End of the Year Goal Check In

I wrote some goals for 2019 back in December and we’re full circle now! I did a 6 months check in since these goals were only for the first 6 months of the year anyways.

 

Goals for the first six months of 2019

Goals have to be measurable in order to know if you’ve reached them or not. Although I’m not happy to focus so heavily on numbers, it is an easy way to measure a goal. My goal is to increase my audience and have a successful poetry career. These numbers will help me keep track of those goals.

 

The Blog

Work on writing a media kit

Contact companies for sponsorship (and actually get one!)

Gain another 1,000 followers

Update: I’ve looked into some samples of media kits but I still don’t think my stats would stand out enough for it to make sense to create one just yet.

I’ve joined some other affiliation programs that I’ve been working on instead of doing any sponsored posts yet. There are some programs that have tougher qualifications so I still need to work on my stats. I am making a small bit of money from google Adsense so it’s great to see me recovering some of my self hosting spendings.

Debatably Dateable has gained over 1,770 followers since December and I couldn’t be happier! I love love love watching this blog grow! I hope to get another thousand in these next 6 months!

 

The Final Results: 3968 June, to 5719 dec = 1750, from my 5k monthly views article, my traffic is growing which helps my monetary goals.

 

Cracked Open

Between GoodReads and Amazon, have 20 reviews

Get 25 more books sold

The Update: I have 18 reviews so I can’t be too upset there but I did not even get close to selling 25 more books so that stings a little. I don’t see these numbers getting much higher as the year goes on. I’m not sure how to help boost sales as the book continues to age.

 

The Final Results: I thought Where I Ache sales would be the only ones coming in after the summer but surprisingly Cracked Open still sees some action on Amazon so that’s great news.

 

Social Media

Twitter – gain 2,000 followers

Instagram– gain 1,000 followers

The Update: For Twitter I only gained 1,270 so far but feel free to come check out what I talk about there! Oddly enough, for Instagram I’ve gained over 2,125 followers so it looks like I got my goals switched around! I hope to get to the 2k+ on Twitter in the Fall.

 

The Final Results: I finally started taking a deeper look into these numbers and found it was wasted efforts! So I’ve switched my focus to Pinterest, read more about why I made these changes here.

 

Next Poetry Collection – Where I Ache!

I want to add 50 exclusive poems to my next collection before I work on publishing it

Have 10 reviews before release date

Sell twice as many as Cracked Open (over the course of the year)

 

The Update: I have 55 exclusive poems! I am absolutely ecstatic about that! Cracked Open had 20 illustrations and Where I Ache has somewhere around 35 so I’m also pumped about that!

Where I Ache was only released 2 weeks ago and there’s already 14 reviews on Goodreads so I’m very happy about that! Definitely check them out!

I’m only 2 weeks in of course but I’m already even with Cracked Open’s first month of book sales so that’s a good start for me!

 

The Final Results: Where I Ache currently has 20 reviews on Goodreads and another 5 on Amazon so I think I did a bit more work during release time on my second collection and I’m happy to see it paid off. Not sure what I’ll want to do about my third collection in the new year.

All those reviews have unfortunately not resulted in more sales than Cracked Open had in it’s first 5 months. My third collection is returning to more Cracked Open style so we’ll see if that has anything to do with it.

 

Because I don’t want to solely focus on numbers, here are some

 

Non numerical goals:

Connect with new readers who resonate with my poetry.

Have my poetry help someone through a difficult time.

Have a company see value in my writing.

Keep a healthy number of articles in queue.

 

The Update: I’ve definitely found new readers and also fellow poets through my Poet Interview Series! I’ve been so lucky to connect with new readers who were interested in reviewing Where I Ache and many have said the sensitive topics covered in the collection have helped them remember they are not alone.

I haven’t really pursued this one aside from submitting Where I Ache to one of the major publishing companies. I’m not sure that I will do much for the rest of the year for this.

I have over 30 posts in queue for the past several months and it is amazinggggg! (knock on wood)

The Final Results: I still have not made the jump to working with companies and I don’t think I will in 2020, my only focus would probably be Google Adsense and working on more traffic to eventually switch to another ad company.

The past few months I hover around 50 articles in queue would has been so awesome and even with that I’ve added more posts into my schedule. At the beginning of the year I would post 10 times a month, then I went to every Monday, Wed, and Friday posting about 12-13 times a month and lately I’ve made the jump to about 15-17 times a month so I’m hoping that will all help with traffic and the like.

 

My goals for 2020 will mostly follow the same path of check the sales of my books and trying to increase site traffic so I’m unsure if I’ll set specific numbers for this coming year. Thanks for following me along through 2019!

The Holidays Can be Hard for Some

The holidays are bright and loud with music and family. For many people, it’s their favorite time of year. In all the celebration we tend to forget those among us who struggle with the holiday season.

 

Lonely

The holidays are all about being surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones. Unfortunately this can sometimes backfire into making us feel lonely instead of part of a larger community. For starters, you may have a small family or have special family members missing this year in the holiday festivities. These parties and gatherings put an emphasis on that emptiness. On the other hand, you may have a large family and are far from alone during this time of year. But you may feel disconnected and that amplifies the feeling of loneliness. You’ll be hard on yourself for feeling lonely when you’re not alone.

 

Solution

Focus on those you do feel connected to in your life. Whether its friends instead of blood relatives or a community on the internet that you truly feel a part of, make sure to spend quality time connecting with these important relationships in your life.

 

Single

During the holiday season, the emphasis on family also puts pressure on you starting your own family which begins by finding a partner. Relatives routinely ask you when you’re going to settle down and find someone nice to bring home and meet the family. You see lots of pictures on social media for friends and family with their significant other and it can make you feel inadequate for not having a partner as well.  

 

Solution

Feel free to handle your nosy relatives however you see fit. Just know that there is no need to rush into a relationship that you don’t want or aren’t ready for. That could lead to ending up with someone that isn’t really right for you and wasting time not being truly happy. A partner may not be a part of the future you envision for yourself and that should be respected as well.

 

Expectations

The holidays are also at the end of the year when most people reflect on the highs and lows of that year. The New Year is also right around the corner and many people set goals and expectations for themselves to achieve. Every part of life can’t be planned and unfortunately most people find themselves behind on their goals. They’re not where they want to be in life and they’re upset that another year has passed without much improvement.

 

Solution

Goals sometimes have to be adjusted so that they can be realistic and reachable. Some people see this a negative thing but setting a small, reachable goal can produce big results. You’ll feel accomplished for reaching this smaller goal and motivated to continue on instead of defeated by missing your original goal. Life may alter your goals completely and that can be devastating. But this new life path can lead to new goals and new victories.

 

THE INTERNAL DEBATE TO GO SELF HOSTING

There is a lot of excitement to go self hosting. It’s a goal for a lot of bloggers and a popular motivational quote states “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. A popular life goal is to enjoy your work by finding what you’re good at and making money from it.

So you’ve completed step one and found something you’re good at and enjoy. Now you need to figure out how to make money from it. Since I never had a long term plan for my blog, I didn’t have many expectations for it. I definitely wasn’t marketing it or trying to grow my audience; my first 6 months I had 300 followers and was THRILLED!

But here we are 1.5 years later and I’m trying to plan for the future. The past few months my blog had been mostly running on scheduled content I had built up back when I had a lot more free time. That supply was starting to run out and I wasn’t coming up with any new ideas; so is now really the best time to make an investment?

When you self host you think how will you make money – selling products, affiliated programs, sponsored posts & brand collaborations? I didn’t know what direction my brand was headed, instead it seemed to be crawling to a stop. Being in the dating and relationship niche, I thought it would be a hard sell to popular brands. Company marketers could clearly understand the benefits to working with book, beauty, and fashion blogs but what could I offer them?

I heard a lot of different numbers tossed around in the blog community when it came to making money with the amount of traffic on your blog. I was worried I’d spend money on my blog and it would take months to finally make a net profit. I was worried the blog’s monthly income would be laughable at best. I was worried I’d fail and it freaked me out. Forget self hosting, I questioned if I should even continue blogging anymore!

I decided to push back my self hosting date, take a breather for a couple weeks, and try to build back up my content. And in order to do that I had to post less frequently. With less activity my stats dropped, they were nowhere near my past 6 months but also much better than what I was expecting. This gave me the push I needed and the confident to know I could do it. Of course, it’s good to have a plan and strategy but if you try to wait until everything is perfect then you’ll never make the leap.

My plan is to build up my content, understand the changes that come with self hosting, and work on building my traffic. I’m also giving myself slack with this learning curve and not setting high expectations for income for the next 6 months. After that I will re evaluate and set goals, all I had to do was believe in myself and my blog.

Follow Friday!

I’ve been getting some new readers lately and I wanted to give everyone a chance to network so feel free to comment your social media pages!

I’ve also been wondering if I should make an Instagram for the blog/poetry, do most of you have separate instagrams?

Thanks for all the support, this blogging community is amazing!

Happy Friday!

Asking for Support Today

I would normally not do this type of post but I’ve been getting much more involved in the blogger community this summer and have seen so much support and made so many connections.

My Aunt was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer last summer and has shown such strength taking on this battle every day. I’ll be participating in a fundraiser walk in just a few weeks to show support to my Aunt and The Lustgarten pancreatic cancer research foundation as they continue to search for a cure.

If you have an extra $5 or $10 in your pocket today, any donation is deeply appreciated.

And if you don’t, just spread some extra love this month, you never know who needs it <3

Thank you, talk soon, and take care xx

Blog Recognition (& Liebster) Award

Sooo funny story, I was nominated for three awards this month: Liebster, Blog Recognition, and another Liebster. I thought three different award blog posts seemed a bit excessive so I was going to combine the two Liebsters but they have different rules! Interestingly enough one of the Liebsters and the Blog Recognition have the same rules, so I’m combining those instead. (And after some research, it seems these rules are for the Blog Recognition and my post next week will be the rules for the Liebster).

Part 1 I was nominated for a Liebster Award by super mom, Hermine-Jane. She tells funny, honest, and valuable stories of her experiences being a first time mom. Life is our greatest teacher, and it’s through HookedOn’s storytelling that we find a fresh perspective on what some of these experiences mean and how we can learn from them.

Part 2 I was nominated for the Blog Recognition Award by the driven Jillian. She may be new to blogging but has plenty of experiences to write about between modeling, being a mom, and her travels! I have no doubt her blog will blossom and exceed all goals in her first year!

Why and How I started my blog

I started my blog because I think a lot of people can relate to the experiences I’ve gone through and this was the best way to connect us all. Every time I receive a comment about someone else relating to my post, it makes me so happy because that’s my mission coming to life. Everyone just wants to belong and I think uniting us, gives us more strength to face challenges and improve ourselves (like ditching the guy who doesn’t realize the great woman you are).

Two Top Tips for New Bloggers

  1. Definitely write about what you are passionate about and not what you think will get you the most followers. If you want to write about Anime or Paranormal Fiction stories then do it! Don’t write about something just because you think it will get you the most views or free products. If you love make up and can create really unique looks, then by all means Beauty blog your heart away! Don’t be cool, just be you.
  2. Don’t measure your success with numbers. Views, follows, and likes are cool and exciting but that’s not what blogging is about. Create content that makes you happy and really showcases who you are. Truly expressing yourself will make you far happier than any amount of site traffic. And people will begin to follow anyway when they see how genuine your work is. It could take some time for people to begin to notice your blog so don’t get discouraged by the numbers either.

BLOG RECOGNITION AWARD 2017:

There are a few steps you have to take as you accept this award:

1.Write a post about how and why you’ve started this blog.
2. Include the person who nominated you into your post, add a link to their blog and a short description.
3. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.
4. Give new bloggers two pieces of advice.
5. Notify the bloggers you have nominated for this award and provide the link to your post.
And now, the time has come. The bloggers I choose to nominate for the Blog Recognition Award are:

  1. SparklyNerdBlog
  2. Paul McGinley
  3. Mary Job
  4. Married Cat Lady
  5. Sophie-Alice
  6. Unbox Diaries
  7. Wanderlust Amy
  8. Dominika Szeles
  9. Cinnamon and Sparkles
  10. Southern Laced
  11. Missie Stephie
  12. Geeky Beauty Party
  13. AVA Poet
  14. Biblio Bakes
  15. Life of Larissa

*Do not forget to follow the rules presented above.