Summer Production Challenge

As many of my faithful readers know, I love me a good challenge. PB at Economically humble sent me an invite to his 9 week summer challenge. Since he participated in my beginning blogger challenge, I assume he knows I have a hard time turning down a challenge. He must have known I would not be able to turn it down. More importantly, it was great timing. I was losing my ability to produce a lot of posts every week and this might be just what I need to push myself. I highly encourage you to do the same and reap the benefits of pushing yourself this summer. Here’s the top 9 things I want to accomplish this summer.

  1. Refocus My Blogging Interests – Recently I have come to realize that I have over-extended myself. I am not sure if you know this, but I own 5 blogs by myself and 4 co-owned blogs. I was writing material for all five by myself and 3 of the four co-owned. Talk about a nightmare. I had a large queue that was keeping me in the game, but it eventually caught up with me when I took a great vacation. I’d like to re-focus and prioritize my blogging for long-term plans.
  2. Hire More Staff-Writers – One of the things I have been meaning to do is to hire 1 or 2 more staff writers. I think this is the only sustainable way for me to keep growing and focus on some of my side gigs. Managing more staff writers and keeping the sites interesting and profitable will be a good test for me. If I can manage this, I might be able to be successful with retiring early.
  3. Start working on my Graduate School Thesis – This one is a big one for me. I have had spurts of motivation, but my thesis will need to be completed in November sometime. Considering that I have zero (of about 60-80) pages written, I need to get started on some intense research. I’d like to have a very detailed outline, if not also an introduction written by the end of August. Getting a jump start is essential for me because I do so much in my spare time (blogging, work full-time, etc.) I don’t have the luxury of procrastinating with this large of a project and failing to complete it is not an option!
  4. Enjoy the Nice Weather – One of the things that I realized this winter is how much I enjoy the nice weather in the summers. I love being on the water and being outdoors in general. This is part of the reason that I bike to work (in addition to save money). My wife and I also bought a pool membership and I also have a planned canoe trip with my best friend. This should be an easy one to accomplish!
  5. Increase My SEO – If there is one area of improvement that I need to focus on is SEO. I was doing great. Slowly improving over the past few months.  I was on track to break 20k pageviews by the end of the year on my main site. Traffic fell a little and is holding steady now right around 10k pageviews per month. If I want to be an elite blogger, I need to get a better handle on this. Most of this I attribute to not having enough time to target keywords and create natural backlinks. I expect this to change as I hire more staff writers.
  6. Increase Freelance Revenue – This may sound counter-productive when also hiring staff writers, but I believe a couple of my side business ideas will take off and eventually earn me some decent income for just a little extra time commitment. This is really important because even in retirement, I want some diversification in case things take a turn for the worse.
  7. Lose 5 pounds – I normally don’t like to admit this on my blog, but I have gained a few extra pounds and if it continues, I am not going to be a happy camper. My guess is that I have been spending more time in front of the computer and less time running around. I am going to be more active and go back to my ideal weight.
  8. Develop More Friendships - A couple of my close friends are moving away this summer. That means that my circle of close friends is smaller and less people to hang out. Time to be active again in trying to develop more friendships.
  9. Spend more time with the Mrs. – My wife will be doing summer classes this summer, so our time together is limited. It’s time to get creative and do fun stuff with her. I don’t know about you, but sometimes life can become a little boring with the same ol’ thing over and over.

So, what are your plans for this summer? Join the challenge!