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Monthly Goals: August 2017

Monthly Goals: August 2017 | CosmosMariners.com

I can't say I'm sorry to see July head out the door. I'd heard about the blogging summer slump, but hadn't ever been in a position to see it in action (2014: I was just starting to get the blog going; 2015: the blog was having growing pains; and 2016: I quit the blog for the entire summer).

However, I am here to say that it is a real thing. And it is AWFUL. I had my worst month of the entire year in July despite doing exactly what I do every other month: writing consistently published blog posts, reworking old posts, and sharing both like crazy on my social media channels.


You know what they say about insanity? It's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

And this basically sums up how I feel about blogging sometimes. The real irony in the entire situation is that sometimes all of that repetition does garner some amazing results...but not in June and July, apparently.

Add to those depressing blogging results the worst bout of stomach flu that I've had in years, and that should give you an idea of how this past month went. I then gave the sickness to my daughter, my mom, my dad, my sister, and my brother-in-law. We were all so sick that we still haven't had my husband's birthday get together which was originally planned for 3 weeks ago.

So, that's enough whining for a few weeks. Onto the monthly goals!

July's Goals: A Recap



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Finalize plans for my Puerto Rico trip in September. I'm counting this as a win even though I still don't have solid plans on where we're staying for the first 2 nights and the last 2 nights. However, I HAVE gotten all of the details worked out for the race my husband is running, our hotel in Old San Juan is booked, I've paid for our plane tickets, and I've arranged a snorkeling tour. And I bought a GoPro. So, clearly I have the most important things finalized.

Now, to make sure we're not homeless those 4 nights at the beginning and end of our trip, rent a car, and get trip insurance (since we're going in the middle of hurricane season. #Livingontheedge)

Write at least 8 postsI had to look back to see how many posts I did manage to publish, and I'm stunned: I wrote NINE posts. I really thought I'd had a slow month on the blog, but the joke's on me, I guess. Yay for surprises!

Hit 14K on my Instagram account. Oh, I tried so hard. But then, I forgot about Instagram for a good week when I was in the midst of a truly horrendous stomach flu. So, I'm currently clocking in at 13.2K, which is good, but not nearly close enough to call this one a win.

Create new pins for at least 10 old posts. I updated 15 old posts, so I am definitely claiming this goal for July, even though I didn't make brand new pins for all of those.

Grow my Twitter audience to 13.5K followers. Poor Twitter fell by the wayside as well during BarfFest 2017, too, so I didn't get to do any Twitter chats for half of July. I did manage to stick to a posting schedule, thanks to my social media automation (via RecurPost, which I love. And, no, I'm not an affiliate!). I did manage to grow my account by almost 900 followers, so yay for small victories!

Figure out potential press trips for this fall. I've gotten a press spot at WTM London, but I'm still debating on whether to go since it's a lot of money, and I'd have to do some caretaking gymnastics to make sure my kids are taken care of while I'm gone (I'm their primary caregiver, and only 1 of the 4 grandparents is retired, so it's the Natalie show all of the time around here!). However, WTM London would be an amazing opportunity to get my brand in front of literally thousands of PR companies and CVBs, so it's super tempting to just buy the plane ticket.

Other than that, I'm working on getting a family trip to the North Carolina mountains together which is always fun.




August's Goals: Looking Forward


Monetize the last 15 of my 30 top performing posts. In January, I made a list of my top 30 most visited posts and started adding in my Booking.com and Amazon.com affiliates where appropriate. Just doing that for those 15 best posts has given me another $150-200 each month in affiliate commission, so I'm hoping that rounding out that set of top 30 posts will give my bottom line another boost.

After all more money = more travel!

Hit 14K on my Instagram account. The third time WILL be the charm. If I do this enough times in a row, I'm sure to hit it eventually. Right?!

Plan out ALL posts for August, and stick to my editorial schedule. Between parenting 2 small kids, freelance writing, and blogging, I barely have time to breathe most days, much less think deeply about what I want to write about. I've done editorial schedules in the past, and they are incredibly helpful: I tend to write posts ahead of time instead of last minute, and they keep me motivated to write about my past trips in a timely manner.

Contribute to at least 3 blog collaborations. These are great ways to build quality links while also getting my brand out there for a new audience AND helping out a fellow blogger with content. If you have a blogger collaboration that you're putting together that needs some travel blogger perspective, let me know!

And in related news: I have a best AirBnB collab post that I'm putting together currently, so if you want to contribute a section, let me know.

Grow my Twitter account to 12.5K. Time to ramp up the Twitter love! If you've got any suggestions on how to best grow Twitter, let me know. I'm still learning and trying out new things as I try my best to settle into the Twitter universe.

What are you planning for August? Do you have any blog goals you're trying to accomplish?

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Monthly Goals: August 2017 | CosmosMariners.com

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