Employed for Good – 2020, A Year in Review

Hello friends!

Employed for Good (EFG) is primarily a blog (though it’s poised to become a big more in 2021.) So I wanted to share an update on how the blog has done this year – both in terms of stats, and my own individual progress!

This type of post is something I’ve seen more on lifestyle blogs. But I know some people would find the data interesting – especially those who know me personally, or have similar blog projects. I want to be able to offer whatever is helpful, even if it’s a little outside the norm.

And anyway! Working in nonprofit tech is kind of its own lifestyle.

Getting into the holiday spirit. Also, disregard the angry-lookinh plastic owl. He’s cool.

Traffic

As we all know, 2020 was…2020.

I definitely wasn’t as productive as I thought I’d be at the beginning of this year. Which is okay. I’m guessing most of you can relate.

But all things considered, the blog had a great year for traffic. My visitor count went up by 7.5%. That’s compared to a 53% dip from 2018-19, when I fell off the wagon.

Straight from Google Analytics. The orange line represents 2019.

Other things I thought were worth highlighting:

EFG saw a 459% jump in traffic from google/organic search. That jump resulted in 22% of my traffic coming from organic search this year (compared to only 4% last year). It feels great to know that the algorithms are picking up the blog and that I’m writing about topics people are looking to learn about.

EFG also saw a 129% increase in Pinterest referral traffic. This surprised me a bit, since I stopped using Pinterest earlier this year. (Too many social channels!) But that source traffic is mostly towards this one event checklist post I wrote a few years ago. So not quite my niche anymore….but I’ll take it!

And on that note – the cruel irony. The platforms where I’ve chosen to spend my time – Twitter and Facebook – didn’t change much this year. But that’s okay. There are other things I get from those platforms.

Bonus – some of you may know that I started a Youtube channel last year. It only had 32 views in 2019. This year, it’s up to 311. Certainly not a massive wave, but Youtube is the big question mark in the EFG universe right now. So I’m happy to see any growth there at all.

Other Accomplishments

Settling on the right WordPress theme. Earlier in the year, I crashed my beloved Twentytwelve theme. After bouncing around, I finally settled on a design that’s easy to maintain and strikes the right feel. (If you’re curious, this is the Twentysixteen theme. I only ever use WordPress themes, because I find it easier to Google ways to customize the code.)

Learning to use Google Tag Manager. I mostly learned about GTM for my job. But now that I’ve implemented it for EFG, I know it’ll go a long way in helping me organize my tracking down the line. (If you have a site that you’re serious about using to convert visitors in any way, I encourage you to learn too. This video was helpful.)

Treating the blog as something more. This was the year I started to treat the blog as more than a soapbox. I signed up for an Asana account to organize my tasks. I set up an actual content calendar. I (attempted) to build a weekly work schedule around it. And why not? It is literally my investment!

Other content milestones – like my first guest blog post, honing in on my niche, and a few email opt-in offerings.

Some challenges

Growing my subscriber list. I’m that person who submits an online form with 0’s in the phone number field. (Yup, I’m a database admin out to ruin CRM’s everywhere!) Personal data is valuable, which is why I’m not super aggressive about building my email list. I want to respect people’s right to privacy, and only email those genuinely interested to hear from me. So I have to figure out how to widen my net, in a way that’s sincere to that principle.

Balancing the blog with Youtube. In my ideal world, the Youtube channel would be riddled with Excel, Google Sheets, and Salesforce tips by now. But being newer to Youtube, I haven’t found quite the right rhythm for brainstorming content + scripting and filming + editting. It’s a lot when you’re trying to blog and also work full time.

Settling on a vision. I’d say the blog and Youtube channel are extensions of where I want to grow. But they feel very separate to me right now. I wish I had a clearer picture of how they can both exist together.

Building community. Darren Rowse is one of my FAVE bloggers/instructors. Not only is his advice sound, but he has a way of writing and being (on his social platforms) that makes his audience feel connected – like you’re “at home” when you’re engaging in a Facebook group or e-course. I’ve had great interactions with my own readers over Twitter and email. But I think I could be doing more to instill that homey feeling.

For Next Year

The only upside to this pandemic was being home, which gave me more time to to focus on the blog. (At least on the days when I wasn’t preoccupied with the state of the world.)

Now that I know what to expect for 2021 – basically, more of the same – I can at least plan ahead for some of that time. Other things I’m looking to for next year:

Getting out there. Months into the pandemic, and I’ve finally gotten over my intense Zoom fatigue. I’m ready to talk and work with more people!

Work-life-hustle balance. I mentioned wanting to find a balance between Youtube and the blog. But I want to find the right balance with my day job and my non-tech life too. I’d also like to devote more intentional time (and time-lining) to figuring out what’s next for my career.

Creating some resources. Blog posts and videos are cool. But I’d love to build a larger resource someday – like a course or kit – to help my audience. (This is part of the vision setting challenge I mentioned earlier.) I just need to spend some time thinking about what that might be.

Beginning to monetize. Not totally sure how to do this one yet. I really don’t see myself ever throwing ads on this site. Maybe it’s through consulting, or offering some sort of paid product. But I’m at the point where I feel like I’ve got enough knowledge & confidence to begin building out other income streams.

Working with more orgs. This part sort of ties back to everything else! I know how my org operates. But I really want to expand my technical knowledge, in part by getting experience with other organizations.

Writing & sharing more. That’s all.

To wrap this up – thank you!

I imagine you’re reading this because you’re someone who follows this blog. So for that, I want to say a huge thanks. (You too, mom & titi!)

I’ve had my spurts with this blog over the years. I’ve started, lost steam, got distracted by life, and fallen off.

But I feel like I’m in a place where I’m motivated, the most consistent I’ve ever been, and overflowing with ideas. You all are mainly to thank for that.

Let’s be done with 2020 already, yeah?? Fingers crossed for a better year to come. See you all in 2021.

Share your thoughts!