My 2020 Annual Review

Another year in the books. Here’s a brief recap of my 2020 including:

  • Highlights
  • Lessons learned
  • Plans for next year

Highlights

I got engaged! I proposed to my girlfriend at a nature preserve near my apartment in March one week before the entire country shut down. In a year filled with uncertainty and chaos, this marked a bright spot. Our wedding date is set for next summer and I couldn’t be more excited.

This was my first full year of being my own boss. This was my first official year without working for an employer and I loved it. I found an entrepreneurial schedule that allows for a nice blend of deep work and deep relaxation, which kicks the hell out of my old 9-5 routine.


I hit $15k in monthly income! This number still blows my mind. At the start of the year my monthly income hovered around $3k but by spending almost all my time writing SEO-optimized articles across my portfolio of five sites I’ve been able to explode my income. For those who are curious, about 80% of my income is from Mediavine ads and the other 20% is a combination of affiliate links and my own digital products.

I launched my first successful digital product. Until this year, I had launched several digital products that had mostly been duds. But with the release of The Income Community earlier this year, I’ve experienced my first successful digital product launch with over $15k in sales since inception.

Lessons Learned

It’s okay to just be a freak at one thing. I’ve been dabbling in making money online for over four years now, but the reason my income really exploded this year is because I focused on just one thing:

  • I sit at my desk and write SEO-optimized articles for 4 hours every morning.

That’s it!

Unfortunately, in the years leading up to this I tried to do too much:

  • I tried building a variety of digital products.
  • I tried affiliate marketing.
  • I tried creating courses.
  • I dabbled in freelancing writing.
  • I created weekly curated content for Four Pillar Freedom and Collecting Wisdom.

But this year I realized the one thing that I’m a freak at: Churning out a lot of SEO-optimized articles.

So that’s all I do now. I just sit and write with a freaky level of focus and consistency.

And this is what caused my total traffic across my sites to exceed 500k visitors per month and my income to surpass $15k per month.

Here’s a screenshot of my ad revenue across all my sites from a few weeks ago as proof:

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

This was a year of simplification for me. I narrowed my focus in all areas of life – health, wealth, and happiness.

I even created a list in Notion to remind of the “important things” in life:

This tiny list reminds me to focus on the things that make my life good.

Plans for 2021

I don’t like to set goals. Instead, I like to practice habits and just let the outcomes take care of themselves.

With that said, here are two “milestones” I would love to hit in 2021:

  • Hit 1.5 million monthly visitors across my portfolio of sites.
  • Hit $30k in monthly income.

To hit these milestones, I only plan on doing one thing: Sit at my desk and write SEO-optimized articles for 4 hours each morning.

It sounds simple, but it’s the exact process that took me from $3k in monthly income to $15k. I suspect that it will be the exact process that takes me to $30k per month and beyond.

It reminds me of this quote from James Clear:

“High performance often hides behind boring solutions and underused insights. The fundamentals aren’t sexy. They just work.”

That’s it! Thanks for reading. Wishing you all a wonderful 2021!

Zach

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