Aileen Barker

January 2016 Income Report

BusinessAileen BarkerComment

Welcome to my online business income report! I love reading the income reports of other bloggers and wanted to start sharing mine as a way to be transparent, as well as motivate myself (and hopefully others!) to create a successful business. I’ll also be including my traffic and social media stats as well as goal tracking since those are important parts of the business and it’ll help me keep track as I move forward.

Please note: Due to pregnancy + maternity leave I put my business (mostly) on hold for about a year between October 2014 - October 2015. This is me basically starting over! Just thought I should clarify.

JOURNEY TO $5,000/MONTH

Tracking my income is part of my goal to make $5,000 per month by October of 2016. I recently made that a goal and gave myself a year to achieve it. Join me on my journey!

WHAT’S INCLUDED

I include all of my online business income and expenses from blogging, design, and any of my other business income streams. The only income I don’t report are my Jamberry commissions (due to their policy to not share earnings) as well as any extra income I make selling items which I do regularly to simplify and declutter. All other sources of income and the related expenses will be shared here.

JANUARY INCOME

Even though January is a little bit down from December I’m calling it a good month. I got my design project done and I’ve been working on a course that should make February a great month! I also started a small etsy shop which I’ll share about in a couple months once I have a better idea of what’s going on with that. It’s a fun little shop for me and gives me some passive income even when I’m not working on it.

Income for January 2016

How to Sell on Instagram Ecourse: $24
Google & Youtube Ads: $9.34
Amazon Affiliate: $3.11
Design: $570.50
Etsy: $10
Total: $616.95

Income Tracking

Last Month (Dec 2015): $637.97
Difference: -$21.02 (3% decrease)

Total for 2016: $616.95

JANUARY EXPENSES

My expenses were pretty high in January. I bought a webcam and a microphone for my computer so that I could start recording video for my course that I’m launch in February and doing webinars, too! So stay tuned for that. Other than that I had several domains renew recently so I had to pay a good chunk for that.

Expenses for January

Payment Fees: $46.65
Dreamhost (domains): $59.75
Boardbooster: $10
Squarespace: $12
Dropbox: $9.99
Leadpages: $37
CreativeMarket: $6
Etsy Fees: $16.32
Convertkit: $29
Buffer: $10
Items Purchased: $102.81
Total: $339.52

Last Month: $196.07
Difference: $143.45

 

TRAFFIC & SOCIAL MEDIA

I’m happy to report that after one month of traffic being significantly lower than usual, I’m back up! When I removed all of my lifestyle posts, a lot of pinterest traffic to those posts went away. Though I didn’t like seeing the numbers down, I knew why and I knew that the traffic I was getting was more my target audience. But now I’m back up thanks to consistent pinning and a post that went viral on Pinterest (How to Cut Distractions and Be More Focused)

As far as social media goes, I’ve been working on growing my pinterest account and am starting to really work on Instagram too. Facebook isn’t something I’m focused on and twitter I’m not 100% focused on, but I am popping in there daily.

AileenBarker.com Statistics

(Last months numbers in parenthesis) 
Pageviews: 5,923 (4,268)
Users: 5,388 (2,760)
Bounce Rate: 83.05% (82.73%)
New vs Returning: 89.3%/10.7% (84.4%/15.6%)
Pages per Session: 1.35 (1.36)
Average Session Duration: 51 (54 seconds)
Facebook: 301 (298)
Twitter: 480 (466)
Pinterest: 995 (811)
Instagram: 65 (15)
Email List: 428 (295)

**I have removed the statistics for Miss Tightwad because, although I am going to continue making youtube videos, it’s not my main focus.**


JANUARY GOAL REVIEW

HIT 400 EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS

SUCCESS!!

STICK TO BLOGGING SCHEDULE & SYSTEM

I have for the most part. I’m still working on staying ahead. I was sick for the majority of January so I cut myself a little slack.

SURVIVE DESIGN PROJECT

SUCCESS! Check out my latest design project at TinyPawsStudio.com

 

FEBRUARY GOALS

Launch my blogging course

This is my #1 goal for February and something I’ve been working on in January as well. I’m so excited to share it with you guys in the coming weeks.

Hit 600 email subscribers

Continuing to grow my email list is going to be one of my top priorities. I hit my goal last month and I think I can hit it again this month!

HOW WAS JANUARY FOR YOUR BLOG OR BUSINESS? WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR FEBRUARY?

10 Things I Waited Too Long To Do For My Business (& Blog) That You Need Implement Immediately

Blogging, BusinessAileen Barker1 Comment
The 10 changes I waited too long to make in my online business and blog that I want to make sure you don't make! Entrepreneurs, bloggers and small business owners, you need to read this list and make sure you're not missing out on any opportunities to grow and strengthen your business.

Tonight I’m sitting at my computer wondering what to write about because the blog post I had originally planned just wasn’t cutting it for me. I’ve committed myself to only write posts that will really help you with your business. And then as I ran through all the areas of blogging and business that I want to help you conquer I figured it out. How about I tell you about everything that I should have done a long time ago. Things that have changed my business for the better and would have grown my business much faster and more successfully had I implemented them months or years ago.

Now is your chance to learn from my mistakes because it took me a long time to not just realize these things, but to make them happen. The last few months I’ve seen so much growth from making changes that I knew in the back of my mind I needed to make, but didn’t know how. Or I was just in denial and wanted to do things my way, instead of the way that I knew was going to work for my business.

I am 100% certain that waiting to implement the changes I’m going to talk about below have caused my business to grow much slower, help less people and make less money. For real, don’t make the mistakes I made. Let’s talk about those mistakes...

You need a freakin’ email list

I am so serious, you guys. And I’m not talking people subscribing to your blog posts so they can get them in their inbox. I’m talking people who are signed up to get emails from you. These are people who like what you have to say and want more of what you have to offer them.

Everyone is always so focused on traffic. Traffic is great, but you know what’s better than randoms showing up on your site and then moving on? (And I’m telling you right now that’s the majority of the traffic you’re getting.) People who know who you are, what you’re about and trust you. Those are the people on your email list. Those are the people who you are going to impact the most and those are the people who are going to become your paying clients and customers. I am so dead serious. Go sign up for Mailchimp right this second and start collecting emails. Even if you aren’t sure what to do with them yet, it’s better to have them than ignore my advice and wish you had them in a year.

Get those ads off your blog

Looking back now all I can say is: “What the hell was I thinking?” I spent years with ads on my blog bringing in like 67 cents a month while I tried to get my traffic up so that I could make some money. Dude, listen to me. You would have to have mega traffic to make enough money for it to be worth it from any ad network. Like, ridiculous amounts of traffic. And you know what you’re doing with those ads? You are telling people to leave your website. You’re working your ass off to get traffic only to lead that traffic off your website. STOP.

STOP PUSHING SOCIAL MEDIA

I get it. You want people to follow you on social media. You want them to check out the pictures of your dog and show off your awesome Monday night margarita. Seeing that you have people following you makes you feel kinda cool and like these are your people, right? But if you are blogging for business does it make sense to draw your readers away from your website once you get them so that they can follow you on instagram/pinterest/twitter/whatever? What’s your end goal for people following you on social media? To get them to your website or blog. So when they’re already there, why are you telling them to go to your social media? It makes no sense. I’m not saying don’t promote your social media at all. But I am saying there’s no need to push it. These are people who are already right where you want them, try to get them to stick around instead of telling them to go away.

Find a niche and stick to it

Truth: I’ve been blogging since 2009. It took me until the end of 2015 to suck it up and realize that the same people that wanted to learn about blogging and business didn’t necessarily want to hear about my son turning 8 months old or see photos from our anniversary trip. You’re here because you want to grow a successful business and I’m going to take you there. I have seen so much growth since I decided to remove all of my lifestyle posts and stick to my niche of entrepreneurship and blogging. The funny thing is I knew what I needed to do, I was just having trouble letting go of my lifestyle blog and realizing that being transparent and authentic doesn't necessarily mean writing about anything and everything in my life.

Optimize Your Old Posts

After I niched down and removed all of my lifestyle blog posts I spent some time going through all the blog posts that were left and making them way (way, way) better. Some of them I added more information to. A lot of them had graphics that were from old branding that needed to be fixed or needed a pinterest optimized image. Honestly I’m still working through my archives, but I’m already much happier with the posts that are left and feel like they represent my business. And guess what? Those posts are doing so much better and getting way more attention than they were before. Shocker, I know.

Related post: 5 Ways to Make Your Existing Content Work for You

Join Facebook Groups (in your niche)

What the hell did I do before Facebook groups? Being an entrepreneur can be pretty isolating, especially if you’re like me and don’t know anybody with the same lifestyle or ambitions. Not many people I know in my everyday life quite understand so getting to interact with other bloggers, entrepreneurs and business owners is one of my favorite things to do these days. I mean, I don’t need another reason to sit on Facebook, but at least networking is a little bit more productive than scrolling through friends status updates for 15 minutes.

These groups are great for general chatting with other entrepreneurs, but also for bouncing your ideas off of and finding people to collaborate with. I’ve met so many kick ass people via facebook groups so if you haven’t joined any in your niche or line of business just type some keywords into that nifty little search box on facebook to see if you can find some relevant groups.

A couple of my current favorites are: Being Boss and Blog + Biz BFFs

Don’t be afraid to give away your best stuff for free

To be honest, this is still something I struggle with. I used to want to save my best advice, my best information and my best skills for things I could charge money for. Not because I’m money hungry and greedy, but because this is what I want to do for a living and yeah, I want to make money doing it.

I’m slowly turning myself around and realizing that I can give my best stuff away for free because not only does that help my audience, but it shows that I know my stuff so that when I do charge I’ve proven that I’m pretty awesome and if my free stuff is amazing then can you imagine how good the products I’m charging for are?

Schedule dedicated time for the boring/hard stuff

I’m one of those people who is always “working”. I’m always doing something with my blog, brainstorming ideas for my next business idea, etc. But I never made sure I had dedicated time each day or week to take care of the things that were really important for my business. You know, the things that need to happen for my business to grow (explode!) the way I want it to. Instead I jumped from one exciting idea to the next without taking enough time to follow through. Make sure you take a good hard look at your business and what you really need to do to make sure it’s thriving (this post has some pretty smart ideas, just saying).

For example, I try to make every friday blog and business maintenance day. I go through my income/expenses, make any changes to my blog that I’ve been meaning to do, check in on my traffic, etc. All that stuff that can easily fall off your to do list each day because you’d rather be doing the fun stuff.

Stop questioning yourself

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a problem with confidence. I think it’s just part of my personality that I overanalyze and ask myself why anyone would want to learn from little ol’ me. How pathetic. You know why? Because in reality I know that I know what I’m doing! I know I’m pretty kick ass at the things I’m putting out there and while I’m no CEO of a multibillion dollar corporation, I’ve started businesses, several of them. Some of them failed, some of them did great, some of them worked for me, some of them didn’t. But I know small business, especially creative business. I’ve been there at the beginning when you’re not sure where to start. I’ve been there in the middle when you’re sure you’re in over your head. One thing I remind myself is that there will always be someone even just a couple steps behind you who needs your guidance.

Add content upgrades that are actually helpful

While I’ve been giving away little freebies here and there on my blog (while it was still a confused lifestyle/business blog, ugh) I was doing it all wrong. I was giving away cute little art prints with fun little sayings that was geared toward pretty much the entire human population. What I should have been doing, and am doing now, is gearing my freebies (aka content upgrades) towards the audience I want to attract: entrepreneurs and bloggers. So figure out who you want to attract and then figure out what they want or need from you.

Some of my most successful content upgrades are: 

Some examples of useful content upgrades:

  • If you’re a beauty blogger, make a cheat sheet on your top 10 drugstore products.
  • If you’re a fashion blogger, create a wardrobe staples list.
  • If you’re a food blogger, try creating a sample meal plan for the week along with recipes and a shopping list.
  • If you’re a fitness blogger, try a 7 day email course that gives a new 20 minute workout everyday

Just find out what your audience really wants from you and give it to them! This is a great way to build your email list with people who are truly within your target market.

Now I’m releasing you to go forth and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did. Which of the items listed above are you going to implement first? Take action today, tomorrow and the next day to level up your business and get it to where you want it to be.

 

How to Stop Being Too Busy (aka Stop Trying to Do Everything)

Productivity, BusinessAileen BarkerComment
Quit being "too busy" and simplify your obligations. Tips for business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers and anyone else who is just plain busy like moms, dads and students! Bonus: a worksheet to help you work through simplifying your obligations and commitments. Visit the post to get the free worksheet!

One of my major focuses this year is on simplifying and prioritizing my entire life. This also includes my business and blog life. I’m a bit of a serial entrepreneur, or a multi-passionate entrepreneur, whatever you want to call it: I have shiny object syndrome and a brain full of shiny objects. I’m quick to jump on the next exciting idea without really taking into consideration that anything extra that I take on will take away from something else. It’s just math. We all have 24 hours in a day. If I’m already pulling my hair out with a million things to do, maybe starting a new business isn’t the best idea. I know I’m not the only one!

Let’s talk about ways to cut back on our commitments and really focus on what needs our attention the most.

What are Your Non-Negotiables?

These are the things that you will cannot compromise. Even though most of us have a ton of commitments, there are usually a top few that are non-negotiable. For me that is family and staying home with my son. Those two things are things that I absolutely need to make time for no matter what. While “family” doesn’t have a set amount of time, I basically mean that I shouldn’t be working every waking moment and need to have some time to spend with my husband. As far as staying home with my son that cuts into the time I have for other things quite a bit because he’s still a baby and needs constant attention.

Identify Priorities

I’m a big fan of list making and this is the perfect time to write down everything you’re committed to on a regular basis. Work, hobbies, school, activities, working out, etc. If you’re anything like me your list starts out a mile long. Then take a guess at how long you need to spend on each commitment each week (or month). Next, put this list in order of how important it is to you, your family and your life.

Here’s an example of my list (after I’ve pared it down over and over again over the course of over a year):

  1. AileenBarker.com (Blog & Email List)
  2. MissTightwad.com (Blog, Youtube & Email List)
  3. Facebook Co-op Group

Do Some Math (sorry, not sorry)

One of my favorite things to do is to do the math! We all have 24 hours in a day. Ideally 8 of those should be spent sleeping which brings us down to 16 hours a day and 7 days a week. That’s 112 hours of awake time to do your thing. If your list from the above step adds up to 90 hours a week, you might (definitely) need to cut down.

Here’s my list:

  • AileenBarker.com: 25 hours per week
    • content creation (blog & products), social media, maintenance, email list, etc.
  • MissTightwad.com: 5 hours per week
    • content creation (blog & youtube), social media, maintenance, email list, etc.
  • Facebook Co-op Group: 0-10 hours
    • finding products, posting, invoicing, shipping, etc.

My total time commitment: 30-40 hours per week on average. This is a perfect amount of time for me since I’m home with my son full time which takes up most of my day.

Trade Quantity for Quality

One thing I like to remind myself is that spreading myself too thin leaves everything I do half-assed. Seriously. I would rather have one amaze-balls business than three half businesses that I’m always scrambling to keep up with. That was me for a long, long time. I still have to hold back and am still working on focusing even more on one thing at a time.

Try a Temporary Detox

Take a look at your list of commitments and see what you can cut out. These are the things that you’re kind of wavering on, or know you really need to cut back on. Try it for a week or a month. Stick to it and see how you feel at the end. While you’re doing this use the extra time you have to focus on your other priorities and I bet you’ll realize how much nicer it feels to have just a few things to focus on.

Elimination Round

The first time I took a real hard look at all of the things I had put on my own plate I pretty much had to chop it in HALF. I’m not even kidding. I think I was attempting to run one business, start two more, go to school and work full time. None of it was working. I had to just stop wasting time and pick what was most important. This is SO hard for me, but it’s super beneficial to the things in your life that you do keep around and continue to do.

Scale Down

Let’s say you do what you can to cut a few things out, but you still have plenty on your plate. Evaluate each commitment and see if there is any way you can make it less time consuming.

Example #1: AileenBarker.com

While this is my main business, I really wanted to swap out the time I spent doing things I didn’t find useful or joyful for things that I think would be more beneficial for the business. Here are some changes I made:

  1. Rather than scrambling to post 3x a week like I had been, I moved to posting ONE epic post a week.
  2. Instead of trying to catch up with all the social media platforms, I’ve moved my focus to Pinterest and Instagram for the time being.

Scaling down meant posting less often on my blog, but providing higher quality content. This takes me less time and I stress less about publishing “one more post”. Just these two things have freed up enough time that I can focus more on working on products to help empower others to run business and blogs they love without me adding more work hours to my plate! There are more benefits to these changes, but the time savings alone is worth it.

Example #2: MissTightwad.com

I don’t talk much about it on here, but frugality is sort of an expertise of mine. I love teaching people how to live a full and frugal life, but I feel like I need to cut back on my time commitment to Miss Tightwad so I can really focus on my business. I really love YouTube videos and the interaction I have going on over there so I decided to stop blogging on MissTightwad.com and simply do one video a week which I would post on the blog, mostly just to add any notes, links and to be able to have somewhere to refer people to easily. In addition, I would send out one frugality tip a week to keep providing content to my email list and grow my authority on frugal living.

In addition, I’ve decided that my Youtube channel and my email list are all that I’m doing for MissTightwad for the foreseeable future. I won’t be doing much as far as promotion or social media which will save me tons of time and energy.

Those are just two examples of steps I’ve taken to reduce my commitments and simplify my schedule based on what I already have on my plate. To be honest, I know I should just drop everything except AileenBarker.com so I can really focus, I just can’t bring myself to do that right now because I love the other things I do as well.

Talk It Out

The people who live with you (or that you talk to on a daily basis) have a pretty good sense of your schedule and what might be stressing you out more than is worth it. My husband can absolutely tell when I’m stressed and if I sit down and talk to him he can usually help talk me through decisions by just letting me know what he's observed and asking questions. Sometimes just bouncing ideas off of someone close to you can help you find things you didn’t think of yourself.

Create a “Backburner”

One thing I implemented last year was a notebook in Evernote called my “backburner”. These were ideas that I had that I want to save for later. It gives me a place to save my idea, even write a little bit about what I’m thinking in that moment when I’m inspired. What this does is let’s me push it out of my head instead of having it constantly distracting me. I know it’s filed away for later and there’s less of a chance of me wanting to jump on the idea omgrightnow.

More on how I use Evernote: The Simple Way I Manage To Do Lists with Evernote

Learn to Say No

In addition to filing away ideas for later, sometimes you get presented with opportunities from other people or companies or situations. Learning to say “no” if you’re not interested, or maybe “can we revisit this in a couple of months?” if you’re truly interested and know that you might have the capacity to take on something else later, is an important part of simplifying your schedule.

I'm positive that you if you take the tips I've provided above and use the free worksheet below, you will be able to free up some time and stop being "too busy". 

Bonus: Free Simplify Your Obligations Worksheet

The worksheet will walk you through many of the above tips in a way that will help you rethink all of your obligations. You can either print this worksheet or fill it out on your computer!

December 2015 Income Report | $637.97 in Online Income

BusinessAileen BarkerComment

Welcome to my online business income report! I love reading the income reports of other bloggers and wanted to start sharing mine as a way to be transparent, as well as motivate myself (and hopefully others!) to create a successful business. I’ll also be including my traffic and social media stats as well as goal tracking since those are important parts of the business and it’ll help me keep track as I move forward.

Please note: Due to pregnancy + maternity leave I put my business (mostly) on hold for about a year between October 2014 - October 2015. This is me basically starting over! Just thought I should clarify.

JOURNEY TO $5,000/MONTH

Tracking my income is part of my goal to make $5,000 per month by October of 2016. I recently made that a goal and gave myself a year to achieve it. Join me on my journey!

WHAT’S INCLUDED

I include all of my online business income and expenses from blogging, design, and any of my other business income streams. The only income I don’t report are my Jamberry commissions (due to their policy to not share earnings) as well as any extra income I make selling items which I do regularly to simplify and declutter. All other sources of income and the related expenses will be shared here.

DECEMBER’S INCOME

I’m happy to report a significant increase in income again. I booked a design project and collected the deposit (50%) which was most of my income for the month. Other than that I did a few small orders with Fiverr while I had time. Google Adsense and Youtube Ads are very small amounts and I don’t see them increasing significantly in the near future. I may just combine these as “advertising” next month.

Income for December 2015

How to Sell on Instagram Ecourse: $0
Google Adsense: $1.05
Youtube Ads: $8.42
Amazon Affiliate: $0
Fiverr: $58
Design: $570.50
Total: $637.97

Income Tracking

December: $637.97
November: $183.67
Difference: +$454.30 (247% increase!)
Total for 2015: $845.52

DECEMBER’S EXPENSES

Another high expense month, but this should be my last one for a while. I’ve cancelled Meet Edgar which will save me $49. I also am done doing Christmas card designs so the printing + shipping will likely disappear next month. I added in Dropbox which is something I was paying out of my personal account up until this month. The goal is for regular monthly expenses to be at, or around, $100. Removing Edgar, HostGator (hopefully) and Printing + Shipping should get me much closer.

Expenses for December 2015

Payment Fees: $15.83
Printing + Shipping: $50.30
Hostgator: $11.95
Boardbooster: $10
Meet Edgar: $49
Squarespace: $12
Education: $0
Dropbox: $9.99
Leadpages: $37
Total: $196.07

Last Month: $511.44
Difference: -$315.37

TRAFFIC & SOCIAL MEDIA

December was the second month in a row that my traffic (pageviews & users) have gone down, but I knew this would happen when I removed my lifestyle posts that brought in a lot of Pinterest traffic. While that was kind of crappy, I knew it wasn’t bringing my target audience here. Even though those two stats are low, take a look at my bounce rate. That has gone down, which is a good thing because that means a higher percentage of people are sticking around instead of showing up and leaving. My pages per session count and my session duration count are up too which means people are clicking around and hanging out on the website longer than that month.

So while my pagevies are down, I am seeing imporant increases in other stats that mean while I am getting LESS traffic, I am getting MORE quality traffic. And by quality, I mean people who are finding my site useful as a business and blogging site. All good things!

Note: Last months numbers are in parenthesis for comparison

AileenBarker.com Statistics

Pageviews: 4,268 (4,495)
Users: 2,760 (3,244)
Bounce Rate: 82.73% (88.27%)
New vs Returning: (84.4%/15.6%) (82.2% / 17.8%)
Pages per Session: 1.36 (1.18)
Average Session Duration: 54 seconds (41 seconds)
Facebook: 298 (298)
Twitter: 466 (462)
Pinterest: 811 (754)
Instagram: 15* (669)
Email List: 295 (228)

*Instagram is much lower because I started a business instagram account. My primary account (which is where last months numbers came from) is now my personal/lifestyle account.

For my Miss Tightwad blog, pageviews are down for a couple of reasons. I moved my free meal planner printable to leadpages which is how a lot of people got to my site through my youtube videos. Also, while doing a lot of work on older content in this blog, I slacked off on posting on Miss Tightwad. That should go back up slowly as I get into a new routine.

MissTightwad.com Statistics

Pageviews: 574 (826)
Users: 361 (482)
Pages per Session: 1.5 (1.37)
Bounce Rate: 80.1% (86.38)
New vs Returning: 92.4%/7.6% (78.7 / 21.3%)
Average Session Duration: 1:12 (56 seconds)
Youtube Subscribers: 1,277 (1,248)
Facebook: 173 (173)
Twitter: 74 (73)
Pinterest: 7 (0)
Email List:  97 (90)

DECEMBER GOAL REVIEW

Finish Removing Irrelevant Posts | SUCCESS! I sure did. I moved my lifestyle posts to Life By Aileen where I can feel free to write as much or as little as I want and share whatever I want without feeling like I’m risking my business.

Finish Enhancing Existing Content | PARTIAL FAIL. I didn’t finish. I did enhance a few posts, but it’s a little more time consuming than I had planned so this is a work in progress.

Reader Survey | FAIL. I did not do this. I actually decided against this for a couple of reasons.

Ecourse Planning | FAIL. I’ve been focusing so much on getting my business and blog ready for 2016 that I haven’t had a chance to physically write down and hash out my ideas. They’re in my head though!

JANUARY GOALS

Hit 400 Email Subscribers

I’ve finally learned that this is one of the most important, if not the most important, thing to have. These are my peeps. The people who want more from me and have trusted me with access to their inbox.

Stick to Blogging Schedule & System

I already put a system to simplify my blogging in place. But now the goal is to stay on track and see how it changes the way I blog.

Survive Design Project

I am thrilled to work on my first big design project since having my son. It’s going to be a greuling, but awesome, three weeks. What’s even more fun is my client is also a friend of mine. I’m excited to get back to work full force!

That's all for this month! So excited to see what next month brings.

How was December for your blog or business? What are your plans for January?

2016 Blog & Business Goals

GoalsAileen BarkerComment

As the year was coming to a close I got increasingly excited to plan for 2016. You see, 2015 was a complete roller coaster for me. Between the birth of my son three months early, four months of him being in the hospital and then losing my dad pretty suddenly, it wasn’t a good time for my life, let alone my business. But all of these experiences have only made me stronger and more empowered to create the life I want to live and a business that can keep running even when life gets hectic. So without rambling too much, let’s talk goals!

Launch One Product Per Quarter

As I get more serious about my business in helping others build a blog and business they love, I know that I have tons of knowledge to share and definitely want to share it. I want to release four products in 2016. They can be physical products or digital products, but I think this is the best way to make an income and help others at the same time.

25 Epic Blog Posts

One of my big goals this year is to cut back on how much I post and increase the quality of my posts. I’d rather spend 5 hours on a great post then pump out 5 okay posts. Quality over quantity, right? I’m even going a little further and encouraging myself to not post more than 52 times this year. One post a week is ideal. The goal is to not stress about constantly churning out posts and can just focus on making what I do post fantastic. Plus, I’ll be producing content for other platforms such as emails for my list, social media, etc.

Make $25,000

I realize how low this is as far as full time incomes go, but as an entrepreneur-at-home-mom to a baby, I wanted to be realistic. I’m just revamping my business at the beginning of this year, I’ve moved out my lifestyle posts which were a large traffic source. I’m home full time with a baby and can only work nights, etc. so it’s going to take me some time to gain momentum. If I hit $25,000 this year it will definitely be an accomplishment.

1,000 Email Subscribers

I’m just around 220 as I write this and I would love to get to 1,000 email subscribers. Again, the focus is on quality, not quantity. I don’t want just anyone on my email list, but those who can benefit the most from what I am sharing.

20,000 Pageviews in a Month

While I’m not a fan of looking at traffic, it really is the best way to make sure that people are seeing what I have to put out there. I’m not one to need hundreds of thousands of people visiting my site each month. Instead I want the right people visiting my site, people that are within my niche that I can help.

Hire Help

This is something that comes up all the time when I’m feeling like I have a million things to do and all I want to do is spread my knowledge. The quote “you can do anything, but not everything” pops into my head all the time and I’d love to hand of a few small, routine, tasks to someone. Even if it’s just a couple hours a week or month, that’s a handful of things off my plate that I don’t have to make room in my schedule for.

I like to keep my goals pretty reasonable. While I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time, this whole staying home with a baby thing is still new to me and I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.

What are your goals for this year? I’m encouraging you to write down at least 5 goals and if you’re brave, share them below!