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How to Assess Your Blog Goals Like a Business Even Though It’s a Hobby

Third Quarter Blogging Assessment

When you assess blog goals even if blogging is your hobby, you may find that you accomplished more, not just in blogging, but in life.

Assess blog goals


I signed up for two classes with two professional bloggers, Chris Brogan and Jon Morrow to get more serious about blogging.  Mark Brinker, a web developer, cut to the chase with me. He made a video for me to show me some things that are wrong with my blog, and with me as a professional blogger.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate sales have not been an easy way to make money for me. How many of you click on someone’s link to go to buy a product they recommend? I’m guessing not many.

I love Grammarly, in spite of the little errors it makes from time to time, but I made no sales. The same is true of Amazon. I have not made any money with either of them. I don’t write additional articles and don’t set up pages with items to buy, like a catalog. I’m not sure Amazon even encourages affiliates to do that anymore.

I also don’t need a platform for my books. I don’t have enough time to finish them. So at the end of the third quarter of 2017, I’m ending my monetization experiment. I won’t undo any of the links, but I will remove the advertising widgets and replace them with something more productive.

If my blog does produce an income somewhere in the future, that’s great. After expenses, I have several projects I’d love to support with my blog.

Assess blog goals


I offer a journal for free and another for sale. One other blogger I know sends out a free journal each month. Journalling improves life and blogging, and if I can encourage and help you, I’d love to help you.


The third way bloggers make money from their blogs is to provide services. Two services that I’ve done this year are

  • Copywriting
    • I’m doing some guest blogging. That is a lot of fun. I’m looking for guest bloggers on my site as well.
  • Social Media Marketing 
    • I’m still training students to work as virtual assistants for some of the nonprofits I manage. I enjoy doing this. If anyone wants to hire me to help them with social media, I’d be happy to help. Rates vary.


That goal bombed 100%. I did not devote one minute to achieving it.

GOAL #3 GET OUT A WEEKLY NEWSLETTER USING MailChimp – Not this quarter

I’ve been too busy getting out newsletters for other people to create one for myself.


Assess blog goals

Webb Bridge, a footbridge over the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia

Between three bloggers, we took thousands of great photos, each of which might become a blog post. Nothing could have been more amazing than to visit two bloggers, Leanne Cole and Carol Sheritt across the continent and spend three lovely weeks touring that fantastic continent.  That said, I have not been able to write twelve posts this quarter.


According to my records, I have 70 posts about blogging that I’ve written in the past year. As bloggers, you and I run into lots of problems, and when I spend time researching them, I pass on my information to you. Your feedback rewards me and I enjoy improving all of our skills.


I’ve published about 60 book reviews including some of yours. Currently, Kevin Cooper is writing a series on writing reviews that are great! I review both indie and traditionally published books excluding horror.


Twitter followers rose from 852 on Dec. 31, to 1,625 on March 31 to 2,289 on June 23, and on October 16 there are 2,576 followers. The more important result is that I enjoy using Twitter more than I did a year ago.  When I finish reading an excellent post, Twitter is the first place I share. What is your favorite way to support your favorite bloggers?


Assess blog goals

This yellow ad was my promotion.

Somehow, I forgot to set new goals in social media. I made it to 430 by the end of September when I attended a webinar and decided to try Kim Walsh-Phillips’ technique for gaining 10,000 Likes in three days. for about $100.  It worked, but again I had some misunderstandings with Facebook and the price of their ads, so I went over and spent approximately $120. I ended the campaign with 14,417 Likes. At any rate, I’m down to 14,388 on October 16, 2017. I’m still adding followers as well, but the net is a loss of about 30 in two weeks.


It’s fun to post pictures on Instagram which go to Twitter and FB automatically. Instagram went from 221 to 282. I am following 589 up from 517 and have  444 posts up from 362.


Google + lost a follower and is at 256. Does anyone do well with Google+? Good on ya if you do. That is one goal that I’m dropping.


Assess blog goals

The astounding results on Facebook showed up on both of my blogs. My original blog is at 17,418. The actual number of visitors has stayed about the same. I try to post about once a week on this blog, and twice a week on Always Write.


Assess blog goals

Always Write increased to 18,204 thanks to Facebook last quarter. Colleen Cheesbro told me about Bitmoji In September, and I’ve gone a little Bitmoji crazy, but it makes blogging more fun. Not only that, I can picture myself looking like that slim little cartoon sort-of-me. Today I learned how to add wrinkles. They look better on her than on me.

Google Analytic (GA) also measures statistics.

This quarter I ignored GA. So I’m dropping it for the last quarter.

I also set additional somewhat measurable goals for this site in April.

  • Fix comment section – “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill unless you want to blog seriously. I charge $125 an hour and use Studio Press. If you change themes, you won’t have that problem.” Mark Brinker. Good to know, Mark.


I’m going to continue the Virtual Assistant program this year through the Key Club, the Kiwanis high school program.


Always Write’s year of experimenting is almost over.  Even though I love blogging, I doubt that I have the heart to make money doing it. On Friday I will share about blogging at Career Day at the high school. When I signed up, I was excited about a career in blogging; now I may be a professional blogging fraud. However, two days ago the counselor for the high school told me that they were considering having all students blog their final portfolio instead of collecting their important academic work in a binder. WOW! Sometimes I think I may have made a tiny an impact in my community.

Last quarter I did one successful podcast and one flop. I made friends with many influencers in the blogging and writing industries which encouraged and discouraged me. Also last quarter, I wrote one guest post for Sally Cronin and one for Colleen Cheesbro.

My copywriting and marketing skills have improved, but it takes a lot longer to write a post than it did a year ago. That said, I’ve loved guest posting, and I want to do more of that this year.

Canva makes my creative juices flow, and I love creating flyers, brochures, and illustrations for posts. This year I’ve hardly used my camera, but rely on my iPhone, which is much easier to carry and works well for blogging.

I’ve started doing newsletters for my church and Woodlake Botanical Garden. Two weeks ago the mayor approached me and complained that I hadn’t been writing about the positive things the city had done for the Garden.

Wow! He may not like them, but the mayor of Woodlake reads my newsletters! That’s not a colossal brag. Woodlake is a small town. But it’s my town, and I’m thrilled to have influence.

All in all, it’s been a great quarter. How has yours been? Attach links to your assessments in the comment section. Or just leave me a message. Tell me how you’re doing.

6 replies »

  1. Lol Marsha, when we finally get to do the podcast, we’d probably need 6 hours to gab 🙂 🙂 But in response to your reply, of course I don’t have time to interact with all my followers, but if they leave me comments, they will always be responded to. Also, It’s not only about putting out books and hoping to gain readers who will take a chance on buying them. My blog is an important place where people get to know my personality, as you did, and find value in what I share. If they like the way I communicate and inform they are more apt to have interest in my books. I should think that at least half of my book audience stemmed from following my blog and it grows from there. It’s important to give readers lots of good info and entertainment so that when I do mention my books they don’t feel bombarded with being sold to, but instead have interest in my work. It’s a delicate balance but it’s working. And finally, I got road blocked with my book, crossing fingers to get it off to the editor this weekend! We have to have goals, but sometimes we have to work around them. 🙂 🙂


  2. Wonderful post! And yes, it is a lot of work. You can lose yourself in trying to gain followers and neglect what is truly important, at least for me, which is writing. We have to create a balance. Sharing!


    • I’ve lost that balance, not in gaining followers, but all the other work I do. I don’t take time to write at all anymore. I write my blogs, guest posts and keep up on social media. I definitely need to devote myself to getting published again. Thanks for the kind words both here and on FB, Vashti! 🙂


  3. Lots of work Marsha. It’s an ongoing job. I’m on all social sites and to tell the truth, I don’t look for followers or try that hard because I don’t have the time. I throw my posts up on all my sites and they always get engagement. Admittedly, I’ve followed a handful myself on Twitter, but mostly all my followers followed me first and I decide who I follow back. Miraculously I have over 11K followers LOL so they must like what I put out. But I’ll say that I spend most of my social site time on Twitter and FB with most interaction. I have too much else to to to worry about gathering followers. I build it, I give out good info, and I always respond to comments everywhere. I think that says a lot for keeping a following. 🙂


    • You do work hard, Deb. And your numbers show it. You have a gregarious personality. I will never forget the friendly wave you sent after we became Twitter friends. You send a very personable message, and you kept following up. I’m sure you don’t do as much for all of your 11,000 followers that you have done for me. There’s no way you would have that much time! Though, clearly you do follow through with many, many people.

      I think it makes a huge difference that you have spent your time focused on writing your books. That is your product. If people like your books and find them helpful, you gain followers. Or if you blog with a purpose to serve others, and people see the value in that, you gain followers.

      Most of my time goes offline, divided among diverse nonprofits. Many of those members are friends on Facebook, but honestly, many of my friends are not active on any social media. When I talked to the city manager and his next in command the other day and told them I’d been banned from FB. Both of them smiled and said, “Really? I don’t have a Facebook account, or don’t do Facebook.”

      I wasn’t shocked. Young working people with families in small communities like Woodlake interact face to face. They’re farmers and field workers. Many speak mostly Spanish. Out of 7,000 people, the largest Woodlake Facebook group has about 1,900 members. Woodlake Chamber now has nearly 700 and Kiwanis nearly 200. The district Kiwanis organization for the neighboring 2 counties doesn’t have a Facebook page, but they’ve been working on it for three years now.

      WBG has over 300 now. I reach over 2,000 when I share my photo-laden nonprofit Woodlake posts 11 times, which is still only 1/3 of the population, only many of them are not Woodlake.

      The same is true of the state and regional social studies organizations. We’ve hovered around 200 social studies teachers on our FB page. Trust me there are far more teachers than that, and many of these are from around the state.

      So all that trickles down to my own personal social media activity, I think. I think for next year, I need to finish up and publish the three or four books I’ve got lounging around in my computer. If people like them, then I will have added more value.

      But community work is rewarding and I am heavily invested here in the Central Valley of California. And I can’t do everything.

      Blogging has been a great experiment, and I stuck to blogging on and off for over five years and made some fabulous friends.

      Like you, I respond to comments that I get on all the media, and have gotten very involved in some of their lives, even though it’s at a long distance.

      I actually like what I’m doing. I have plenty of followers to keep me more than busy – even without the promotion of FB.

      Gosh you are great at getting me going answering back! Have a great day, Deb. Get your book done so we can do an interview!





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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