LIFESTYLE

Monthly Recap: April 2020 (or, the Isolation Month)

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Life in April 2020

While April wasn’t amazing, it definitely wasn’t as stressful as March so I’ll take that. Like many, we’ve been staying put.

I’ve still had to leave the house a couple of days a week to work and my boyfriend had two weeks off but then has been back to work full-time so we haven’t been quite as isolated as many, but still a different kind of life for sure. 

Nothing huge to report over, but we did move our existing couch into our bedroom and got a new couch for our living room (with recliners). We hardly ever used our living room because it just wasn’t big enough for us to both comfortably sit on it and Maximus and I usually always work and Michael usually always plays games on his laptop so we wanted to be able to do that in the living room instead of from the bed. Also, having the other couch in the bedroom instantly made it much cozier.

couch
couch

Where I Was Featured in April 2020

I’ve been trying to write more for other publications. 

My personal essay for Wellness Lounge Magazine about my late ADHD diagnosis is now published!

I shared my favorite donut puns for Let’s Eat Cake!

I wrote this piece on feminist travel as my first piece for Impact Travel Alliance. 

I was interviewed by Huffpost on what to do if you can’t pay your rent due to COVID-19. 

35 Before 35 Update

Well, I don’t see this happening before 35 (it wasn’t going to happen anyway haha!) I’m adding this to my monthly post for my own accountability. I made this list back when I turned 30 and I do tend to be overambitious when making these types of lists, but it’s still fun no matter if I don’t complete them all.

  • Number of Items Completed: 5 of 35 – participate in a monthly book club, have a consistent brand, act more like an entrepreneur instead of a hobbyist, get my scuba certification, lead a compassionate and conscious life.
  • Number of Items Started: 2 of 35 – I said I was going to focus on eating healthier (which I finally have done!) and work on learning a second language which I have finally done too!
  • Updates to List: I removed Havasu Falls from my list. I actually scored a hard to get permit this year and was planning to go but I was feeling uncomfortable about the horrible abuse of pack animals and I decided it is not for me right now. If that changes in the future, I would probably go. Not sure what I want to replace it with yet. It is unfortunate because I want to support Native Americans, but I can’t be a part of animal abuse.
  • List Items to Focus on in May: start vlogging and yoga.
  • List Items to Focus on in 2020: hike long-distance (looking to do my first multi-day hike in Isle Royale this year probably not happening now due to COVID-19), be location independent, spend the night somewhere haunted, be comfortable in my skin, and visit all 56 Tennessee state parks. These are now very dependent on the coming months.

Income Report for April 2020

Income

In April 2020,  I earned a total of $554.93 from my blog or projects obtained through my blog.

Affiliate Income: $58.51

  • Booking.com – $0
  • Amazon – $58.51
  • CJ – $0
  • Skimlinks – $0
  • Get Your Guide – $0
  • ShareASale – $0
  • Awin – $0

Ads: $40.42

  • Ezoic – $40.42
READ THIS POST  Monthly Recap(s) | April - September 2019

Freelance Writing: $350

Freelance Projects: $0

Sponsored Posts: $100

Sponsored Instagram Posts: $0

EXPENSES: $201.74

  • Pinterest VA (for scheduling) – $90
  • Google Suite – $13.11
  • Tailwind (for Pinterest scheduling) – $14.99
  • Coschedule – $30
  • Impact Travel Alliance – $9.99
  • Keysearch (for keyword research) – $13.60
  • Adobe (for editing) – $0 – they offered 2 free months 
  • Facebook Ads – $30.05

Thoughts on my expenses – I’m always looking to see where I can trim down on expenses, but I also realize at some point you have to spend money to make money.

Impact Travel Alliance is a sustainable travel network and who I traveled with to Nepal. I love the community. This network is not just for media – it’s for anyone who is interested in or believes sustainable travel is important. If you’re interested in joining, make sure to mention my name when you do so!

I switched from AWeber to MailerLite because it’s cheaper (even free to a certain point!) and I think it’s easier to sue. 

NET INCOME: $353.19

Blog Traffic for April 2020

Traffic definitely dropped in March, started to climb back up in April, and has plateaued at about 50% of what it was before COVID-19. 

  • Monthly sessions for Wild Hearted: 10,460 (– 3,763)
  • Monthly sessions for Oddities and Curiosities: 7,095 (+ 1,353)
  • Monthly sessions for Books Beans & Botany (253)
  • Monthly page views for WH: 17,561 (– 2,914) 
  • Monthly page views for OC: 13,326 (+ 3,412)
  • Monthly page views for BBB: (378)
  • Monthly users for WH: 9,896 (– 3,240)
  • Monthly users for OC: 6,974 (+ 1,439)
  • Monthly users for BBB: (233)
  • Social media followers for WH: 68,720 (-15)
  • Social media followers for OC: 705 (+38) 
  • Social media followers for BBB: (577)
  • Blog posts published/updated for WH: 5 (-4) 
  • Blog posts published/updated for OC: 2 (-3)
  • Blog posts published/updated on BBB: (12)

Blog Goals for April 2020 Recap

These were my goals for April and how I ended up doing. 

  • Update old posts. – Nope, not really. 
  • Work on non-travel related posts.  Yes, definitely did this!
  • Make $2000 in blogging/freelance income. Nope, in fact it decreased not surprisingly. However, I did commission and complete several articles, but have not been paid yet. 
  • Finish my shop and resource pages. Not completed.
  • Compare and decide on email services. Completed, went with MailerLite!
  • Compare and decide on moving website hosts. Started, but not completed.
  • Taxes! Boo. Started, but not completed.
  • Work on my brand new (third!) website – Books Beans & Botany. – Yes!

Blog Goals for May 2020

I’m honestly not even sure as I’m winging it. However, I will be focusing less on number-related things as I did in April. I was surprised to see that my O&C blog’s numbers continue to climb though. 

  • Make $2000 in blogging/freelance income.
  • Finish my shop and resource pages.
  • Compare and decide on moving website hosts. 
  • Finish taxes.
  • Send 60 pitches (I sent 30 in April!)
  • Finish optimizing my profile on Upwork.
  • Update several posts to be relevant. 

Most Popular Post

This guest post written for me on vegan tips for living van life was the most viewed new post in April. Check it out!

vegan van life

Other Posts Published

Here are all the new posts I published in April.

READ THIS POST  Monthly Recap: June 2020

What I Read This Month

I made a lofty goal to read 100 books in 2020. And, I’m happy to say, I’ve finished 24 books so far. That’s technically a tad behind but I’ve been reading a lot of long books so I’ll easily make up time with some shorter books.

I’ve made a goal to read 100 books in 2020. Join me on Goodreads and on my new blog which is all about books and plants and coffee to read in-depth reviews!

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski 

On My Bookshelf in May

I’m currently reading:

  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America’s Wildlands by Jon Billman

What I Watched This Month

Well, at least no one can judge me on the number of movies and shows I watch now. And, I watched a lot of True Crime this month. 

Prodigal Son – Started watching this show thanks to our friends Jenn & Ed and it’s great! About an FBI profiler (seriously my dream job when I was younger) and his serial killer father who he turned in when he was just a little kid. 

Underwater – Kristen Stewart’s newest movie based in a deep ocean drilling site. Pretty good and I’ll be adding it to my scuba diving movies and docs list. I loved her sports bra she was wearing so much in this movie, I looked it up online (not something I normally would do) and was so excited to find it was a sustainable company that I bought one. 

Run – A new show on HBO starring Merrit Weaver (love her!) and the guy who played Bill Weasley in Harry Potter. Classified as a comedic thriller, I’d say that’s the most accurate way to describe it. Worth the watch!

Creepshow – Remember this from the 80s? Well, Shudder has redone it and it’s not bad at all!

The following movies are all Shudder originals which like in March, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with and they actually have some decently known names. Not like the typical B-horror movies with horrible acting (which I still kind of love): Bliss, The Furies, The Head Hunter, Summer of 84, Satanic Panic.

Casey Anthony: An American Murder Mystery – A story that most of know and I feel like the majority believe she did it (I’m in that group). So infuriating though.

READ THIS POST  Monthly Recap: August 2020

The Mid 90s – We made a new mission to watch all of the A24 movies because they’re so good and this was the first one since making that decision. Written and directed by Jonah Hill, this is a story about a small group of friends set in Los Angeles in the 90s focusing on the skateboard culture. Really good, but was not aware of how dark it was. 

Hunting JonBenet’s Killer: The Untold Story – Another infuriating one. So much to unpack on this, of course. 

The Murder of Laci Peterson and Scott Peterson: An American Murder Mystery – Another well-known case that I was unaware many think the husband is not guilty. While he did get convicted, after watching these two documentaries, I can see why people would think he’s not (although he is most definitely a cheater). I, unfortunately, think it’s one of those ones we’ll just never know for sure. 

Pamela Smart: An American Murder Mystery – Pamela Ann Smart is an American woman who was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering, and accomplice to first-degree murder.

Cooked with Cannabis – New laid-back and chill cooking class on Netflix. Despite the use of animals, a fun concept! Also cool to learn more about cannabis in general and how it can be used in cooking.

Ozark Season 1 & 2 – I’ve seen both of these seasons before, but Michael had not and I wanted to get him caught up before watching season 3.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann – This is about the little girl who went missing in Portugal while her family was vacationing there. They never found her or who did it. Not sure what I think about it but a fascinating documentary.

Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer – I had put this off despite hearing about it (not sure why though), but oh my god. This was so good. 

Casting JonBenet – Interesting take of a documentary that included primarily footage from auditions of the JonBenet movie that was made and most of these people were locals so shared local information of the time during the investigation.

The Keepers – A Netflix docu-series about a nun that was murdered but the story is much deeper and disturbing than just that.

Peaky Blinders – Continuing Peaky Blinders and love it so much!

The Staircase – Whew. Another Peterson husband convicted of murdering his wife. This is the most bizarre thing. I believe that he did it. Definitely worth a watch. 

The Platform – A really unique movie with a deep, underlying, and important message. Warning that the subtitles are terrible, but the movie is worth it. Also, warning that it’s very gory.

What We Do in the Shadows – This vampire mockumentary show is amazing. 

The Cheshire Murders – A HBO true-crime documentary and probably one of the more disturbing ones I’ve watched. 

Currently listening to…

Coming Up in May 2020

I’m going absolutely nowhere anytime soon as I hope is the case for everyone. 

I will be focusing on my three blogs, pitching A LOT, and diversifying my income, I hope.

Lots of reading, lots of enjoying the company of my boyfriend and dog, and lots of writing (hopefully!)

HOW ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR TIME AT HOME?

Ashley Hubbard is a blogger and freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on sustainability, travel, veganism, mental health, and more. Passionate about animal rights, sustainable travel, and social impact, she seeks out ethical experiences whether at home or on the road. She shares these experiences on her website, wild-hearted.com.

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