While 2019 has been an absolute roller coaster of a year thus far, I haven’t completely set my yearly goals to the wayside, here on the blog or in my personal life! Today, I’m sharing a 2019 goals check-in to see where we’ve made progress and make adjustments where necessary.
2019 Goals Check-in: For the Sake of Good Taste
I first shared my 2019 Blogging Goals in a post all the way back in January. Since then, there’s been some major restructuring and juggling of new schedules, so things have changed an awful lot!
- Quadruple our traffic
- Increase our retention
- Improve social media stats
- Feature four guest posts
- Share two guest posts
- Work with five brands
- Create three original products
In terms of traffic, we’re doing far better than I anticipated, given all of the difficulties 2019 has thrown at us! Comparing 1 January through 30 June to the same period last year:
- Page views: 3,967 vs. 2,598 (52.69%)
- Sessions: 2,656 vs. 1,014 (161.93%)
- Users: 2,412 vs. 856 (181.78%)
- Average Time Spent: 00:38 vs. 02:17 (-72.38%)
- Bounce Rate: 86.18% vs. 65.19% (-32.21%)
So, while our bounce rate and average time spent have dropped a bit, our page views, sessions, and users have all gone up considerably! A major contributing factor to this is one post, our top films for self-care days, ranking remarkably well on Google. We’ve also been focusing a lot more Pinterest growth, which might be a factor in both the increase in views and the increased bounce rate.
Our retention has been less stellar than we’d hoped, but with only a 1.5% difference since 2018, we’re hopefully that that will pick back up as well!
As for social media…current vs. 2019 goals:
- Facebook: 70 – 150 likes
- Twitter: 767 – 2,000 followers
- Instagram: 301 – 1,000 followers
- Pinterest: 380 – 750 followers
- BlogLovin’: 23 – 100 followers
- LinkedIn: ? – 100 updates
- Quora: 2 – 50 followers
As you can probably tell, we haven’t exactly had the progress I’d like to see here. I’m hoping to do some research and buckle down in this second half of the year to get at least a few of these numbers up!
A quick note on LinkedIn: I’ve largely been neglecting sharing blog posts and accomplishments there! I’ve recently started using the platform much more heavily, though (I’m on the lookout for some new remote writing gigs!), so it’s definitely something I’ve been working on.
I’ve also been on Twitter much less than usual (I’m managing quite a few accounts between blogging, writing, and publishing), and I’ve let Quora fall to the wayside more often than not–to be quite honest, the notifications on the mobile app were maddening!
Guest Posts & Brand Collaborations
As for brands, we’ve worked with the good stuff and Chewy (be sure to click through that Chewy link for some adorable pet pics!) through Influenster! We’re regularly pitching and applying for campaigns, so we’re hopeful that there were be many more! Are you brand that would like to collaborate? Let us know!
Product-wise, there were definitely some alterations to be made. With adjusting the year’s schedule to accommodate the chaotic start to the year, our Swap It! launch has had to be pushed back considerably–I want to be sure we’re delivering the best possible product to you and the original time table would not have allowed for that!
That being said, we’re still planning to bring you all sorts of content–paid products and otherwise) throughout the end of 2019 and into 2020!
2019 Goals Check-in: Personal
As absurd as the blogging portion of my life has been these past six months, my personal life has been somehow more chaotic! Yet, I’ve made relatively great progress on many of my goals.
- Send 500 pieces in lit mag submissions
- Launch Nightingale & Sparrow‘s first issues
- Read 100 books
- Complete 35 items on my 101 in 1,001 list
- Finish my next two poetry manuscripts
- Draft my novel
- Pay off at least three credit cards
- Earn income from the blog
- Organise my life
- Build my emergency fund
At the risk of sounding absolutely absurd, I hit the first of these goals within a few weeks of the new year. I had the time to devote to prepping submissions, there were lots of January/February deadlines, and I was especially enthusiastic! I’m at nearly 1,000 pieces submitted currently (with plenty of repeats, of course!)–maybe 2,000 to push for by year’s end? Too ambitious a goal? Let me know what you think in the comments!
Nightingale & Sparrow
As for Nightingale & Sparrow, we’ve gone above and beyond! Not only have we successfully launched our first two issues online and in print, but we’ve started selling merchandise, created a small press and activism-centred imprint, and began building a small team of dedicated volunteers who love literature and our space as much as I do!
Read 100 books
My reading goals have struggled a bit, but I’m still determined to catch up. Between health issues, long work hours, and a lengthy TBR list for reviews on my book blog, Pencils & Pages (I read so much more slowly when I have to!), I’m only just under a third of the way through. My Goodreads Reading Challenge is disappointed in me!
101 in 1,001
While progress has been slow, it’s there! A few of the items on this list just haven’t been doable lately, rather from health or financial constraints. It’s been frustrating, but I’ve been working at others in the meantime!
Not only did I finish my next two poetry books, but I’m working on book number six! My second, Micro, was published just this June, with a third coming soon (stay tuned for more information soon!).
ICYMI: My first book, Mistakes Were Made, was published in 2017!
I’ve haven’t made quite the novel progress I’d like, but it’s there. I’ve decided to publish that one under a pen name (to keep my poems and other work separate), too!
Credit cards, income, and my emergency fund have all been a little lacklustre progress-wise. My current “day job” gets me by in terms of paying the bills and keeping me from starving (and I can largely thank my mom for her help on the latter front!), but it’s got long hours, small pay, and its share of health effects. I’ve been working to take on some more freelance and even part-time remote work (if you’ve got a lead you’re willing to share, please reach out!), so I’m hoping to improve going forward. I also have to replace my computer sooner rather than later (it’s very much on its last legs and doesn’t cooperate much) if I’m going to continue having any income at all!
Organise my life
My life organisation plans have largely gone out the window as I’ve tackled all that 2019 has thrown at me. I’m still slowly going through things, working through the large chunk of my belongings that ended up in storage after graduation, and keeping things generally tidy. But I haven’t been able to the full-fledged kon-mari-ing that I’d hoped for…yet!
One thing I have been working on, though, that’s semi-related, is making myself happier with my life. As regular readers likely know, I struggle with mental health in addition to my physical health conditions. From trying to practice gratitude and mindfulness to making social connections (online friends count!) and taking a full course on happiness and well-being, I’m putting my mind to this one.
As you can tell, it’s been a bit of a rough year thus far–both generally and in terms of progress on my 2019 goals! But I’m still hard at work behind the scenes, balancing the various aspects of my life. I’m determined to get us/me a little bit closer to these goals, if not always reaching them, by year’s end! Any tips? Shoot me a message or comment below–I’d love to hear from you!
Have you been making progress on your 2019 goals? Share with us in the comments!