2016 Review and 2017 Goals

Happy New Year!  I can’t believe 2016 has ended and 2017 is here already!  This is going to be such a huge year for me!  It’s my 10 year high school reunion year (although I don’t think my school does reunions anymore).  It’s also the year that Nick and I get married and move into our house!  And of course, what you are all here for, it’s another year of growing the blog and getting to know all you blog lovers!

2016 review

2016 was the first full year of posting on this blog.  At the beginning of the year I was quite naive about how the blog was going to do.  I didn’t want to be overly optimistic so I ended up setting goals that I thought were attainable.  What I didn’t realize is that the goals were way too simple.  I accomplished all of my 2016 goals within the first two months of the year.   You can find all of my 2016 goals here.

The most notable successes from 2016 were completing my Media Kit, Increasing my post schedule to twice per week, and reaching 1000 followers on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. I also created a mid-year review for the end of the blog’s fiscal year.

2016 Top 6 Posts

How to Complete Your To Do List in 5 Steps3338 Views
BBQ Uglies Recipe Review – 1866 Views
How I Use Smart Things for Home Automation – 1248 Views
Say Goodbye to Living Paycheck to Paycheck: The Basics of Income – 1020 Views
10 Must Haves in My Next Home – 919 Views
The Ultimate List of Blogging Groups on Facebook – 789 Views

2016 Achievements

  • I completed the Say Goodbye to Living Paycheck to Paycheck book.
  • I created a blogging planner downloadable linked at the end of this post.
  • I began posting every other week on YouTube.
  • I increased my posting volume from once per week to twice per week.
  • I started using Pinterest with Tailwind.
  • I increased my following by over 700%.

I’ve been tracking my stats for income, pageviews, and followers since I started this blog.  I recently added a trendline to each of the graphs.  The trendline (pink dotted line) is a prediction of where my stats will be from now until the end of June.  It will be interesting to see if I follow the trends.  The teal line shows my monthly stats.

Last year, I was way off with my goals so my goals for this year are going to be a bit different.  I am very clear on my goals for my blog but trying to split them apart into smaller chunks is a bit hard.  Because of this, I am going to create broad goals that don’t necessarily need to be completed in 2017.  As long as I’m making progress towards them, I’d call that a success.  I will revisit the goals periodically and make changes as necessary.

Social FOllowing Goals

  • Reach 10,000 Cumulative Followers
  • Reach 5,000 Pinterest Followers
  • Reach 1,000 YouTube Subscribers
  • Reach 1,000 Blog Subscribers

BLOGGING GOALS

  • Obtain an average (over 3 months) of 10,000 Page Views per month
  • Earn an average (over 3 months) of $1000 per month
  • Gain traffic direct or through social channels without participating in Facebook threads

Like what you’ve seen so far?
Join the mailing list to be the first to know when a new post is published!

DECEMBER 2016 BLOG INCOME

This Month’s Top Post: House Update #2 – 268 Views

This Month’s Runner Up: Paycheck Series: Choosing Your Budgeting Direction – 266 Views

It’s interesting to watch the sinuous waves of blogging stats.  Last month I had huge growth in followers but not much income.  This month, my income was almost triple last month but my follower growth was less than a third.  Progress is progress though.  I know that I can’t focus on too many pieces of the puzzle at once or things will fall apart.  Here’s how the stats looked for December.

NOVEMBER 2016 INCOME STATEMENT

Revenue
Ads – $131.69
Affiliate – $8.50
Sponsored Posts – $61.60
Total: $201.79

Expenses
Tailwind – $10..00
Domain – $1.26
Total: $11.26

NET INCOME: $190.53

VIEW PREVIOUS BLOG INCOME STATEMENTS HERE.

Last month I mentioned that my goal for December was to maintain.  I have done just that.  I focused more on the content, scheduling, and routine rather than trying to grow.  I’d say this definitely paid off.  I noticed that the more solid I have everything, the more people want to view the site.  I had my largest amount of page views in a month (not including one month where two posts stumbled like crazy).  I’m hoping I can continue this trend.

My plan for this month is to get ahead.  I have a lot going on this year.  This year marks my 10 year high school reunion.  Less than a month after that is closing on the new house and the wedding.  All of that on top of my every day life is a lot plus I have to get my house in tip-top shape to sell it.  I’m hoping the timing works out well so we don’t have to move twice but we will see.

I’ve already started preparing the blog.  I have an outline of posts I’d like to write through March and with any luck, I’ll have all of February and March’s posts done by the end of January.  Of course, I’ll have house updates to add in throughout the month but hopefully this will help me stay afloat.

Happy New Year!

Like what you’ve seen so far?
Join the mailing list to be the first to know when a new post is published!

How to Automate Your Media Kit

how-to-automate-your-media-kit

In my last few Blog Income Reports, I’ve mentioned that I was working on creating an automated Media Kit.  I am very happy that my media kit is now complete!

Before you read the post, open my media kit in a new tab so it will be easier to follow along.

The header

I began the post with a simple image header.  The image includes a photo of me on the left with a short bio on the right.  I created this image as one graphic in PowerPoint.  Clicking this image takes  the reader to my About Me page.

Social interaction

This is where it starts to get exciting.  I went back and forth so many times trying to figure out how to get a live count of my followers.  Really, I made this more complicated than it needed to be because I wanted to use my own graphics.  I tried a table where row 1 was the image and row 2 was the count.  This looked great in desktop mode but not mobile.  I eventually landed on using the image caption.

I use a plug-in for the plugin Social Count Plus to generate the live counts.  This plugin will allow you to use social icons they have pre-loaded or if will allow you to generate a short-code for just the count.  I used just the count and added the short-code to the description of my image.

*This taught me that you can use HTML in the image caption!  Fantastic!

My social interaction also has a basic image that I created for my blog income reports and a link to the page where I have them all compiled.

General Info

The next section is pretty simple.  I created two graphics in Power Point and uploaded them to the page.  The services graphic links to all of the webpages where I’ve been featured. My Say Goodbye to Living Paycheck to Paycheck series is linked in the image about the posting schedule.

Stats

This is the part that probably took me the longest to figure out.  I was originally trying to use advanced coding to show my unique users and pageviews.  These are the most often used stats in the blogging world it seems.  It ended up being way to complicated though so I settled on a live image of sessions.  Sessions still gives a general idea of how to blog is doing plus I post my exact page views and users each month in my Blog Income Reports.

Two plugins were needed to get this widget onto the Media Kit.  The first plug-in is Google Analytics Dashboard.  This is the plugin I used to create the widget.  I chose to show the last 30 days of traffic.  The second plugin is Widgets on Pages.  This plugin allowed me to display the widget on the page by using short-code.

Have you also automated your media kit?  If so, I’d love to see it!

Like what you’ve seen so far?
Join the mailing list to be the first to know when a new post is published!