2021 May Writing Report

When it’s in the middle of a month, it sometimes seems like it takes forever. But then it’s like you blink and the rest of it flew right on by you. That’s how May felt at our house, anyway. Only now it’s over – and I get to dive into the numbers with you.

Totally nerdy and geeky, I know. But the numbers are so much fun – because they help me see where things are trending, where there’s room for improvement, and what’s working (or not). In any case, it was another amazing month and let’s dive into the numbers.

image of a small notebook with writing of hello May in black ink

May 2021 Statistics

  • Articles published: 31 (up from 17)
  • Videos filmed, edited, and published: 0
  • Stories I wrote this month: 0
  • Stories submitted to publications: 0
  • Stories edited: 0
  • New stories outlined and plotted: 0
  • Total word count published this month: 69,226 (up from 36,938)
  • Total Page Views: 65,733 (up from 46,180)
  • Total on-cash received this month (earned in previous months): $561.61 (down from 850.75)
  • Overall EPMP: $8.54 (down from 18.42)

Whew. So it was a publicly visible Content Warrior challenge month (despite there not being an ongoing challenge). I’m pretty excited about it!

I also continued to do a ton behind the scenes with regards to streamlining my processes, business, and the standard operating procedures I’ve been developing. In any case, let’s do a deeper dive into all the things. Shall we?

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Month 22 of Project 24

May was my 22nd month with Income School’s Project 24 – and I’m well on my way towards meeting their metrics. Full disclosure – I’m a little bit behind because I opted to do multiple projects instead of the recommendation of sticking to one thing.

This was intentional on my part. I do better with multiple things to keep my brain going. If I’ve only got one niche to write about, I tend to get bored. I find it’s much better to work with your nature instead of against it.

I just knew that doing so would mean my journey would take longer – and that’s okay. I’m catching up, thanks to some strategic planning and use of a team.

In any case, let’s take a final look at ROI of Project 24. A wise friend once told me that any course you take should help you see a 10X return on your investment within a year of finishing the course. Well, I’m only in month 22, but I’m already calculating my ROI (and have been every month).

This is because the ROI on Project 24 has been unbelievably awesome. Before Project 24, my best ROI on a course was about a 3.

Here’s last month’s ROI for reference.

  • Investment fees to date (the yearly membership dues are paid through August 2021): $648
  • Cash earned and on-hand solely attributable to Project 24: $6109.75
  • ROI: $6109.75/$648 = 9.42 (up from March’s 8.12X)

So here’s May’s ROI analysis for comparison.

  • Investment fees to date (the yearly membership dues are paid through August 2021): $648
  • Cash earned and on-hand solely attributable to Project 24: $6671.36
  • ROI: $6671.36/$648 = 10.295 

Translation: Income School’s Project 24 is officially worth the investment. It’s passed the 10X ROI by month 22 – and I’ve still got 2 months left in the program PLUS another 12 to go before I’d need to officially worry about having met the 10X goal.

Now, in July I’ll have to re-up my membership, so the investment fee will go up by another $199 (newer members do have a higher renewal fee, but I got grandfathered in at this price). But given what I already know I’ve earned for next month? Totally fine with that.

Because that’s one of the perks of doing cash-based accounting – even in these reports. It means I already know most of what I made next month. I just haven’t been paid it yet, so I don’t report it yet. You’ll find out what I earned last month next month – when I’ve been paid.

In-Depth Analysis of Sites in May 2021

Let’s change up the reports going forward, shall we? The text-based information is awesome, but… it’s lacking a certain panache. So let’s uplevel the reports with some graphs and pictures.

So here we go. Here’s how all of my sites performed – and the work I put into things.

Backyard Homestead HQ

This site officially is the “biggest” performing site I’ve got right now.

image of BYHHQ data from May 2021.

The weird spikes in income have to do with affiliate earnings from two programs. They’re kind of awesome – both in terms of products and in payouts.

Genealogy Pals

This site continues to do well – despite several months of inaction. But don’t worry – this is the LAST month of inaction. We’re already making June look awesome.

Image of genealogypals data from May 2021.

The biggest thing we did for Genealogy Pals was be patient – and change the theme. It’s performing a ton better now that it’s on a faster, leaner theme. So we didn’t do “nothing” in May – changing the theme and streamlining the site for speed was a big project. It just looks like nothing got done, because you all didn’t see all the steps involved in that process. Which is how it should be!

Kimberly C. Starr

This site has continued its pre-planned nosedive, with regards to traffic and income. Due to the reality of running a solo business, I knew I couldn’t focus on lots of sites without one suffering. And so this site became the temporary sacrificial site.

Image of KCS data from May 2021.

However, that plan has reached its full fruition. This site will soon be headed back up – and past where it was once plateaued. So stay tuned as new articles get added – and as new stories get added (at last!).

In fact, I’ll be working on getting a story up here soon. It’s actually been written for quite some time, but I’d submitted it to Writers of the Future. I had to wait and hear back from them on it before I published it here, just in case they opted it. They did not opt it, but they did give it an Honorable Mention.

So that story will see edits and a huge metamorphosis – but I will post version 1 in all of its Honorable Mention glory here on the site. So stay tuned for that.

Sleep Training Kids

This site has been one that NEEDED a graph. Or at least I needed a graph to see that it was still progressing. Because in my mind, just staring at the data had me thinking it was hugely plateaued.

Image of STK data from May 2021.

There’s been some plateauing, sure. But it’s still growing and doing amazingly well. I was also recently asked by a local health department and Head Start program to put together a presentation for health care providers on the topic of sleep training, so I’ve been working on doing that, too.

Because I’m all about supporting both parents and healthcare providers in regards to sleep!

New niche sites coming soon…

I’ve also got some other new sites and projects coming down the pipeline. I don’t want to tip my hand just yet, but here’s a sneak peek.

Image of upcoming projects.

There will be more on those coming soon enough. But for now? Be patient with that sneak peek. I need to get things going before I give away any more!

Diversification Report

Now let’s look at how the income divvies up – because being diversified is important.

In other words, there’s some room for improvement. Ads are still a huge revenue source. It’ll look better on months where I get paid out for some of the larger affiliates, but until that’s a more regular occurrence, then I’ll get months like this.

Teamwork Report

May has been an amazing step forward for my team. Here’s how it looks so far.

  • Writers – I work with 12 freelance writers and 1 writing service. I have two more freelancers in various testing stages.
  • Virtual Assistant – I work with an amazing VA who’s taking on a ton of tasks to make all of this multitasking possible.
  • My family – they’re so excited to be helping with the as-yet-unrevealed sites. Some more so than others – but we’re all excited to see how this goes.

So the teamwork thing has been amazing. And it’s all centralized in ClickUp, which is pretty much my favorite piece of software right now.

Fiction and Story Report for May 2021

May saw some huge developments in the fiction front. First off, I promised my writing group that I will have something at the next critique session. So I’m working on getting that ready.

Second, Deep Magic went public with its planned closure. As a First Reader, we’d been informed of the impending shut-down some time ago. Not being able to talk about it was painful – almost as painful as it is being shut down.

Being a slush reader for Deep Magic has been an amazing opportunity, honor, and privilege. It’s helped me improve as a writer, a storyteller, and a reader. I’ll miss it. That being said, I totally understand why it is being shut down – for all the reasons Jeff Wheeler and the Board talked about. Even passion projects have to be planned, evaluated, and changed over time.

As I mentioned earlier, I also heard back from Writers of the Future that my submitted story got an honorable mention. So I’ll be getting that draft published here soon. I do plan to revisit and edit that piece – though it definitely needs a huge amount of polish before I submit it elsewhere. And by then, let’s be honest. It’ll be a whole new story.

May 2021 Final Thoughts

May has been month 2 of my business overhaul. April (of bloggersontherise.com) has been an invaluable friend and mentor as I figure out this whole “scaling and expanding” thing. And her advice has always proven quite sound.

May was also the second month of investing into the business. Compared to others, our investment is still quite small – but it’s helping us get a lot of things going all at once. So we’re excited to see what it means for the business, even if it means we deal with some home remodeling ourselves instead.

Luckily, we built that into the plan. 😉 And we’ll have some fun with it. In the meantime, I’m excited for what the rest of the year holds – and what we can do with our business as it continues to grow.

Cite this article as: “2021 May Writing Report.” Kimberly C. Starr, 2 June 2021, kimberlycstarr.com/2021-may-writing-report/.

Resources I Use

These are the resources I’ve found most valuable – so I recommend you go check them out. They’ll help whether you’re writing fiction, writing for niche blogs, or building an online business. I keep an up-to-date list of all of the tools and resources I use to manage my blogs on my Tools and Resources page. I use referral links to advertising partners.

These are the top tools that I use and recommend:

  • Project 24 – hands-down the best course for building a niche site or an online business that focuses on content.
  • Ezoic – once you’ve got a website and some content, think about these guys. They’re doing some amazing things – and have helped me earn several thousand dollars (in ad revenue) that I’d not have earned otherwise.
  • Big Scoots hosting – we just switched to Big Scoots and it’s been as easy as April told me it would be. Seriously. It’s a great hosting option.
  • Link Whisper – I’ve just started using it, and it’s been a great tool to help me build up my linking strategy.
  • Kindle Unlimited – this is a great way to try out new books and classics. Make sure you add the latest editions of Deep Magic magazine to your kindle shelf!
  • Audible Plus – I love listening to podcasts and books while I’m doing the normal, everyday life things (like laundry). This has been a huge way to up my creativity!
  • ClickUp – Hands-down the best software for keeping track of all the things. I use it for stories, websites, and family stuff. Everyone can access what they need, it’s all centralized, and it connects with our calendars.

These resources really have proven invaluable to me – and I think you’ll benefit from them, too. Happy writing, friends.