Hello my dear readers! For those who don’t know I decided that I wanted to chronicle my experience of starting a blog. The intent is so others can learn what it takes to start a blog, learn from my mistakes throughout the process, and to hopefully provide some humor and enjoyment to your day. If you want to learn how to start a blog, I created a tutorial on how to do so through Bluehost.
I’ve decided these weekly updates will be posted once a week (most likely Saturday) and will consist of 5 categories.
- Blog posts that I published
- Personal Accomplishments
- Extra Income I earned
- Goals I accomplished during the week
- Goals for Next Week
I know this will be very similar to my monthly income reports, but I think having weekly and monthly goals are going to help me stay focused and break my bigger goals down into smaller ones. This should help me in accomplishing my monthly goals, but also allow me to celebrate additional small successes that may happen throughout each week.
In regards to the extra income I will earn from surveys and mystery shopping, I think I am going to put this money into a vacation fund. This is because I accepted a really amazing promotion at work this week and my husband and I will be able to pay down debt with this extra income. Once my vacation fund is full, I will put all extra income from surveys and mystery shopping towards paying down debt. But I see these being rather small amounts for the immediate future, so for now I think this is a good idea. If these amounts increase I will probably allocate these funds elsewhere so I will keep you posted.
So this is the end of week 3 of the life of my beloved blog. I am very excited to share my accomplishments from this week. They are rather small, but they are progress and I am very happy with any progress I can make!
I am very proud to stay I stuck with my content schedule and posted 3 blog professional posts this week. You can check them out here:
My posts are not at the level of quality that I want, but honestly the design and formatting of my blog is turning out to be the hardest part for me and this may be something I have to put some money in to in the upcoming future. For now though my focus is to build our emergency fund back up, pay down our debt, and have money for upcoming vacations. So….. I am going to have to work out all of this budgeting eventually. I’m not worried though, I am determined and therefore I will make it happen!
I have thoroughly enjoyed this week! I was offered and accepted a promotion at my work which I have been hoping to get for about 7 months. I am beyond excited as this is going to mean big things for my career, and for my husband and I’s finances! I also had an interview for an internship with a wedding coordinating company so I will let you know how that goes! I’m not sure if I want to add something new to my plate right now, but I still like to keep my options open.
I joined a weight loss challenge group at my work and I lost 3.8 pounds! I wasn’t even trying so I’m wondering if this was a fluke, but I will take it and try harder this week. I’ve already purchased a produce box from my work. I discovered that my work also contributes 50% to certain wellness goals so I am going to be looking into a gym membership with group cardio classes because that is how I lost 46 pounds before I met my husband. I don’t view this as a waste of money but an investment in my physical health, future, and life.
I read 3 books this week, and am working on two more. For those of you who don’t know, I am an avid bookworm and love being able to spend time devouring books. Goodreads is one of my favorite sites and I could spend hours in a library or bookstore and never get bored. I also listen to audio books on my way to and from work so I am able to read more books.
My husband and I started working on our first puzzle together this week. I think it’s going to take us forever because he picked this 1000 piece puzzle of a train and all the pieces look the same. Our cat Pirate Jo is having a fun time batting the pieces around the table and knocking them to the floor so that makes it a little more difficult but it’s really adorable. I’ll take a picture once it’s completed, as long our cat hasn’t knocked all the pieces around and hidden them from us.
I finally purchased a planner! The concierge in my office building recommended MomAgenda to me. Now while I am not a mother, they have planners for non-moms too and I felt like it was a perfect fit for my needs. I have been using this like crazy and it’s helping me get a lot done!
Lastly, I spent about 4 hours making a tentative debt repayment schedule and I am very excited I did! If my calculations are correct and nothing changes in our lives, my husband and I could be debt free by November of 2021. That is 5 1/2 years! Now I know this seems like a long time, but keep in mind this would mean we paid off over $135,000 of debt and interest! All of a sudden I realized I don’t have to be paying on my student loans for the rest of my life. This could really happen!!!!!!
I have been stepping up my hustling game this week and I plan to continue to improve this in future weeks. If you would like some ideas on how you can start earning extra income, check out my recommendations page.
Surveys: I cashed out my first payment from American Consumer Opinion. My first check should come in about 6-8 weeks and will be for $10.15! This first check is small, but I really wanted to see my first payment from doing these surveys to help me stay motivated. My current goal is to be making $20 each month from surveys.
Mystery Shopping: I made $7 from completing two mystery shops this week. I think my income from this will increase in future weeks as I notice that once I completed some shops more opportunities became available to me. My best advice if you want to be a mystery shopper though, is that these shops aren’t the eating out, online shopping, fun ones you think of. Instead, I have been doing a lot of shops having to do with cars. But I enjoy it and it’s a fun way for me to make extra money so I’m okay with it for now. My current goal is to be making $50 each month from doing this.
This Week’s Goals:
(I decided that each week I will set 10 small goals for my blog. All of them should be helping me reach my bigger goals that I set each month.)
- Create email on bluehost – I did this! So I have an awesome email with my own domain name attached!!!! I didn’t even know you could do this so I am very proud.
- Change email on mailchimp – my emails haven’t been going out as planned to my subscribers so I updated my email to the one with my domain name and now it seems better so I am very happy.
- Combine blog experience posts – I have decided against this for now, because I don’t have many posts yet. Once I build some more posts I will combine these into 2 weekly update posts instead.
- Post “How to Start a Blog Page”- I preserved and posted this on one of my pages. It’s not perfect yet, but I figure if I wait until everything is perfect I would never post anything.
- Fix spacing issues in all posts- My current solution for this is to just play with spacing in a Microsoft Word document. This will be my solution until I figure out how to improve in WordPress itself.
- Crop 2nd photo on April Income Report- I used Picmonkey to crop this photo and updated this in this post. Now I just need to figure out how to make them less blurry and bigger.
- Add and link Facebook & Instagram accounts- I have successfully created a Facebook Page for my blog and I added the Facebook button. The problem with Instagram is that I have no space on my phone to add the Instagram app. So…this may have to be done at a later time.
- Create disclaimer section- I wrote a disclaimer section up, but I want to put in the footer of my blog. I need to figure out how to do this first.
- Create content list- I finally found a way to plan my upcoming blog posts that works for me. I simply used a calendar template in Microsoft Word and typed the title of the blog post I would like to publish on my selected days. I’ll let you know how this works for me.
- Have 1 weeks’ worth of content laid out ahead of schedule – I guess this goes along with #9 but my intention was to have a week’s worth of posts written and only requiring updates, editing, and pictures. I was able to write a beginning draft for each of the posts I have planned for next week, so I am proud!
In review, I accomplished all 10 of these goals and I am very proud! I definitely think having a planner, staying focused, and staying determined helped me do this.
Next Week’s Goals:
(I am shortening next week’s goals as my husband is graduating from college and we will be celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary!!!)
- Publish 3 posts
- Find 1 new affiliate partner through shareasale.
- Join 5 group Pinterest boards
- Fix one design issue on my blog (I want this to be my spacing and formatting issues in my posts)
- Gain 10 followers on Twitter
- Have 10 people like my blog’s Facebook page
- Earn $20 in extra income
I have had so much fun this week working on this blog! I love seeing how much my outlook on life has improved over the past three weeks, and how many opportunities I am starting to see appear. I am excited for the future of this blog as I continue to make improvements and share with you.