Welcome to My Personal Finance Journey! If you are new here, please read the “About” or “First-Time Visitor” pages to find out more about us. If you would like to receive free updates on articles like this by email, then sign up here or you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, check us out on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for visiting! Keep on learning!
Click here to enter my free $196 giveaway for a chance to win 5% of My Personal Finance Journey blog income and give another 5% to a charity of your choosing! Deadline to enter is January 31st, 2012.
In January of 2011, I wrote a post detailing some of my blogging goals, targets, and dreams for the year of 2011. When I did this, I also added a reminder on my Outlook calendar to track our progress pertaining to these goals each month.
I have been sort of bad in that while I have been tracking these goals offline, I have not published an update on my blog in several months (only so many hours in the day, right?!).
My goal for today’s post is to rectify this!
By tracking blogging goals, I am hoping that it provides us with more accountability and visibility to what we are doing and where we want to go with this community/blog.
This post marks the last wrap up of the 2011 year that I’ll do. From here, it’s on to sharing my financial, personal, and blogging goals for the 2012 year! Should be a fun time!
So, here goes! The blog goals for 2011 were as follows, with progress updates given in bold type, current as of the end of December, 2011.
- Obtain Alexa ranking of 200k or less. Dream goal = 100k. Complete. Currently, we are at around 74,000. We were cruising along pretty steadily at 110,000 in the middle of the year. However, we have since dropped due to some good visits as a result of the Tour de Personal Finance, some good search keyword positioning in Google, and the monthly 10% blog income give back.
- Read and interact with (comment) 5 partner blogs per day. Complete. Currently on track with around 25 comments per week. Around the October time frame, we switched from a daily commenting target to a weekly commenting target since we found ourselves commenting in rather unequal amounts on different days of the week. This seems to have worked better so far!
- Continue active participation as a proud Yakezie Personal Finance Blog Network member. Complete. On track. Have posted a total of 2,458 comments (up from 1,437 in July 2011) on the Yakezie Forums advising, learning, and interacting with others. Also, I have now coordinated 11-12 advertising campaigns, bringing in a total of >$5000 revenue (and counting!) to partner blogs and have hosted the 4th and 12th Yakezie Blog Swap. I also helped to screen part of the ~1049 essays submitted to the 2nd Yakezie Writing Contest.
- Publish 3-5 blog posts per week. Complete. On target for this average currently. I’m very proud that I’ve kept up the consistency! I think I’ve found my “comfort zone” in posting frequency with posting a maximum of one post per day Mon-Fri (with the exception of holidays). Having a break from posting on the weekends really gives me a chance to sit down with some quiet time and write good content! Towards the end of the year, the amount of guest posts I was receiving went down slightly, so I was probably averaging closer to 3 posts per week. So, if you’re interesting in doing a guest post for this site, click here to read how!
- Obtain 200 unique visitors per day average by end of 2011. Complete. Currently averaging 368 per day. Most of the increase in the number of average visitors per day was due to some luck with high-performing keywords in the Google search engines.
- Host all personal finance blog carnivals (Festival of Frugality, Best of Money, Tax Carnival, Carnival of Personal Finance, etc). Complete. Have hosted all blog carnivals that have allowed me! If any one out there needs a host in the future, just send me an email!
- Grow Carnival of Passive Investing to point where someone would be proud to host it. Complete. Have now had 13 editions of the carnival. Three were hosted by me, and the last ten were hosted by guest hosts. The top articles in 3 of the 13 editions (May, June, and October) were selected by three passive investing book authors – Larry Swedroe, Rick Ferri, and Jerry Tweddel. We were very honored to have their help! The January carnival will be hosted by Afford Anything, and passive investing author Mark Hebner (wrote Index Funds: The 12-Step Program for Active Investors) will be helping to select the top articles. Submit your passive investing posts by clicking here.
- My next moves for the Carnival are to a) continue getting passive investing authors involved, b) start reaching out to financial journalists (maybe from Kiplinger’s or Money Magazine, etc) and/or financial reports on TV, and c) continue filling up the 2012 hosting schedule to keep the carnival rippin’ and roarin’. We’ll see how it goes!
- Continue to spread word about benefits of passive investing over active investing. Get involved in BogleHeads forums as well. Not achieved. Need to do this more. I have done a good job organizing the Carnival of Passive Investing, but have neglected visiting the BogleHeads forums, even with my weekly recurring automatic Outlook reminder.
- Write and publish 1 guest post for another blog per month. Complete. On track with this goal. Have guest posted once this year on Free Money Finance, twice on InvestorJunkie.com (a review of Sharebuilder and a review of Vanguard), once on Yakezie.com, once on Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, guest posted a total of six times during the 2nd-6th + 12th Yakezie Blog Swaps, and submitted guest posts for review to Budgets are Sexy and Consumerism Commentary.
- Create an eBook on one of the following topics – a) Ways to be Frugal b) Investing Strategy c) Steps to Buying a Home. Not achieved. Have not yet started.
- Possibly transfer blog to WordPress hosting???? Not achieved. Ongoing. In October of 2011, I started playing around with building several self-hosted blogs using WordPress.org and HostGator. By doing this, I realized that WordPress self-hosted offers MUCH more functionality than Blogger (what I’m currently using). However, the restraint for me switching over 100% now is that I am limited in time. However, I’m going to keep my eye out for an opportunity when I can make this transition. Should be exciting!
- Create newsletter – “Intelligent Financiers Newsletter”. Started, but not completed/ongoing – I have the newsletter account open with MailChimp and have gotten several subscribers, but I have not had time to start producing monthly content on this. Need to do better.
- Two free giveaways / contests during 2011. Complete. Hosted MANY more than 2 giveaways in 2011 – a $25 Amazon gift card to the best cheapskate story, a $25 Wal-Mart gift card for the best passive investing article from the March 31st Carnival of Passive Investing, an H&R Block At Home giveaway of 5 tax software codes, 3 sets of 500 free business cards from Allbusinesscards.com, a free T-shirt from HeadlineShirts.net, and 3 – 10% blog income give back giveaways in October-December.
- Put together material to present to groups and or classes on personal finance. Complete – Taught a Wellness Class in December about regular financial habits that can reduce overall life stress. I had a great time and plan on trying to do more group meetings during 2012!
- Attend blogging, marketing, finance, or real estate classes at local community college or nearby conference locations. Partly achieved. Need to search for seminars. Found classes offered at local community college in blogging and marketing. Have not made any progress on this yet. However, I did join a local blogging group (called Cville SheBlogs), which does bring in a guest speaker once per month to educate members on various blogging subject matter.
- Submit blog posts to 5 blog carnivals each week to expose my blog to new audiences and build links. Complete. Have been doing well at this for the last 6 months or so of 2011. Hope to continue! Usually, I’ve been waiting until I have 5 new posts before submitting them to carnivals to maximize time efficiency.
- Successfully execute Tour de Personal Finance in July this year and each July in the future. For 2012, plan further ahead of time to gather more entries (max = 64) and get some sponsors involved. If get sponsors, donate 50% of the earnings of the event to a charity chosen by the yellow jersey winner of the event. Complete. The 2011 Tour de Personal Finance was successful beyond anything I could have hoped for. You can read all about the statistics, winners, event reflections, and goals for 2012 by clicking here to read the recap post. I plan to start getting ready for the 2012 event soon!
How about you all? What blogging/personal/professional goals did you set for 2011? Overall, how did you progress in achieving them?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
***Photo courtesy of http://www.dvq.com/main/4010icon.jpg