2019 Writing Goals

In 2018, at the suggestion of Optimistic Millennial writer Kaytie Zimmerman, I decided to create some goals for my blog in an attempt to grow my blog and, by extension, build the community around it. Last week, I talked about how those goals went throughout the year of 2018 (not to mention doing periodic checkins throughout the year), as well as trying to explore whether the results of each of those goals was a success or a failure.

I’m happy I went that route in 2018, however, I don’t think it’s the right way to go in 2019. That’s not because I succeeded in every goal, nor am I completely happy with the results I did achieve across the board. While things did go alright, there’s always room for growth and improvement. Instead, I’ve decided to diversify my goals a bit in 2019. This is in an effort to better reflect what I’m looking to achieve not just as a blogger, but as a writer and freelancer. I’ll be sticking with three goals, in 2019, only instead of three blog based goals, there’ll be one each for blogging, story writing, and freelancing.

Goal 1: Blog Growth?

Last year, I had three separate blog growth goals that I set for myself. Needless to say with how things went, I have zero clue how to set goals for myself for blog growth. Since I clearly have no clue what I should scale my goals to, let’s go with the one that’s at least the easiest for me to measure: raw traffic.

This year, I’d like to average one view per hour for every day of the year. That’s 8,760 views for the year, which would represent a massive amount of growth from 2018 to 2019. Then again, that’s what I thought by setting a goal for 3,000 views for 2018 when coming off of 2,369 in 2017. I was wrong. I was over 3,000 views in September and 4,000 views in November. If the first four months of the year would have had better traffic, 5,000 would have been a realistic possibility. While I’m not expecting months upon months of traffic like November 20181688 views, my single best traffic month ever on this blog, and my best traffic month on any blog since 2013., I think breaking the 8,000 visitor barrier is an attainable goal, even if it might be a bit of a reach.

Goal 2: Finish a Second Draft of the WIP by July

Let’s just say it’s, um, been a while since I’ve given you all an update on my work in progress. There’s several reasons for that, some of which are understandable, others of which are not2All of which I will not be mentioning on this blog, for now.. That said, I’m planning to do another update on the project within the first six weeks or so of 2019.

That all said, I know for sure that once I get the initial draft finished, there will be some massive rewriting that needs done to make it presentable for beta readers. My alpha reader’s feedback, plus some of my own changes to the direction of where I want the story to focus, has proven that needs to be the case. As a result, once I finish the first draft, I’ll be re-writing my story (particularly the first 3-5 chapters) heavily.

In an ideal situation, both of these drafts will be completed by the end of July. I’m not going to set an official goal deadline for completing the first draft (mostly because January is particularly insane for me), however I feel like as long as that draft is done by mid-April, I should be in good shape to get my July goal for draft number two.

Goal 3: Take on Four New Freelance Projects This Year

2018 was an up-and-down year in terms of the freelance projects I took on. I had a large project come to me early in the year, as well as a ton of smaller projects that I took on. The problem was that the only one of those projects that I got paid for was the large project — all of the small ones came about as the result of my former company closing our office, which in turn meant resume editing work I did for free. While I did pick up a second, much smaller, project near the end of the year, the year was slower than I had hoped.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I ended up needing more of my free time than I expected on several other things that came up this year, including minor things like a redesign of my blog and launching my Patreon account. Even with that in mind, I’d like to do more this year.

I’m setting a somewhat flexible goal of taking on four new freelance projects in 2019, ideally one per quarter. I say this goal is somewhat flexible, as if I were to take on a particularly large project, I’d consider revising this down to three. That said, the project would have to be major in either complexity or the amount of time I have to dedicate to it (or both) for me to make said revision.

2018 Blog Goals – Year End Review

Welcome to 2019. How are you feeling? Excited? Confused? Hungover? Yes to all of the above?

2018 was an odd year for me, if for no other reason than I actually followed through on keeping track of my blog goals for the first time ever. As I’m thinking about it, this might be the first time ever that I’ve kept track of non-work related goals for an entire year. I know that might be a weird statement to make as a 31 year old, but here we are. I’ll be sharing my 2019 writing goals in a post coming on the first Monday of the year, however before I do that, let’s take a moment and look back on the 2018 goals.

When we last peeked in at the midway point of this year, I was only meeting one of the three goals that I had set for the year. While I was destroying the one goal I was meeting, the other two goals had continued to fall behind pace. The final quarter of 2018 was insane in real life for various reasons, so aside from my NaNoWriMo Tips series, the marketing I wanted to go into the blog never came to fruition. With that said, let’s see where I ended both Q4 of 2018 and the year as a whole.

Goal 1: 20 New WordPress Followers

Well. This had some ups and downs out of no where. Granted, I understand going from 5 to 6 to 7 and back down to 6 isn’t that big of a swing, but it is a volatile time considering how steady this value has been over the course of the year year and a half or so. This ended up being only 30% of my goal pace for the year. Even with that in mind, I’m not completely disappointed in how this turned out because of the way the next two goals ended the year.

Goal 2 – Average 250 Visits Per Month

Remember how in last quarter’s update post I said that 4,738 visits — exactly double my 2017 traffic — wouldn’t be a completely unrealistic number to hit? It was kind of nice to hit that number in the lead up to Christmas while talking about our charity drive. Though I didn’t quite get to the 5,000 visit barrier, this was still over 100% growth year over year, which is amazing to see. The final six months of the year were the six best months in this blog’s history, while nine of the top ten months all time also come from 2018. I’d love to see this upward trend continue into 2019, though (as you’ll see from my goals next week) I’ll be doing some refocusing on my priorities in my writing in 2019, so I won’t be trying to replicate my 100% growth next this year.

Goal 3 – Grow Comment Count by 20% Again

2018 was weird when it came to my comments. Consider the following:

  • January – March: 48 comments (16 comments/month)
  • April – September: 45 comments (7.5 comments/month)
  • October – December: 57 comments (19 comments/month)

What the hell happened in the middle of the year? I understand that my comment explosion in December had a couple of factors working in its favor — those being the fact that comments for 10 days in December caused a donation to charity, as well as an 11th hour commenter who tipped me over my comment goal. That said, it was still nice to hit this with how weird (and frankly not well) the middle two quarters of 2018 went from a comment standpoint.

How did you do on your 2018 goals? If you’re a blogger, podcaster, YouTuber, or other creator, I’d love to hear how you did, as well as your 2019 goals. Sound off in the comments.


Like the work I do? Want to help me make more, better written content? Consider pledging your support on Patreon.

2018 Charity Drive – Final Totals

Yesterday was the final day of our efforts to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This was the third year I’ve done something like this, as well as the first year that I’ve received some help from other folks looking to also raise money for this great cause.

After tallying the totals from all of our sales, comments, podcast downloads, and new Patreon pledges, I can proudly announce that we raised $220.50 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Donations from the various folks will be made to the AFSP tonight or tomorrow (depending on what time zone those folks are in).

I would like to take a moment and thank a ton of people for all of the help they were in raising money. First and foremost, a big thank you is owed to Eve Jacob, Rebecca MacCeile, Brian Fisher, Mike Lampasone, and Tim Kilkenny for their willingness to give donations based off of proceeds from their work. Without their help, this drive wouldn’t have been possible. If you’d like to give some patronage to them — such as by buying their books or listening to their podcasts — even though the drive is over, click the links on their names in the previous sentence.

I’d also like to thank some folks who helped advertise the drive heavily. In particular, thanks are owed to Tabitha, the crew at Sounds Nerdy, Stephanie, Cherie, Charlotte, Erin, and Kaytie for their repeated sharing of content. Additional thanks are due to David, Dem, Dr. Skyskull, TravelerSan, Megan, Joseph, Emmy, Doc, Biv, Mike, Lauren, Todd, Amy, Victoria, Vic, Justin, Casey, and several more people I’m sure I’m missing who also helped share the word in some way. None of this would be possible without all your help.

If you’d like to give to the AFSP directly, I would encourage you to do so. Click the link in this sentence to be taken directly to the AFSP’s donation page.

2018 Charity Drive Update #1

Now that we’re just over two weeks into our charity drive, I wanted to give a quick update as to where we are in our efforts to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As of December 2nd, we’ve raised $69.423In the original writing of this post, this value was reflected as $69.25, though I realized I neglected to see that one of the numbers submitted to me had $0.17 at the end of it. for charity.

To say I’m pleasantly surprised with how things have gone so far is an understatement. With that said, there’s still 21 days left to raise money for a great cause. You can help raise money by buying books written by Eve Jacob, Rebecca MacCeile (either of her books), or myself. You can also support me on Patreon, as all of my patron pledges for November and December will go to charity. Finally, for every download of We Were (Kind of) a Big Deal in College on iTunes or Android, money goes to the AFSP.

If you can help spread the word, we’d love for you to do so. Thank you to everyone who has helped out so far. I’ll have another update a bit later in the month.

Quick Note: Charity Drive

In previous years, I’ve done a charity drive with funds from my book, An Epilogue to Innocence. I wanted to take a moment to share that there will be another charity drive this year. This year, all proceeds from my book will go to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks. With that said, I wanted to mention it now, as there are other creators that will also be doing the same with their work this November/December. Some of them (like Rebecca) have already started talking about the drive, so I figured I should say something here. I’ll have a much longer post in mid-November formally kicking off the drive which will include links to all of the folks that will also be putting money to this great cause.