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 Year of 5K!

Over the summer I set the goal to hit 4K views for each month and amazingly, I hit it and then some! July and August I surprisingly reached 5K both times! This was my first time ever getting such a high reach. So far I’ve been able to keep this streak going for the rest of the year as well so I hope December can pull through too.

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I also reached 5k followers on here as well back in September! I was hoping to reach it for my 3 year anniversary but was a few weeks late. Around this time I also reached 5k on Twitter! So it’s been a year of 5,000s for me and I’m thrilled with all the new accomplishments my blog is reaching.

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With all of this going on, I decided to finally take a closer look at these numbers. I realized Twitter was not a traffic driver at all for the site so I’ve stopped all efforts of gaining new engagement there. The only social I focus on now is Pinterest and I’ll post some updates there in a month or two.

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Interestingly, I check the site’s traffic through google analytics and it’s still under 5K so my goal right now is to focus on reaching it there since any monetary venues focus on how google values the site. My 2019 goal check up will be in 2 weeks so make sure to check back in for that as well.

 

How to schedule a blog tour

Scheduling a blog book tour is pretty tough, it requires a lot of coordination and management. You have to find bloggers that are interested in hosting a blog tour, see which of those are available during the timeframe you want and who will even respond to you, and then you have to communicate about the content of the posting.

Before I get into it, I would really really want to thank those that did host me for a blog tour!! It was amazing seeing it all come together!

 

So first, I would search for blogs that are doing tours for your niche. I searched through the WordPress Reader since that’s my hosting site but if you use another platform you might use google or your hosting’s reader feed.

I knew I wanted to do interviews for my blog tour so that’s what I looked for specifically but I think it’s also common just to have the tour host review your new book. Once I found a site I would search their page for any submission guidelines or policies to make sure I wasn’t rudely bulldozing my way through. If that all checked out then I would email them, letting them know I saw their post that I liked, a little blurb about my book, and the timeframe I’m hoping for.

There’s a lot of different ways you can schedule your blog tour. I’ve seen a tour for 15 consecutive days in a row and I decided to go with once a week but starting 6 weeks out from the release date. So there’s a wide range of how many stops to do, how many weeks to do, and the decision to have them all at once or spread out.

I would say I emailed about 20-25 bloggers about hosting me for a blog tour. I got 7 for Yes and that was more than enough for me and what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do interviews and I knew that would require me to do a good chunk of work and writing so I contacted bloggers all the way back in February for a May dated tour.

 

To me, there was no need to badger anyone until it got closer to when the tour would be starting. But then that also left no time to recoup if anything was going wrong. Plus, I had done my side of the work for all of them. On my side of things, it all seemed like it would be working out. It wasn’t till a few days would go by after I sent in my responses that I didn’t hear anything.  

As April came around and one of my bloggers wasn’t responding in emails I checked out the site and saw there hadn’t been a new posting since January. It’s instances like that were the tour can just fall apart on you. I was able to get 2 more bloggers interested in hosting me after my release date.  

Overall, I have to admit that the blog tour was not a success for my initial plan. My goal was to have 7 spots completed by my release date, the result was 3. But out of the 9 Yes, 6 have come together overall so I have about 67% success rate in the end, which for a first time blog tour is actually very good. And I must say, having tour dates after the release was really helpful and kept my book relevant even a month after launch.

This post isn’t meant to complain but to show that even with the best effort, planning a book blog tour is difficult and is not guaranteed to come out the way you planned. My suggestion is to contact as many people as possible with the understanding that some will fall through.

 

2018 recap and 2019 goals

I cannot believe another year has passed!? What’s the deal with time passing faster as you get older? 2018 has been a really eventful year for me in the writing world! Debatably Dateable went self hosted in April, my debut poetry collection Cracked Open was also released in April!

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

 

Cracked Open

Between GoodReads and Amazon, have 20 reviews

Get 25 more books sold

 

Social Media

Twitter – gain 2,000 followers

Instagram– gain 1,000 followers 

 

Next Poetry Collection

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)

 

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 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.

 

End of the Year Goals

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving in the US! 2018 has just a little over a month left! I can’t believe it’s nearly the start of a new year already! My blog has taken a back seat in my life lately but I want to set some goals to make sure I stay motivated in these final weeks of 2018. Here are some of my goals.

 

Blog/Writing specific:

  1. End the year strong by not having an empty queue or falling behind on my publishing schedule.

     2. Have the final monthly advice column installment completed and in queue.

     3. Have leads for next year’s special installment series (excited to share with you guys       what it is!!!).

     4. Continue the uphill rise in monthly blog views.

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     5. 150 more followers for each of Twitter , blog, and Instagram

6. Produce new content on Instagram (realllllly slacked on this the past few months)

7. Enter editing stage of my next poetry collection (SOOOO EXCITED to tell you all more about it soon!)

8. Promote Cracked Open more and in new places (also really slacked here :/ )

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Personal:

Decide if I’m going back to school or not.

Figure out next job for the new year.

Execute next year’s living plans.

 

 

What are your goals before 2018 ends? Write some in the comments!

 

Check in on my 25 before 25 List

It’s six months till I’ll be 25 so I figured I’d check in on my list of 25 before 25.

 

1. Go on a caribbean trip

I’ve finally booked a trip for February!

 

2. Figure out how all this self hosting works (how can I find my view sessions?! lol)

It’s a work in progress.

 

3. Breakeven on my self hosting investment

That is definitely not happening lol

 

4. Sell 100 copies of my debut poetry collection Cracked Open in its first 6 months

haha definitely not… but I have made over $100 so I’ll take what I can get

 

5. Go hiking regularly in the warm weather

I didn’t get out much as I wanted it

 

6. Advance my career

Still hoping to

 

7. Write 125 new poems

I’m at about 50 so I’ll probably only get to 100

 

8. Create some healthy eating habits

Some weeks I do, some weeks I don’t

 

9. Be more active with my dog

Definitely taking my dog on more walks

 

10. Go kayaking

Didn’t get to it this summer

 

11. Go to a concert

I didn’t this summer but who knows with the holidays

 

12. Publish 200 new posts

I post 3 times a week and with 52 weeks in year, I’ll be about 50 short. (should have done some better math before making this goal lol)

 

13. Dye my hair a new color

Indeed I did! It’s blonde now

 

14. Start organizing for my next poetry collection

You know it! I have over a 100 poems ready for this one.

 

15. Surprise my boyfriend (no more details incase he reads this)

I surprised him with a dinner cruise for our 1 year anniversary!

 

16. Grow Blog and Twitter following immensely (hard to put a number on it right now)

I’ve been working hard at this one!

 

17. Get another tattoo

I’m not in a rush and I’m still thinking about what I might want

 

18. Attend a sporting event

My boyfriend took me to a baseball game.

 

19. Have half of the finances needed to buy a house

I think I’ll reach this goal

 

20. Visit another state

I think I will be, still working out the details

 

21. Visit 20 new places

I’ve been to quite a few new restaurants and local attractions.

 

22. Go to the golf range more often

Nah didn’t happen

 

23. Go on a boat ride

You bet I did!

 

24. Get stronger so I can start seeing my chiropractor less

I am seeing the doctor less

 

25. Have some adventures this summer – fun and carefree!

I definitely got to do some new things and see some new places!

 

So I’ve got 10 done already and 4 that I didn’t get the chance to. I think I’ll get another 5 in the next few months but the rest we’ll just have to wait and see.

25 Things to do Before Turning 25

April is my birthday month and I’ve just turned 24 so I wanted to write about all the things I want to do in the next year before I’m a quarter of a century old! 

  1. Go on a caribbean trip
  2. Figure out how all this self hosting works (how can I find my view sessions?! lol)
  3. Breakeven on my self hosting investment
  4. Sell 100 copies of my debut poetry collection Cracked Open in its first 6 months
  5. Go hiking regularly in the warm weather
  6. Advance my career
  7. Write 125 new poems
  8. Create some healthy eating habits
  9. Be more active with my dog
  10. Go kayaking
  11. Go to a concert
  12. Publish 200 new posts
  13. Dye my hair a new color
  14. Start organizing for my next poetry collection
  15. Surprise my boyfriend (no more details incase he reads this)
  16. Grow Blog and Twitter following immensely (hard to put a number on it right now)
  17. Get another tattoo
  18. Attend a sporting event
  19. Have half of the finances needed to buy a house
  20. Visit another state
  21. Visit 20 new places
  22. Go to the golf range more often
  23. Go on a boat ride
  24. Get stronger so I can start seeing my chiropractor less
  25. Have some adventures this summer – fun and carefree!

Do you have any goals you want to achieve before your next birthday?