It’s time for the almost yearly habit of looking back at the past year and summing things up for future me to know how things went.
2023 started really well, much better than 2022 did, but ended poorly – at least on the financial/blogging side of things, thanks to the so much hated Google updates, mainly the HCU.
Before getting into the nitty gritty, here are my past year in review update (except for 2021, which I missed to do big health issues – massive burnout):
Now, let’s jump straight into it!
Blog money in 2023
I will try to keep things as short as possible. First, because nobody really reads these articles, and even I don’t want to go through heaps of text whenever I feel like checking out a recap.
1. Great start, crappy finish
The year started amazing in terms of blog traffic and income, following a VERY bad 2022, mostly because of my health issues.
Just to put things into perspective, here are how things looked like, and how bad the drop was (just two examples, but it’s pretty much the same all across the board):
I also missed the opportunity to have this blog moved over to Mediavine, from Ezoic, because I was still under contract with the latter.
Eventually, the blog was hit and at the moment, it’s not getting anywhere near the 50k session Mediavine requires.
I will move it over to SheMedia (check out my SheMedia review here if you’re looking for a great platform) and hopefully I’ll forget all about Ezoic.
2. Income was still OK
Despite the drop, earnings were much better than 2022 overall, and that’s all that matters.
Sure, things are not looking good right now and 2024 will be interesting to say the least, but at least I was able to set some money aside exactly for the uncertainty incoming.
3. Optimized time & income sources
Following my health issues in 2021, I am still not at 100%. Most of the time, I only work around 3 hours per day on average.
Therefore, I had to GREATLY optimize how I spent my time. It worked for a while, until the Google slap.
I still learned a lot, and even though things have to change, at least I know that focusing on fewer projects (I always had too many blogs to handle) and on maximizing revenue is the way to go.
4. Outsourcing doesn’t work well
Apart from one of my blogs where I was lucky to find some great people who love to write and know what they’re doing, trying to outsource for ANY other blog was a pain.
Nobody delivers human-written content anymore. On the contrary, I’ve received on many occasions barely edited AI content.
While I don’t have anything against AI content, I’d be stupid to pay a huge fee for getting an article that cost 20 cents to produce. A crappy article, too.
So outsourcing is on the back burner right now, until I can figure a way out. I personally believe that it’s very difficult to find real writers nowadays, and not just AI regurgitators.
All in all, 2023 was a good year for my blogging business, even though since the Google Helpful Content Update in September things became more than scary.
Travels in 2023
I didn’t get a chance to write about most of the traveling we did this year, but it was acceptable, although we didn’t get the chance to spend a month, as we used to, in other cities.
I blame the crazy prices for that, but also the fact that my son’s in school now and that gives us fewer opportunities to spend months away from a main city.
- Early this year, we visited the Sinaia resort in Romania for a few days. I wrote a piece on the best restaurants in Sinaia too, and it was nice overall.
- We visited Hungary, spending a few days in Mako and a week in Szeged. Both amazing places and great alternatives to Budapest.
- We spent a few days in various cities throughout Romania, including seaside resorts: Craiova, Bucharest, Mamaia, Neptun.
- We spent one amazing week in Golden Sands, Bulgaria at Melia Grand Hermitage (one of our favorite All Inclusive Resorts in Bulgaria).
I also wanted to travel to Budapest and Vienna again, Florence, as well as Varna and Ruse (Bulgaria), but couldn’t squeeze them in during the tight schedules. Maybe in the future.
Health in 2023
- Still not at 100%, but I was able to take better care overall
- Not as much physical exercise as I wanted, even slowed down a bit on walking
- Had some hiccups in terms of eating healthier too, but I am again back on track
- Overall, decent recovery and a much better state than 2022. I still have a lot of work left to do.
So, this would be 2023 at a quick glance. I might’ve missed some important things – and I decided not to go as much into the persona and personal finance thing like I did last year.
Overall, for me and my family, 2023 was a much better year than 2022. Big challenges are announced and expected for 2024 and I have to admit that I am a bit nervous. But I’m sure, at the same time, that I’ll make it work somehow.
I hope your 2023 was better than the previous one and that 2024 will be even better, no matter what challenges it has in store for you!