At the beginning of January 2019, I decided that I would create a template that tracks all of my goals, lists all of my must-do activities and missions that I want to accomplish in the near future. Each week, I update the template with all of the activities that I must complete in an effort to reach the goals that I have set for myself and for my Odd Cents.
I had a similar template in 2018, but I only updated it when the mood hit me and it really was not that effective. It listed all of the websites that I own and all of the goals that I have for each one. There was also a section that mentioned all of the things that needed to be done. But it was stagnant for the most part, and I never really updated it; instead I was scheduling tasks in my mind. This was not effective and I was setting myself up to forget important things that required action.
To be efficient and to achieve some of my goals, I realised that I have to be a bit more organised and structured. This year I have a more focused outlook on life and on Odd Cents. And for some reason, I have a more positive feeling about what’s possible and what could happen next and that is motivating my to keep on keeping on. Over the years, I’ve lagged on Odd Cents, and I feel a bit sad that to know that I almost gave up on it.
It’s so funny that when I first started this blog, I was blogging every day for months! I do not remember how I was able to accomplish that feat. I can vaguely remember writing short 400 word posts during my lunch hour and hustling to get them ready in WordPress for the next day. At times I was nervous because I always wondered if I would have enough ideas to keep writing and if people would still come if I stopped writing for one day. It was a pressure filled situation that could have led to a disastrous blogger burnout.
I know now that there will always be something to write about and I’m not even worried about that. I’ve cut back my posting schedule drastically, and now I write one post per week. I am toying with the idea of increasing the schedule to two posts per week later in the year. But unlike when I first started, I have active social media campaigns primarily on Pinterest and Instagram, which require some time and consideration if they are to be successful.
January 2019 Goals
I created a few goals for Odd Cents and other business ventures in the month of January. Most of these goals were not money related. At this stage I’m not too focused on making money with products, because I have not created the right products as yet. I’m focused on getting readers to the blog so that I can increase overall viewership, which will then influence and encourage the income potential of Odd Cents. Turning this blog into a useful resource is a number one priority on my list, and I will keep working on that aspect.
1. Make an extra $1,000. I failed at this one because I said that I wanted to make an extra $1,000, but I did not outline how I was going to get there. Don’t forget – SMART goals work! I know that I need to create a SMART plan to get to that extra $1,000 per month goal.
2. Go walking. This is a work in progress, because I want to start walking on evenings when outside is a bit brighter. To supplement, I take the stairs at work and I may go for a walk during the day.
3. Complete a Social Media Marketing course. I had enrolled in a Social Media marketing course at the end of 2018 and the aim was to complete it by the end of January 2019, which I did.
4. Save an extra $25. The way my budget is set up, saving extra money on top of savings was something that I wanted to make happen, because it seemed impossible. I don’t how exactly how it happened, but I put aside an extra $30 and did not miss it.
5. Start a money challenge. I had initially planned to start a 52 week savings challenge, but that did not materialise. Instead I found the Mini Missions challenge, which was on the Budgets are Sexy blog. This challenge was amazing and I’m having fun checking off the mini challenges.
6. Donate $20 to a cause. I actually started this in December 2018, when I donated to an animal drive by purchasing a calendar. This month, I donated $20 towards the cost of groceries for a homeless feeding programme organised by a friend’s church. I really want to increase my donations to non-profit organisations in Barbados because I can see that there is so much work to be done.
I’ll try to keep these goals in constant rotation throughout the year with tweaks as they are required. I will also be adding new goals from month to month.
I set several blog goals for January 2019, which would in one way or another signal that I’m making progress with increasing my share of the internet/ social media marketing pie.
1. Twitter. My goal was to promote my older posts. I’m not too focused on followers, because Twitter is not in my regular social media rotation. But, the more eyes that are exposed to my posts, the better.
2. Instagram. My goal was to hit 300 followers and get at least 10 likes per post. I surpassed 300 followers, so my next target is 325 in February. My likes are varied, but my post popular post for the month was one that was created for candle businesses in the Caribbean. That post gained 35 likes.
3. Pinterest. My goal was to get 1,000 impressions on my Pinterest account and I received 734. I’ll be honest and say that I only uploaded 6 pins in the entire month, which is not good. Cause and Effect Lesson 366.
4. Website visitors. This is the ultimate reason for all of the extra social media work. I am trying to increase blog views and reach a cool 1,000 views by the end of the year.
There is no extra income to report for January 2019. Yes, I do have some Amazon and Adsense ads on the blog, but I need readers to see any real earnings. My other websites are also works in progress and they are earning a couple dollars through a variety of products and services. I’m working on those bit by bit, but their models are slightly different because of their very different natures. At some point I will include them in this report and outline what I’m doing and how they are performing.
Also, there is a business idea that I’m toying with that’s currently in the testing stages. One of my major concerns for this business is transportation and logistics. Getting the products to customers in a reasonable time and economically is a big problem. Whilst the target prices are on par with competitors, shipping costs can either make or break the business. I have to figure this out fast.
Did you make an extra income in January 2019? What steps will you take to improve your earnings in the next few months?