The keys to traffic and trust – Jim from Route to Retire

Today is a SUPER fun chat with Jim from the Route to Retire blog! Be sure to read the text version of the takeaways below as well. <3 you blogger.

Jim was one my favorite people to meet at FinCon (and if you’ve heard me talk about FC17 before you know that’s saying something).

Aside from being the nicest of dudes, witty as heck, and willing to shave his head into a full mohawk for a costume party, he’s also a fantastic and real blogger, and overall impressive guy.

I mean, he’s retiring early to Panama.

So there’s that as well.

We also chat about…

  • letting your children blog for you 😉
  • Building better trust and loyalty from readers
  • Balancing blogging/entrepreneurship with family (oh yeah, and work)
  • Actually opting-in for the alternative lifestyle you dream of.

Oh yeah, and for you FinCon-ers…you’ll find out what the *end result* of Jim’s mohawk costume 😉 I also found myself wondering what he did to his hair once he left lol.

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Show notes and referenced links

Key takeaways from today’s episode with Jim

1 – Sharing your blog passion with your spouse/loved ones

My wife has often said to me “it’d be interesting to talk to the wives or husbands of OTHER entrepreneurs. Or at least commiserate with them.”

Let’s be honest, us bloggerprenuers can be obsessive.

We can often spend nights and weekends obsessing over an SEO plugin, or just pounding through content.

While most loved ones would be understanding regarding our hobbies, there can be a bit of strife sometimes!

Jim nailed a good solution in our interview: communication is everything.

It’s of paramount importance that those close to you not only KNOW what you’re up to (when you’re spending so much time on something), but also understand WHY you’re doing it.

So, fill em in!

Share your hobby, and share why you’re doing it. Communicate frequently and transparently. Balance is key.

Also, it’s just a dang blog at the end of the day. Fam > blog.

2 – Alternative lifestyle *sampling*

You know that feeling when you arrive at a KILLER buffet, and every single food out there looks delish?

If you’re like me, your entire first plate is the “sampler,” a little bit of everything…just to see what I want to get during seconds (and let’s be honest, thirds).

As it is with Chinese buffets, as it is with ALL alternative/dream lifestyles.

LIFESTYLE sampling
Sample your dream lifestyles BEFORE you make big decisions

Try before you buy.

Jim and his family took a realistic-ish vacation to Panama, before jumping in with both feet and moving there.

  • Want to travel full-time? Take 2 weeks off and do non-stop travel. See if you actually enjoy it before buying a bunch of one-way tickets.
  • Want to blog full-time? Do you really? 

Find out for sure before you make life-altering decisions.

3 – “Focus on the content and be patient.”

Honestly this might be my favorite sentence Jim shared.

We’ve all seen the new bloggers, right?

They finally get their WordPress site set-up, then come out SWINGING

  • pumping out content w/ semi-bad headlines
  • commenting on other blogs every morning
  • posting in Facebook groups every hour

3 months later, what happens?

Nowhere to be found. They’re gone, and it usually has to do with one thing: Expectations.

3 months. 6 months. 12. Doesn’t matter.

The single biggest reason bloggers quit, or switch focus so easily/quickly (ding ding ding me me me)…is because we have mis-aligned expectations with what we’re doing vs what we WANT to see happen.

The problem is…

Blogging is not easy. It does take time. It does require great focus.

Focus on the content and be patient.

Not getting the traffic you want? Focus on the content and be patient.

Not seeing the affiliate clicks? F on the C and be P.

Not seeing mega-huge email list growth you were promised? FOTCABP.

(get that?)

Focus on the content and be patient.

Did you enjoy this chat with them? Please let me know in the comments!

We’d love to hear from you 🙂

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15 Responses

  1. So excited about this podcast episode. I’m researching extended travel to Central America – specifically Panama and Costa Rica. Chris told me to check out Jim’s site and I’m heading over there now 🙂

      1. I’m always throwing curve balls at Chris, lol. After our trip to Hawaii in January, my wanderlust is out of control. I don’t want to be in WI in winter! I’ve been devouring the website twoweeksincostarica and learned about housesitting. We now have a housesitting profile on and I’m searching for opportunities in Central America! I’m even talking about homeschooling the girls so we can be gone long periods of time. The crazy part is working around the tourist visa time limits!

    1. Jaime, I haven’t got a chance to meet you yet, but I loved talking to and hanging out with Chris at FinCon. Chris has my email – feel free to hit me up with any questions you might have on Panama. Would love to chat anytime you want.

      — Jim

      1. Hey Jim! I just made of cup of Tea and am sitting down to read your blog!!!!! Anything you want to share on Panama I would love to hear. I’m devouring all information I can get my ears on, lol. How will you handle the tourist time limit? Also, what is the length of the current tourist visa – I’ve read 180 days, then I read 30 days but can be extended to 60 days if you head to Panama City to get an extension? We want to housesit for an extended period of time and the less we have to travel back home the more money we save on travel.

        1. Now that’s the way to do it… tea and blog reading!! 😉

          The time limit is interesting there. You can visit for up to 180 days without a visa. However, here’s the tricky part – you’re U.S. driver’s license is only good for 90 days while there. Fun, right? Figure that out and you’re in business!

          To start the clock over, you need to leave the country for 30 days. This just changed about a year ago. It used to be that you just need to leave for a few days, but they were even lax on that.

          That makes it tougher for people like us. We’ll probably need to do that once maybe even twice before we feel comfortable enough to know we’re staying there permanently. At that point, we’ll likely apply for residency status.

          I’ve never heard anything about the extension with Panama City so I’m not going to be much help on that one.

          — Jim

  2. Also – I love that you both talked about work/life balance with blogging. Its something we recently had a conversation about (again). We love family time and time together as a couple, walking the kids to school together, picking them up together. If you want it all, you don’t have much time. It’s such a balancing act of trade offs!

    Our girls just started swimming lessons that are killer awesome. In three weeks they have all progressed amazingly. Right now Chris and I both attend because its so much fun to watch. Chris could get more work time in if he stayed home, but its not worth missing out. Its one of our favorite times of the week!

    Pete – I love that you help in the mornings and get your work done in 6 hrs! That’s the dream!

    1. Pete’s the master – he’s got this down to a science! This will probably always be a tight balance for the R2R’s until I’m able to be done with the W2 job and have some room to breathe.

      That’s awesome that you’re able to both attend and be there for things like swimming lessons. You’re definitely calling it when you say it’s not worth missing out. I’m not sure where I first heard the phrase “it’s not worth trading today’s happiness for tomorrow’s”, but it’s so dead on. If you don’t have a good balance between work and family, you’re not doing it right.

      — Jim

    2. Well, yes and no.

      It’ll be the dream once it makes $$$$ 🙂 🙂 🙂

      I’m also with you btw. Whenever I get too stressed these days about surviving, not saving a lot of $ (due to not making a ton….yet)…I also remember the incredible perks that have come with this lifestyle right now.

      A 9 month old and a 3 month old are just too much fun to work full-time and commute right now. Worth it.

    1. Nope 🙂

      Once this cash cow starts producing milk, that’ll be one of the first additions!

      Wow, that was an odd sounding analogy, wasn’t it?

    2. You’re a good guy, Joe and you unknowingly got me on the right path. I should just give you my wallet, but one day if we meet up at FinCon or something, I’ll have to at least buy you a beer! 😉

      — Jim

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