planning goals

#11 How I Did In My First 3 Months Of Blogging

Aaaaaand we’re back with my Hustle Young, Retire Early series. In the beginning of 2020, we set some goals for the year, and set benchmarks at every quarter to measure out progress. Well, since we just wrapped up Q1, I think we can take a look at how we did in the first 3 months of blogging as we work towards our 2020 goals. 

Progress of 2020 Goals

Back when we set our goals in the beginning of 2020, we mostly focused on my goals for growing Minted Millennial and improving my finances. Being new to blogging, I wasn’t sure how fast or slow things would grow, so my growth goals were shots in the dark.

Before we look at the Q1 Goals, let’s see what the overall 2020 goals are: 

2020 Overall Goals

  1. Create 5 revenue streams.
  2. Get student loan payments down to $20,000 (Currently at $30k).
  3. End Credit Card usage completely
  4. Earn 15,000 page-views consistently per month for Minted Millennial
  5. Master Pinterest
  6. Cut expenses down to an average of $1,250 per month for 2021

After breaking it down into quarters, here are my Q1 Goals:

2020 Q1 Goals

January | February | March

  1. Get up to 3,000 pageviews/month in March
  2. Have at least 35 blog posts/guest posts
  3. 200 Pinterest followers
  4. Write first eBook/e-Course
  5. Start up second side-hustle
  6. Have credit Cards paid off in full

Income Goals: $200

It turned out some of these were a bit of a stretch, and some of them need to change entirely.

So let’s see some results! 

How I Did In My First 3 Months of Blogging

Q1 Goals Results

Goals

Results

Get up to 3,000 pageviews/month

March Pageviews: 2,200 PV’s

Have at least 35 blog posts/Guest Posts

Number of Posts: 25 posts, 4 guest posts

200 Pinterest Followers

Number of Followers: 261 Followers

Write first e-book/e-course

eBook Title:

Startup a second side-hustle

Second Side-Hustle: Niche Website

Have credit cards paid off in full

Credit Amount: $0!

Side Income: $12.91

As you can see, we fell short in some areas… Some by quite a bit. Oof.

Let’s break it down.

1. Get up to 3,000 pageviews/month: We didn’t quite get up to the traffic goals unfortunately, this is partially due to a pretty big drop in traffic from the virus outbreak. This has affected traffic for many websites and blogs out there. Despite not reaching this goal, Pinterest is starting to send me a lot more traffic so I expect to still be on track for my Q2 traffic goal.

2. Have at least 35 blog/guest posts: We ended up with only 29 posts here. I’m posting at a lower frequency than I would have hoped for, but I’ve decided to place a greater emphasis on promotion as opposed to creation. In Q2 I will most likely lower my overall post goals, especially since I’m running a second website now on top of a full-time job. 

3. Get 200 Pinterest Followers: Aye we did it! We hit 261 followers which is solid. I bought Create and Go’s Pinterest Traffic Avalanche course towards the end of Q1, and I’m now starting to see some results from it. I will stay on track here and continue focusing on Pinterest for traffic growth. 

4. Write First eBook/Course: Yeaaahhh this ones gonna be a no from me dawg. I’ve learned a lot more about the craft of blogging since I initially set these goals, and I know now that it’s typically best for bloggers to have a strong foundation and following before promoting digital products. So I’m putting this goal on the back-burner for a while. 

5. Start Up Second Side Hustle: I spent a good amount of time trying to determine what I should do here. I decided to double-down on blogging and start a second niche website that focuses on affiliate marketing for monetization. I won’t share specifically what it is (yet), but I’m very excited about it’s potential! Between two websites and my full-time job, I have a lot going on! But I’m really enjoying it.

6. Have Credit Cards paid off in full: Another met goal! I had a little over $1,000 in credit card debt at the beginning of the year which I got down to $0. This was in addition to attacking my student loans, so I’m pretty happy with reaching this goal. Getting debt free is my top priority!

Income Goal: This is probably the biggest letdown. However, I’m not too worried about it yet. I set the goal to make $200 and only made an astounding $12.91 from my side hustles! Wow! That’s not surprising though, I wasn’t expecting to make much from Minted Millennial, and I didn’t start my second side hustle until March 30th, 2020. Back when I set the goal of earning $200, I expected to be doing something like Freelance Writing or TaskRabbit, which would’ve made me more in the short-term. I decided not to go in that direction.

Honorable Mention: My student loan goal benchmark was not included in my Q1 goals, but this was the 2020 goal that I made the most progress on. I set the goal to get down to $20,000 from $30k by the end of the year. Now, at the beginning of April, my student loans are sitting at about $24,000. That’s over half of the yearly goal in just 3 months! Read about how I managed to do that here.

If you have student loans and want to utilize some of my strategies to easily pay off your loans faster, check out this post. 

All in all, we completed 4 out of 7 of our Q1 goals. Good, but not great. We’re going to double our efforts in Q2, and adjust our goals to reflect what’s best for Minted Millennial.

Setting Sights on Q2, 2020

Let’s see what goals we had originally set for Q2:

April | May | June

Goals

Results

5,000 pageviews/month

June Pageviews:

Have at least 60 blog posts/guest posts

Number of posts:

500 Pinterest followers

Number of Followers:

Write another e-book

eBook Title:

Start two more side-hustles

Side Hustles:

Student Loans down to $27,000

Student Loan Amount:

Total Income Goals: $1,200

We’re going to have to change some of these for sure. Here are my adjusted Q2 Goals:

  1. 5,000 pageviews/month (current – 2,200 pv’s)
  2. Have at least 50 blog posts/guest posts (current – 29 posts)
  3. 500 Pinterest followers (current – 261 followers)
  4. NO eBooks
  5. Start ONE side hustle (current – 2 side hustles)
  6. Student Loan Balance = $20,000 (current – $24,000)

Income Goal: Since the side hustles I’m working on are focused on a slower, long-term form of monetary growth, I will be lowering my income goal to $500.

I hope that my side hustles can grow into a full-time career since I love doing this. Only time will tell!

Related: 30 Side Hustles That Can Turn Into A Full-Time Business

Conclusion

We did pretty well in Q1, but there is definitely room for improvement. One of my favorite quotes sums it up pretty well:

“Be happy, but never satisfied”  – Bruce Lee

In Q2, I’m going to have to put a lot more attention on my other website to get it off the ground, but Minted Millennial is still the top priority. I will always focus on providing top-notch, quality content.

I lowered my blog post count goal and my side hustle goals only because I firmly believe in quality over quantity. I’d rather create the best long-form content possible than creating many shorter posts. 

In addition, I have no idea how long we’re going to be under quarantine so I don’t want to commit to having 4 side hustles going from home. I will most likely plan on starting a third website by the end of Q2 that will be aimed at earning passive income in the long run. I don’t want to spread myself too thin here.

Have you smashed any of the goals you set in the beginning of the year? Let me know in the comments below!

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