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Monthly Goals: May 2017

Monthly Goals: May 2017 | CosmosMariners.com

April was one of the hardest months I've had in recent memory. As I mentioned in my April goals post, I was already struggling with the parenthood-freelance writing-blogging balance, and I didn't see how I was going to add anything else to the mix.

Well, of course, my husband and I decided that adding something to the mix was exactly what we had to do. After Easter, my father-in-law came to stay with us for two weeks to help us with our biggest house project to date: removing stumps and grading as much of our 7.5 acre property as we could in 14 days.


When you rent a piece of equipment like the excavator, you pay by the hour, so literally every minute that the thing runs costs us money. We wanted to make sure we were getting our dollars and cents worth, so Landon and my father-in-law have been working from sun up to sun down 7 days a week to maximize our rental time.

Monthly Goals: May 2017 | CosmosMariners.com
Landon takes our daughter Britton into the cab for a quick look at the excavator. Note the mess that our yard is: it's one of those situations where it has to get worse before it gets better!
Normally, Landon comes home from work, we eat dinner, then he does the bath-and-bed routine for our two kids while I sit down to start my blogging and freelance work for the night. Because he's been working until the last rays of light have left the sky, I've been doing it all since the second week in April: grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, nighttime kid routine, trip planning, freelance writing, blogging, and more.

Yes, I'd Like a Little Cheese with that Whine

On top of all of that, Britton was out of school for almost two weeks, so I had both kids 24 hours a day. Also, this month, Britton decided to cut about 8 inches of her hair off while I was feeding Gibson, barf up avocado toast in the car on the way to get her haircut fixed, and generally act as if she's possessed. Gibson, on the other hand, has decided to start the Low Level Whine™ whenever he's feeling neglected, which is (around his sister) most of the time.

Monthly Goals: May 2017 | CosmosMariners.com
At Britton's 3K Easter program
I typically feel as if there aren't enough hours in the day to do what I want to do, but that was multiplied this month by a thousand. I've been more stressed this month and gotten less work done on my blog and freelance writing than I have in many, many months. We're about to leave on a trip out West in just a few days, and I've done the bare minimum of planning because I just haven't had any extra time to sit down and plot out more than the basics.

May is still going to be busy since we're going on that road trip, and I have another press trip after Memorial Day, but I certainly hope May is a more enjoyable sort of busy. I can't say I'm sad to see April in the rear view mirror.

April's Goal: A Recap

Beat last month's income. Despite how little I devoted to the blog compared to previous months, I didn't do terribly on the income. I'm coming in just under a $100 less than what I made last month--while I didn't beat March's earnings, I'm delighted that I'm well on the way to paying for our Puerto Rico trip later this year.

Reach out to at least two CVBs/brands for future press trips. I did work out an upcoming press trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte, North Carolina, which I'm super excited about. I'm going up with both kids, so this will be my first solo venture since Gibson was born last year. I'm counting that as a win since I barely had time to answer most of my emails this month, much less pitch and plan elaborate press trips!

Finish monetizing my top 30 most viewed posts. Big fail here. While I did update 2 old posts, neither of them were on the most viewed posts list. Every month that goes by without that list being monetized makes me feel as if I'm leaving money on the table, but I've barely had time to sleep this month, so I can't beat myself up too much.

Get back into the habit of commenting on other blogs. I think I managed a total of about 3 comments all month. I tried to stay up a few times to comment on other blogs, but I was so tired I couldn't figure out what I was reading. I opted to say nothing instead of leaving gibberish on my fellow bloggers' posts!

Grow the new Instagram Inspiration series. Initially, this was supposed to be a weekly series, but that just didn't happen, so I've backed it down to a biweekly series, which was more doable this month. Plus, I didn't want to oversaturate my readers with the same sort of content all of the time! I'm still looking for contributors for upcoming weeks, so read about the series here and submit your photos in this spreadsheet.

May's Goals: Looking Forward

Write 8 blog posts. I have SO much content that's been sitting around waiting to be posted, and I just have to get it on this blog. There are a few hotel reviews, another giveaway, an honest look at travel blogging with little kids, a guest post from one of my favorite travel bloggers, and a post on how much studying abroad still affects me. Stay tuned!

Hit 65,000 MPV. I don't know about anyone else's analytics, but mine do not grow in any sort of linear pattern. This year, I've been having my best pageviews yet (yay!), but they yo-yo up and down as if they're 6 bars deep into an 8 stop bar crawl. Perhaps some of it is seasonal, perhaps some of it has to do with the amount of time I can (or can't) put into the blog each month, but the analytics numbers drive me crazier than they probably should.

Actually enjoy our family road trip. We'll be driving from Las Vegas to Denver over the course of 2 weeks, and I'm going to get to see SO many things that have been on my bucket list since I was a kid. Despite the stress of April, I need to leave all of that behind and just stay in the moment while we're gone. Plus, I'm working with some incredible partners and hotels along the way, which I hope will give us some truly remarkable family memories!

Hit 13K on my Instagram. Oh, my poor Instagram account. If it hadn't been for some forethought on my part to plan out most of my month's posts early in April, I don't think I would've posted once. Because I haven't messed with it much, the account has crept along in growth. I'm hoping to get some great snaps while on our Western U.S. road trip, which will stoke my excitement for Instagram once more!


How was your April? What goals do you have for May?

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Monthly Goals: May 2017 | CosmosMariners.com


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