Well, here we are, a new year begins, and it's already time for the eighth anniversary of the blog!
This adventure, which was just a small personal project at the very beginning, has become an integral part of my life. And I love it!
As usual, we're off for a little retrospective of everything that's happened, and we'll follow up with my outlook for 2022.
2021 blog retrospective
Before dwelling on the heart of my personal project which is my blog, let's review its little brothers and sisters who were born over time:
My book: "Free by 40 in Switzerland"
I published my book in November 2020. And what a long way I've come since then!
During 2021, it became a bestseller in French-speaking Switzerland, selling more than 1'000 copies.
As I write this, we are at 1'621! That''s pretty amazing, and gratifying.
The next stop I'm aiming for, without putting too much pressure on myself because it's not a goal in itself, is to be able to add a "Bestseller in Switzerland" sticker on the cover when I've sold more than 3'000 copies.
Another good news arrived a few weeks ago: my book is going to be on sale in a bookstore of a well-known group in French-speaking Switzerland ;)
If you own an independent bookstore or similar, contact me if you're interested too.
And what makes me most excited about this project is the impact it has on readers:
The average of all the 158 ratings is 4.6 stars on 5!
I also thank whoever added my book on goodreads. It feels weird because the first thing I felt was this imposter syndrome as an author... but once I got past it, it's really cool, so thank you!
Below are some of the comments that keep me motivated after 8 years of seeing so much impact in the lives of readers:
Message of Renars:
Comment of Robin:
Feedback of Jeremie:
Another one from Marco:
And one from Aljosha:
And the last one from Mikhail:
Launch of the "Swiss Investor Program" (SIP) in French
Even after all my articles and my book about investing in Switzerland, I was still receiving emails from readers.
Émilie wrote to me last summer:
I'm scared to death of the stock market, Marc. Can't you make an exception for me and accompany me on a private coaching session? I'm really too worried about making a mistake with my savings, because I'm a complete newbie in investing.
Indeed, I don't want to do as much private coaching as in 2020-2021, because it takes up too much of my energy — compared to writing.
So I suggested to Émilie to condense all my notes and slides created for my coaching sessions into one program. She loved it. And most importantly, she finally started investing in the stock market!
Convinced of the need, I conducted two alpha and beta cohorts of my "Swiss Investor Program" in French only, with about twenty readers.
These two small groups allowed me to finalize all the details of this program made for the Swiss, by a Swiss.
The promise of the (paid) program is to allow any "Swiss newbie" with zero knowledge of the stock market to begin investing their CHF in the stock market — while understanding what you are doing! And this in 6 weeks.
And so, that's how I launched the first public cohort of the Swiss Investor Program two weeks ago. I look forward to seeing the next feedback like David's last December:
In order to keep as much time as possible for writing blogposts, I'm thinking of opening the registrations in January and September each year for the French version.
If you're interested in learning more, you can sign up for the waiting list via this link (for the French version; the English and German versions are below):
Finally! Let's talk about the heart of this anniversary: my blog!
"We want numbers MP!!!"
For the geeks and voyeurs that we all are, here are the stats of the blog (including revenues and profits!)
Let's start with the metric that doesn't serve any purpose as such, but that always pleases the ego: the number of pageviews over the year.
Newsletter: +27% growth
3'706 subscribers at the end of 2020, and 4'694 subscribers at the end of 2021.
The open rate has also increased from 60% to 65%. It is especially this last figure which is important to me, because it reflects the real interest of the readers.
2020 was a pretty crazy year in terms of visibility with the report on TTC. In 2021, we see a slowdown — quite normal — because I don't expect to be on TV or radio anytime soon.
But the increase of +44% of visitors and +6% of page views is still quite respectable for a "normal" year at media level.
Compared to 2020 and its 49 articles, I wrote "only" 32 blogposts in 2021. Nevertheless, I always focus on quality rather than quantity.
The two explanations I see are less time available at the beginning of the year due to my job, and at the end of the year with the release of my "Swiss Investor Program".
I am always listening to new needs regarding the topics I cover. So don't hesitate to write me by answering directly to one of my newsletters!
As I told you above, the blog has been featured only 4 times in 2021, respectively in kath.ch, Le Temps, Aargauer Zeitung, and... the "UBS Young" blog :D (see my media page to learn more).
If you are a journalist or a member of a community (such as a university newspaper or any other media), contact me via media[at]mustachianpost.com if you are interested in an interview on the topic of financial independence in Switzerland (aka FIRE). And we'll gladly talk on the phone.
Income and expenses of the blog
Now we get to the crunchy part! At least, it's my opinion when I visit other blogs or e-commerce sites :)
"But how much does a blog earn in Switzerland?!?" I asked myself 8 years ago. My former future self would be happy to read this article :D (and maybe also discouraged by the time it took and still takes every week ^^).
Before I tell you all the numbers in "open business" mode, a little clarification.
One of my reader buddies recently asked me:
"But Marc, aren't you afraid of making people jealous? And that some people won't come to your blog anymore after reading this article?"
I retorted: "Are you jealous yourself when you read these figures?"
"Oh well, clearly not. On the contrary, it inspires and motivates me to exchange with another Swiss entrepreneur who thinks like me!"
My answer: "That's it! That's exactly why I'm so transparent: to inspire readers. To bring them value. And the advantage of this strategy is that the ones who stay are the people I want to talk to and who inspire me in turn (i.e. and not the jealous ones)!"
Without further ado, the numbers of the blog:
Concerning ethics, I'm putting back the same paragraph I wrote in 2020. It is more valid than ever:
"Profit is the tied of ethics. In other words, how not to fall into the "make cash at any cost with the blog", and end up losing readers one by one.
Because let's be clear, I'm the first one to unsubscribe from a blog if I start to see that the opinions become biased by money.
So this topic is very close to my heart and that translates into things like:
- Clearly telling one of the banks I recommend that no, they won't have exclusivity on my blog, because it's all based on my honest comparisons (which they understood very well)
- Continue to recommend Interactive Brokers as the best online broker for a Swiss investor. Even if I earn almost nothing (whereas if I were a US resident I would earn 200USD per recommendation...)
- Don't accept any sponsored article (I get several requests every month!) because first, it's never adapted to Switzerland, and second, it would denaturew the blog
- To mention in a transparent way the affiliate links so that everything is clear between us (if I forget, don't hesitate to point it out to me)
- To not judge or religiously push my choices, like when a reader tells me that he/she will stay at the Raiffeisen because it's profitable with all the museums he/she can visit for free every year with his/her family. And on the contrary, these exchanges inspire me with food for thoughts
- Never sell the email addresses of the readers registered to the newsletter
- And, finally, even if it seems so obvious to me, only recommend tools and services that I use and have tested myself on a daily basis"
And let's not forget our fantastic Swiss Mustachian/FIRE community which can be found on our forum. I share some interesting statistics with you below:
You are seriously a bunch of crazy people! Can you imagine, 8 million page views since 2016!!!
And thanks also to you who participate and keep this great Swiss FIRE community alive!
Special thanks to the patrons of the blog
As I do every year, I thank all blog patrons via Patreon: Johanne, Amalie, Charif, Yuè, Raphael, RaC, Ștefan, Cenk, BRO, Rúben, Nicolas, Christian, Raphael, Paolo, Ferdinando, Martin, Nicolas, David, Pranav, Matteo, Alain, Bocherens, Gordan, linlin, Jean-Claude, tcies , Célien, MrCedFre, Simon, Fabrice, Andrei, Timo, Adrian, Cédric, Patrik, Przemek, Roddy, et Alberto.
Outlook for 2022
My key word for 2022 is going to be "balance". Balance in terms of my lifestyle to achieve serenity between family, job, personal projects.
Balance also for the blog in terms of the subjects I tackle so that it remains interesting for all the readers.
And finally balance in terms of diet, sleep, sport in order to put my health back at the center.
This brings me to the big personal change I announced in the title of the article.
The personal change: going part-time at 80%! 🥳
I've had the idea in my head for a long time...
Picture this: work Monday through Thursday, then have my entire Friday dedicated to the blog and its little brothers and sisters. Wouldn't that be heaven?
I talked about this a lot with J. Money and Thomas de Sparkojote when I interviewed them for my book. Both of them were advising me to give it a shot, and that I wouldn't go back... that finally convinced me.
After discussing it with Mrs. MP, I'm going to take the plunge next September if everything goes as planned at the job.
On the one hand I'm excited and impatient, and on the other hand I tell myself that I'm going to lose several thousands of francs a year. But I reassure myself that I'll have more time to concentrate on the blog, and make sure that my 20% less at work is compensated by my personal project — or even more.
There' s also the worry of whether it will delay our FIRE. But the only way to find out is to try it!
I can't wait!!!
Whatever happens, you'll be the first to know about my peregrinations via my newsletter :D
Launch of the "Swiss Investor Program" (SIP) in English and German
In view of the need of the blog's French-speaking readership for a helping hand to dare to start investing in Switzerland, I decided to translate the SIP into English AND German as well.
I expect to launch the Swiss Investor Program in English in February, and the German version in March.
As a reminder: if you are already investing in the stock market, this (paid) program is not for you.
On the other hand, if you've never dared to try the stock market, but the idea of making your money work for you while you sleep is something that appeals to you, then I think you would benefit from it.
As for the French version, I will offer a 30% discount on the future standard price.
You can register to the waiting list via the button below to be notified when registration opens:
You'll also find behind the button above a FAQ with all the questions I've been asked since the launch of the program (and if you have more, you can send them to me at contact [at] mustachianpost.com).
Thank you <3
So much for this new blog anniversary! I couldn't finish without thanking you, dear reader, who is reading these few lines. You who share my writings with those around you. Without you, all these projects would have no meaning. So THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart!
On that note, I'm off to blow out my 8 candles! 🎂