For a site that is supposed to be about money...
RetireJapan doesn't seem to be very good at making it :)
Having revealed my Master Plan the other week, I thought it might be interesting to show you a bit of what is going on behind the scenes at RetireJapan, and what it is like to run a site like this.
I started RetireJapan in December 2013, and have been blogging here ever since. For the last year and a half or so I've been blogging three times a week. Each blog post probably takes an hour or so to write, format, and upload on average. I also spend a couple of hours a week answering comments on the blog, posting in the forum, or answering emails. I probably spend another five hours a week or so reading blogs and articles online related to personal finance. I share the good ones on the Facebook page. So on a normal week I probably spend about ten hours on the site.
At the end of August we published the first RetireJapan Guide (to iDeCo). That was a huge milestone, as I've been wanting to do something like that for a while now. I'd been working on it for a few months (probably a hundred hours or so). It's still available for the special launch price (1,000 yen). So far we have sold 47, which I am fairly pleased with. After accounting for Gumroad fees and design fees, it's made about $300 so far.
The next Guide will be about NISA, and should be out at the end of November.
The costs to run the site include domain registration, hosting fees, email list fees, and occasional advertising fees (mainly Facebook but I'm trying to learn how Google Adwords work). These come to around 5,000 yen a month.
The site does not have any advertising on it, but it does make a little money from Amazon affiliate links (every time you click on a link to Amazon and buy something, the site gets about 3% of the transaction). We also get a commission for every three people that sign up for and use TransferWise (my personal favourite way to send money to other countries).
So the site doesn't make money, but it doesn't cost all that much either, and I see it as a hobby that has some potential to become profitable later.
Right now the main priorities for RetireJapan are:
- Provide as much information as possible in an accessible and easy to understand format
- Reach as many people as possible so that they know to come here to find answers to their questions
- Learn more about personal finance in Japan in order to share more accurate information and advice
- (make some money)
You can help by being active in our community (posting comments on the blog or in the forum), by telling people about the site, and by sharing our content on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
I've also had people ask if they can donate to the site. There really is no need to do this, but if you would like to I have added a donation box to the About page. We'll also be launching a Patreon soon (details in a future blog post).
I'd also love to run more guest posts and reader profiles. Please get in touch if you have something to share in either of those categories.
So what is next for RetireJapan? The next Guide will come out at the end of next month. Then we'll be launching an online course in January. At some point we'll move the site over to retirejapan.com. Coaching and financial services may follow later.
What do you think? Any advice for me? What would you like to see on RetireJapan? How can we make the site more useful?