2009 is now about 45 days old, so I thought I would put together a brief checkup on where I stand with my goals for 2009. To be brutally honest, I’m not doing that well.
Some of the early struggles have been influenced by outside events, and some is attributable to my just plain being lazy. For those who have been following for a while, you may remember that my mom suffered a life-threatening aneurysm and stroke last fall. She had a setback recently and is currently hospitalized. When things like that happen it makes tracking blogging income seem trivial, but in some ways it motivates me even more so that I can be there to help my mom when she needs it. That is what family is about, and that’s why I am thankful I started blogging when I did.
Goal One: Downsizing Our Home
We’ve decided to sit tight on this one, despite my desire to lessen the mortgage payment and cull some of our stuff. We are considering a way to accomplish both without moving by refinancing with a little money down, and having a massive spring cleaning over the next few weeks.
Whether or not we refinance depends on a number of factors including my mom’s health (we live very close now, and would be reluctant to move if she needs our help, long-term), our local economy (the money we would use to refi might be better off stashed away in our emergency fund), and things like school zoning and a few other minor considerations.
We will probably stay put through this summer and reevaluate this goal later in the year. However, we still plan to get rid of some of the stuff occupying our space and cluttering our lives. I’ve come to really enjoy giving things away and having yard sales, something I’m told terrifies a scrabooking wife with a small fortune invested over the years in various supplies! It’s okay honey, I promise not to toss anything scrapbook-related if you promise not to mess with my unsightly collection of scrap wood. After all, some things are simply “off limits!”
Goal Two: Wake Up At 4:30AM
Remember the part where I blamed laziness for failure to accomplish some of these major 2009 goals? This would be that goal. For a while I was consistently getting up around 4:30-5:00am. But over time my bedtime slid further back, the alarm clock seemed to ring earlier and earlier, and my bed felt cozier on these cold winter mornings.
I’ve been a night-owl my whole life – staying up late to finish a movie, or work on side hustles, or read a good book that I can’t put down. I seem to function better staying up later than I do getting up earlier, assuming the amount of sleep is the same.
So perhaps my new goal should read, “Go To Bed At 1:00am.” Sounds kind of strange, doesn’t it? The point is that I need a few hours of quiet house to write, and I can either do it late at night or early in the morning. I think I’ll stick with burning midnight oil for now, but maybe this summer I’ll try to switch back so I can workout in the morning and get in a little writing, too.
Goal Three: Double Blogging Goals From 2008
Of the three goals, this is probably the one I’ve made the most progress with, thanks in large part to all of you! I still have some work to do on the income side, but subscribers and traffic stats are increasing steadily.
Attract 7,000 subscribers: With close to 5,800 subscribers (depending on which day you visit), I’ve already added close to 1,000 subscribers this year. Of course, that pace will slow, but it is a good start.
Receive 250,000 page views per month: I finished the last couple months of 2008 averaging 125k page views per month. FrugalDad.com broke 150k page views in January (151,242 to be exact), and is on pace to come close to 150k in this short month of February.
Earn 100% of my regular, full-time earnings from blogging: Earnings were up slightly from 50% to 56% of my full-time income, so still plenty of work left to do here if I ever want to become a problogger.
I started a second blog, SideHustleBlogging.com, in an effort to diversify my earnings from blogs, and I received my first payment for an offline freelance article published in Acreage magazine. The article appears in this month’s edition, and is titled 25 Ways to Save Money in 2009. Hopefully this will lead to additional freelance opportunities, so I can diversify my side hustle earnings from writing in general, not just blogging.
I’m blessed to have this safety net from blogging, and hope that sharing some of my success along the way will encourage you to find your own side hustle. If I lost my full-time job for some reason, we could eat on my blogging earnings, but not much else at this point. Unfortunately, there are some folks out there that are looking for their next meal. I am reminded to be thankful that I do have a full-time job and a part time gig that pays relatively well.