – it’s a great city!

  7. Congratulations on all that you achieved in 2018 and the very best of luck for 2019. We look forward to reading about all your new firsts! 🙂

    1. Thanks Michelle! When I do travel, I can only hope to get photos half as amazing as you two get. 🙂

  8. You had a busy year and what a way to have firsts! Congratulations! Cheers for a year full of achievements.

  9. What a great year you had! And you are going to FinCon… (I am jealous! 😉 )
    Shame you didn’t write about green technology. If you ever fancy to, let me know

    1. Yep, as of now I’m going back to FinCon, too. 🙂 I do still talk about sustainability – you’ll see a category for that here on the blog. If you mean you want to collaborate on something, I would love to!

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