2019 Writing Goals – Q1 Review

Happy April! For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who like oppressive heat, constant sunshine, and other generally depressing things, it’s about to be your favorite time of the year. That said, while I’m quite fond of early spring months, the fact that they give way to summer always makes me sad. What better time to talk about uplifting things like whether or not I’ve kept my new year goals for writing?

People say I have weird priorities. I just think I’d rather not be constantly sweating.

If you want to go back and read the original goal post, you can find it here. That said, I’ve also put something of a summary of the goals in with my progress on each of them below. This is mostly for those who are lazy and don’t want to click back to the post, but it’s also for me and ease of copying when I write posts later in the year. Because deep down, I was the lazy one all along.

Goal 1: Blog Growth?

Part of the reason I’m adding a bit of summary to the goals section is specifically because of this incredibly vague goal title I created at the beginning of the year. I ended up settling on averaging one visit an hour — 24 visits per day — over the course of the year. My hope was to get to a point where I’m regularly seeing traffic on my blog regardless of the time of the day. So how’s that going?

I mean…pretty well. Though January ended with me being a bit behind pace on this goal, both February and March made up for it in spades. If this continues, there’s a decent chance I could end 2019 with no months from previous years in my top 10 traffic months. That’d be pretty neat for my growth. I’m hoping that the direction change I mentioned a few weeks ago continues this trend, but it’s far too early to get any sort of gauge as to how well it’s going so far.

I did make a bit of a change to the table formatting I’m doing here versus previous goal posts. It’s mostly because I accidentally deleted the massive spreadsheet I used in 2018 when cleaning up my Google Drive. But considering how traffic has been consistently going up over the past year, I feel like this format works just as well.

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

I have to admit. When I wrote this goal, I figured this was arguably the most ambitious of the goals I’d set for myself. Progress on the WIP was not going well to say the least. Even though I had made some progress early this year, I was figuring that my first draft would be done sometime in June if I was lucky, meaning the second draft would happen sometime in the fall. That said, I ended up getting the first draft done in mid-February, thanks in part to my old job giving me literally nothing to do during my last three days at work — meaning I went home without stress and just wrote at night. I’ve gone through two rounds of my own edits so far (one for grammar and one for continuity) and I have two beta readers going through now to give me feedback. One of them is giving me genuinely the best editing feedback I’ve ever received, while the other is an author whose work I aspire for my own work to be as good as, so I feel like I’m in great hands. There’s a decent chance I’ll hit this goal, though there’s still a ton of work to be done before that point.

Goal 3: Take on Four New Freelance Projects This Year

Of all of the goals I put on this list, this goal is definitely the one going the least well. That’s not to say there isn’t progress being made, as I do have a couple projects in the pipeline for later in the year. That said, there’s not a solid timeframe on either of them at this point, so I’d still like to pick up a couple of more before then — just in case they go into 2020. Granted, Q1 of this year was busy for several reasons, including my new job. That doesn’t mean I hadn’t wished I’d made more progress on this goal though.

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.

Post 300*

It’s my 300th post! Let’s throw a party!

Matan Segev

Wait. What’s that little asterisk doing there? Shit. This means I’m doing more than throwing a party, doesn’t it.


I track my site analytics obsessively. It’s something I’ve done since the very first blog I had when I was 17. I’ve gotten much better tools and analytic programs to use in the time since then, but it’s a long-standing obsession I’ve had. When a blog platform has good analytics, it makes my heart sing. As an aside story to show how much this matters to me, I was considering moving this site to SquareSpace in early 2018. I love their user interface and quite enjoyed the site building experience their software provided. That said, I chose not to make the move because SquareSpace didn’t allow me to upload historical analytical data for my site1I have no idea if this is still true. I did reach out to them to see if anything changed and will edit this post when I hear back.. Analytics matter to me a ton is my point.

That’s part of why it pains me a bit personally when I directly do something that impacts my analytics. If something weird happens where bot traffic is counted as real traffic or real comments end up in my spam, that’s all annoying, but fine. But I make conscious efforts to avoid making any sort of measurable direct impact to my own analytics. Beyond that, the past six months or so have been fantastic for the growth of my blog traffic and (to a lesser extent) comments and subscriptions. This means that trends in my data have become easier to identify, particularly when it comes to the type of content those reading my blog like to read.

In looking through my data for February 2019, I noticed that every single post in my top ten visited posts feel into one of two categories — video game posts or writing posts. The video game category is pretty straight forward, as I write a good bit about Fire Emblem and Pokemon. The writing category is a bit broader, though the traffic does tend to come from writing advice posts I write, as well as updates regarding my own works in progress.

I got to digging some more and noticed that this trend has been going on for a while now. In fact, since February 2018, there has only been one month where every single one of my top ten posts didn’t fall under my video games, writing, or business categories. That month was November 2018, where five of my top ten posts didn’t belong to any of these categories. This was just as much poor categorization as anything else on my part, as four of those five posts were about NaNoWriMo2The fifth post was one of my internet recipe parodies..

Last year, I wrote about needing direction on my blog. I did a pretty large redesign, got some new logos from the talented Tim Kilkenny, and did a massive overhaul of my freelancing related pages. That said, I never really made any sort of change in direction on my blog. I didn’t totally know what I wanted to do, nor did I completely know what I wanted to be writing about on a week-to-week basis. Now, I think I’ve finally found that.

Going forward, the vast majority of my blog posts will focus on one of three categories.

  • Video games: This category will be similar to what I do for video games now — a Nintendo-focused series of posts primarily based around theorycrafting, game reviews, and game analysis. I’ll likely devote most of the posts I write in this category to the Pokemon and Fire Emblem franchises, though I’ll do the occasional post about other games here and there3In the exceptionally unlikely event that the NCAA Football series ever gets revived, you can bet your bank account that I’ll be writing about that on occasion. It’d also be the lone video game series that would cause me to consider YouTubing again..
  • Business/Finance: This category will likely see the most change going forward, having less of a focus on the personal business posts I’ve written in the past. Instead, I’ll generally style my business and finance posts similar to the advice style posts I’ve done in the past, such as my fallacies of training post.
  • Writing: This category will include updates on my work in progress4Aside from updates I give on them in my goal updates., various short stories I’ll write here and there, advice posts for writers and editors, and any new posts I do for my #NaNoWriMoTips series in November.

Those categories, perhaps not shockingly, are the same three categories that have made up the vast majority of my traffic over the past year. There will also be a fourth group of posts that you’ll see occasionally. I’m tentatively classifying these as miscellaneous posts in my head. The miscellaneous posts will include any site news related posts (such as this one as well as my goal updates), random one-off posts that I had pre-scheduled prior to this announcement5By my count, there’s two of those scheduled between now and the end of April., and the occasional humor post that isn’t directly related to one of the categories above (think the internet recipe parody posts). There may still be the occasional book review post, as I do have writer friends whose work I’d like to help publicize, though I’ll touch on that more in a moment.

With all that in mind, I’ve already started archiving any past posts that don’t fit one of the above categories in some capacity. Though I’m not exactly sure to what extent I’ll end up archiving, what it will do is to throw my post count off. Even though this is technically my 300th post, you’ll likely see far fewer results on the blog as a result of this archiving process. In my initial estimate, I’m thinking the blog post count will be in the 175-200 post range once I’m done with clean up, though that number could fluctuate anywhere from 150-2256I’m writing this before I start the clean up in earnest, so I’m making massive guesses based solely off of the number of posts I’ve published in each current category. Depending on how much miscategorization I’ve done, as well as how many overlapping posts are in multiple categories from when I was doing my estimate, the number could jump or fall..

I’ll also be doing a good bit of clean up on my various non-post site pages, though there won’t be as much archiving going on there. Instead, I’ll be revamping the pages related to me, as well as creating a new page aimed at publicizing the works of those who are friends of the site or whose work I support in some capacity. Since this post will be going up in late March, I’m going to say that my hope is to have said page cleanup and creation done by the end of April.

I want to take a moment to thank those of you who have stuck with me and supported me since I launched this blog endeavor new in 2016, including those of you who followed me over from my old site and have been reading my writing since 2012 or earlier. For those who are new, welcome and/or hi. I hope to see you around the comments.

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 20187688 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 not8All 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.