Reserve retirement and the blog’s top ten posts
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Last October I moved the blog from WordPress.com to Bluehost. By then I’d been blogging about financial independence for two years. The blog had reached nearly 122,000 pageviews and about 7000 views per month. Certain posts had bubbled their way up to the top of the reader rankings.
Boy have things changed in the last eight months! By the time you read this post, this self-hosted version of the blog will have already gone over 100,000 pageviews. It started at nearly 10,000 pageviews per month and is now pushing 14,000. Thanks to a boost a few weeks ago from a surfing metaphor on Mr. Money Mustache, it even broke 1000 views per day.
What’s even more interesting, though is how the top ten posts have changed. This ranking below is a fresh start from zero (not a continuation of the last two years) so it only has eight months of data.
About 75% of the blog’s traffic comes from search engines directly to a particular post, and it didn’t take long for that to exceed the number of readers landing on the home page. The subject of “Calculating a Reserve retirement” is even more than five times as popular than the post on “How many years does it take to become financially independent?” This Reserve post has been up for over a year, so Google gives it some ranking authority in their search algorithm. Of course a lot of people are clicking on that search result, too, so Google gives it even more ranking authority.
Reserve pensions are four of the top ten topics, and the Thrift Savings Plan has been available for over a decade now so that could be a fifth Reserve subject. Add in the fact that the USAA Career Starter Loan goes to cadets/midshipmen, about half of which are commissioned from ROTC units…
My best guess is that most of the searchers are trying to figure out their Reserve retirement benefits from this blog to check their service’s website calculator. Ironically those website calculators started going behind their service’s login firewalls about the time the post came out. Maybe Reservists can’t log in to their service’s website calculator without a CAC or their password (especially if they “retired awaiting pay” a few years ago) and they’re just looking for a fast answer.
If you’re a regular reader of new posts like this one (or if you stumble across this post from a search engine) I’d appreciate your thoughts on why these Reserve posts made the top ten. I’ll happily devote a separate section of the blog to a popular topic, or even write an eBook on the subject.
If you know how to program smartphone apps then you might want to take a look at your service’s retirement calculator and see whether its code can be ported to run (without bandwidth) on a phone or a tablet. One active-duty entrepreneur had this epiphany with Total Pay (over there in the sidebar again on Uncle Sam’s smiling face), and you could make life easier for your shipmates too.
It’ll be interesting to see how the “top post” rankings change over the next year. I think the drawdown will continue until at least 2017, but perhaps the Reserve retirements will have slowed down by then.
Any other ideas why the “Reserve retirement” topic is so popular here?
Calculating a Reserve retirement
Military Reserve and National Guard retirement calculators
Military retirement from the Individual Ready Reserve
Reserve military retirement for active-duty veterans with previous Reserve or National Guard service
Reserve military pension for “discharge” instead of “retired awaiting pay”
Military Reserve sanctuary and active-duty retirement
Sanctuary and military retirement during a Reserve career
Reader questions on Reserve retirement Tricare and points
Guest Post Wednesday: “My Road to a Reserve Retirement”
Navy Reserve retirement credit for ROTC summer training
The regulation for calculating an active-duty pension
Does this post help?