2012 Year-End Blogging and Personal Goals Review and Progress Update

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Back in January of 2012, I laid out some personal goals for my life in general and blogging goals for My Personal Finance Journey for the 2012 year.

As I experienced in 2011, by tracking these goals periodically, it provides me with more accountability and visibility to what I am doing and where I want to go with this community/blog and in my life. As such, the purpose of this post is to review how I did in 2012 in reaching the aims I set out for myself. 

As far as life goes overall, the second half of 2012 was very successful in my opinion. However, because I was fairly swamped with finishing up my Master’s Thesis defense, serving as a Teacher’s Assistant, and trying to continue making progress in my Alzheimer’s research in general, I wasn’t able to spend quite as much time on my blog (and we’ll most likely see this reflected by a good number of Not on track status updates below). But, such is life I suppose, so I’m not too disappointed about it all! 

Nevertheless, here goes! An update on my progress in 2012 for my blogging and personal goals,with updates highlighted in bold text below.
  • Read and interact with (comment) 25 partner blogs per week.
    • Done.
  • Continue active participation as a proud Yakezie Personal Finance Blog Network member.
    • Done. I’ve been doing pretty well recently with interacting through the forums, although I could definitely improve here!
  • Publish 3-5 blog posts per week.
    • Done. With the help of the staff writers on MPFJ, I’ve been able to consistently post around 5 articles per week. A big thanks goes out to all of them for helping out during this busy time in my life (and in the coming year!).
  • Obtain 800 unique visitors per day average by end of 2012.
    • Not achieved. 
    • During 2012, my traffic has remained very steady at around 400 visitors per day, so it has not increased quite to the level that I was shooting for. However, this really is my fault. There are several things that I’ve been needing to do in order to build my site further, but just have not had the time to do them. Because of this, I will keep trying to fit these things in as time allows.
  • Host all personal finance blog carnivals (Festival of Frugality, Best of Money, Tax Carnival, Carnival of Personal Finance, Totally Money, Carnival of Retirement, Carnival of Financial Planning, Carnival of Passive Investing, etc).
    • Done.
  • Continue organizing Carnival of Passive Investing in 2012. Offer hosting of the 12 editions for 2012 to guest hosts. If you’re interested in hosting, October, November, and December 2012 are still open and in need of hosts! You can view the schedule by clicking here. Also for the Carnival in 2012, my goals are to a) continue getting passive investing authors involved and b) start reaching out to financial journalists (maybe from Kiplinger’s or Money Magazine, etc) and/or financial reporters on TV.
    • Done.
  • Continue to spread word about benefits of passive investing over active investing. Get involved in BogleHeads forums as well.
    • Not achieved. Need to participate more in BogleHeads forums.
  • Write 1 guest post for another blog per month to expand reach of my ideas.
    • Done.
    • I did really well at this the 1st half of the year, but ran a little short on time in the 2nd half.
  • Create an eBook on one of the following topics – a) Ways to be Frugal, b) Investing Strategy, c) Steps to Buying a Home, d) Getting out of Debt, or e) Financial Prioritization / Account Hierarchy.
    • On track! I started writing a book during Thanksgiving about 31 steps taken over the course of a month (1 per day) that a person can take to get their personal finances in order.
  • Possibly transfer blog to WordPress hosting. First, migrate Carnival of Passive Investing for practice before do My Personal Finance Journey.
    • Not achieved – Have not had time.
  • Create and publish monthly newsletter – “Intelligent Financiers Newsletter.”
    • Not achieved – Have not had time.
  • Attend blogging, marketing, finance, or real estate classes at local community college or nearby conference locations. Particularly, I would like to take a class or two to learn more about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
    • Done. Took a blogging class at a local community college back in October. It was really good actually! I learned a lot about marketing during the class.
    • I also recently attended a meeting of a local entrepreneurs group that was really interesting as well. I learned about some of the resources that the county government offers for free to local business owners.
  • Submit blog posts to 5 blog carnivals each week (or after generate 5 new un-submitted posts) to expose my blog to new audiences and build links.
    • Done.
  • Successfully execute Tour de Personal Finance in July this year. 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 and also offer prizes for top place entries and jersey winners.
    • Done.
  • Do Easy Like Sunday Morning Roundup and Recap 1X per month minimum.
    • Done.
  • Improve social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. Establish a more regular M-F posting schedule for those outlets.
    • On track.
  • Feature one Cheapskate Jake Frugal Ramblin’ per month.
    • Not achieved – Have not had time. 
  • Run 10% Blog Income Give Back Project each month. Continue teaming up with local charities to build relationships. Try to get other sites interested in doing something similar and also begin to look for sponsors for 1-2 of the giveaways.
    • Done
  • Start and grow personal finance group speaking service. Generate ideas for speaking topics. Offer to local community first and build from there. Create page promoting service on My Personal Finance Journey.
    • Not achieved – Have not had time. However, I did teach one class on personal finance topics for college students which was fun!  
  • Continue to try to find other ways to help people with their finances away from the blogosphere. One thing I’ve applied to do is become a volunteer credit counselor with Credit Education.org. However, I have not heard back from them, even after submitting my application multiple times. Another option I could pursue is offering general advice on finances from a life coach perspective – lifestyle, frugality/money saving tips, life values and dreams, etc. You have to be very careful in making it clear to not offer advice on specific financial instruments since you must have the correct certifications for that (which I do not have). This might be hard for me to resist delving in to the specifics, but it could be fun! I would definitely need to learn more about the legal aspects first though.
    • Not achieved – Have not had time. 
  • Start building smaller sites – one about blogging tips, finance from a scientific perspective, running, and my family’s genealogy as time allows (this is a lower priority goal).
    • Not achieved – Have not had time. 
  • Network with other bloggers, with a particular focus on physically meeting them to build relationships. The bloggers I have met in person so far are really interesting people!
    • Done. 
  • Incorporate affiliate resources in to posts where relevant.
    • On track. I was fairly surprised how long/difficult it was for some of the affiliate programs to actually approve me. What I was finding was that most of the programs that center around products I actually would use were either 1) not offering affiliate programs or 2) not approving me. Because of this, I had to manually email the affiliate program managers to move the process along.
    • So far, I have inserted affiliate links in to appropriate past posts on my site, but I need to work more on adding product resource lists pages, etc. There is definitely more work to be done here!
  • Negotiate advertising deals for other sites.
    • Not achieved fully – Although I did a few throughout the year, I didn’t have as much time to actively pursue this as I would have liked. 

In addition, my personal goals for 2012 that I set were as follows:

  • Get to bed at midnight and wake up earlier, instead of staying up until 2 am working on various projects.
    • Done. 
  • Take 1 day off per week (Saturday or Sunday) completely from doing work on my blog or from my graduate research job to keep my mind feeling more “fresh.”
    • Done.
  • Become better at following the Getting Things Done email/workflow management system to focus my time and energy on high value projects first and avoid distractions. 
    • Done. 
  • Run a full marathon.
    • Cancelled – During January and February, I started ramping up my running training, but I soon realized that my body simply wasn’t meant to run 17+ miles at a time.
    • However, I’ve been really good in the past few months at bike riding more with a local riding group. 
  • Hike more with the Charlottesville Hiking Group.
    • Done. 
  • Read one personal finance book per month.
    • Done. 
  • Learn how to build a group speaking business.
    • On track – I’ve learned enough for now, but the hurdle now is to find time enough to execute on the things I’ve learned. 

Looking over the progress I’ve made on the goals listed above, I would say that I am satisfied (but not extremely ecstatic!) with how I’ve done in reaching the goals relating to blogging. These are ambitious goals, and would likely be more appropriate for me to achieve in full if I was blogging full time. However, they continue to the great things for me to strive towards as time allows, so I’m not too worried! 🙂

    How about you all? How did you progress on your blogging/personal/professional goals you set for yourself in 2012? 

    Share your experiences by commenting below!

      ***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/meddygarnet/2224691808/sizes/l/in/photostream/


      1. I'd say you did a pretty good job! With that many goals you can't get them all done! Best of luck in 2013!
        My recent post Get Rid of That Paper Clutter! NeatReceipts Scanner Review

      2. I'd say you did a pretty good job! With that many goals you can't get them all done! Best of luck in 2013!
        My recent post Get Rid of That Paper Clutter! NeatReceipts Scanner Review

      3. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

        It looks like overall you did very well! Like Lance said, I think you'd be hard pressed to find the time to accomplish them all but I think you did very well. We did ok on our goals for last year and hope to be even more effective this year.
        My recent post Why I Don’t Believe in New Year’s Resolutions

      4. Woah, you had a HUGE list of goals! And a pretty good hit rate.

        I've applied to a couple affiliate programmes, but like you, haven't had much success – my accounts have been pending approval forever.
        My recent post Summer, how I adore thee (though not the associated costs)

      5. CordeliaCallsIt says:

        Holy schmoley, man! And I thought *I* was a glutton for to-do lists!

        You've got an incredible list of things to aim for, and a very admirable success rate. My PF will only continue to grow with solid plans and dedication (and a whole lotta hustle) like that.

        Personally, your list has inspired me to work more on my own concrete blogging goals, especially establishing a more regular social media posting schedule and trying to be more active in guest posting/interacting on other blogs. Here's to a fabulous 2013 for the both of us!
        My recent post Link Love 1/4/13

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