march-calendar

Whew! January was one heck of a month.

We scrambled, we worried, we fretted all over the house. Money-making ideas were batted around left and right and center. We researched ebay, etsy, craigslist, and other options of doing things to bring income in for winter.

Honestly, the best thing we did was write.

I wrote articles, Mr. Brickie wrote articles, and we banked cash in Paypal.

It looks probable at this point we will be able to pay our bills in February. It’s not 100% yet, but it’s looking good. The car payment is always the kicker.

I also have to do the taxes today. It is a time I both love/hate because with the kids and the working and the not having a lot of money we usually qualify for both the child care credit and the earned income credit.

This may be the last year we qualify for the earned income credit! I will be excited to see it go. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t give it up in a heartbeat in exchange for making enough in income to not qualify. Income is always better.

I have, of course, a list of things we have to buy with the income tax return. Not a big list, there’s not going to be that much. Credit cards that I opened in a panic right before Christmas so my kids wouldn’t be totally denied gifts are going to get paid off first. Then I’m buying tires for the car because it’s winter and they pretty much have no grooves left and riding around on almost-bald tires is really, really not smart.

Oh, and let’s not forget I have to save first month, last month, and a security deposit if this whole “fixing the mortgage” thing doesn’t go through. I swear, just when I think it’s official and we’re going to be foreclosed on and have a sheriff at our door throwing us on our butts we get another letter asking us to get in touch. We do, and some other process starts.

That can’t last forever, though, so I want to make sure I have enough money in a savings account that we don’t end up in a homeless shelter even for a minute. I’m just being practical. Or I’m being totally pessimistic. Either way, it’s going in savings so I can sleep at night!

Other than writing the only other thing I’ve been doing to add to the piggy bank is mTurk. It’s a crowdsourcing program through Amazon.com and I basically take surveys for money. I know, I’m making it sound like a survey site, but there are other tasks as well like transcription and article writing. The pay is horrific in most cases, so don’t go there excited that you’ve found a way to pay your bills. I use it for stuff I can’t afford like when I had to buy a new keyboard for my laptop because mine was broken. It’s the emergency-stuff that’s not really an emergency fund.

Mr. Brickie doesn’t have the patience to be a turker. I can’t complain. He has done the bulk of the January writing and I could not be prouder.

Well, to be perfectly honest, it took a lot of talks and pleading and manipulation and smiles and frowns and going barking mad to help him see that him doing the bulk of the writing in January was really just the best idea in the whole wide world.

As for me, I’ve got a new partnership set up as someone’s copywriter and I look forward to seeing where that takes us. I set up an about.me page but I don’t think that really highlights my skills.

In the meantime, I’m researching how all those super-successful bloggers are doing things and looking for ways to improve my reach. My biggest problem is that I’m not a niche blog. I talk about finance and relationships and food and health and wellness and everything else. I don’t really want to have six blogs so each one can talk about that ONE thing and nothing else.

I guess I just think that defeats the whole purpose of having a blog. My blog is a pretty accurate representation of who I am and I’m looking for friends. Like minded bloggers and people I can feel safe with. People I can smile when I see the name on my Facebook feed or read about their latest adventure. I’m looking for people and I don’t think I’m going to find them with six highly niched blogs.

Maybe I’m wrong. It happens once in a while.

What do you think? Is your blog in a niche? Where do you put the thoughts that don’t fit? Do you think I could just get away with a really great category system?

4 Comments on Update on 2014 Goals So Far

  1. I tried to do the niche thing, but I just can’t. I am all over the place; so is my blog. I make most of my money freelancing outside the blog. I was lucky to find a great marketing person looking for a copywriter. I am just working on writing good stuff and building community so people will want to come back and read me again and again. I’m also starting to sell some of the stuff I crochet, but through FB rather than etsy because I don’t want to pay fees. This freelancing things is hard – it’s like putting together a puzzle and trying to find all the right pieces.

    If you ever want to chat blogging, feel free to send me a fb message or an email.

    • My friend makes things with the magic of crochet and I told her a FB page is the way to go because the fees. At the same time, though, if you’re rocking the SEO or whatever then you can catch people who are at etsy but don’t know who you are and then you can sell things that you didn’t have to market first.

      Of course, if you just put your link in your signature on forums you can do the same thing. There are so many ways to do things, I’m just mulling it all over because I kind of see it in my peripheral vision and it needs to become a fully formed idea so I can plan around it.

      The puzzle is a perfect analogy. Just perfect.

  2. This is my first visit here and I have to say, I love how real you are. At the end of the day, we are all just looking for ways to make ends meet and to maybe find a nice group of blogging buddies that get us and allow us to be us.

    • I’m so glad you visited! I agree with you completely and think that a group/niche/tribe/whatever is one of the things that keeps us all sane. Or semi-sane. Or at least helps us keep going. LOL

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