As my schedule becomes busier and busier, I find that writing out my thoughts each month would be a great way to keep up with my work and goals. Posting it on my blog will keep me held accountable for what I do, and maybe my goals and plans can help you too.

 

“The Monthly Update” will be a brand new blog series occurring once a month on the first of the month. Since this idea occurred to me in the last 24 hours, May’s monthly update is a little further into the month. However, the month isn’t over. So, it’s time to set some goals and make some concrete plans!

Freelance Work

Something I won’t talk about on this blog is how much I make. However, I do think it’s important to talk about what I do to make money, because I never know who might stumble into freelancing like I did.

 

In 2015, I opened an Upwork account, and for a whole year I made nothing. Starting in 2016, I worked on my personal brand, social media marketability, and gained my first few clients.

 

Since then, I’ve landed a Freelance Copy Editor position with Book in a Box, and I’m also looking for ways to expand my freelance work. Here’s some ideas I’m working on:

  • Website Content Writing – Being a blogger and having written all of my own website content since six years ago, I have extensive knowledge on how website content should be written. It’s a niche I haven’t really explored, but I want to.
  • Building Wordpress Sites – I am constantly asked who built my website, how I did my graphics, etc… That’s when it occurred to me I could make some cash off of my expertise with Wordpress. I’m in the works with talking to my first client. I actually really enjoy building websites and making them pop.
  • Manuscript Writing – I’m hoping to fill an open position at Book in a Box as a freelance Writer. I’d be able to write and copy edit (two of my favorite things), while making a stable income.

So, why am I telling you this? Again, this post is a way for me to sort out my thoughts and my objectives. The month of May has, so far, been a great month but chaotic. There’s so many different things on my plate, it’s hard to keep track of them all.

 

These three new freelance niche ideas are something I can fall back on in the future if I need help financially, and if you’re a fellow writer, maybe those three niches are something you’d be interested in too.

Ecourses

This is a new area of expertise I’m currently developing. I’m extremely excited to learn everything I can about building ecourses and sharing them. My ecourses probably won’t be specific to travel writing. However, they will still be all about writing. Writing is my passion. Travel is the perk.

  • Mastering Modern Storytelling Ecourse – This will be my very first ecourse, and if you’re interested in it, you can sign up here. This course will dive into digital content writing on the different platforms available today, such as Wordpress, social media, ebooks, etc… I will go in-depth on the elements of a great modern story and how to apply those elements to, say, a blog post.

Learning the ropes to designing an ecourse has, so far, been a lot of fun. I’m still working on the content, but pretty soon (hopefully within the next month) I can look into hosting sites for the course.

Projects

The project I am most excited about to finally be working on this month is Project Untitled. If you haven’t heard anything about it, you can get more information here.

 

The magazine will launch September 1st, though this date is very tentative. Submissions are due on August 18th, but I need a lot to make this magazine happen.

  • Graphics – I currently use Canva to design all of my graphics. I used to create them on Pages and then screenshot them, but Canva has a lot more to offer for free. The graphics for the magazine’s promotional campaign are taking the most work. I’m having to do a lot of research on what colors work best, and I have to exercise using my creative eye more often to get the best results.
  • Email List – Getting a list of subscribers is, perhaps, the most essential part of the promotional campaign. This magazine is meant to be read. So, I need readers. If you haven’t already signed up, you can do so here.
  • Content – The amount of marketing I’m having to do is crazy. I’m barely getting any submissions, so far, though I did just launch it a couple nights ago. I’m hoping to have at least five submissions by the beginning of June.
  • A Name – At the top of my priority list is a name for the magazine. “Project Untitled” is simply a placeholder until something genuine comes around.

The magazine also isn’t travel writing related, but I firmly believe it’s a good idea to have your hands in more than just your niche. It’s fun researching new topics and getting involved on new projects that aren’t the norm.

The Jinapher

My blog is slowly, slowly growing, but I am doing my best to not get discouraged. For the month of May, I would really love to get five new subscribers to my blog’s email list, which is here. Growing my email list is essential. Plus, I send a bunch of free goodies to my subscribers that I don’t offer to anyone else.

  • Blog Series – I currently have two on-going blog series, The Monthly Update (you’re reading it) & Road to Becoming a Travel Writer (read the first post here). Not sure how The Monthly Update will go, since this is the first post. However, RBTW has been going really well. It’s recieved a good amount of readers, but I’m hoping to establish a little more engagement, such as shares and comments.
  • Travel Entries – These are my absolute favorite things to write, because I get to dive into my fiction writing skills. It’s enjoyable sharing my travel stories, such as this one where I drink rock water. I plan on continuing this series for a long time.

It’s not a whole lot, but it’s much more than I had going on a month ago. I’m really proud of my blog and the direction it’s going. It has taken a lot of time and effort to build it up. Next month, I’ll have some new goals, but for now, I just want to focus on making my content the best it can be.

Social Media

ALL of my readers come from social media. So, it’s very important that I keep my accounts updated and uphold my brand to the highest standards. I have individual goals for each of my accounts.

  • Instagram – This is my most followed social media network with 1,622 followers. My goal for May is to get my follower count to 1,800 and accumulate about 200 likes on each photo I post.
  • Twitter – I’m trying really hard to build up my twitter, because I know it’s the best way to get in touch with other writer. Currently, I sit at 1,392 followers, and I sometimes get a retweet or favorite. I’d really like to boost my engagement and get my followers to 1,500 by the end of the month.
  • Pinterest – This platform is something I’m new to, and I’m having to do a lot of research on how to get my brand noticed on Pinterest. I really enjoy pinning, and I get the most reads on my posts from people of Pinterest, but I’m having trouble gaining followers. Currently, I sit at 65 followers. I would love to get to, at least, 80 followers by the end of the month.

Though I do have a Facebook page, it’s mostly used to update my friends and family. It’s rare that I actually get new readers from it. If your curious about any of my social networks, click on the associated logo below.

Travel Plans

My niche for my blog is travel writing. So, naturally, travel should be on this list. What are my upcoming travel plans? what stories can you look forward to?

  • Swimming at Devil’s Den – In April, I swam with the Devil at Devil’s Den. I can’t wait to write about the experience. You can look forward to this post very soon – like, probably next week.
  • Goodbye, Orlando – My lease in Orlando, FL ends on June 19th. I’ll be moving back home for a month, but before that, I want to write a special post about everything this city has offered to me in the last two years. I’ll go into detail on my favorite, hole-in-the-wall locations, thrift shops, and parks. I’ll be publishing this at the end of May, considering I’ll be busy packing up my apartment in the beginning of June.

There are more locations I’ll be visiting, but I’m leaving that for next month’s update (: So, be sure to come back!

Time to Wrap It Up...

I do believe I touched base on everything running through my head right now. I’m sure once I post this, I will remember something I forgot. So, keep an eye out for updates.

 

Also, I know this post may not be as helpful as my others, but I sincerely hope that you’ll use this post as an opportunity to give me feedback on The Jinapher and everything else. If you have ideas or comments, just leave them below. I’m always interested in what you have to say about the blog.

Always,Jinapher J. Hoffman