Black Bralette and Flowered Shorts // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

The first big challenge in my 52 Weeks of Momentum course has arrived! I have 90 days to complete a “passion project” of my choice.

One could argue that Asian Barbie is my passion project, and they would be completely right. I love this site like an entrepreneur loves her startup, and treat it as such. Thus, my 90-day passion project for the course has to do with growing an aspect of this site.

The goal of the project will be to get 2,502 daily blog readers by March 31, 2018, the official deadline for the challenge. One of my larger goals for 52 Weeks of Momentum was to gain 10k engaged readers by December 2018, and this is basically the three-month version of that goal:

10,000 readers in 1 year / 12 months per year = 834 (rounded up) readers in a month

834 readers per month * 3 (3 months for 90 day passion project) = 2,502 readers in 3 months

This means that I should be aiming to attract and retain 27.8 new readers per day. Since 0.7 of a person is … concerning, we’ll round that up to an even 28 new blog readers per day. Twenty-eight people is around the size of a large elementary-school class, or the total amount of employees at a small company. It’s a manageable number that I am confident I can achieve.

✨ Goal: 28 new blog readers per day for Asian Barbie until March 31, 2018 ✨

Black Bralette and Flowered Shorts // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

What’s held me back

Before I go into how I’m going to accomplish this goal, I wanted to address two very real hang-ups I have about marketing:

The fakeness associated with being an “influencer”

Put your goddamn frosé down in that boomerang, Sharon, I know that your life is empty and that you secretly hate everyone, I want to scream every time I view an influencer’s “spontaneous” Instagram story. Seriously, do they not see how eye-roll-inducing and stitled their content is?

I’ve talked about this before, but I’ve always felt super icky about marketing because of how desperate it comes across. My previous attempts at marketing on my Instagram shows this (I’m internally cringing at this caption right now, by the way):

The fake captions I put on my Instagram

I would write stuff like this back when I was trying to emulate my favorite influencers. But you know what? Screw that. I’m not trying to build a huge reader base so that I can be famous and make a lot of money (though those aren’t bad side effects!). This is about sharing my own discoveries and knowledge with others who may be struggling with things I’ve been through, and to make meaningful friendships with people who think in similar ways.

The randos who hit on me out of nowhere

An annoying dude who sexualized a literal post about algorithms

An annoying dude who sexualized a literal post about algorithms

ICK. ICK ICK ICK ICK ICK.

ICK.

/heavy sigh Since this is mostly a tech and productivity blog with style elements in it, I post photos of myself in fashionable clothing, and when I’ve shared links to public groups and forums in the past, some people have thought it was an open invitation to comment on my body or private message me things that have nothing to do with tech or productivity.

I am still incredibly hesitant to advertise on public Facebook pages today because of this (the instance shown above is one of many — never forget!). HOWEVER, as mentioned before, I love fashion and I want to share the style pictures I take with my readers. [1] I refuse to let a small subset of people who make me uncomfortable keep me from doing the things I love. [2]

Creep on, creepers. The block button is there for a reason. And no, I am not single, nor will I meet up with you, nor will I respond to literally any message that you send me that does not have to do with the subject matter at hand.

Black Bralette and Flowered Shorts // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

Those two things are, in effect, two very real limiting excuses I had/still have for not putting myself out there more. What if people think I’m fake or just out there for likes? What if annoying randos misunderstand my message and start harassing me online?

Well, damn, Mimi!, I will say back now, what did you just write in bold text above? Fuck not doing things because you’re scared. Your time here is limited, remember?

Yes, exactly. Onwards with the goal! Now that we’ve gotten my hesitations out of the way, here’s how I plan on getting those 2,502 readers by the end of March:

The Process: Getting real quantitative about what I want

I’ll be using Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” method and applying it to gaining blog followers. This is how he outlines the approach:

Determine exactly what you are willing to give in exchange for the readers (or whatever it is you’re reaching for) you desire.

In exchange for 28 new blog readers a day, I am willing to give …

… One full day per weekend dedicated to learning about and coming up with a system to test marketing strategies and applying what I come up with, until I have a beautiful, streamlined system that I am proud of

… Two hundred dollars (the amount I earn in one full 8-hour day of work at my internship) for a traffic-acquisition course that I believe in

… Two hours every morning to create engaging blog posts that I actually enjoy writing, and that people will find a delight to read

… Three hours every evening to administrative and PR tasks, which include day-to-day blog upkeep, finding new channels to distribute my content on, and reaching out and engaging with readers

… Time, patience, and effort, including potential public embarrassment, to find out what works, and to build a truly engaged audience that I would actually become friends with in real life

Establish a definite date you will have the amount of readers (or whatever it is you’re reaching for) that you desire.

✨ March 31, 2018 ✨

Black Bralette and Flowered Shorts // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

Describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

I will make these goals public on Asian Barbie. This will create social responsibility and accountability. I also want to be as transparent and genuine as possible about what I’m doing, and I want to be able to look back on what I’ve done during this period of my life and see how hard I’ve worked.

I will use the blogging routine I have already established. On weekdays, I’ll write and post a new article each morning, then do administrative and outreach work in the evenings. On weekends, I’ll block out time for strategic planning and creating new systems (for example, the weekend of January 6-7 I will research and learn about Google Analytics and Pinterest marketing).

I will find a course on generating blog traffic and follow every part of it that pertains to me. This will cost money, but it is a much more effective solution than to weed through a myriad of free resources online. #OpportunityCost #CanYouTellIWasAnEconMajor

I will follow the marketing book Pinteresting Strategies to a T (or very closely), and report my results with Pinterest-based advertising. I will not be lazy about this.

I will prioritize eating well, actually sleeping, and working out every single day. I can’t create my best content and engage with others in meaningful ways if I’m legit dying on the inside. 😛

Read your written statement out loud, two times daily, just before bed and just after rising.

Okay, so this one’s kind of weird, and the walls in my place are super thin, so I hope my roommate doesn’t judge me for randomly saying “28 new people will read Asian Barbie today and want to come back” to myself in the mirror.

Track your progress every day.

This isn’t part of Hill’s method, but it’s built into 52 Weeks of Momentum and I think it’s valuable. I will be tracking the number of unique sessions Asian Barbie gets every day, which is literally just looking at that field in Google Analytics and writing the number down in an Excel spreadsheet.

Black Bralette and Flowered Shorts // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

How this all applies to you

As is the theme with these posts, I don’t want to preach at you or only talk about stuff I’m doing without giving you an opportunity to use my tools yourself. To recap, this is the method that I’m using to reach my specific 90-day goal:

Determine exactly what you are willing to give in exchange for the readers (or whatever it is you’re reaching for) you desire.

Establish a definite date you will have the amount of readers (or whatever it is you’re reaching for) that you desire.

Describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

Read your written statement out loud, two times daily, just before bed and just after rising.

Track your progress every day.

You can apply Hill’s process to literally any goal you have, provided that your goals are specific and quantifiable enough. I also recommend that you write down these questions, along with your answers, ideally by hand. Actually say the statement aloud every day, keep your promises, and track your progress. If you’re serious about what you’re willing to give up, this should be a nice framework to get you the results you desire.

I’ve heard freaky things about how well this system works, and can’t wait to see the results it’ll bring for both me and for you.

Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

The 90-Day Passion Project | Fake & Basic

Notes

[1] For example, I am wearing a bralette and fancy shorts in these photos, and yes, you can see my belly button! Shocking. All it means is that I think this is a cool outfit that I want to share! It does not give you permission to say things about my body or inquire about my relationship status, thank you very much.

[2] If this phrase weren’t so long and I wasn’t so deathly afraid of needles and pain, I would get it tattooed on the inside of my right arm. I would also get “amor fati” on the inside of my left arm, because I could use a visual reminder both of these principles at all times. One day …