I haven’t spoken too much about specific blogging goals for this year in numerical terms despite having put together a few SMART goals at the beginning of the year and mentioning that I wanted to make $30,000 this year by blogging. In order to get that accomplished, though, I figure that I should have some targets as far as traffic and other types of measures.
Number of Posts
This will be the easy one since it is something that I can directly control. I feel that my blog has done better since going to a regular posting schedule. I was inspired by Derek at Life and My Finances for this and plan on keeping a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule here at Cash Flow Mantra throughout the year. That should put me at close to 250 posts total by the end of the year.
I also plan to do the same with Grand Per Month using a Monday, Thursday, Saturday posting schedule. I would then expect to have just over 150 posts on that blog by the end of the year, giving me a total library of over 400 posts between the two blogs. That is about 4 times the number that I would have had at the beginning of the year.
Visitors and Subscribers
I also have some goals for visitors that I would like to achieve by the end of the year. I am deriving these from Mike at The Financial Blogger. He considers a blog significant when it has 5,000 monthly visitors with 10,000 page views. So that will be my goal for each of my two blogs this year. Between the 2 blogs, I am at just about 5,000 visitors and 8,300 page views, so I am half way with the visits but will need more page view growth. Ultimately to get to 20,000 monthly page views between the two sites, I will probably need more than 10,000 visitors.
As far as subscribers go, I would like to have 250 at CFM and 100 at GPM. Currently the numbers are 116 and 32 respectively. I think that this is a reasonable goal which should be achievable provided I can grow the blog like I would like this year. If I am more than doubling the amount of traffic, I figure I could do the same with subscribers.
I will keep you updated from time to time on the progress of these goals.
As mentioned, I have a goal of making $30,000 this year with blogging as part of the Online Money Bloggers Challenge. With that, I will be making earnings more public so on the first Saturday of each month, I will be posting an earnings report over at Grand Per Month. Be sure to check that out. I will be reporting only that money which I actually receive so that it is like reporting income for tax purposes.
In order to make $30,000 for the year, I have monthly targets that need to be met corresponding to some expected growth in the two blogs. I will then be able to report whether or not I am on target and how much ahead or behind I am. January has seemed like a slow month, but I might actually not be that far off.
I also have an idea for another blog. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to write but could get it set up, do the editing and managing. I would need to partner with several writers and would use an innovative compensation scheme that I believe would prove to be potentially lucrative for everyone involved. Ultimately, I would need between 10 and 20 writers who could commit to one or two articles per month.
If you have an interest in financial topics and might be interested, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I do get enough writer interest, it would still be March or April at the earliest before getting up and running.
On this New Year’s Day, I wanted to take the time in between football games and dining on corned beef and cabbage (my paternal great-grand parents were from Ireland so we always had corned beef and cabbage on New Year’s) to review the stats for the first seven months that Cash Flow Mantra was online. I will also comment a little about these past months and also look ahead to 2012 to set a few blog specific goals for the next 12 months.
I can tell you that I have been having a wonderful time blogging and I hope that you have enjoyed what I have been writing. Please feel free to share suggestions at any time for what you think might make for a good topic on the blog.
I also want to thank each and every one of you who comes by the site, reads the articles and comments. I feel that I have gotten to know several of you regular readers fairly well this year and hope to continue to grow that relationship in 2012. Now, on to the stats:
Traffic at CFM
A picture is worth a thousand words, so here it is:
There are a few things that I would like to mention regarding this graph:
- There is obviously growth during the year with December being a record for number of visitors (2106) and search engine visitors (931).
- The spike in September was due to a link to one of my articles from The Dividend Guy Blog. I think this clearly demonstrates the power of certain backlinks and is reason enough to keep writing and interacting. His traffic spike was short-lived, but it is impossible to know truly what power it ultimately held and how many readers became regulars.
- Search is representing an ever increasing proportion of my traffic and now stands at 44% in December from 34% in November.
My end of year Alexa ranking is 157,177. I couldn’t be more pleased. I don’t remember where I started but it was somewhere around 8 or 9 million or possibly even more. I know the Grand Per Month started at 23 million that first day.
Can’t Thank Yakezie Enough!!!
I owe much of this progress (if not all of it) to the great bloggers at the Yakezie Network. This great group of individuals started by Sam of Financial Samurai. And while I never intend to go full-time with blogging, it has been a wonderful method of sharing my thoughts, interacting and learning from others, and make a little extra money in the process to pay down some debt sooner. I hope that I can help others meet their goals with blogging as Sam and the Yakezie has helped me meet and exceed mine.
Goals for 2012
As you know, I am part of the $30K Challenge as designed by Derek and Corey so that is obviously one of my goals. But for CFM specifically, I see no reason why I can’t grow the monthly visits by 300 per month during the year such that I am receiving over 5,000 visits per month by the end of 2012. I would expect the pace to decline somewhat, although continually adding content at the rate of 3 articles per week should help add to the search visits.
Mentioning this site on some of the other locations that I write will also help add to traffic and may even bring in some regular readers.
Finally, I plan on having a give-away in the very near future (will probably start January 9th) to celebrate my 100th post! I am looking forward to it since it will be my very first as a blogger. I am a little nervous about it, but plan on using Rafflecopter and have already signed up so I just need to set up the contest this week to get it ready. Be sure to stop by that day for my 100th post celebration and get entered to win.
Finally, I would like to see my Alexa rank end up well below 100,000 by the end of the year. My one month ranking is currently at 125,460 so I would think that more than doubling my traffic during the year would be enough to accomplish this goal.
Don’t Forget GPM Launch Tomorrow
Grand Per Month launches tomorrow. I think it has the potential to be even bigger than this blog. It already had over 500 visits in December and that was just for the introduction. With Derek setting the tone for the launch on making $1000 per month blogging and the follow-up articles that I have planned, I think the information will be incredibly helpful to many individuals.
I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year’s Day!
On Wednesday, I posted my SMART financial goals for 2012 of which there were two main goals. Today, I will be doing the same for some personal goals and again, there are two. I don’t think it is possible to focus on too many goals at one time. I think that some of them will get neglected so why not start with fewer goals but actually do something about them.
SMART Personal Goal #1: Lose Weight
S: Specifically, I want to be below 200 pounds which would be the first time in almost 14 years that I would have been under that weight. The most I have been is about 228, but I usually fluctuate between 205-215. Since I weighed 213 pounds yesterday, that means that I am wanting to lose 14 pounds at a minimum.
M: Duh, of course it is measurable.
A: I do think that it is achievable. There is no real reason that I need to weigh what I do. We are talking losing a little over a pound per month. Not exactly a crash diet.
R: Yes, it is realistic.
T: I am giving myself an entire year since I want it to occur as a result of some lifestyle changes.
Let’s talk about those changes then. Basically, I need to eat healthier and exercise more. I need to start drinking more water (just went to get a cup). I think I should commit to 32 ounces of water per day and should limit my diet soda to no more than 2 per day. I also plan to get back to tracking my caloric intake on my smart phone. That worked wonders this past year, but as my personal trainer would say, “Once you stop tracking, you start slacking!” Thanks!
Exercising more is really going to be getting out and walking a little more during the winter, spring, and fall. I play golf and softball during the summer and work out with weights and the trainer each week. Basically, if I watch my diet at all, I could probably get it done.
SMART Personal Goal #2: De-clutter the house
Life is busy and my family and I tend to accumulate stuff.
S: I want to clean out my closet, room, garage and basement. Not sure if this is specific enough but it will have to do for now.
M: Not sure how measurable it is, but it will be pretty darn obvious when it happens.
A: Yes, it is achievable. The house didn’t have this much crap in it when we moved in.
R: It is also realistic if I could just get my butt in gear. But after working 50+ hours per week, running the kids to practice, and helping out with laundry and dishes, I am pretty tired. Just keeping up with the laundry for 6 kids is a full-time job. We have to run the dishwasher twice per day to keep the sinks from over-flowing. Anyway, just saying.
T: My wife and I will be working on the closet and will make sure that it gets done in the next week. Then we can start on our room so I will assign a time limit of the end of February. I may have to take a vacation day to work on it. Garage will be done in March (though I did take the aluminum cans to recycle yesterday–got $21 for 42 pounds). Basement will come after that, but I am not assigning a time.
The kids will be on their own when it comes to their closets and rooms, at least until I can get my stuff together. The biggest thing for me to help get this accomplished will be to make a to-do list and portion out the tasks a little at a time. Maybe I can get some good work done during half-times on New Year’s Day.