2021 February Writing Report

By Kimberly


Well, we’re coming up on a whole year since the initial lockdown from the Covid-19 pandemic. And in that year, I’ve gotten a good amount of writing done. I suppose that’s the silver lining. In any case, let’s look back at how February went for writing.

An image of cutout hearts surrounding the 14th of February on a calendar

February’s Statistics

February’s statistics look better than January’s, so that’s a relief. However, given that I took a good chunk of January off to recover, it’s also not surprising. Even so, here are the numbers.

  • Articles: 8
  • Videos filmed, edited, and published: 4
  • Stories written this month: 1
  • Stories submitted to publications: 0
  • Stories edited: 1
  • New stories outlined and plotted: 0
  • Total word count this month: 22,574
  • Total Page Views: 31,045 (compared to January’s 31,594)
  • Total on-cash received this month (earned in previous months): $469.43 (down from $477.48)
  • Overall EPMP: $13.24 (down from $15.11)

In case you’re new, I need to share a quick note with you that I do count videos as 2,000 words towards the word count. A picture is worth 1,000 words, so a video should be worth at least double, right? Even so, I’m experimenting with some new video formats that are more intensive on editing and fun to watch. So 2,000 words feels like it’s on the short end of things, but that’s okay because it’s a solid standard.

Month 19 of Project 24 Update

February was month 19 of my time with Income School Project 24 – a 24-month project to reach a full-time, online income.

At this point, I’m far behind the recommended expectations are. However, I didn’t follow their advice to pick one niche site and stick to it. So the blame is all my own. That being said, ignoring that piece of advice was completely intentional, as my interests and hobbies are so diverse that picking one niche wasn’t realistic.

Furthermore, the way my brain works requires diversity. So rather than fighting my nature for two years, I chose to work with it – and hopefully that will help me see more long-term success as a writer. However, I did know that this would mean that “keeping up” with the Project 24 timeline would be hard, if not impossible. Of my four Project 24 projects, one is also done with a partner, so that also adjusts our timeline.

In any case, that’s the caveats and such. Now let’s look at data.

  • Investment fees to date (the yearly membership dues are paid through August 2021): $648
  • Cash earned and on-hand solely attributable to Project 24: $4,801.87
  • ROI: $4801.87/$648 = 7.41

Why calculate the ROI? Well, a wise friend once told me that any course you take should have a 10X ROI for your business within a year after finishing the course. Therefore, I’m calculating my ROI – even though I’m still in the middle of taking the course.

With an ROI of 7.41 (which is more than double the next best course I’ve ever taken, which was just shy of 3), the Income School Project 24 – has proven itself to be totally worth it to me.

In-Depth Analysis for February 2021

Let’s dive into the details. Ready?

  • BackyardHomesteadHQ.com – I published four new articles on BYH-HQ this month. The total word count is just shy of 8,000 words.
  • GenealogyPals.com – My partner, Breanne, continues to do amazing things on the research end of things. We also just finished up attending the first-ever, completely virtual Roots Tech conference.
  • KimberlyCStarr.com – Another one-new-article month, which was January’s writing report. I’m debating adding short stories to the platform, though I do need to hear back from a few publishers before I make that final decision.
  • SleepTrainingKids.com – Three new articles published on STK this last month. The total word count was just north of 4,500 words.
  • YouTube Channels – I’m trying a new type of video – one that focuses on making things fun and entertaining. The plus to this – better view time, retention, and more subscribers. The downside? More editing.
    • Backyard Homestead HQ – All four new videos were published on this channel.
    • Genealogy Pals – Breanne and I are still making a few planning changes here. There are a few key things that need to be addressed.
    • Kimberly C Starr – I’m finding that four videos a month may be my limit. I’ll have to see how I can best spread them across all of the channels.

Other projects that I worked on during February include more of the behind-the-scenes stuff I focused on in January.

  • Lots of learning. I find that my brain performs best when I’m also doing a good deal of learning. In January and February, my oldest boy and I did Mark Rober’s engineering course. We loved it – and it was a great experience. In one of his videos, he also talked about his video process – and it’s been a game-changer for helping me uplevel my storytelling and video editing processes.
  • Continue to work on social sharing. I’m not on social media a ton, and that hasn’t changed. However, I’ve continued to work with a graphic designer to do the Pinterest thing.
  • Image optimization and accessibility. I’ve also continued to work on adding alt tags, descriptions, and other necessary things to images. It’s a huge process that I fully expect to last another few months – on just one site. Then I’ll need to do the others, too.
  • Lots of reading. In addition to loving to learn, I love to read. I’m still reading submissions for Deep Magic (an awesome science-fiction and fantasy publication) as well as books on my own. I introduced my oldest boy to Dan Wells, so we’ve been enjoying his John Cleaver series.

In case you’re wondering if you should follow me on social media, you’re more than welcome to. Of all of the platforms, YouTube is probably the best bet, as it’s the one I’m enjoying most. However, I’d still recommend that if you can only pick one place to hang out with me, you pick the newsletter.

Okay, work details covered. Let’s go into the detailed income reports.

SitePercentage of IncomeIncome Sources
BackyardHomesteadHQ32.7% (up from 29%)1. Ad revenue
2. Affiliate income
GenealogyPals2.4% (up from 1.2%)Ad revenue
KimberlyCStarr7.5% (down from 10.9%)1. Ad revenue
2. Affiliate income
SleepTrainingKids57.4% (down from 58.9%)1. Ad revenue
2. Affiliate income

Percentages are a great way for me to make sure that I’m diversifying my income streams adequately. And since I already gave you my total income, you could easily calculate how much each site earned.

Affiliate income this month was a nice bonus, too. Most affiliate programs have a decent payout threshold, but it’s nice when you finally reach it to get paid. So all of the affiliate revenue I received this month was technically earned up to several months ago – as far back as during Q4 2020.

Updates on Plans and Teams

Working with a team has been a months-long process and project. It’s just now starting to see a groove and progress forward. Here’s what I’ve found so far.

  • Upwork has been a good source of writers. What I’ve found, though, is that most submitted articles still require a decent amount of editing. The price is better, but the amount of work isn’t in line with the ideal for my situation. I have a few writers that I’ll still work with, but my time isn’t best spent finding writers on Upwork.
  • Passion Posts is more expensive (by more than double) than Upwork, but the quality improvement definitely offsets the cost. So far, I’ve trialed 6 articles with them. Of those, only one has been sent back for rewrites, and another two had small sections that were obviously re-spun content that needed to be fixed. In other words, 5/6 were publishable after minor edits and adding a few personal touches. I plan to keep working with Passion Posts for the foreseeable future.
  • A graphic designer has continued to be a blessing. The guy I use makes some great pins – and has been awesome to work with. Not having to make my own pins has made Pinterest so much less problematic for me.
  • YouTube has turned from a chore into a fun thing to do. Changing the video format turned out to be a huge key to unlocking the “okay, so YouTube is actually fun” puzzle. My kids have been helping me with B roll, while I focus on the storytelling and voiceover work. It’s been a great way to get my family involved.

Getting to work with my children and family on some of the videos has probably been one of my favorite steps forward this last month.

Updates on Stories and Fiction

This month was LTUE – Life, the Universe, and Everything. It’s held in Provo, Utah every year… well, except for this year. This year it was online – and I loved getting to watch it. The access pass I got also gave me access to go back and re-watch the classes I didn’t catch live, so I’m doing that, too.

It was an absolutely amazing experience – and part of me hopes they’ll continue to do an online option. However, I am also excited about the prospect of an in-person conference for better networking. If you don’t already have a writing group, LTUE is a great place to find one.

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