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It is hard to believe that 4 years and 3 days ago I made the decision to have my website go live on my 47th birthday.
I was completely naive about the world of blogging and had no clue what would spring from that fateful decision.
This past Saturday (April 23) I celebrated my 51st birthday as well as the 4 year anniversary of my blog.
Sadly there will not be a 5th year blogoversary as I have decided to throw in the towel on my blogging days.
This decision was not taken lightly as I weighed multiple factors and did a pro/con list regarding continuing the blog or not.
In the end the biggest deciding factor was the fact that I had lost the passion I had when I first started writing.
Without this passion blogging began to feel like a 2nd job and started making me feel like I was burning out again.
Being in the financial position I am in, I certainly did not need to continue blogging to supplement my income.
In fact IF money was the driving force, I could have easily exceeded what I made from blogging by just working an extra day every other month (which would be far easier than writing 2 months worth of material for my website).
I also feel that there was a shift in how audiences prefer to get their information, with a trend towards podcasts or YouTube videos.
This is completely understandable as it is easier to have a podcast going on in the background during a commute or performing an activity.
Unless you were in the upper echelon of bloggers in my niche (I am not), it was hard to retain traffic, especially since the pandemic started.
With decreased traffic came decreased comments, which for me was the best part of blogging as it allowed me to interact with and feel like I was a part of a like-minded community.
I know I have loyal readers that read my blog posts, as I do have pageview stats available, but sometimes it felt like I was just shouting into the wind when a post I was particular proud of did not generate any interaction at all.
I had struggled in the past with my desire to continue blogging, especially when something I wrote about created a lot of negative backlash.
In the past when I had sunk to new blogging lows there would be some fortuitous comment or email from a reader with a positive message that brought me back from the depths in the nick of time.
However this time felt different and I do not think anything could sway me from my decision to quit, which actually occurred in early February.
Because I was so close to reaching the 4 year anniversary, I decided that I would push on writing enough material to get me to that milestone.
The typical course of a blog dying is when the blogger starts posting less frequently and eventually stops altogether without letting his or her readers know that it is the end.
I did not want to take that route because I felt that it would not give my audience closure.
I know what it is like to invest time into something and it just ends abruptly with no real resolution.
I touched upon this situation earlier this year in the post, “Fade to Black: When Your Loyalty Goes Unrewarded.”
Hence I felt it necessary to write this “Goodbye” post.
What blogging has taught me.
After 4 years of blogging I have learned a lot of things about myself, both good and bad and thought that, in my final post, I should share them with you.
Still waters run deep.
The first nugget I gleamed about myself was that I have a pretty deep creative well.
Despite this being my 502nd post, I still had ample material for many more posts.
In February when I made my decision to quit blogging but continue writing till the 4 year anniversary mark, I pulled out all the potential post topics I had saved to determine which topics would make the final cut for my farewell tour.
I had over 35 post titles/topics to choose from.
This meant that there were a lot of great potential posts that found themselves on the cutting room floor.
My biggest hesitation about starting this blog was that I would rapidly run out of material/things to say within the first couple of months.
Nothing could have been further from the truth.
I do not have thick skin.
Putting material out into the blogosphere is like a double-edged sword.
The best part of being a blogger is that you soon find yourself immersed in a like-minded community with a strong support system.
However as your reach spreads, there are bound to be encounters with individuals who have negative things to say.
Just like in real life, I tend to dwell on the negative stuff, which can erase the majority of the positivity that was previously out there.
This is magnified when a post of mine is picked up by a larger website and thus exposed to a far larger audience who may not know about me or my backstory and thus are far more critical about a particular post they read.
This actually was the precipitating factor for me to quit blogging when one such post was featured on a large site and there were more than a few negative comments generated from it.
It truly was the straw that broke the camel’s back and set me on this trajectory.
When I first hit publish on my very first post, I could not anticipate the chain of events that subsequently followed.
Most shocking of all was how far-reaching my posts were.
Using Google Analytics, a powerful and impressive tool, I slowly saw the vast majority of countries of the world start to fill in on the map, indicating that at least one citizen had visited my site.
In fact, out of a possible 195 countries in the world, at least 1 citizen in 176 countries has visited my website (90.3% world domination, LOL).
It would have been quite the achievement to have every country filled in, but alas that was not in the cards for me.
Even so, it gave me great pleasure that words that sprung from my mind were read by people from all over the world, including countries I frankly have never heard of.
It just goes to show how interconnected we are with others across the globe and how we all are really striving for the same thing.
One thing I have quickly found out running my own website is that I am sorely lacking in business skills.
I never mastered promoting the blog to gain sponsorships like some of the juggernauts in this niche.
Even when I managed to get a sponsor, I really had no idea what the value of my site was and often low-balled myself when asking for advertising dollars.
Even asking for sponsorship renewals was an activity I did not really care for.
The size of my website put me in “no-man’s land” where I was not big enough to justify outsourcing these activities like the larger sites often do.
This was basically a one man show and, because I much rather write material than self-promote, I let the business aspect of this website fall by the wayside.
I also soon discovered that I did not have the killer entrepreneurial instinct that a lot of bloggers in this niche have.
It amazes me how many fellow bloggers have written books, created masterclass courses, conducted webinars or even create full-blown week long conferences in addition to regular blogging.
I am sure these revenue streams are quite lucrative for those individuals.
It takes a lot of work to get these products out to the masses and these bloggers definitely demonstrated that they have the grit to do so.
I am downright lazy by comparison.
A glimpse of the retirement countdown.
When I made the decision to quit blogging, a strange phenomenon happened.
I quickly counted how many posts were needed to get me to the 4 year anniversary mark and it was like a light switch was flipped.
I again became quite prolific in writing and over a 2-wk period spanning late February to early March I wrote every post required to fill the schedule except the one you are currently reading.
Prior to this I would often delay writing that week’s post until the week before, often procrastinating till the last minute.
But now I was filled with a new energy, perhaps motivated by the fact that if I got these posts written I would finally be done with it all.
As the number of posts required slowly dwindled my mood improved.
This was not possible prior to quitting because as soon as I finished one post I knew that I had to start the never-ending process of writing one for the following week.
At the time of me writing this post, it has been over 4 weeks since I last wrote material for the blog and it really feels like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.
I believe I will have a similar feeling at my job when I finally give notice, knowing that the end of the tunnel is finally in sight.
It truly has been an honor to be a part of the blogging community and have incredible readers such as yourself.
I am thankful for the big-time bloggers in this niche who helped me through the years (special thanks to Physician On Fire, White Coat Investor, and Passive Income MD who were instrumental in helping me get on my feet during the early years. It was a thrill to meet all of you in person).
For the past 4 years I have grown tremendously in all aspects of my life.
I am in a great place physically, emotionally, and financially and truly feel that I am starting to live my best life.
I have found a woman that has brought me great joy and renewed my hope for having a happy married life.
My daughter will soon embark on her own life journey, starting her senior year of high school this fall.
She still is on the trajectory to become a physician, but no matter what she ends up achieving, I know she will be successful and happy.
I know I am leaving everyone in great hands as there are still incredible bloggers, both physician and non-physician, that are more than capable of carrying the torch I am about to pass.
This website will live on for a bit as I have already paid for web hosting until Dec 31, 2024 which allows you to still visit The Hospital page I have created showcasing the latest offerings from all the physician finance bloggers out there.
I wish you all nothing but the best.
Remember we are only here on this planet for a short time and it is therefore imperative to enjoy the ride as much as we can.
A final request.
I am sort of treating this last post as my “yearbook/memory page” and hoping that you will “sign it.”
If you have ever gained any value over the years from this website, I would love for you to write a comment (and that especially goes to those readers who have read my posts but never commented in the past (referred to as “lurkers” in the blogging community (LOL)).
It really would make my day to end this experience on a great note.
Knowing that my words have somehow touched you in a positive way would mean the world to me.
This is Xrayvsn, signing off.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
NOTE: The website XRAYVSN contains affiliate links and thus receives compensation whenever a purchase through these links is made (at no further cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although these proceeds help keep this site going they do not have any bearing on the reviews of any products I endorse which are from my own honest experiences. Thank you- XRAYVSN