My Business Year 2019 In Review: Successes 🎉 Struggles😣 And Plans📝

It’s already February❄ and it means… it’s time to write yet another annual review post! 👍

At the end of each year, I always try to take some time to reflect back on the previous year.

I used to do it at the end of “my” year that was counted from the moment I started my business. It happened in September, which seems to be a bit odd time for a year review. Since this year, I decided to do it like everybody else, at the beginning of a new year.

In this blog, I write about what I am doing to create various income streams that come from online endeavors. The yearly reports let me take a look at my business from a distance.

The reports also motivate me💪

I tend to forget my achievements… and posts like this one won’t let me do it 🙂 Apart from that, they help me to remember how much I have progressed and how much I have already invested in my business. It’s a motivation to push even harder 💦

Here’s what happened in 2019 – and here were my goals for the past year

Let’s see what I achieved and where I slacked👁👁

Successes and accomplishments

Let’s look at the first three achievements I accomplished in 2019.

Increasing the revenue

There is no doubt this item was on my 2018 list 😉 I put there a certain number… and exceed it in reality 🤗

2019 was good to me.

Google updates favorited almost all of my money-making websites and the traffic kept growing⬆

Also, my Pinterest strategy with Tailwind proved to be highly successful and it increased the traffic even more.

Here’s the yearly traffic of Mother 🐘 Website; it grew more than twice compared to the previous year: 

Here’s the yearly traffic of Baby 🐘 Website; it grew more than 4 times compared to the previous year 🤯:

Aaaand here’s the yearly traffic of 🐀 Website… well, its traffic grew by 5% 🙈 I guess a lack of love shown! 💔

Thanks to the increased traffic on the websites of my 🐘 family, in the middle of the year, I was able to switch from Adsense to the next tier of ad platform, Ezoic.

Got lost in my Elephants, Rats, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean.

This very quickly resulted in increasing my ad revenue by 3 times and my total revenue increased by more than 1.5 times compared to the previous year.

Here’s how it breaks down to the months (I took it from my last 2019 income report):

Becoming more efficient

This item was also on my 2018 list.

I succeeded in this area thanks to the automation I implemented 💻🤖

I wrote Google Doc and Spreadsheet macros that generate briefs for writers. This helped me to eliminate silly mistakes I used to do and to make sure all the needed info is captured.

I implemented a manager for Asana, a project management tool I use, that changes the status of tasks depending on which subtask gets completed (turned out it has a free API available to anybody who has an account 🤯). This saved me tons of mental energy! 😅

I am really happy with this achievement and plan to do more automation in 2020👍

Getting better at outsourcing

In 2019, I finally outsourced content editing and management🎉 

It was a big achievement since these activities were sucking out life out me 😫🥱😴😲😖

I also dabbed into outsourcing social media work. For that, I hired an apprentice (well three of them but only one survived till the end 🙈). I got them via an apprenticeship platform Acadia (former GenM).

Other achievements

Struggles and failures

Surprisingly, I don’t feel I failed that much during the last year.

On the opposite, I feel I learned a lot and managed to put the learnings into action and get good results.

I vividly remember January 2019 when everything looked very gloomy. Even my always cheerful and supportive husband started asking me some hard questions about my future plans on improving my business 🙄 I made only $463! 😱 and my expenses exceeded my revenue 😥

It was one of the two months in 2019 when I was in red.

But of course, quitting the day job only 3 months ago, I did not plan to give up. 

Plus, I knew the high season was coming the next month 👍

Outsourcing struggles

Probably, the biggest struggle was outsourcing work and managing my team.

I do have management experience from my day job. 

But managing software devs who already know the best coding practices and are motivated by challenges and new knowledge and freelancers who need to be trained from scratch and motivated by somethings else are two very different things!

I had to learn how to close my eyes on imperfections and work with what I had.

Eventually, I grew very fed up with my old team and started replacing it with a new one.

It was a painful and resource-consuming process. 

But what I’ve learned so far is that it’s possible to achieve good results. The key here is hiring the right people for the job and giving them a very thorough training.

I also explored some alternative methods of getting freelancers: I got three apprentices via an apprenticeship platform Acadia (former GenM).

Failed to take advantage of the sales time

In 2019, I totally missed the Prime Day, which is the biggest Amazon sale of the summer.

I just did not realize its importance 😬

Instead, I put all my efforts into Black Friday 2019 – and it turned out to be a total fail 🤦‍♀️

The lesson is learned and In 2020, I will put a lot more effort into Prime Day and won’t probably bother with Black Friday at all.

Other struggles

Here are my other struggles:

  • None 😂
  • Being more focused; because of that, I sold one website (🐝 Website) and paused work on another (🐀 Website)
  • Being too emotional sometimes; when something went wrong, I got too upset a few times and it clouded my thoughts and prevented me from resolving issues efficiently.

Got lost in my Elephants, Rats, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean.

Top lessons learned

  • Be more confident in what you are doing – losing a few hundred bucks is not the end of the world! However, this spending may well open new doors for you
  • Find the right people and invest in them (such a huuuuuge discovery 🤣🤣🤣)

My income reports for 2019

If you feel like dwelling on some particular details of my last year, here are my income reports for 2019 for your convenience:

Report Revenue
Jan-Feb 2019 $1,424.97
Mar-Apr 2019 $3,793.28
May-Jun 2019 $4,042.34
Jul-Aug 2019 $3,906.22
Spe-Oct 2019 $4,247.75
Nov-Dec 2019 $4,386.57

Plans for 2020

Revenue projections

Since I started writing these annual reports (this one is number 4️⃣), for the very first time, I actually exceeded my revenue projections! 🎉 I usually made them way too high but not this year.

So, for the year 2020, I decided to go bold again and aim for doubling my revenue! 🤯


I want to grow in 2020. And not only with the existing websites but also with new websites.

I can do it either by building a new website or by acquiring an existing one.

I don’t think anymore I will go with SaaS, at least at the moment. I want more money 😁 and because of that, I decided to stick to the methods I already learned and can refine further. This means that the new website will most likely be again in ads+affiliate area.

An acquisition seems like a more probable option since it’s the fastest way to grow.

So, how was 2019?

It was great 😍

It gave me confidence that I can pull this thing off 😎 

I just hope the year 2020 won’t spoil that 😂

How was your 2019? What were your top achievements and lessons learned? Let me know in the comments!

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