2020 November Writing Report

By Kimberly


I can hardly believe that November is over – and so ends another National Novel Writing Month. I’m happy to report that I met my word count goal by almost double. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let’s take a look at what went well (and what didn’t go so well) in the month of November.

Image of word November on a fun green table with polka dot background.

November Quick Statistics

In the month of November, here’s what I wrote, filmed, and/or published.

  • Articles: 9
  • Videos filmed, edited, and published: 30
  • Stories I wrote this month: 0
  • Stories submitted to publications: 1
  • Stories edited: 1
  • New stories outlined and plotted: 0
  • Total Word Count Written: 91,357
  • Total Page Views: 22,059 (down from 25,082)
  • Total on-hand cash earned (from last month’s ad revenue and previous month’s affiliate revenue finally paid-out this month): $303.07 (up from $282.35)
  • Overall EPMP: $13.74. This is up from last month’s $11.26.

The total word count written (with each video counting as a standard, 2,000 words per video) was 91,357. That doesn’t include any outlining or worldbuilding notes this time, as it’s not yet to my liking. I’ll count it when it’s more polished and closer to being done because I’m a recovering perfectionist.

16th Month with Project 24 Membership

This month marked my 16th month with Project 24. It’s been a wild ride. I generally still fall short of the recommended publication schedule, although I’m doing better. With the homestead site this month, I was able to outperform the recommended schedule. It’s the only one where I was able to do so, but it’s at least something.

Even so, let’s take a look at the overall ROI on the Project 24 course so far. For a quick recap, here are last month’s stats.

  • Investment fees to date (through October 2020): $648 – I won’t have to pay another set of membership dues until August 2021.
  • Cash on-hand earned that’s solely attributed to Project 24: $3196.35
  • ROI: a 4.9X multiplier

Now it’s time to add in November’s numbers and see what the ROI is. Don’t worry – I’ll do the math. I’m just providing my numbers in case you want to math-check me. I am a writer, but I do try to be able to do basic mathematics. 🙂

  • Investment Fees to Date (November 2020): $648
  • Cash on-hand earned that’s solely attributed to Project 24 (as of September 2020): $3499.42
  • ROI: $3499.42/$648 is a 5.4X multiplier

So in one month, my ROI has gone from 4.9 to 5.4. That’s even better than the 0.4 increase from September to October. That’s impressive.

Now, you may notice that I keep saying “cash on-hand” – what’s that mean? It means that I use a cash-based accounting system. A lot of bloggers will report what money they earned that month, even if they won’t get it paid out to them for several months.

While that’s a totally cool way to do it, that kind of math would drive me personally crazy. I’d be constantly trying to figure things out and second-guessing myself. So for me, it’s far easier to simply report the money I’ve been paid and actually have.

It does mean that my numbers won’t ever look as fancy (or high) as other bloggers’ numbers do. But it also means I don’t need to break my head on numbers – I can report what I’ve got, not worry about the rest, and get on with my writing. So I’ll call it a win.

Now it’s time to look at the deeper analysis.

November’s Analysis

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – and it’s almost as brutal as an Income School Content Challenge (which is 60,000 words). Even so, writing 50,000 words of content (whether for a book or a website) is an accomplishment. Especially since I published an equivalent word count of more than 1.8 times my goal – almost double. It’s a total win.

So here’s the breakdown of writing and publishing for each site.

  • BackyardHomesteadHQ.com – I wrote 4 new articles for this site. Combined, that was almost 12,000 words just there. Of the 30 videos published, the vast majority of them were for the Backyard Homestead HQ YouTube channel.
  • GenealogyPals.com – Breanne and I got three articles published this last month. We also published our first couple of videos on this YouTube channel. Furthermore, we’ve finally heard back from RootsTech on our proposals and each got a no. That’s okay – the no’s come before the yes. And it also helped us connect with the Connections Experiment group. More on this later.
  • SleepTrainingKids.com – Only one article published on this site in November. However, I’m working on some things for this site that should be absolutely amazing.
  • Videos – I use the Income School’s standard counting, where each video counts as 2,000 words. Because a picture is worth 1,000 words – so a video must be double that, right? I created 30 videos, so that was 60,000 worth of content just on YouTube alone.

Now let’s do a breakdown of the 30 videos I created and published last month.

  • BackyardHomesteadHQ (YouTube Channel) – 23 of 30 videos I created this month were for this channel. Many of them were sub-60-second videos, as shorts are a new type of video format that’s trending on YouTube. They’ve been a great way to find new friends with whom to share video content.
  • Genealogy Pals (YouTube Channel) – 2 of 30 videos were on this channel. Both are shorts, but it’s at least a start to the channel.
  • Kimberly C. Starr (YouTube Channel) – 5 of the 30 videos created were for this channel. It’s still very much a growing channel, and it’s been fun, hard, and rewarding.

Now, you may be wondering how each site did on the monetary front. Here’s that breakdown.

SitePercentage of IncomeIncome Sources
BackyardHomesteadHQ28.6% (up from 22.6%)Ad revenue
GenealogyPals1.1% (up from 0.7%)Ad revenue
KimberlyCStarr17.7% (down from 26.4%)Ad revenue
SleepTrainingKids52.3% (up from 50.3%)Ad Revenue

Why percentages? It’s a nice way to see how diversification (of both websites and topics) is helping me. This is the data I need to make sure that I’m not putting all of my (virtual) eggs into one basket.* And as of right now, most of my eggs are still in sleep training. But for next month? I’ve already got the ad revenue income numbers – and I think things are balancing out better. I’m excited.

Why the asterisk (*) in the last paragraph? Easy: GenealogyPals.com isn’t only mine or my effort alone. That site is a joint effort between myself and my dear friend Breanne. That basket is holding two people’s eggs if we’re going to continue with the egg basket analogy. So I thought an asterisk was needed to clarify this point.

On another side note – if you want to see the actual numbers, I’ve already given you October’s total earlier in this article (it was $303.07) and now you have the percentage of each – so figuring out how much each site earned isn’t hard. It just needs a little bit of math.

Oh, and you’ll probably notice that all income this last month was due to ad revenue. That’s because my affiliate sales didn’t hit the payment threshold yet, so I didn’t receive those funds. Based on my historical trends, I should hit the payout threshold in another month or two. When I receive those funds, they’ll be included in that month’s report. The joys of cash-based accounting.

Fiction Updates

Why are there no new stories written this month? Several reasons that sound an awful lot like I’m rationalizing things away with some handwavium.

  • First was I had a ton of content to write for the websites. That needed to get done – and I was having a blast with it.
  • Second, it’s still a slush-reading season. I love reading for Deep Magic, and it’s a lot of fun. However, the mental effort of reading does take a toll on creative thinking and writing. At least it does right now. As my skills improve, I imagine that won’t be the case. We’ll have to see.
  • Third, I’m still struggling to outline a few points. I’m still listening to Writing Excuses and trying another set of writing prompts to keep going. It turns out that one of the secrets to writing is that you have to keep going – even when it’s not easy.

In other words, there’s no handwavium or justification happening. Just lots of hard, taxing, mental work – that’s totally not visible to anyone else. Much of it is in my mentality and creativity. It’s a lot of upfront work, but it should mean better results in the long term. It just means fewer results (and stories) right now.

So progress is happening – even if it’s not visible to you. Then again, you’re probably (and rightfully) glad that you get to skip the boring parts of this. But if you don’t (hey, perhaps you also want to be a writer!) – at least you have these monthly writing reports (and my YouTube channel) to help you see behind the curtain.

NaNoWriMo: November 2020

So this year, I used National Novel Writing Month to write almost two novels – only they’re not published as such. They’re published as free content across four websites and YouTube.

This means that you can read (and watch) what I’ve published for free – and I’ll still earn a few “royalties” in the form of ad revenue. I’d say it’s a win-win for us all.

Plans for December 2020 and 2021

As I’m working on this analysis, it’s natural to look forward to plans for December, 2021, and beyond. And I’m excited to announce that there are plans for moving forward – plans beyond just “keep writing more awesome content.” Although, that’s the core of the plan.

The plan going forward is this:

  • Focus on what’s working: great content. This is what’s working. So I’ll keep doing it.
  • Get the team on board. That’s right – it’s time for my team to grow. My husband and kids want to help, so it’s time to figure out how to onboard them in meaningful ways – that are age-appropriate for the younger children. We’re going to do some fun experiments and such that will help our content be even more chock full of original research.
  • Start bringing on writers for some of the niche sites. This way, I can transition to an editorial role. I’ll still have editing and revisions to keep the content the most helpful possible, but this should greatly free up my time for other projects (like stories).
  • Develop systems and processes to keep making things ever more efficient. Again, the goal is to free up time and mental capacity for writing stories. So I’m working on getting things headed in that direction – while making sure that the websites I’ve built also have the support needed to continue growing.

In other words, I expect great things for 2021 and beyond. And I’m excited to share those results (and stories) with you, dear reader. 🙂

Final Thoughts on November 2020

The year continues to be an odd one – my kids have informed me that “2020” is going to be a taboo word once January 1st rolls around. Even so, it’s been an amazing year for me so far in terms of growth as a writer, amount of writing done, and growth overall.

Well, except in actual physical growth. In that area, I’m actually down 25 pounds. It was 40, but then I started eating carbs again, so it’s time to cut those back out again. But that’s a topic for another article – on how eating healthy helps you be healthier and do more.

In any case, if you’re at all wanting to know about creating your own passive income (with passive meaning you do a lot of work and see it exponentially grow, almost like royalties with a great author who’s publishing a lot of books), then you’ll definitely want to check out Income School’s Project 24. It’s been totally worth it in my book.

It’s been the only course I’ve taken that’s on track to pass muster – with muster meaning that it gives you a 10X ROI within a year of finishing the course.

I’m only 15/24 months through the course, so I’m at 15/36 of the way to being where I need to make a final determination. And I’m already at a 5.4X ROI. So I think it’s safe to say I’m on the right track. Especially when I compare it to the next-closest course – which didn’t get past a 2.88X ROI.

In any case, that concludes this month’s analysis. I’ll see you all soon – and I’d love to have you follow along via YouTube (click here to go there) if videos are your jam. If not, I highly recommend you join the newsletter – that way, you can stick with written updates.

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