Increase Income, Save Money, and Blog Better

increase income

For well over a year now, I have been setting monthly goals in order to increase income and improve at blogging.

There are, however, less measurable personal development categories that I’ve also been working to improve.

For example, I’ve been more cognizant of my tendency to go off topic with writing, which has led to more complete blog posts. And I’ve been concentrating on providing more valuable content as well.

In regards to the value proposition that’s being offered through goal-setting, I write about side hustles that nearly anyone can accomplish. Furthermore, I am presenting an unobviously obvious opportunity to reach financial independence by breaking my own plan down into steps.

It would be easy for the layman to copy my easy-to-attain skills, and it would be even easier to copy my unimpressive savings rate.

Be that as it may, I can assure you that a clever long term plan is in place.

Ultimately, every goal set is based around a 3 to 5 year plan that I have been formulating.

Though I’ve been saving at least 21% of my net income per month, unfortunately, it’s mathematically not enough to reach FI as soon as I would like to.

Sometimes my 10 to 15 year plan to reach financial independence doesn’t seem so distant. But on more miserable days, I wonder how in the hell I’ll ever make it.

Break Long Term Plans Down Into Steps

It’s more motivating to reverse engineer your plans by breaking long term goals down into achievable steps!

That’s why, over the next 3 to 5 years, I’m in a foundation building and blog development stage.

I still have 4 figures worth of a student loan debt that I’m paying off.

And there’s a long way to go until the RTC dividend portfolio starts to spin off any significant income.

In addition, the next 3 to 5 years will form the course of my career, which will determine how much income I’ll bring in.

And it could also determine the ultimate outcome of blogging — there is potential to generate income from blogging dependent on how much hard work is put in.

Keeping those 3 factors in mind, I estimate that progress made towards financial independence will accelerate substantially 3 years from now.

If there was such a thing as RTC shareholders, now would be a good time to load up on shares! The dividend income portfolio will begin to post large percentage income increases!

Furthermore, this blog will eventually become a go-to media outlet on dividends and FI, fingers crossed 🤞🏼.

To be honest, it’s already happening…

This blog was recently named a top 100 dividend blog on the planet by Feedspot, which I am extremely thankful to Feedspot for! It’s amazing to be included on a list with so many outstanding dividend bloggers.

With that said, there was a slight set back in terms of page views compared to the success in August.

Unfortunately, I didn’t reach every single goal set for September.

However, by setting goals each month, I am continuing to push myself to save and invest more.

Not to mention, I continue to improve and learn more about blogging.

Below is the accountability report for September. Second is the goals for October 2017:

Increase Income, Save Money and Blog Better #goalsetting Click To Tweet

Accountability for September

Publish 6 blog posts – Achieved.

Here are the 6 posts that were published in September 2017:

  1. Personal Goal-setting & Accountability for September 2017
  2. Blog Traffic Increased by over 102% in August! Page Views and Social Media Report for August 2017
  3. Why I have no choice but to pursue Financial Independence
  4. Dividend Income Update #4 | September 2017
  5. View Yourself as a Business to Save Money
  6. That’s what the F—K you do!—To become a successful blogger

Increase page views – Failed.

Unfortunately, I was not able to surpass the page views set in August.

I had anticipated that blog traffic would automatically pick up after the summer came to an end. However, blog traffic dipped slightly in September.

I will elaborate and provide additional details on why the numbers were lower in an upcoming report.

Grow social media following on Twitter and Pinterest – Pass.

Even though I was pinning a lot less during the month, I was happy to see that Pinterest followers have continued to increase.

I had been previously utilizing a free trial from Tailwind to schedule and publish pins in August. But I wanted to compare a month of using Tailwind to a month of manual pinning.

The results of the comparison, which will also be included in an upcoming report, are fairly interesting.

Shortly after making the switch to manual pinning, approximately 8 followers quickly dropped off. I was concerned to say the least!

However, those numbers quickly rose back up, and manual pinning allowed me to pay attention to the quality of my pins. In addition, it provided an opportunity to organize my Pinterest boards.

As for Twitter, it continued its slow and steady climb.

Increase Income by $25  – Fail. 

Regrettably, I failed to increase my annual dividend income by $25 during the course of September. However, I did still manage to increase income by $14.93, which is better than nothing.

Annual dividend income increased by adding to an already owned position 2 more times, and thanks to one dividend raise.

The reason for not reaching my goal is simply because I didn’t save enough.

Save 21% of my net income – Fail.

I only saved 11.75% of my net income in September (SMH)!

Every once in a while, the timing of bill payments and other life expenses doesn’t seem to align with my pay day. Since I only automate about half of my savings rate target, unfortunately, it prevents me from making the progress I’d like to.

With that said, it’s always better to stay current on your bills and debts compared to digging yourself into a hole.


Goals for October 2017

Begin a new stock position 

Although there are still positions within my portfolio that I plan on adding more to, I also want to think like a business and expand my product lines.

Of course value and quality take precedence, but as a dividend investor, diversification is something that I just can’t ignore.

In addition to having a more balanced dividend portfolio, I would also prefer to have more dividend payment dates.

Depending on which equity I end up building a position in, I will gain 4 to 12 more payment dates per year.

Save at least 15% of my net income

I have decided to alter the savings rate for October as a result of coming up short.

In addition, the fall tends to be a more expensive time of year for me.

There are birthdays and events coming up, and I am lowering the target in anticipation that I will spend more this month.

I’m not happy about the unimpressive savings rate, though…

Even though September, October, and November are more of a struggle, December is a month with 3 pay days.

Factor in the ambiance that the New Year brings on and I’m certain that December will be a blockbuster month for RTC.

Increase income by $15

Based on the $14.93 of annual dividend income that was added in September, I am setting the bar at a minimum of $15.

In short, I will only need to add one single share more than last month to surpass the mark set in September.

Publish 6 Blog posts

Surprisingly, this is the first blog post published since September 30th, which means I’m already behind.

To make matters worse, the dividend report for October won’t be published until early November. Seeing that I only have 2 scheduled monthly posts (this one and the blog report), it’s going to fairly difficult to publish 6.

On the other hand, I recently received an e-mail request regarding a previous segment I used to publish on this blog, Clever Articles from around the Web!

I had been considering the idea of bringing this segment back, since there are so many great blog posts I’d like to share.

That said, my consideration was validated thanks to the e-mail I received.

Additionally, I have been making an effort to view questions from readers and friends as opportunities for posts.

Stay tuned!

Update 5 Images & Create a Resource Page

In case you haven’t noticed, I have been working on improving my blog images for share-ability on Pinterest.

Though I haven’t come to an ultimate decision on a brand image, I am continuing to improve the overall look of RTC.

With that said, my goal is to fit a minimum of 5 archived posts with updated images.

In addition, I want to reestablish a resource page in order to make it easier to find things that I recommend.

 Reach 2,000 Twitter followers

Although I’m beginning to make progress with Pinterest, I can’t forget about the social network that generates the majority of RTC blog traffic, Twitter.

Since it typically brings about 85 to 90% of my social media traffic, it’s the network that I spend the most time on.

In order to grow Twitter followers, my strategy is simple:

  • Share more new content, which is why I’m aiming for 6 posts
  • Follow more like-minded bloggers
  • Like and Retweet relatable content (FI, Dividends, and Blogging)
  • Post consistently, using a mix of Hootesuite and manual tweets
  • Tweet positivity, engage with other bloggers, and add value

Concluding Thoughts

If I follow through on the more specifically selected plans set for October, I will increase income and be one step closer to FI.

Moreover, even when I don’t reach the targets, I’m still ahead. And that’s the main difference, buds -personal goals!

In turn, I have more money in the bank and earn a higher level of income, every single month.

Questions for the readers: What goals are you working towards? Do you find value in reading about goal-setting? What blogging side hustles and resources are you using to increase income? Do you attempt to increase income every month too?

16 Comment

  1. Pinterest is something I need to work on, glad you are finding your followership increasing there.

    On the other front, I continue to work on my side-hustles to bring in extra coin for investing. Work hard now, chill hard later is my motto.

    Which stocks do you have your eye on for a possible new position?
    MrDoublingDollars recently posted…SNAP Challenge – Just $29/Week to Eat!My Profile

    1. Im actually working on Pinterest and Twitter. Instagram has been going smoothly and has gotten me a bit of traffic but I would love new avenues

      1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Gabe! I’m glad to hear that you’re having success with Instagram. Although I would like to add new avenues, I have decided to focus on the select few that I’ve had the most success with (Twitter and Pinterest). Best of luck with finding new avenues!

    2. Thanks for commenting Mr. Doubling Dollars! I still need to spend more time joining group boards and, as stated in the post, I need to update more images. I need more content to constantly share on Pinterest.

      In regards to your side hustles, I am always impressed at the variety of ways that you bring in extra cash. This is something that I need to improve at too.

      As for stock purchases, I’ve got my eye on Fortis, IBM, and AAPL. My portfolio is lacking in the tech sector at the moment. I also want to build a position in KO but I would need the stock to pull back significantly. Any recommendations? What stocks do you have your eye on? Hope you’re having a great week!

      1. Hmm, a dividend paying tech stock…

        INTC tops my list right now. Working towards being in the self-driving vehicle market (which appears to be the next major thing to propel growth). A 2.7% yield at just a 36% payout ratio is great.
        CSCO seems solid too, 3.45% yield at a payout ratio of 53%.
        Other things I like in this sector are SWKS. Good avenues for growth and they are starting their DGI path – get in early! Currently 1.2% yield at a 21.5% payout.

        IBM might muddle along. MSFT is good, but overpriced now. AAPL, well seems you can’t quite go wrong with AAPL ever.

        Stay far, FAR, away from KO. Things are not pretty over there. You will probably get that pullback sooner rather than later.

        My two cents.
        MrDoublingDollars recently posted…Side-Hustle Income Report For September 2017My Profile

        1. Thanks for the tips, Mr Doubling Dollars!

          I have looked into INTC before, but not in the last year or two. The self-driving car market is an outstanding opportunity for growth! I will definitely look again. As for CSCO, I’m a long time fan of this stock. I nearly bought CSCO between $15 to $20 per share back in 2013 to 2014 because how much cash they have on their balance sheet. I’ve just never had the cash to purchase or I purchased something else instead. But CSCO will definitely be added to my portfolio at some point.

          I haven’t looked into SWKS, but I will add to my watchlist. I would love to get a position in an early dividend growth story. IBM is another that I’ve been a long time fan of. It’s true that their revenue has been decreasing, but they are becoming a smaller company with more eps and they have a great dividend growth rate. I also really like IBM as a way to invest in crypto currency based on their blockchain technology. I’d probably stay away from MSFT as I don’t personally like their products lol And my only issue with AAPL is the lower dividend rate. But they’ve got a ton of cash and look to be another great dividend growth story over the next decade. In regards to KO, I bought before at 36.85 and sold around $45. If I could get any margin of safety like that again, I would probably pull the trigger. The sugar water business is definitely in trouble though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Much appreciated tips! 🙂

  2. Congrats on the top 100 dividend blog award. I am happy to be along side you in that list. All great goals moving forward. Baby steps right? I am also working on trying to build up more social media channels. Just have too many things going on at once so it makes it difficult to focus on just one thing. That is great that you are down to only a 4 figure student loan debt. That beats out probably more than half the population of students. Not too much longer till that is gone and more money can be funneled into your portfolio. Which will increase the monthly income as well. Keep up the good work! You are on the right track.
    Dividend Daze recently posted…Dividend Update – September 2017My Profile

    1. Thanks for the support! I was glad to see that you made the Top 100 list too! Well deserved! As for the goal-setting, I definitely focus on small steps at a time. And I can certainly understand being overwhelmed with so much going on. I’ve been feeling the same way. It seems like this blog is a part time job now, and I feel a responsibility to it. I definitely enjoy it, but I find myself constantly wishing I had more time so that I can work more on it.

      Regarding the student loan, I am happy with the progress I have made. I am getting close to ridding myself of it which will free up a lot more cash flow. Like you said, I can’t wait to put all that extra money towards the portfolio. Thanks for stopping by! Keep up the great work on your end too!

  3. Great list there. I’m definitely attempting to get out there more as well in terms of social media. Twitter has been helpful bring in some page views. I’ve really slacked on Pinterest, mainly because I don’t enjoy it. I’m going to focus on growing the stock portfolio and also most likely post about that and the dividends. Who doesn’t enjoy reading about that stuff? I know I do. And just more blog posts in general, if time allows. Take care man!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Mr. Defined Sight! I’m glad to hear that Twitter has helped with bringing in page views.

      In regards to Pinterest, if you don’t enjoy it, it might not be the best platform for you. I don’t enjoy Facebook or Instagram so I refrain from using them for the most part. I think that my lack of interest in them will show. I’d rather be really good at using one social network than mediocre at all them.

      Also, I would LOVE to read your dividend income updates! I’m sure a lot of other bloggers would too! I look forward to reading if you find the time. Have a great week!

  4. Thanks for sharing you goals list and especially the path or steps you will take to achieve these goals.

    I think, it’s the path to those goals that is unique to each one of us and what will make you stand out from gazillion other bloggers. So write more about your path and journey to those goals. At least that would be more interesting to me and hence my suggestion 🙂

    Take care.
    Mr. ATM
    Mr. ATM recently posted…Building A City Of Tall Dividend StocksMy Profile

    1. Hi. Mr ATM,

      Thanks for supporting the plan! I also really appreciate your point of view and suggestion! I think you’re exactly right about documenting the path to these goals. Everyone’s journey is different and that’s what makes the process unique. Great advice! Have a great day!

  5. These insights are great, They motivated me to continue with the other social networks (besides Instagram) for traffic! Good luck this month!

    1. Hi Gabe,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m really happy to hear that you were able to gain some value from these posts. I’ve often wondered if I should continue writing these goal posts. To be honest, I mostly write them to act as a guide for myself. But if I’m able to help motivate, that’s a huge bonus! Best of luck with your goals this month!

      1. I do the same. Hopefully I can give other ideas, but if not, it motivates me to keep going.

        So don’t stop! You never know who you’re motivating out there.

        1. Thanks for the support, Gabe! It’s true that you never know who you’re motivating out there. Keep up the great work on your end too! 🙂

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