It’s finally here-my last installment of my Info Barrel goals for 2011.  Thirteen months ago, I publicly declared my intentions to learn more about writing online to increase my income.

To be honest, stating my year of goals first came from a place of fear.  My husband is a rare person who has been working for the same company since he graduated college.  He had risen through the ranks, paid his dues, and for sixteen yeas ran two branches of his company’s offices.  For me, that was sixteen years of being a single parent with a wedding ring Monday through Friday.

When the second office closed, he was transferred back to the main office, located less than ten minutes from our home.  To say that this transition was stressful for our entire family would be an understatement.  While his being home was welcome by us all, it was not for the right reasons.

My dream was always to be a stay at home mom.  I have lived this dream for the last nine years, and last year, was not willing to give it up.  When a friend told me she would look for a part-time job in her line of work which had “mom hours“, that scared me…I did not want to be stressed by any kind of outside the home job.  As stressful a job as being a mother at home is, it is my choice to be here. I enjoy my volunteer work and the fact that I can wake up every day and make my own choices.

And for those who think jobs with “mom hours” are ideal, think again.  They are typically low paying, and there are still the stresses of sick children, missed activities at school, and house responsibilities that still have to get done.

In addition, my twins are still young enough to need me and my mom’s health is a constant concern. In the past, I have worked both full time and part time after my children arrived.  It is not for me. 

I had been earning some money from Info Barrel, and knew that I had to learn how to earn more to stay at home.  I am one of those people who when I say something, I mean it and see it through.  There is no way I would just write an article about my goals and then slip off into the sunset, tail between my legs if they were not achieved.

Each month, I shared what my goals were for the next month and what I had achieved during the previous month.  Let me tell you, writing down my goals really kept me on track. 

What I Have Learned in 2011

Thanks to the wonderful writers here on Info Barrel, I have learned:

How to make an aStore (thanks MomWhoWrites)

How to add media to images to increase revenue (thanks chezfat)

What a “Target” is in a link box (thanks, dPeach)

Getting better at keyword research (thanks, jcmayer777)

Learning more about Amazon and selling (thanks Lilblackdress and JadeDragon)

In addition, I have also learned:

A fun way to earn play money on Swagbucks.  After reading about it on mommyblogs for a year and a half, I took the plunge.  The Amazon gift cards that I earn are, for the most part, just for me.  Mommy is entitled to shop without guilt!

I learned how to write Hubs and articles on Seekyt.  My income has increased each month with the handful of articles I have on Seekyt, and now wish I had written more.  That should drive the lesson home to all writers that maturing and SEO should, in most cases, lead to increased income each month.

I am full of gratitude to our wonderful administrators, who consistently strive to make improvements to Info Barrel.  They also correct my title typos when I write far too late into the night.

To my fellow Info Barrel writers who know that this is, bar none, the best revenue sharing site on the internet, thank you.  The fact that you took the time to read my goals articles, commented or rated, and cheered me on each month left me filled with so much gratitude.  You have no idea how apprehensive I felt when I hit the “publish” button, and wondered if anyone would read what I had to say, or even cared.

I want to give a special shout out to Philtrate, who has gave me tons of advice when I ventured in the world of Wordpress.  His guidance was invaluable.  Thanks, Phil, you rock.

Which leads me to another thing I learned in 2011-if you are new to something, do not abandon it until you have mastered the process.  With my hectic summer and fall, I did not get to finish my website. I recently went to make some edits, and I was lost.  Seriously lost.  Can you guess what one of my 2012 goals will be?

In 2011, I also set up three different niche blogs in addition to my Girl Scout blog.  They are helpful in creating backlinks to other things that I do.

My major goal for 2011 was to earn $1,000 a month with all of different avenues of revenue sharing.

Did I accomplish that goal?

No.

But I have come close!  To be honest, my earnings still vary month to month. My best month to date was $928.31  (Adsense, Chitika and Amazon combined),  which is a long way from my income this time last year.  I even had one day where I earned over $48.00 in Adsense.  What an incredible feeling that was!

My December goals were modest, due to my crazier than ever schedule.  I did write 33  points of articles to achieve the 90% revenue share.

What are my goals for 2012?

While I will not be documenting my goals month-by-month anymore, I do have more goals that I will to achieve.

I will be mastering Wordpress again.  I bought a second domain name, and have plans to create three more static niche sites and one continuing niche blog once those are established.  I will first write all of my posts, and then play around finding a theme that works and how to make it work.

I am going to spend time writing on Seekyt. I enjoy the platform, and since I have yet to master how to add media, I can simply write and publish. 

While I will still add articles to my Info Barrel library, my primary focus during the winter months is to add more relevant media to all of my articles.  Not only has adding media boosted my Adsense earnings, my Amazon sales have taken off considerably.  I have a few hundred articles that need to have media added or changed, so this is truly going to be a process, but one that will prove to be valuable.

I hope my series of articles this proves to newbies that earning money is possible, but only with hard work and dedication.  There is no fast track or easy way to success.  I am constantly learning to achieve my goal for more earnings.

Thank you again for reading and supporting me along the way.  This has been one incredible year!