February 2017 Travel Blog Income Report – All I Do Is Win
My wife and I are huge Miami Hurricanes fans. While we no longer live in Miami, we’re fortunate enough to live smack dab in the middle of ACC country here in Charlotte. Over the years, we’ve traveled to watch our beloved Canes play at UVA, Va Tech, Wake Forest, Duke, Chapel Hill, Clemson, and Georgia Tech.
Before each game, the home team rocks their sound system with DJ Khaled’s All I Do Is Win. Although, they all cut out the last verse of the song where Snoop Dog raps: “Don’t mess with us. We’re like The U in the 80s.”
While I understand their reasoning – no team wants to acknowledge their opponent’s success – I can’t help but to think there is a deeper meaning to this minute form of censorship.
The Hurricanes won with a swagger and panache that earned them a bad boy reputation. It’s the reason why they’re called The U. The on-field taunting and end zone dances The U was most known for have since been banned from college sports in an effort not to hurt the feelings of the losing team. Apparently, celebrating success has become taboo.
In fact, I argue that the stigma against winning on the field has since bled over into other areas of society. We snub our noses at businesses that grow beyond our neighborhood location, quit listening to bands who “sell out,” and protest the very presidency of the person who beat our candidate – he is a celebrity, after all.
Self-consciously, I believe that we sell ourselves short in our own personal and professional development. We’re afraid to win because winning has become bad. Our minds block our ability to be successful. I know I fell guilty of this fallacy until recently – when I actually started to win.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan to be a Johnny Manziel. But, I’m FINALLY starting to get some traction with my freelance and blogging career, and damn does it feel good. And no, I’m not going to apologize for a little deserved bragging.
Even though there’s nothing wrong with losing, it doesn’t mean there must be something wrong with winning. We shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed when we lose. However, neither should we accept losing. Instead, losing should motivate us to do better, to take the steps so that we too can perform silly end zone dances.
I may only be two-thirds of the way through the first quarter – my first 12 week year – but so far, it looks like I’m killing it income report-wise. However, I did have quite a few obstacles to stumble over and learn from. The year hasn’t exactly been what I call easy. I’ve been sick twice (food poisoning and a cold), Deacon has had almost weekly trips to the doctor for both allergies and a pesky ear infection, and both Shannan and Deacon had surgery the same week.
All of those events take up valuable working hours. And remember, I’m not full time. I’m still a part time stay-at-home-dad. So, if don’t make the most of my allotted working hours, then I’m not making progress towards my goals and I won’t be able to win. I found myself working more in the evenings and on weekends to make up for the weekday interruptions.
On the positive note for February (besides the awesome goals report you’re about to read), I did have a little fun along the way, which you can see in the pictures. I went on a three-day beercation press trip to Carlsbad, California and had a cool night experiencing the Ritz Carlton Charlotte’s culinary program behind the scenes with the Charlotte Food Bloggers. I also went on a fun pub-crawl with the team from Catawba Brewing as they introduced their new brewery to the market.
Make enough money to afford fulltime daycare for Deacon.
Of the three goals that I set for my 12-Week Year, I’m most excelling at my income goal. As of the end of February, I’ve earned 54% of my income goal and booked 96% of the goal – that’s contracts in hand and not speculation. I’d have to say that’s pretty damn good…
Even more important than hitting income goals, you’ll notice that I’m starting to diversify my income source distribution away from just Freelance Writing with the occasional dolla-dolla bills deposited under the Affiliate category. February saw the addition of Coaching / Consulting to the mix as I took on a social media consulting client. My income source distribution will continue to diversity as the Products category begins to grow in the coming months.
This is all thanks to following the 12 Week Year plan to a tee. Weekly, I measure my lead and lag indicators, keeping on top of pitches sent for new business and course development steps.
I’m excited to announce that my e-course, 15 Steps to Sponsored Blog Travel, will launch April 15. In anticipation, I’m currently offering a pre-sale at 30% off enrollment. Peep the details on my course page!
Hit 10,000 views a month in blog traffic.
Blog traffic is where I begin to fall off my goals a bit. February took a nose-dive in comparison to January, falling by over 2k hits. This is due to several factors.
- February is always a rough traffic month for me as you can see in the graph – I’m not using that as an excuse, but a seasonality factor that I have to consider for next year. How can I drive traffic in my slowest month?
- I didn’t hit my posting goals – My lead indicator is to post twice a week. Thus, I should have published eight posts in February but only published five. Part of this is because I spent a lot of time on other lead indicators, trying to establish myself as more of an authority in my space of craft beer and food travel. I re-wrote my Start Here and Work with Me pages and finished editing my Craft Beer Travel Resources page. I also streamlined my menu and added a few widgets to my sidebar to continue with efforts to establish myself as a credible expert. That’s a lot for someone who balances blogging and freelance writing with part time stay-at-home-dad. My lesson learned is I don’t have enough time for posting along with the number of other goals I’ve set to help boost traffic. Going into my second 12-week year, I plan to consider my available time more.
- I stopped using long pins on Pinterest – While I was still using Pinterest optimized pins, I wasn’t using long pins. Out of laziness and lack of time, I was using Canva pin templates, which aren’t as long as the pinnable images I previously used. My traffic from Pinterest fell from my second largest referrer to outside the top five. For the past two weeks, I switched back to long pins. Already, Pinterest has moved back to my second largest referral source beyond Google search traffic.
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Finish Draft One of What Lies at Home Book Two
This is where I’m most losing. I have been terrible about getting up early to work on my novel. The reason is too many late nights working on paying projects and a lack of energy from being sick. It’s been too easy to push snooze.
I’m not accepting losing though. I plan to make adjustments to my goals next quarter, factoring in allocated time into my overall planning. I’m also going to start taking Vitamin C to hopefully ward off some of the germs Deacon brings home from the petri dish called daycare.
Where are you winning right now?