Yakezie Challenge? I'm all it.

I am officially joining the Yakezie Challenge and submitting this site for consideration for the Yakezie Blog Network. What is the Yakezie network, what is the challenge, and why am I trying to join? Let's find out in today's shortest post ever!

What is the Yakezie Network?

The Yakezie Network is a blogging network started by Sam at Financial Samurai. You can learn more about the network at Yakezie.com. Here is a short quote from that website introducing the network:

The Yakezie is the web’s largest personal finance and lifestyle blog network. We started in December of 2009, and have since grown to become a thriving community eager to help others and help each other. We strive to optimize reader’s personal finances and allow people to lead better lives. We are over 100 Members strong of individual voices, individual owners and different opinions who have all gone through a 6-month Challenge to join the network.

I'll get to the Yakezie Challenge in a moment.

First, why a blog network?

I have learned very quickly that there is a huge and very friendly community of personal finance bloggers out there. I started this blog for three reasons: (1) to get my plans and ideas for my own finances written down, (2) to "bookmark" all of the great stuff I'm reading around the web, and (3) to motivate my own fiscal re-image.

I never had any intentions of making money with this blog. In fact, as that link shows, I never even intended to place ads on this site. At all.

Well ...

It turns out I decided to start playing around, because Sam had convinced me that people are actually making a living blogging about personal finance.

One great fellow I have recently "met" online supports a family doing it.

I STILL have no interest in quitting my job to be a full-time blogger. However, after sailing past 15,000 page views and earning a little over $100 in my first month with this blog, it's kind of addicting and fun.

Plus, I really, really like writing. As I think I've mentioned elsewhere on the blog, I am also in the beginning stages of shopping a book proposal around with a few publishers for the niche I've established in my "real" job, and I'm getting some very, very good feedback. Writing for this blog has been a great warm-up for those book-writing sessions.

So, I've decided to expand the blog and see where it can go.

A network of bad-ass people providing me with bad-ass ideas to do that, while also providing a continual stream of bad-ass content that gets me excited about our financial plan? Where do I sign up?

Here is the Yakezie Value Proposition for a little more on the Yakezie Network.

What is the Yakezie Challenge?

Sam details the Yakezie Challenge here. Basically, the goal is to write original content between 2-4 times per week for the next six months. That's great for you if you like my writing.

I have slacked on that a little this week. I've been in Berlin working on building my network in my "day" job. However, if you look at the posts for March, I think I'm doing A-OK on average.

The other goal is to break the 200,000 mark in traffic as measured by Alexa.

Right now, the Alexa ranking for this site is a huge 7,553,8173,447,952! Yikes. Not bad, though considering it has only existed for a couple of weeks. Notice the crossed out number. It's gone from 7.5M to 3.5M since I started the draft for this post last week.

Also, that's the international ranking. I think we're to use the traffic in the US ranking for Alexa for the challenge. Right now, that's at 510,532, which is getting awfully close to 200,000. That said, as fast as the international ranking has been moving up, maybe I should shoot for 200,000 internationally.

What goals do I hope to accomplish through the Yakezie Challenge?

Obviously, I want to get my bad-ass beard into the top 200,000 sites in the world. Not a bad goal.

Why I want to do this is another topic. Basically, I want to grow this blog because it is a challenge. That's pretty much my only reason.

First, I make a crap ton of money as a scientist and educator. I invoice my time at between $80-$100 per hour when I'm consulting.

This little blog made $100 throughout the last 30 days. I spend between 1-2 hours on each post, and this post is my 17th. That's conservatively 25.5 hours writing. That doesn't include setting up the blog, twitter, that little bearded money dude, and all of the other things that make a blog run.

That's less than $4 per hour.

My goal here is not to make money. In fact, here's Sam making exactly that point for me:

Don’t Think About Making Money.Because it will likely take a year or so if you’re lucky to earn over $1,000/month from your blog, the money you receive may demotivate you.  As soon as you start writing for money, you start losing your soul and it’s not as fun.  Write what you want to write, and the money will come.

My goal is to grow the blog because I like to write, and because it is a challenge.

You should challenge yourself on something OUTSIDE of your wheelhouse. Doing so will make you stronger for those things for which you are already a rockstar.

I'm an "internationally recognized" expert on science education during the day. I get paid to teach and research how others should teach science. What's neat, is there are a lot of parallels with how to teach others about money and personal finance. A lot. So maybe I have something to contribute.

Not only that, but stretching my work in science to encompass finance helps me solidify my thinking in both areas.

Blogging and promotion with this site is helping me with promoting myself in my career as an "expert". Or, at least it's helping me define how I will go about doing that.

I've told you my reasons for starting the blog. Those still hold. Now, I want to GROW the blog simply because it is a challenge.

Hell, I'm growing a beard as long as I can because I thought it would be a neat challenge to myself. No other reason. (Well, beards are awesome. So that's a reason, too.)

I'm joining the Yakezie Challenge because if I'm not challenging myself in weird, interesting, and new ways, then it's more difficult to challenge myself in the ways that pay the bills and lead to fulfillment in my life.

Start your own blog today

Do you want to join me in the Yakezie Challenge? If so, start a blog today. Bluehost has great, low-cost hosting with 1-click WordPress installation.

Do you have a blog already? Great, let me know in the comments that you either are already in the Yakezie Network, you're currently completing the challenge, or you are going to start the challenge.

Notice that I use CommentLuv on this site. If you have a blog, make sure to click the little CommentLuv radio button and leave a link to your most recent blog post. It's a good old DoFollow link, which will help you build links to your site that the search engines will sniff, moving you closer to the top 200,000.


I'm updating the Alexa ranking in the comments every few days. This will allow me to track progress. Right now? 1,079,866. This site has leap-frogged about 6 million other websites in the past 30 days.