Three months of 2021 are behind us which means I’m three months into spending 40+ hours a week building my website and creating a blogging business. Let’s do a first quarter goal review and talk about how it’s going.
In January, my husband and I made the decision for me to stop looking for fulltime work and instead invest my time in growing Mitten Girl into a full fledged business.
The dream of blogging full time has been in my head for a few years, ever since I found out (1) it’s a completely viable source of income and (2) zeroed in on what exactly I wanted to blog about. I had always imagined working full time as I built up the blog, but finding myself unemployed in 2020 opened up the option of jumping straight into this adventure and not looking back.
Blogging Business Goals
I’m big on setting annual, personal goals and outlining the steps to achieve them. But creating a business means creating goals specific to that journey, and those have definitely been a work in progress as I learn more and more about the business of blogging.
Since goals are adjustable, I’ve been reviewing my business ones each month to make sure they’re continuing to make sense with my new pursuit. To help me focus better, I’ve shifted my goals into themes for each quarter of the year.
My first quarter goals for 2021 were all about building a foundation. Here’s what I accomplished:
- Filed LLC paperwork with the State of Michigan, got an EIN number from the IRS, and opened a business bank account for Mitten Girl. I’m officially a solopreneur!
- Took a 7 week food photography and styling course.
- Started a 90 day food blogger business mastermind course.
- Had the mittengirl.com website moved to new servers, with a new theme. The server move makes the website faster and allows me to use better technology to run it. The new theme provides a fresh design and layout that’s easier to navigate, including more easily searchable recipe pages.
- Implemented recipe cards on all of my recipes so they’re easier to print, share, and scale to larger portions.
- Made 30 “how to” videos for 15 cocktail recipes. (Each recipe needs to be shot twice in both vertical and horizontal formats.) You can watch those videos alongside the recipe in a cocktail post.
- Published 16 new recipes.
- Re-photographed 12 recipes currently up on the site.
- Grew my email list by 30%.
I'm Going to Need Some Help
How do those Beatles lyrics go? “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
The love and support I’ve felt over these past many months of employment uncertainty can not be understated. Friends and family have bought my book, tested my recipes, proofed my resume, sent job openings, dropped off treats, sent Starbucks, and mailed us goodies for our kiddo. We are so deeply grateful.
If you’re wondering what supporting a new, digital business looks like, here are some no cost ways you can support me that will play a big role in my success:
- Share on social. When you share a Mitten Girl Facebook or Instagram post or recipe, especially with a small comment as to why you like it, more people visit my site and follow my posts. I can literally look at the analytics on my website and see the spikes in visitors when someone shares a recipe on social media. We are ALL influencers on social media.
- Rate and review my recipes. If you’ve tried one of my recipes, post a review and give it a star rating! At the bottom of every recipe post is a comment box and star rating option. Google search results prioritizes recipes and websites that have comments and reviews.
- Help me spread the word! It’s who you know that matters, right? I get hired to host virtual happy hours because someone told an event organizer about me. I sell Homemade Happy Hour books because people tell others about it or gift the book to their cocktail drinking friends and family. Word of mouth is still a very powerful and real tool for a small business.
What Comes Next
Q2’s goals are all about digging into the technical side of blogging. Making sure my website is as fast as it can be; learning all about the nuances of SEO (search engine optimization); doing keyword research. I’ll also be exploring potential revenue streams through affiliate and client partnerships.
Diversifying income seems to be a key to blogging success. I’m working through what this looks like for me and trying to be very strategic about where I place my energy. Hosting virtual happy hours and food photography services are at the top of the list. I LOVE doing both. My Homemade Happy Hour book is another area of focus for me. I will be spending a lot of time working on that in Q3 of this year.
Goodbye Comfort Zone
The comfort zone is called that for a reason. But to make big changes, I have to leave it behind. At this point, I’m not just stepping outside my comfort zone. I’ve left it so far behind me that it’s hard to see it. Doing the big, scary things that excite you is something we don’t always have the ability to embrace. So I’m going at this new pursuit with all I have.
Thanks for following along! I’ll be back in a three months to catch you up on Q2. Until then, join my mailing list and I’ll send you some delicious recipes!
xo - Katy
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