August / September 2017 Personal Goals & Review
Every month I review how I did during my last month and plan out my focus for the next month. This is a follow-up to my previous post, July / August 2017 Personal Goals & Review. Since I do these goal posts monthly, there you might want to read them all by checking out the betterment category.
Review: August 2017
For August, I set the following goal:
By September 1, 2017, I will have created and received feedback on a draft of an interactive blog post on early retirement and financial independence that will be a piece of cornerstone content for this blog. The post will be both an introduction to the topic, and a pitch for its benefit to the reader.
This has been a tremendous experiment for me but has been a ton of fun. Rather than spending time on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest to draw up traffic, I’ve been spending it creating the above content and getting feedback from those in the FI community. The result (as of today) is an interactive article that I am extremely proud of that has interviews with 10 people in the personal finance community.
I’ve sent over 30 emails to bloggers I respect cold-asking them to give interviews for this post – and a surprising number actually agreed! I also posted in the Rockstar Finance Forum to get feedback on this post – which was tremendously helpful.
The post I’m working on is somewhat ambitious, and asking for feedback on the title helped clarify a good name. It started as “The Definitive (Interactive) Guide to Early Retirement and Financial Independence” but due to feedback switched to “An Interactive Guide to Early Retirement and Financial Independence”. I can see why too – “definitive” has a connotation that you don’t need any other knowledge to accomplish the task, and the FI community is filled with growth mindset people – which would never be true. This feedback was useful – and when the post is released on Labor Day I’m much more confident in the name for it now.
- + Create the draft of the above post – Have a finished copy awaiting publishing!
- + Reach out to at least 4 people for interviews in this post. 4 was a low number here. A more effective number might’ve been 50.
- + Reach out and receive feedback from at least 10 people on the interactive post. I created a Google Survey for people who read the post and a bunch of people were nice enough to provide feedback. This helped with things from naming to pacing to photo captions. As a new blogger, this feedback loop was extremely useful.
- + Continue to post 3x a week. – With 11 posts in August, I did hit this goal.
- + Write at least 1 short post (<500 words) each week. – This was possibly the most useful thing I did this month. Not every post needs to be an in-depth editorial to complete a thought. Thinking of small quick help posts to connect with people. My post on Our 7 Rules of Travel Spending was a quick write but was shared the most of any post.
- <> Post on Twitter/Facebook once every day. I finally got into a good cadence of this, where I’m not worried about it as much. This happened by using Buffer, with a daily post. Now, I can use the Buffer Chrome plugin to identify something I find interesting and add it to my queue. I don’t have to pick a specific date – but instead, can focus on having it go out at the next date I have nothing scheduled for. I didn’t do this every day though, but the main reason was we were on vacation and the internet in the hotel room was $12/day and I couldn’t justify it.
- <> Reply to every comment, tweet, and email about Minafi. I replied to every comment on Minafi, but not to every social engagement. I favorited everything but didn’t show the full appreciation in the form of a response that I could have.
Unfortunately, my non-Minafi goals for the month weren’t handled quite as completely…
- – Clear out all remaining unclutter items – I have these items in a room upstairs ready to give away.
- + Continue MWF workout schedule while in Orlando – Success! I think I missed about 1 day here this month (when I wasn’t traveling)
- + Work out when traveling at least once every 3 days. – I’m writing this now from Proper Brewing in Salt Lake City (which has a great tea-based Belgian Dubbel). Today I hiked 8 miles to a lake, which I’d consider to be a success on this one. I didn’t CrossFit while traveling, but the amount of walking (and sore feet) tend to make up for it.
- – Take everything in the attic down. I didn’t do this one at all. I want to clear everything up there out but it didn’t happen this month.
Goal-wise, August was an awesome month! I hit on the big things — the big Minafi post, keeping momentum, and staying fit-ish. 14 days of the month I was traveling for, which shook things up some too. The two trips were an extended weekend to St. Petersburg, FL and 10 days in Salt Lake City where my employer (Pluralsight) is based.
Salt Lake City is a great place. I’ve been here on 5 work trips now, and have come to love the city. As an Athiest, loving a “Mormon” city might seem a bit odd, but there’s a lot to love here! The city itself has the lowest average age of any major city in the US – primarily driven by the college and proximity to the mountains and other athletic things close by. I’ve spent my off time here wandering around and on an 8-mile long mountain hike to a lake – which took about 4 hours for a Florida person like me.
August was all about creating a new piece of core content for Minafi that I could be proud of. September will be about sharing this and other forms of content.
By October 1, 2017, I will have an understanding of which services offer me the most value worth paying for with the intention of growing an audience.
September is all about promotion. I want to try out more paid services with the intention of growing page views, and followers and trying out Pinterest. There’s a discrepancy between the time available to do these myself and paying to do them. I’ve been reluctant to pay for most services, but September will be “try out different services” month. It helps to be launching something on Labor day that I’m extremely proud of which makes promotion more confident for me. Here are some of my goals for September.
- Try out services or tactics to promote traffic for:
- Launch my interactive post!
- Continue posting 3x a week.
- Try creating a time each day I write new posts. I’m going to try this early in the morning for a few days as well.
- Do a better job at integrating email sign-ups – I’m currently doing this, but not sending out any emails.
- Send out bi-weekly emails – I don’t have a notable number of subscribers, so I haven’t wanted to send out emails. In September I want to send out 2 emails and develop a strategy for this.
- Continue going to the gym 3x a week.
What are your goals for the month? How did you do on your goals from July?