January Review: Blogging, Goals and the Reality of Life

The end of January... Thank goodness it's over. The month started out as a red hot flame and ended as an ember, but this was because exhaustion from a family health crisis, having my daughter return to college, pushing myself on both the day job and writing front, and the general winter blahs. Sounds like a long list of items that are downers, but in reality I actually got a lot accomplished this month. I moved forward on some goals and others need to be rescheduled. But isn't that why goals should be semi-fluid? So that we can adjust as necessary without losing momentum? In case you didn't catch my goals for The first few months of 2012, you can find them here, but for now, I'll post January's goals below and discuss what worked and didn't.

I. January - Prework: Print out SD and edit for content changes in prep for BIAW. In all fairness, I was so pumped going into January that I had this done before BIAW came along. It also completed my first writing goal for the month. I purposely picked something that was a short, doable goal so that it would give me the determination to go forward positively. And it worked, but I'm still editing because I want to have just the right amount of emotion packed into such a short story.

Writing Goals:
A. Complete 500 words needed to meet goal on SD and edit. I already commented on this above, but truly, there is something to be said for setting an easier goal to give yourself motivation to move forward. Too many times people set unreasonable goals and then get discouraged when they can't accomplish them.
B. Query online presses that acquire Novellas. I didn't do any actual querying because I don't consider it complete, but I did do a lot of researching into venues that I thought would be a good fit for the story. Now, when I'm ready to query the info will be at the ready.
C. Participate in BIAW. I participated, sort of. But I'm not afraid to say that my level of participation this month sucked. For a multitude of reasons I couldn't wrap my head around any new projects and in the end decided to work on the editing of my novella. Did I fail? No, I just changed my goal to suit the situation.

Promotion Goals:
A. Blog once weekly. I think I got all but the last week on this goal and I can justify that by saying that some weeks there was more than one post. I also found that by promoting my posts through Savvy Authors and on Network Blogs I increased the traffic to my blog. I'll give you the stats on that at the end of the post.
B. Write 1 article. Since I was on a blogging roll I decided that the best place to put my article on 10 Things I learned from Hosting on my Blog.
C. Put out a call for Guest Blogs. As you probably guessed from my link above I did have a foray into guest blogging. My friend and fellow author Diane Amos was a willing participant and let me test the waters on her with a fantastic post about her trip to publication. Since then, I've put my blog on the roll call at Savvy Authors and put the word out that I'm actively looking for authors to visit. I even approached a new author about her upcoming release. Stay tuned for that. I'd say I aced this goal.

Business Goals:
A. National Dues: Silly me, they weren't due this month. It's next month. So this gets slid to February's goals.
B. Maine RWA Dues: Paid. Done.
C. Organize Tax Papers and get info off old drive: This isn't done yet, but only because the old computer is in bad, bad shape. I'm just raising more money so I can get this information from it.

So, all in all, I consider January to have been a success. I promised the statistics from my blog as tracked by Google Analytics: Totals do not include September to December of last year as I found that the tracking was off for those months.
Total Visits:    2011=63           January, 2012=114
Unique Visits: 2011=40           January, 2012=98
Page Views:    2011=86           January, 2012=244
Bounce Rate: 2011=82.54%   January, 2012=65.96%
New Visits:     2011=60.32%   January, 2012=66.67%
Most would think these are paltry results, but if you compare it with the entire calculations for the previous year then I would say that these are a successful work-in-progress. There was so much more that I gleaned from tracking the progress and analyzing my blog and how I work with it as a professional tool that I haven't added here. I'm saving that for later. But for now, I'm okay with what I have as a foundation to build upon.

So, this leads me to February's goals:
II. February - Prework: Rework list of scenes for OH and list 10 ideas for articles

Writing Goals:
A. Finish Word Count for OH, adding required pages to meet goal.
B. Edit OH (this will be a continuing goal in conjunction with final edits on SD)
C. Edit Query Letter and find 3 outlets for book

Promotion Goals:
A. Blog once a week
B. Write 1 article and find 3 outlets for other articles
C. Host 1 Guest on blog

Business Goals:
A. Track Daily Progress and word count
B. Update Tax information
C. Track blog and sales information in database
D. Take 1 online class
E. Pay RWA Membership

You will see that many of these have repeated and some are updated. Either way, I've got a workable list to focus on for February. I'll let you know how it all progresses.
How did your goals for January fare?


Diane said...

The goals for the first half of the month were a bust, but the last half of the month improved significately! I hope I'm on a roll.

Meredith L. said...

Congratulations on your goals, even if you had to make adjustments along the way!

Nina Pierce said...

You've set some lofty goals for yourself. I can't even begin to tell you what an epic fail my 2012 goals have been already and we're only done with January. *sigh* Here's hoping I do better in Feb! Good luck to you, Teagan.

Teagan Oliver said...

Thanks to everyone, I always start pretty good out of the gate. It's keeping the momentum going that's hard. By making it monthly and keeping an eye on them I hope to keep it going for the year. We shall see.

Nina, January 1 is just a date. The goals can start whenever you're ready for them. You've got a lot on your plate. I know that you'll find your way. :)

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