I am so happy it’s November. The air feels crisp and clean and so full of promise!
Sunday was the first day of November, and we watched the NYC Marathon from our block (we live right off 5th avenue, the last stretch before the runners hit Central Park and the finish line). It was amazing to see so many people who for the past year (or longer) have been working towards such an important and challenging goal actually achieve that goal right in front of our eyes.
It got me thinking about sharing some of my specific goals for this month. I just wrote a post last week about my larger goals for my business heading into 2016, and it’s been helpful to break that down further into what I aim to do for my blog and my business on a monthly basis.
Related Post: 8 Business Goals I’m Setting for the End of 2015
It’s always good to have some accountability when you’re doing something as difficult as trying to build a brand and business (especially while also working full-time). I’ve found it’s also really helpful to share your goals with others, as it may (1) inspire them to set similar goals, and (2) help them keep you accountable and focused. So that’s why each and every month, starting now and through 2016, I want to share my business and blogging goals with you.
See, the thing is…I intend for 2016 to be the last full year that I’m working full-time. I want to be able to leave my job and work for myself full-time by April 2017 (later this month I’ll share exactly what that business will look like and give you all a peek inside my business-planning process). Things are taking shape slowly and organically, but everything seems to be pointing in a similar direction, and I’m excited about how things are coming together!
Okay, back to this month’s goals…
November 2015 Blogging and Business Goals
1 // Develop and advertise the new monthly sponsorship program for The Feisty House
I have not done any systematic advertising on The Feisty House for a few years. When I was doing Google Adsense (way back when The Feisty House was still hosted on Blogger), I was bringing in around $120 every three months from Google Adsense and had to deal with unattractive sidebar advertisements. Not worth it.
However, I do think that advertising and sponsored posts are a great way to bring in some income from a blog (and build relationships with brands), so my goals are to (1) update my media kit, (2) create and then price a really enticing sponsorship package, and then (3) reach out to brands about their interest in advertising on The Feisty House.
I’m still working out the kinks, but as part of the monthly sponsorship package, I’m planning to guarantee one sponsored post featuring the brand, a few social media mentions, and a note in my weekly mailing list each week. I really want to get this done this month and then have at least two sponsors lined up for next year! (SN: If you’re running a similar program for your blog and have ideas/suggestions for getting this going, I’d be so interested in hearing from you…)
2 // Write my blog posts on the weekends, and work on my business during the week
It’s been difficult for me to find time to write my blog and also focus on building my brand and business, so blog posts on The Feisty House have been few and far between (particularly in September and October). Trying to cram work for both my blog and my business in just two or three hours each night meant I was getting very little done. So instead, I want to separate my blog activities and business tasks and save writing blog posts for the weekend. Getting all my blog posts done on the weekends will give me so much more time during the week to do things like monetize The Feisty House, plan events, and work on products for sale.
3 // Secure event sponsors for the January 2016 DREAM JOB Brunch
If you follow me on social media (or signed up for the weekly newsletter), then you know that I’m super excited about hosting another DREAM JOB Brunch this month! Our special guest entrepreneur is Desiree Verdejo, owner of the beautiful Vivrant Beauty in Harlem, a beauty boutique that features products from female beauty entrepreneurs and caters to women of color. Desiree is amazing, and I can’t wait for her to share her story of building a business while working full-time as an attorney!
The November 15th brunch will be the second brunch I’ve done this year. Next year, I want to do them at least every other month and also start hosting them in other cities, but I’m going to need sponsors to do that. Right now the brunches aren’t profitable, but they could be! Events are a great way for brands to connect directly with their target audience, and what brand wouldn’t want to sponsor an event for driven, connected, creative and entrepreneurial women? So this month I want to pitch the DREAM JOB Brunch to a few brands and work on securing a sponsor for the January brunch!
Related Post: Dream Job Brunch | May 2015
4 // Blog Traffic Goal: At least 10,000 unique visitors and 20,000 page views
I’ve had a dip in blog traffic since I wasn’t blogging very consistently in September or October. My goal in November is to get The Feisty House back up to my 2015 average of 10,000 unique visitors (labeled “users” in Google Analytics) and 20,000 page views. I think 2015 was my hear to really brand The Feisty House into the site I wanted it to be, but heading into 2016, I want to start focusing on growing the platform and building the community.
Related Post: How to Blog Consistently and Why It’s Important
I haven’t actively focused on growing The Feisty House readership, so my audience hasn’t grown as quickly as you’d expect, considering I’ve been blogging for such a long time. I’m looking forward to seeing where The Feisty House can go. I’ve been inspired by Lauren Hooker of Elle & Company and her journey to growing her blog to 100,000 monthly users. I’d love to see The Feisty House grow to the point where 100,000 people find this platform useful each and every month. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I think 2016 could be the year that The Feisty House hits that milestone! Baby steps though: for November, I just want to get back up to my 2015 average of 10,000 users and 20,000 page views.
5 // Blog and Business Income Goal: $1,000 – $1,300
My goal this month is to make $1,300. I’ve never made that much money from this blog in one month (the most I’ve ever done in a month is about $600, all from sponsored posts). Here’s a breakdown of that $1,300 goal:
- $400: Sponsored Posts
- $300: Event sponsorship
- $300 – $600: Monthly Blog Sponsorship
Yesterday I signed up for the Maya Elious’ November #GetPaidChallenge. It felt so awkward to think about making money! Even though one of my year-end goals is to start taking revenue seriously, signing up for a challenge that is so explicitly linked to getting people to pay me was a huge mental step.
Even trying to figure out how much I wanted to make in November was difficult. Do I think I’m worth that much? Of course. But how do I articulate my worth? And how do I pursue these contracts? The fact that I don’t have the answers to those questions yet are just part of the reason why settling on an income goal is so difficult. But I do have a goal, and while it is lofty compared to what I’ve earned on The Feisty House in the past…something inside is leading me to believe that I can actually achieve this goal!
Just writing all of this down and putting it out there for you all to see has me super pumped! I never thought I’d end up doing posts with my goals or anything like that because it just seemed so personal, but I’ve been so inspired by other bloggers like Lauren and Jacque Amadi of Jacque of All Trades who have been so transparent with their process for building a business, and I want to bring that transparency to The Feisty House. And then there are the heavyweights, like Dale Partridge, who has been doing income reports for a long time (the first one I ever saw was one by Dale Partridge).
So I hope you’re down for getting into the nitty gritty of my goal-setting process and my monthly progress. I’ll be back at the end of the month with a November 2015 Income and Progress Report! We’re all in this together, so if you do similar goal/income posts, let me know in the comments!
What are some of your specific blogging and business goals for November?
Photo Source: Paper & Stitch