For 2022 we focused more on travel than anything else. That and my job. We’ll get into the details. But this year, we had six big trips and a couple of cool excursions.
It’s been a weird year for the main site. We wrote 78 articles this year, but the overall post count is 451.
Last year we had 437.
We removed several underperforming articles. I merged many articles from a site I bought and discussed last year.
These were the best of and top product articles that didn’t perform at all. Combined with the Google Product updates, they just plummeted in any rankings that they had. We’re talking if they were on page 4 or 5 in SERPs they moved to nowhere.
I took them off later in the year after one of the product updates. If we do these types, we’ll only do things on items we’ve purchased or know well.
The traffic is up over 2021, but in the year’s second half, the traffic started to plateau and even decrease from the second part of 2021.
There are a lot of crazy things going on with Google. But to be honest, we also didn’t add as much content like we said we would.
20 of the 78 new posts were added in a November challenge, and another 20 were added in June. We ordered more articles from the same place we usually do, but Jena had to edit quite a bit.
Note: after thinking that those didn’t do very well, I just analyzed them and noticed that they are doing fine for having just been published this June-July. Many of them are on page 2 and just need to be expanded and improved on.
Since we noticed that the slowdown of added content probably caused a lot of traffic slump, we’ll continue to order the content and hope to do about 25 a month. Jena will focus on heavily editing them and getting them on the site. We’ll also take a look at 3 or 6 month mark to see how they are performing. We just came up with this plan on our walk today so I’ll let you know how that goes.
During the November challenge, I also did five videos and 19 shorts for the YouTube channel. I didn’t get into the videos in 2022 as I had planned. I didn’t hire an editor like I thought I would. And those were the only videos I did for the channel all year.
Despite the weird traffic, the site averaged $6,000/month throughout the year. Stepping back, I’m super proud of creating something that’s so helpful to others and helps us out too.
Our email list grew to 1,015. Last year we were at 342. The automatic emails are still doing well. I set up an automatic sequence that goes out each Sunday throughout the year. Now that we have data, I can see which emails were popular and expand on those topics. I can also see which emails didn’t do anything and change them out with something better.
I want to grow our email list and prioritize it. We’ll add different forms on the site to see if we can grow it and start testing offers and more affiliate items. I sent out an email for this year’s Black Friday, and we made a few sales from it. That was the first time I’d seen a direct correlation between sending out a promotion and making an affiliate sale.
This was the only side project I worked on this year because
My day job took up a lot of mental space. For any project or job I have, I spend a lot of mental energy thinking about it or researching ways to improve. I’ve been working on not only researching but also implementing. Action over thoughts.
This year I built up a whole team. I hired three new people. This included a lot of training and review. I also gave a presentation at our retreat, which took a bit of research through data to see what’s working and what isn’t. We also launched a new podcast to help people on their journey. It takes a lot of thought to figure out the best way to run it. I still don’t have it figured out yet.
We did another work retreat in August. We planned our content and plans for the year. It’s always helpful to get together and see how the site it doing.
Sadly, I got covid right after getting back. No one else got it, so I have no idea how or where I got it, but it kicked my butt.
I think a lot of energy was put on personal. We had six trips this year. After feeling burned out last year, I wanted to find ways to reenergize and get back into it all. We started in January. We did a quick birthday weekend trip to St. Petersburg with my sister and mom.
Our next trip was to Seattle for Jena’s birthday. It was similar to our New York trip last year. I enjoyed it immensely. We got to go whale watching and got to have wine flight and appetizers at the top of the Space Needle.
Our next trip was a working vacation to Siesta Key in the summer. We wanted to see if we could be somewhere for a month working and exploring. I thought this was great, but it was HOT. We live in Florida and should know better. We went to Siesta Key from June 10 – July 9. We’ve since discussed being somewhere cooler if we do that again.
Starting in April, we began doing longer daily walks to prepare for a trip to Peru. We got to go to Macchu Pichu and the Amazon in September. We were there for 15 days, and it was great. Super big bucket list item that we got to do.
After that, we made a short trip to Austin to see the family and hang out in October, and then we just got back from a Virgin cruise.
We’d never done a cruise and thought one with no kids would be cool to try. We got to go ziplining for the first time, which was pretty awesome.
We did that many trips to make up for not being able to do much during the lockdown and to start traveling more.
We are slowly planning our trips for next year. We will probably do four or five trips this year. San Diego for my birthday is already planned. I’m looking to paraglide while we’re there.
I don’t think we’ll do another big trip like Peru, but we’re looking to go to Mexico and possibly a week in France. Plus we have a couple of family trips planned in the fall.
We’re planning more conservatively because ad revenue is projected to be lower next year. It’s also why we want to branch out into other revenue streams.
I’ll email our list and ask them what they want to see more of in the coming year so we can provide it. We’re also looking to create one or two courses to see if we can make it a stable revenue stream.
We’ve talked about not starting anything else because that’s more time taken away from the main site. It’s difficult not to run out and start something else because I’ve always had shiny object syndrome. I hope there’s enough to get into with our main site to keep me interested.
I want to continue to find ways to work on my projects and not in them. Trying to get better at delegating so I can focus on big picture items.
I also want to get out of my comfort zone a little more. I’ve been working remotely and have become more insulated over the years. I think that’s a mistake. You miss out on so much by being small like that.