The Wealthy Accountant is growing and with growth comes growing pains. A local web designer was hired to bring this blog to life. But blogs are different from static web pages most small businesses use. A blog lives and breathes change every day as people read and interact with it. The writer provides a steady stream of information until the amount of data contained is immense.
This is the 202nd post here. Close to 350,000 words of information and storytelling are contained within. This is the equivalent of four fairly long novels. It is hard to believe The Wealthy Accountant reached these levels only after slightly more than a year in existence.
Traffic continues to grow as well. More people are reading more material. Requests to bring order to the large number of posts and subjects has been steady. This past weekend some of these changes were implemented.
The Wealthy Accountant changed hosting services this past weekend. There were a few unscheduled service failures. It was necessary. The page loading speed was slow and getting slower. The new system installed will allow me to scale this blog to greater heights while providing a better user experience.
Meet the New Team
For some time now I have been unhappy with many features of this blog and its user performance. Finding qualified people who understand the type of blog you are reading is difficult. The mail server stopped informing subscribers of new posts months ago and the designers of this blog were unable or unwilling to remedy the issues. The large number of posts also requires an archive for easier navigation and research. Even I find it difficult to find posts I want to link to when writing.
In January I attended Camp Mustache SE and met a talented young man named Kevin Clack. While at the Camp I offered several consultations with proceeds going to charity. Kevin was one of the individuals taking advantage of the consultations. I knew Kevin’s areas of expertise and it went over my head.
Shortly afterwards I noticed Pete, aka Mr. Money Mustache, asking Kevin to do some work on his blog migrating the forum. It still took three days before the elevator got off the ground floor. Your favorite accountant has been known to be slow at times. Blame it on age.
I contacted Kevin and explained the problems and my vision for this blog. He rapid fired more ideas than even I could think of. After a short planning stage we started a working relationship together. Kevin now handles the hosting of this blog and several other facets of its design and functioning. Please forgive Kevin for any down time. I sometimes ask the impossible (out of ignorance) and Kevin delivers the impossible with minor site down time.
Kevin also has a blog: Clackepedia.
New Features and Future Upgrades
Here is where it gets fun. Several upgrades to the site are under the hood. Even though you can’t see many changes, they are there creating a better experience for you. However, there are a handful of changes you will see and I am certain you will love.
Subscribe Now! There is a new subscribe now button. If you subscribed in the past we have your information and it was imported into the new system. TWA now uses Mailgun to update readers of new posts. There are a few kinks to work out so bear with us. If you do not get email notification of new posts by the end of this week, re-subscribe. A few names might have been lost, especially those just subscribing while the transfer was taking place.
Archive: The number one request I get is for an archive. We have an archive up and running, but will make changes to it so it is easier to navigate and find. For now, the little doohickey on the upper left of the page opens a sidebar with an archive listing each month and the number of posts. Clicking the month brings you to a listing of the posts for the selected month. The short-term goal is to bring the archive to the bar across the top of the homepage and to list each blog post by name and date so it is easy to pick and choose what you want to read. My guess is Kevin will finish more archive improvements before this post reaches publication or sometime this week unless an unforeseen problem arises.
Social Media Share Buttons: Nothing say love to a blogger than a social media share. Be sure to plant a wet sloppy one on your favorite accountant. The share buttons are floaters. Mobile devices will not see much difference, but desktops and other large screen devices will see the share buttons across the bottom of the screen when you are in a post (not on the home page). The share buttons are floaters. This means they will stick to the bottom of the screen. If it is an annoying feature, let me know. I need feedback to provide the best user experience.
Forum: The forum is not up as I write this, but should be in the near future. One caveat: The forum is for you guys. I will not spend much time trolling the forum or answering questions. I have limited time so my hope is readers can be a powerful resource for each other. That also means you can talk behind my back. Be nice. Check back. My guess is Kevin will have the forum up in the next week or so. Don’t hold him to it as I did not give him a time frame. But knowing Kevin it will probably be up quicker than smoke on fire.
To Infinity and Beyond!
“The future is uncertain with this one.” The future is always uncertain. Here is the plan: After tax season Kevin and I will discuss a complete redesign to TWA, replacing the current template with a more user friendly and visually appealing format. I need to get tax season behind me before taking on any more projects.
The current platform can handle most future projects I have planned. The new template will make it easier to implement. Here are some exciting things to watch for:
Where Am I? There will soon be a button on the home page bar: Where Am I. This link will show all my upcoming appearances around the country and locally. Sometimes I speak at events, other times I go to learn and meet people only. For example: I will be in Seattle at Camp Mustache in late May and at FinCon in Dallas later this year. By listing where I am it is easier for readers to plan times to meet with me when I am closer to where they live or at events they are attending.
Tax Guides: This summer I will have more time to write like a Wildman again. Instead of publishing daily, I will stick with the Monday-Wednesday-Friday format. It works best for me and provides readers with plenty of material without burying them in reading.
Certain subjects require much more fleshing out. Creating tax guides is the perfect way to offer greater education to readers. The new platform Kevin installed allows me to offer e-books and other types of online commerce. The e-book download feature is an opportunity to interact with readers at a higher level on subjects relevant to them.
There are several wealth building programs I want to create. My goal is to eventually provide several wealth building courses using different ways to reach early retirement and financial independence. Topics requested already, include: real estate investing, small business and side gigs. One I use locally with select clients is a program where I take anyone for wherever they are at financially to financial independence in 5 years. It is too intense for a few short blog posts, but as a systematic course readers can digest at their own pace, it is a powerful tool to reach personal and financial goals.
The Future is Ours
My goal was always to make TWA a viable, stand-alone business. For now it is a division of my tax practice. The increasing traffic requires changes to the structure of TWA. I am so excited! This is beyond anything I imagined. And I learned a few things too. Writing a blog isn’t easy. Everybody wants more traffic. More traffic adds more challenges.
As a tax, financial and retirement blog, the demands are tremendous as traffic grows. People read my work and want me to handle their tax/financial issues. There is only so much time available to add new clients. So I learn and grow each day to serve more people properly.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. It has been an awesome ride to-date. The best is yet to come.
Please share your idea for making TWA better in the comments below. Is there a feature you would like to see? Let me know. Kevin reads this blog religiously. (Everyone needs faith in something.) I’ll be sure to bring his attention to ideas readers express.
Again, thank you, faithful readers. I love you all.
The Wealthy Accountant