My January Blog Biz Report
As I am writing this, it is actually the very last day of January. January 31st, 2018.
Can you believe it?! We are already a month into this new year! Say wut?!
Honestly, I could not be more excited. I started this year off with a bang! I taught me first in-person class, I was featured on a Tailwind blog post, I got to work with 2 new clients, I made more money from affiliate marketing than I’ve ever made in the past, I started working out more regularly and honestly notice a big difference in my body, I completed 4 books, and I took the time to plan something BIG that will be coming to TCB hopefully in March of 2018.
So yeah… you could say that this month was good to me.
But there were also some bad parts too.
I had a mental break one weekend where I was crying uncontrollably and decided to crawl into bed at 8:30 on a Friday night. I had several moments where I doubted myself because let’s be honest… I’m at the point in my business where I’m flat out broke. And I’ve even had moments where I wasted time on social media trying to escape my current reality.
You see, owning a business isn’t pretty. It’s tough ass work. And I got an easy ride when I was making my transition into full-time business ownership. But then things got hard. And they have continued to get harder!
I’ve had to push myself to new limits. I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone to make money for myself. And I’ve struggled with the fact that I might need to find a part-time job to make ends meet until my income is steady again.
Trust me… this is the last thing that I want to do. But deep down I know that I have to do it if I want to help support my lifestyle, my family, and my home.
My intention with this post is to be as real and honest as possible. To throw it all out on the line. Because honestly… what else can I do?!
I’ve learned to be more vulnerable and open up more about the bad than just the good. And you guys seem to love it! So let’s continue that trend, shall we? And let’s just see where this January Blog Biz Recap takes us!
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MY YEARLY & QUARTERLY GOALS
This year I set goals for my blog biz. I’ve done this ever since I started my business. And I love it because it holds me accountable to actually moving this thing forward!
But along with my 2018 goals, I also set quarterly goals.
So I follow a 90 Day Year program that breaks my year into 90-day sprints. Makes sense, right? So every 90 days I set goals to achieve. Then I work my booty off in that time to achieve those goals!
I like to do it this way because it keeps me pushing and moving closer to my yearly goals. Otherwise, they are more likely to slip through the cracks and I’ll forget about them! So these goals help me in so many ways!
I talked about my 1st quarter goals in my 2018 Goals & Intentions blog post. But I’ll share with you again what they are:
- Decrease my site speed by 2 seconds & improve my bounce rate to 60%,
- Launch a content plan to improve distribution channels to generate 10% more followers & subscribers a week,
- Improve automation systems to decrease time working each week to 30 hours,
- Create & launch a product to improve passive income to $1,000 a month,
Then I also set statistical goals for myself:
Social Media Goals:
- Pinterest: 3,000 followers
- Instagram: 2,500 followers
- YouTube: 1,000 subscribers
- Total subscriber count: 1,000
- VIP team members: 300
WHAT I ACCOMPLISHED IN JANUARY
I accomplished A LOT in January. More than I expected. But you already know that. Because I already said that.
So let’s talk about some stuff you don’t know.
I’m actually going to break it down by goal so that you (and future Cathrin) can see all that I’ve done to get leaps and strides closer to my goals.
1. Decrease my site speed by 2 seconds & improve my bounce rate to 60%
- I set up the W3 Total Cache plugin,
- Found an image optimization plugin and set that up,
- Disabled all unused plugins,
- Redesigned the home page of my website,
- And found ways to limit & optimize my CSS.
Now, this may sound like jibberish to you. So let me break it down.
I’ve known for a long time that my site was super slow! And it got to the point where I realized that I was actually losing a lot of readers because my site was so slow. I mean my bounce rate was 90% at one point. That’s just not okay!
So I ran my website through Test My Site with Google. This helps to tell you the site speed and see where you can improve!
My website was triggering at an 8 second load time… 8 SECONDS! My goodness. I would never wait that long for a site to load. So why did I think people would wait for mine?!
At first, I thought part of the problem was my hosting service. And I’m sure it was.
But even after I switched to a larger hosting provider that gave me more room for my traffic, my speed didn’t improve. So I knew that I had my work cut out for me.
And within an hour, I was able to improve my site speed by 2 seconds!
I still have some work to go. I know that. But for now, I hit part of my 1st quarterly goal and I’m happy with that!
I’m hoping that my bounce rate will improve in time because the site is faster now. But if not, then I’ve got some work to do!
2. Launch a content plan to improve distribution channels to generate 10% more followers & subscribers a week.
Soooo… This is where you might call me a little crazy. But I’m fine with that.
After I got back from my vacation on January 3rd, I had this gut feeling that I had to revamp my content strategy. It just wasn’t working for me anymore! I felt stretched too thin and my time was being spent in all the wrong places.
So I did just that.
I took the time to completely restrategize my content plan. And thankfully this was one of my big goals for this month because my blog really needed it!
So here’s what I did:
- Outlined a weekly content plan for TCB,
- Built out all content calendars for the next 3 months,
- Added reminders to my actual calendar when content is due,
- And I moved my content creation day to Wednesday.
Previously, I was creating all of my content for the week on Monday. So on Monday I would write all blog content and shoot and edit all video content that was supposed to go live that week. And you better bet that I was stressing myself out!
So now I create all my content on Wednesday. And then on Friday, I schedule my content for the next week.
It’s a simple way to be more productive and automate my blog biz. Ya feel me?!
Now I’ve only had this new content strategy for a few weeks. But it looks something like this:
MONDAY: Instagram stories chat & post
TUESDAY: Blog post & Instagram post
WEDNESDAY: YouTube video, Instagram stories chat & post
THURSDAY: Break from content
FRIDAY: YouTube video, Instagram stories chat & post
Since this change has been in place, I’ve noticed a big difference in my engagement! My Instagram has gained about 20 new followers for January. Not the best. But it’s something. And my email list generated 25 more subscribers than the month previously.
So you know what… I’m pretty happy with that!
3. Improve automation systems to decrease time working each week to 30 hours,
So far this month, I’ve only done 1 thing to work on this goal. And that was by changing the themes to my days like I just talked about.
Now I’m working a lot smarter instead of harder each week. And I’m able to automate my content on my blog and YouTube channel as well as my email content.
So I’m happy for that.
My main tasks for this goal are already outlined for February. So I’m hoping to see more results then!
4. Create & launch a product to improve passive income to $1,000 a month
Remember when I said something BIG was coming in March 2018?! Hint hint.
So let’s talk about what I did to get closer to this goal:
- Created a money-making plan to see where my income needs to come from,
- Revamped my Work With Me page to drive more income,
- Brainstormed paid product ideas that I could offer,
- Outlined my 1st paid product for you guys (ahhhhhhh),
- Mapped out all content involved with this said product,
- Created a launch plan for this said product,
- And I got my booty to work on this product and we are well underway!
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share any of that will you guys yet. But I figured, why the heck not. Might as well get you excited, right?!
All I can say is that it’s not the norm. It’s not just another e-book or e-course that a lot of bloggers come out with.
It’s something different. Something that’s really going to help you succeed. So I am wicked excited for you guys to learn more about it next month! STAY TUNED!
My Statistical Goals
Just for the sake of documentation, here’s where my stats currently stand as of January 31st, 2018 at 10:19 AM…
- Pinterest: 1,711 followers (1,289 to go)
- Instagram: 1,742 followers (758 to go)
- YouTube: 21 subscribers (979 to go)
- Total subscriber count: 630 (370 to go)
- VIP team members: 203 (97 to go)
For both my social media and my email list, I have a long way to go! Total that would make about 3,493 people that I need to add to my tribe.
But you want to know if I’m nervous about this goal? HECK NO! With my content strategy, my numbers are going to boom soon!
I love sharing my website report. Mainly because I don’t think enough bloggers are open about it! Just like my blog post about how much I spent on my blog in a year. You guys loved that! Why? Because it’s a look behind the scenes that bloggers never share!
So if someone’s going to share it, it might as well be me!
Here’s what my website traffic looked like this month:
And then just for fun… I’m going to show you guys my analytics from November 2017 until the end of January 2018. Then you’ll get a picture of how my website traffic has been growing over the past month!
Pretty sweet, right? Well, I’m happy with it at least!
I really wanted to hit 10,000 pageviews for this month. But with the way my traffic is continuing to grow, I know I’ll hit that soon!
And in case you guys wanted to know where my traffic came from:
The majority of my traffic comes from Pinterest. And it has for a while! Actually, my Pinterest has grown significantly over the last month. For a while I was stagnant. But now I’m receiving over 640k monthly viewers on Pinterest!
So I think that’s why I’ve been able to improve my site traffic as well.
This is where things take a turn for the worse. But like I said, I want to share the ugly stuff with you guys! Because it’s not always rainbows and butterflies over here!
So this month I only made $192.50 from my blog. Ouch.
All this money came from services that I provided this month. And you can see that I clearly didn’t provide much!
And you may be wondering about that affiliate income I was talking about before? Well, that doesn’t actually hit my bank account until February. So in my mind, I can’t count that as part of my January Income Report.
Compared to November where I made over $2,000… this hurts. But you have to start from the bottom to work your way up, right?
JANUARY BOOK CLUB
On a lighter subject… this month I’ve been thinking a lot about starting a book club!
If you’ve been following me on social media, or if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, then you know that I’m obsessed with books! Self-help books in particular.
And I’ve wanted to find a way to share my love of reading with you guys. It’s seriously the best way for me to learn more about myself, my business, and this world. It’s helped me to grow in so many ways! And I wouldn’t be where I am today without the books I’ve read!
So I thought about hosting giveaways with books. But I couldn’t just pick 1 of you to receive a book! I want all of you to get the opportunity to learn and grow.
So then the idea of a book club popped into my head. Where each month I’ll pick a book for us to read. Then at the end of the month, I’ll write a recap about my thoughts and everyone can share their thoughts in the comments below!
But then the more I thought about it… the more I wasn’t sure if you guys would like that! I mean, would you even read the books that I recommend?
So this is my first step to starting a book club. Next month it might be broken out into a blog post of its own. But for now, this is as good as it gets.
As I always say… started is better than perfect, right?!
The Books I Read This Month
This month I finished 4 books. I don’t think I’ve ever done that in the past!
To be fair… 2 of them I had actually started in December, 1 I even started in November, and then the last 1 I started and finished in January.
At any given time, I’m always reading 2 books! I have a morning read and a nightly read. And at one point in December, I was in the middle of 3 books. It was insane.
So it wasn’t hard for me to sit down and finish those books.
So here’s what I read:
I thought I was going to love this book. It started out so strong! And I was addicted for about a week. And then I put it on the back burner. This is the book that took me over 2 months to complete. Because something about it lost me along the way. I’m not sure if it was the way it was written. Or maybe it was the ideas that were shared. But it wasn’t my favorite book of all time.
I will say that I did pick up some great bits of knowledge from this book! And I do remember some of the stories the author told. So I did learn something which is all that matters to me!
Okay. Can I start by saying that I found this book for a STEAL! I had been eyeing it up for a couple months but I always saw it priced at $23 for the hardcover version. Which for me is a bit much for a book. But then one day I was in Barnes & Noble and I found it on sale for less than $10. WHAT?! So, of course, I snagged it and started reading it that day. Hence… 3 books at a time.
I couldn’t put this book down. I really couldn’t. It was amazing! And so thought-provoking. I have a completely different outlook on creativity and ideas now. It’s so strange to explain. But if you are a creator, then you’ve GOT to get your hands on this book.
Honestly, I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book. I think I thought it was going to teach me how to stop caring about what other people think. But I was far from true!
This book has a great message. And it helps you to find what’s important and what you should give an eff about. It’s interesting. And again, thought-provoking to the point where I couldn’t put it down. I read this book in a little over 2 weeks. One of the things I liked the most was how raw and honest the author was. He said things most people are afraid to say. And that was amazing!
Now it’s hard to compare Wonder with the other 3. I mean… it’s a fiction book compared to 3 personal development books. Clearly, you can see what I like.
But I like to read the book before I see the movie. I’m not sure why though because then I’m always disappointed by the movie. But anyways. That’s why I read this book and I loved it! It’s an easy read (like middle school level) and honestly, it could be finished in a week!
What to read next!
If you want to join me for February’s book club, all you need to do is get your hands on Yes Please by Amy Poehler and give it a read!
I plan on starting this book on February 1st and finishing it before the end of the month so I can share my thoughts with you guys!
So if you want to get ahead of the game, go ahead and snag that book too!
THE START TO FEBRUARY
By the time you’re reading this, it’s already February. Or maybe you’re way from the future and February has already come and gone. That would be cool.
But I’m excited for February. I have a lot on my plate. And I’ve got some really great content that I’m ready to share with you guys!
So I hope that you’ll stick along for the ride.
Let me know what you accomplished this month in the comments below! And I’ll see you in a more helpful blog post soon!
Cathrin (Cath) creates content that encourages bloggers & online entrepreneurs to be themselves, chase their passion, and create their success online. 1 year after started her blog (TheContentBug.com), Cath left her full-time position working in the digital marketing industry to pursue her dreams of being her own boss. In weekly blog posts, sporadic YouTube videos, and constant talking on Instagram stories, Cath hopes to spread her story and be an inspiration to others who desperately want to change their lives.