Why I am not setting New Years Resolutions this year

new years resolutions, goals, new years goals, 2018 goals, 2018 resolutions,

I love the New Year, I always have. For a girl who spent most of her life looking through rose-colored glasses while meeting goals, there is nothing better than the new year. A new year brings a beginning, another challenge, a brand-new planner, and usually a new journal (since I had filled the others up). I would also tend to set several resolutions or goals at the beginning of the year, fully intending to see them through.

It usually lasted about a week.

This year looked absolutely nothing how I thought it would. A year ago today I was sitting in our house in Grinnell, probably reading books with Tristan and answering text messages from work because they called me constantly. Now we are back in Missouri; 3 moves, a new family member, and one ill-fated RV idea later. I work from home and am seeing excellent progress being made towards my goal of being able to be a full-time blogger, which has been my dream since before the creation of this blog.

It’s time to pause, to reflect. It’s a lot to reflect on.

So in the spirit of personal growth, I will be doing things a little differently this year. I’ve been mulling over ideas, and have been discussing them with Peter. The biggest thing we have been talking about is the difference between setting a resolution vs a goal.

Peter never sets New Year’s Resolutions, but always accomplishes his goals. I always thought the terms “resolution” and “goal” were interchangeable until I married him. Even after marrying him, I still set resolutions that I believed were goals. So for clarity’s sake, some vocabulary:

(From Webster’s Dictionary online):

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something.

Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. 

Peter explained it to me this way: Resolutions are things you say would be nice to accomplish. Goals are roadmaps to a desired outcome. One is a wish, the other is a map.

I like resolutions, and I like goals. The thing is, I’m very good at getting excited by something and throwing everything else to the wind, including previously set goals or resolutions. Most things that I wanted to do last year I didn’t accomplish, except for our family vacation and having our second child.

So this year, our goals for the year are very simple. We have a few family goals (2 vacations to specific places and a move to our dream neighborhood later in the year), financial goals (we are back to being debt-free after we sold the RV and now we just want to build up our savings again), and my blogging goals.

On social media recently I’ve alluded to some changes I’ll be making here on the blog. One of those changes is to return the blog to its original purpose. For that purpose, I have created a mission statement. This mission statement will be the filter I use when deciding what types of things to write about and promote:

CrunchyHippieLife.com is where readers learn how to live a healthier, natural, and environmentally-responsible lifestyle on a budget. 

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this change. I’ve felt a little all-over-the-place when it came to the blog. I knew it had lost its purpose, and I’m so pumped to refocus.

I’m especially excited to get back to the frugal finances aspect, and help you all save money. I created a list of 25 ways to save money in 2018, available as a free download. It’s not your average “use coupons at the grocery store” list either. This is 25 legitimate “tough love” actions we have taken to cut our expenses down. These ideas are sure to save you hundreds each month!

Related: How to Make (not just save) Money using Ebates

Since I’ve learned so much about blogging, I started a new page on my top menu “Make Money Blogging.” I want  to protect the blog from blogging about blogging (a common joke among bloggers is that the only ones who make money are those who blog about blogging), but I also want to share my resources. I wrote a 10-page mini ebook about everything I’ve learned in the 12+ years I’ve been a blogger. This ebook covers multiple topics related to a profitable blog, and includes my resources that have helped me become successful. It is also available for a free download, because I want to share this knowledge with you.

As far as learning about blogging goes, I was able recently to invest some blogging profits into the popular Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, and am working through that now. It is so full of actionable information, I am very excited to be learning from a blogger who makes over $100,000 per month from her blog. She is very knowledgable and makes it so easy to understand. It will take me a while to go through all my old posts and get them “Pinterest-ready,” but it will definitely be worth it.

I have also committed to posting monthly blogging income reports, both for accountability purposes and to measure my progress. My first one was written last month about how I made over $650 on Black Friday, and I am excited to start working on December’s in the next few days.

If there are things (within the mission statement) that you would be interested in reading about, please leave me a comment and let me know!

Thank you so much for being a reader this year, I look forward to growing with you all in 2018!

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How I Made $674.88 on Black Friday: November 2017 Blog Income Report

Everything I do to make money affiliate marketing, how to maximize affiliate marketing,how to make money blogging

Have you read blog income reports before? The super amazing inspirational ones where top bloggers lay out exactly how they make over $100,000 per month? Yeah, I love those. I try to read 1-2 a week. They are so inspiring!

Why I like affiliate marketing

I’ve done several direct sales in my day. We still love and use and share essential oils and my beloved salad bar capsules, but I find my sharing is more authentic (for me) when I’m not trying to reach a new rank.

Affiliate marketing is different. With affiliate marketing, I post links to things I love, and when purchases are made through those links, the companies pay me a small percentage. The way I see it, you’re going to buy diapers and cold medicine anyway, I just share links to them and make it easier for you. I don’t have to tell you they work. You won’t ask to see studies. It’s less pressure on all of us – and it doesn’t cost you anything! Win-win, amIright?

I’m still a small blog, but since I’m now working on increasing my Pinterest presence and am determined to get a firm handle on this crazy opportunity they call “affiliate marketing,” I thought I would share my results from my first month truly applying everything I’ve been learning.

The Blogging Aspect

First off, while you can make money from Pinterest alone with affiliate marketing, to make money blogging, one needs to first start with a blog. I have my favorite resources listed for starting a blog and where to go to host on my resource page.

About Black Friday

It is absolutely no secret how much I love my Instant Pot. I firmly believe everyone needs to own at least one (I’m still trying to talk Peter into getting me an 8qt as well so I can make big cheesecakes, but kitchen space is limited so he wins. For now).

In the week leading up to Black Friday, I wrote my post about why I love my Instant Pot. I shared it on Pinterest and it got a few repins. For me, any engagement over 5 is a big deal, and this one is at 146 at the time of this writing.

Since all the deals go live on Thanksgiving now instead of Black Friday, I wrote a round-up of my favorite Black Friday deals and how to use Ebates to save an extra $10+ off your purchase. When I got word that the 6qt DUO (the model I have) dropped in price, I re-worked the numbers, edited my post, and shared my strategy with the Instant Pot community.

I had over 100 people sign up, and of those, 39 made their purchase through my Ebates link, which gave them each a $10 bonus rebate.

I shared my link on several threads, on posts where people were asking for help finding the best deal. I saw a huge spike in traffic every time I posted “here’s how to get one for less than $40!” This seemed to work well, and it wasn’t just spamming people with affiliate links.

As the stores started selling out, I shared my Facebook page link and letting people know I would be watching all  weekend and posting every link for Instant Pots and accessories still in stock. I got over 130 new followers, and a few new blog subscribers!

Throughout my blog posts and on my Facebook page, I used Amazon affiliate links.

Here’s the breakdown of my Black Friday earnings:

Ebates

Ebates has an incredibly generous referral program (more on that later this week). $470

Amazon

$171.46

Flexoffers

This is an affiliate program that has several of my favorite stores on it, including Kohls and Groupon. $4.01

Google Adsense

This is set up through Google, and they currently run most of the ads on my site. $23.56

ShopStyleCollective

This program is amazing because it makes sharing links so incredibly easy! Plus, it pays per click as well as per sale. $5.85

Grand total: $674.88!

I definitely lucked out with my first month seriously making money from my blog was also during Black Friday. However, I am very excited to continue learning and growing this into a steady income! I’ll be posting income reports each month as a way to keep myself accountable, as well as hopefully answer the questions I’ve been getting recently on how to actually make money blogging. This will not become a blog about blogging, but these income reports will point to the best resources I find along my journey!

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