🐽 Pig Pilots ✈️

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Want to start from the beginning?

I can't believe I missed Pig Pilot's birthday! πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

I have been so in the weeds with my latest #pilotidea, I didn't even realize that a whole year has passed running and testing businesses in this way!
I guess that's what happens when you #launch something new!
In the last year, I have #tested 5 pilot ideas and at least 50 business models to get to where I am today. Where is that exactly?
  • Earning consistent income every month πŸ’°
  • Working on scaling a profitable business πŸ“Š
  • A growing client list about to max out πŸ“
  • A plethora of ideas to continue testing πŸ§ͺ

I have learned so much about myself and business in the last 12 months.

The biggest #takeaways are all the things people say you should do, but that most people need time to allow it to sink in, and this was the 1st year I really embodied these:
  • Do your own thing and ignore the crowd
  • Don't spend time on anything that isn't producing results
  • Be confident in yourself, your skills, and your abilities
  • Know your worth and then ask for it
  • Do the work. Seriously, just do the work
The next phase of Pig Pilots includes more testing, more #experimenting, and more piloting. More to come!

tl;dr It's been 12 months since I launched Pig Pilots, and even though the anniversary totally flew by without me realizing it, I've learned a lot in the last year. These are just a few of my biggest takeaways.

Author Bree Weber Published 1/29/2019, 3:20:58 PM Permalink

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Today is a big day in Pig Pilots' history

Today marks the most amount of #money that I've made in a single week – from #copywriting or any other #pilotidea. I'm talking more than double my #monetary #conditional.

πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

I think it has at least a little to do with launching this #contentcoaching program in #alpharelease, and bodes well for seeing strong numbers next week (as long as I can keep generating interest).
For now, I think I'll take the weekend to celebrate!

tl;dr I not only met this week's monetary conditional, but exceeded it – by more than double. This is the largest amount of money I've earned in a week in Pig Pilot's history.

Author Bree Weber Published 1/18/2019, 11:52:47 PM Permalink

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If I look at my mini goals, this week was a failure, but if I look at my conditional, this week was a success.

And I'm always looking at my conditional.

My #minigoals are just a way for me to meet my #conditional, and this week I not only met my #minimummonetary, but I exceeded it! 🀩
That means I'll be adding to my Piggy Bank 🐽
As far as mini goals, creating content – both for my blog and other platforms – was the area I consistently failed. I need to change my mindset from 'finding time to write for myself' to 'creating time to write for myself'.
That said, increasing my Piggy Bank balance is definitely a boost, because having dry or slow weeks is hard on my entrepreneurial ego. It's also a solid reminder that putting my head down and working hard yields results. πŸ’ͺ There's even a chance I'll get Bonus Bucks!! πŸ’Έ
I'm half way into month 5 of #contentwriter #pilotidea, and I think I'm really getting into a groove, here. 😎

tl;dr This week I failed to meet several of my mini goals, but I met my minimum monetary and then some any way! I'm adding to my PIggy Bank, and on Sunday I'll see if I get any Bonus Bucks.

Author Bree Weber Published 7/14/2018, 12:28:11 PM Permalink

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Today has been a hectic, crazy kind of day. I feel like I'm trying to cram 3 days of work into 1, which is evident by the fact that I'm still working at 8pm with hours to go.

That said, I don't think I've ever enjoyed my work this much.

I love talking with my clients about their business #goals. I love #writing pieces that tell their #story. And I love the feeling of #hustling for something that makes me happy.
When I first started Pig Pilots, I said I wanted the #pilotidea to fulfill 3 requirements:
  1. Profit
  2. Purpose
  3. Passion
So, let's zoom in on each one of those, because I think I've totally nailed it.
  1. Profit – This has been the most monetarily successful pilot, and I've reached my #monetaryminimum
  2. Purpose – Every client has become a repeat customer, which tells me there's a need for this work and the quality I provide
  3. Passion – πŸ‘†See above; even when it gets stressful and overwhelming, I am enjoying the process. It's not just about results, it's about the journey.

#backtowork

tl;dr Writing has fulfilled my initial criteria of providing me profit, purpose, and passion. I'm enjoying what I'm doing, my clients love my work, and I am seeing monetary growth. 😁

Author Bree Weber Published 6/27/2018, 9:27:03 PM Permalink

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I've changed everything

I've been feeling for a while that my system for monitoring my progress on #minigoals and #conditionals was not quite robust enough. I've complained about it a few times like when I said it was forcing me to choose between money and fame from as far back as April.
So, it's been a long time coming, but I did it! I have a new conditional system.

There are a couple really big changes. Probably the biggest two are:

  1. 🚫 There is no more engagement conditional
  2. 🚫 There is no more popularity conditional
Say what!!!
Yup! I just celebrated my 3 month anniversary as a #contentwriter! #Popularity and #engagement are no longer my focus. I need to scale this #pilotidea into a full-blown business. What does that entail?

Well, first of all, like literally every other successful business on the planet, I need to earn a profit.

There is no second of all.
Everything else that we #entrepreneurs focus on like branding, marketing, networking, productivity, sales funnels, pipelines, etc. is just strategies and channels that we are using in the hopes that it will bring in revenue that exceeds our expenses and taxes. So, yeah, #profit.

The other big change I've introduced is a Piggy Bank 🐷

So, it's no longer about #success or #failure, because I've just spent 12 weeks proving that I can not only succeed every single week, but grow tremendously (minimum 50% #growth every week!).
Instead, every time I exceed my #minimummonetary, I add that excess amount into my Piggy Bank. If I don't meet my minimum monetary, I subtract the difference (between my goal and what I actually earned) from my #PiggyBank balance.
It works just like a profit and loss statement. As long as I have bank in my bank, I continue to push forward and grow this business. If my #bankbalance goes negative, I re-roll with a new pilot idea.
Yup, scary as hell!.
But it also reflects the reality we all live in. If you #invest in yourself, build a #business, and turn a profit, great! But if you take all the same steps and go broke or into debt, you close up shop and move on.

I'm also piggy-backing Bonus Bucks onto the Piggy Bank (get it? πŸ˜‚)

When I exceed my minimum monetary by more 10%, I pay myself a bonus of 10% of that excess called Bonus Bucks. If the next week, I exceed by 20%, then the #BonusBucks are equal to 20% of that excess. Every week, the Bonus % increases for as long as I'm on a streak. Miss a week, and reset.
Bonus Bucks help me to increase my Piggy Bank when I'm doing really well and help me offset the weeks (or months πŸ˜”) that are slow. Or, ya know, if I just want to take a vacation. I can use my Piggy Bank balance as a buffer.

I'm really excited about this change and to see what happens this week! 😬

tl;dr I changed my entire conditionals system. I've dropped engagement and popularity altogether. It's all about monetary for business success, which is why I brought in Piggy Bank (to track how I can surpass my goals) and Bonus Bucks for doing really well. It's not about success or failure each week. Now, it's all about keeping my bank balance in the green.

Author Bree Weber Published 6/11/2018, 10:37:10 PM Permalink

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This is week 10 of #contentwriter, and there have been some major milestones πŸ’Ž along the way that have made this #pilotidea the most successful yet:
  • Met monetary conditional every single week! πŸ’°
  • Longest running pilot idea πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ
  • Most successful all-time monetary, engagement, and popularity 🀩
I've also met a #conditional for this week:
  • βœ… Monetary – 19,229 PigPoints
  • πŸ• Engagement – 1,921 PigPoints
  • πŸ• Popularity – 3,141 PigPoints

I've also decided to create some #minigoals that work towards individual conditionals.

Mini goals for the rest of May 2018:
  • ✍️ Publish new article to Medium
  • 🀞 Pitch to Entrepreneur editor
  • βœ‰οΈ Send pitch to The Spruce
  • πŸ“ Submit article to PopSugar
  • 🏨 Draft pitch for local hotel stay

tl;dr Week 10 means longest and most successful pilot idea, plus I met a conditional for this week.

Author Bree Weber Published 5/24/2018, 1:50:32 PM Permalink

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This is the second week in a row that I hit two #conditionals and not three. Engagement is starting to fall behind without constant posting of my own work.
  • βœ… Monetary – 5,697 PigPoints
  • 🚫 Engagement – 1,921 PigPoints
  • βœ… Popularity – 2,416 PigPoints
On the upside, #contentwriter is officially the longest lasting #pilotidea in Pig Pilots history!

tl;dr Content writer is the longest lasting pilot idea in Pig Pilots history!

Author Bree Weber Published 5/6/2018, 8:36:19 PM Permalink

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I know, I know... I went MIA again.

The good news is that I met a #conditional this week, so I'm now tied with #videogamestreamer for longest running #pilotidea!
  • βœ… Monetary – 3,798 PigPoints
  • πŸ•‘ Engagement – 1,921 PigPoints
  • πŸ•‘ Popularity – 1,858 PigPoints
The week isn't over, but this is the first in several weeks that I haven't met Popularity or Engagement. And I already know the reason – I haven't published any of my own work for 2 weeks now. I've been preoccupied with client work, which is great, but it also reveals a potential problem.
The actions I take and activities I do that can earn money are different from those that bring popularity or engagement. This effectively means I am choosing between paid projects and personal projects based on what I think is the best route that week.
Obviously, that's a bad thing. A driving force of Pig Pilots is a system that removes emotional choices or gut feeling decisions. So, it's confirmed that I need to make changes to the system. To even out how conditionals are met and paths can earn points.

tl;dr This week I realized that every week I am choosing between money vs popularity and engagement, because the actions for paid projects are completely different from the latter. This needs a fix pronto, so things will be a'changin'.

Author Bree Weber Published 4/28/2018, 12:58:11 PM Permalink

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New week, new #conditionals. I've decided to maintain the current system for the remainder of April. That said, I'm still exploring adding in conditionals to track and measure #popularity and #engagement with private clients, as well as how best to structure a new #system.
But for this week, let's start with the increased conditionals:
  • Monetary – 3,798 PigPoints
  • Engagement – 1,921 PigPoints
  • Popularity – 1,858 PigPoints
A success this week means that #contentwriter will be tied for longest lasting #pilotidea thus far, essentially one week from beating out #videogamestreamer. Content writer is already more monetarily successful and has achieved greater popularity and engagement than any other pilot idea in the shortest period of time.

tl;dr If this week is a success, I'll be tied with video game streamer for longest pilot idea. Content writer is already the most successful for every conditional type. But I'm still considering changing the system.

Author Bree Weber Published 4/23/2018, 12:08:29 PM Permalink

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Since starting this #pilotidea as a #contentwriter, I've explored over 20 different platforms to meet my #conditionals. Many lasted only a day and a select few have made it through each and every week thus far.
But as I start to evaluate this #system, I'm also evaluating my success so far. In looking at how I can grow #writing into a full time career, the answer doesn't lie in platforms. It is in cultivating relationships with private clients, working hard, and delivering good work.
The platforms give me a starting point, and (at times) some leeway. The system in general is meant to provide structure for success and clear metrics that measure that progress. So, if success lies in private clients, then I need to build in the metrics that clearly outline progress in that arena.
Here's where I'm at so far this week:
  • βœ… Monetary – 2,532 PigPoints
  • πŸ• Engagement – 1,372 PigPoints
  • βœ… Popularity – 1,429 PigPoints
More to come on system review and metric changes.

tl;dr In evaluating the PigPoints system, I am reminded that platforms are just a starting point. I need create metrics that outline success with private clients too.

Author Bree Weber Published 4/18/2018, 8:52:33 PM Permalink

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I met all three #conditionals again this week!
  • βœ… Monetary – 1,688 PigPoints
  • βœ… Engagement – 980 PigPoints
  • βœ… Popularity – 1,099 PigPoints
After putting together all of my milestones for this #pilotidea, I'm starting to wonder if my initial values for each formula were too high. Am I doing really well or have I just set up a system that is allowing me to succeed without merit?
So, this week, I'll be reevaluating to see if I need to adjust the system in anyway. To start off, I'm dropping the LinkedIn #platform for two reasons:
  1. The platform doesn't allow you view analytics broken up by dates, only all time
  2. I'm getting more engagement from external links than on-platform articles
So, I've got a new path I can fill!

tl;dr I met this week's conditionals, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm super good or the system is too easy.

Author Bree Weber Published 4/15/2018, 10:23:33 PM Permalink

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It's been about a month since I began as a #contentwriter, so it seems about time to review.
Let's start with the #milestones πŸ’Ž
  • March 20 – rolled as content writer
  • March 24 – 1st paid #Fiverr gig
  • March 26 – 1st repeat customer on a platform
  • March 26 – met monetary #conditional in 1st week
  • March 27 – published 1st article on #Medium
  • March 27 – joined Medium Partner Program
  • March 27 – 1st clap on a Medium article
  • March 28 – 1st private client
  • March 29 – 1st Medium follower
  • March 30 – most monetarily successful #pilotidea
  • March 30 – 1st week meeting all 3 conditionals
  • March 31 – published 1st article on #linkedin
  • April 03 – 1st repeat private client
  • April 10 – 1st Fiverr upgrade offer accepted
  • April 10 – 1st Fiverr tip
  • April 12 – 1st private referral
  • April 13 – 1st pitch accepted
Yup, and that's in less than 30 days!
I've got some bigger goals on the horizon, but hot damn, this is pretty incredible progress. I've met a monetary conditional every single week of this pilot idea, and all 3 conditionals for 3 out of 4 weeks.

tl;dr It's been about a month since I began the latest #contentwriter #pilotidea. This is a list of all of my milestones in that time.

Author Bree Weber Published 4/13/2018, 7:14:42 PM Permalink

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Heyoo! I met a #conditional. Yup, already! ☺️
The last two weeks I also met conditionals on Tuesday, so maybe there's something special about Tuesday. Tasty Tuesday? Tip Tuesday? I don't know, but it's cool with me.
    βœ…Monetary – 1688 PigPoints
So, any other conditionals (popularity or engagement) will also be increased by their respective multipliers, if met:
  • Monetary – x1.5
  • Engagement – x1.4
  • Popularity – x1.3
It seems like I've been meeting conditionals fairly easily as a #contentwriter, which has me wondering if I'll eventually scale up to a point that I plateau, or if this #pilotidea is meant to be.
Onwards and upwards! 🐽✈️

tl;dr I met a monetary conditional... again... on a Tuesday... again. Is the universe bamboozling me? Stay tuned, because I'm not sure.

Author Bree Weber Published 4/10/2018, 6:42:59 PM Permalink

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This is my 2nd week as a #contentwriter and I'm still making a ton of strides! This is now my most monetarily successful #pilotidea, and I'm on track to meeting all 3 #conditionals in a single week!
Monetary goal to meet = 750 PigPointsβ„’
  • Fiverr – $8 = 800 PigPointsβ„’
  • Private client – $50 = 5,000 PigPointsβ„’
βœ”οΈ Total = 5,800 PigPointsβ„’ πŸŽ‰πŸ’°πŸŽŠ
Popularity goal to meet = 650 PigPointsβ„’
  • Fiverr – 33 views = 462 PigPointsβ„’
  • Medium – 42 views/reads = 588 PigPointsβ„’
  • Alignable – nada (dropping this platform)
  • Slack – 1 comment = 50 PigPointsβ„’
  • LinkedIn – got a late start, so nada
βœ”οΈ Total = 1,100 PigPointsβ„’ πŸŽ‰πŸ‘πŸŽŠ
Engagement goal to meet = 500 PigPointsβ„’
  • Fiverr – 1 query = 175 PigPointsβ„’
  • Medium – 2 claps/follows = 140 PigPointsβ„’
  • Alignable – nada (dropping this platform)
  • Slack – nada
  • LinkedIn – got a late start, so nada
❌ Total = 315 PigPointsβ„’
I am so close to meeting all three conditionals this week! I just need 185 more PigPointsβ„’ towards Engagement and I'm set!
About 72 hours left to make it happen! Onwards and upwards 🐽✈️

tl;dr This content writer pilot idea is now the most monetarily successful in Pig Pilots history. This week, I'm also on my way to potentially meeting all three conditionals! 72 hours to go!

Author Bree Weber Published 3/30/2018, 12:33:35 AM Permalink

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I did it again!
Last week was a record in Pig Pilots for meeting a #monetary #conditional during the 1st week of a #pilotidea. πŸ…
This week is another record for meeting a monetary conditional two weeks in a row! πŸ…πŸ…
I received another #Fiverr order for $10, of which I receive $8, a total of 800 PigPointsβ„’ as a #contentwriter. ✍️
This week's monetary conditional to meet was 750 PigPointsβ„’ πŸŽ‰πŸ’°πŸŽŠ
Now, let's see if I can hit all 3 conditionals in a single week! How's that for a record 😏

tl;dr I met a monetary conditional... on day 2 of the week... for the 2nd week in a row. It's a record pilot idea already!

Author Bree Weber Published 3/27/2018, 7:38:31 PM Permalink

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Pig Pilots agree that 4 out of 5 platforms are lame

Since starting the #contentwriter #pilotidea, I've changed my platforms... oh, about 8 times.
And I'm doing it again!
  • Fiverr
  • ClearVoice
  • Contently
  • Skyword
  • WriterAccess
Yup, I've just cut 4 teammates from the roster. ClearVoice, Contently, and Skyword are really just online CVs with a tiny possibility of being contacted for a project. There is no way to actively put myself forward for projects and no metrics of #popularity or #engagement. So, they're out.
WriterAccess may end up being an active #platform and it actually does have #metrics that I can use for popularity and engagement, but the process is moving super slowly. Ain't nobody got time for that!
Maybe if WriterAccess picks up the pace, I'll add 'em back, but for now, they're benched.
After looking into #Medium's Partner Program, I've decided to add it into the mix, for a handful of awesome reasons:
  • I can write about whatever strikes my fancy
  • I can create my own writing + publishing schedule
  • I can make money from their membership program
  • It's not advertising-based
  • The UI is super pretty
2 down, 3 more to go....

tl;dr I'm dropping every platform except for Fiverr. The others just don't offer enough opportunity to be active or track metrics. I've found one replacement: Medium, but I need more to increase my chances of meeting conditionals.

Author Bree Weber Published 3/27/2018, 8:37:29 AM Permalink

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I met my first #contentwriter #conditional! πŸŽ‰πŸ€©πŸŽŠ
I earned over 500 #PigPointsβ„’ in #Popularity from #Fiverr
  • Each view or click = 14 PigPointsβ„’
You can see that I didn't receive any impressions, clicks, or #views (let alone orders or cancellations) from the top three gigs, because I only created them earlier today.
I made a lot of changes to bottom 2 gigs listed trying to figure out what works and how to get engagement. Over the course of this week, after setting up the original gig details, I:
  • revised the description
  • recorded and uploaded a video
  • uploaded new, customized images
  • changed the pricing structure
  • changed the title
  • recorded and uploaded a new video
  • changed the title again
  • changed the description again
  • lowered the prices
  • reduced the turnaround time
  • changed the title again
  • changed the pricing structure again
Even so, there were some things I couldn't change.

Why do I look scared in the video preview imageβ€½β€½β€½

Anyway....
I chose not to include impressions (number of times my "gig" shows up as a thumbnail) as a Popularity Action, because someone scrolling through a search page with my face next to a 100 others may or may not even notice me.
Initially, I chose to include clicks (from those impressions), but looking at my results, I realized that I'd be counting these numbers twice in my points calculation since they're technically included in views.
So, I've revised the Popularity Action conversion to PigPoints for Fiverr to:
  • Each view = 14 PigPointsβ„’
In any case, 14 PigPoints x 43 views (24 from gig 1 + 19 from gig 2) = 602 PigPointsβ„’
Since I needed at least 500 PigPoints, it's a #success! That means I extend this #pilotidea for another week, and the popularity conditional drops off until I meet a monetary conditional.
Since I have new platforms, I really need clarify the Engagement Actions for each platform, or find replacement platforms. All of which, I'll do before Monday!

tl;dr I earned PigPoints and met a conditional as a content writer. I changed up my approach a lot, including what counts towards PigPoints conversions. I'm extending my pilot idea for another week, but the popularity conditional drops off. I'll have to meet a monetary or engagement conditional next.

Author Bree Weber Published 3/23/2018, 8:25:58 PM Permalink

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This week has been a 5-day long failure.
The good kind... I hope.
Despite my constant paralyzing fear of #failure, Pig Pilots is helping/forcing me to embrace failure. Each #pilotidea only has a single week to show promise, which means I need to fail fast, and explore as many approaches as possible.
So far, as a #contentwriter, I've tested and dropped the following platforms:
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • WittyPen
  • IZEA
  • UpWork
  • LinkedIn
  • People Per Hour
They either didn't provide engagement, straight up lied to me (yes, I'm still bitter, WittyPen!), or the timeline to get moving is longer than the known shelf life of this pilot idea.
And, of course, the process of pitching to magazines, online publications, and blog-based websites moves quite slowly. Maybe I'll hear back in 3 weeks and be delighted to write the article I pitched this week, but maybe I'll be on to something completely different. Β―\_(ツ)_/Β―
I've got just 3 days left to get 500 #PigPointsβ„’ (in a single category) with any of these platforms:
There's a problem with all of these though.
I don't have any control over what happens next. All of these platforms allow only the client to contact the writer, if and when, they have a project that would be a good fit.
You probably already know, I do not like not having control. 😩
Plus only one of these platforms – Fiverr – has any metric for popularity and engagement. These platforms are first and foremost, tools to find paying gigs. So, my options at this point are:
  1. Drive all traffic to Fiverr to build up popularity and engagement
  2. Badger my network for a paying gig
  3. Twiddle my thumbs and wait for something to happen
  4. Just start writing whatever and wherever the fuck I want
Clearly, 3 is a trick answer. Putting all my eggs in 1 basket is pretty contrary to the Pig Pilots concept. And I've never been one to enjoy spamming the internet. This really leaves #writing. This is a pretty core part of being a content writer, anyway. #solutions πŸŽŠπŸ™ŒπŸŽ‰
Regardless of project or platform, getting other people's eyes on my work is my goal. I'm confident in my writing and the value I provide as a content writer. So, I'll be on Reddit, Twitter, Medium, and wherever else, #writingmyheartout.

tl;dr This has been a fail fast kind of week, but time is running out. If I don't find an approach that works, it'll be on to the next pilot idea!

Author Bree Weber Published 3/23/2018, 11:01:32 AM Permalink

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Since every Pig Pilots has #conditionals to meet in order to extend the #pilotidea, and I am now a #contentwriter, I've got new mini-goals to meet.
Content Writer Conditionals
As a reminder, conditionals drop off the mini-goal list when achieved, and can't be reactivated until a monetary conditional is met, which reactivates all conditionals:
  • Monetary = 500 PigPoints
  • Engagement = 500 PigPoints
  • Popularity = 500 PigPoints
For previous pilot ideas, the conditionals system has been pretty straight forward since I was only using a single platform. But as a content writer, I'm using multiple #paths to promote myself and get hired.
Is a Reddit upvote equal to a Twitter like equal to an Upwork bid?
No, which is why I need a #pointsystem to easily convert actions and results from various paths into equivalent values.
Enter PigPointsβ„’
Every path has a formula so that I can convert it's results (#pathpoints) into #PigPoints. The most simple and straight forward conversion is money:
  • $0.01 = 1 PigPoint
Popularity and Engagement each have multiple paths (which I've limited) to 5, so every platform has a unique breakdown.
Popularity Breakdown
  • Reddit | 1 post point = 7 PigPoints
  • Twitter | 1 like/reply/retweet = 50 PigPoints
  • Fiverr | 1 view/click = 70 PigPoints
  • WriterAccess | 1 casting call/crowd order = 175 PigPoints
  • Wittypen | 1 invite = 175 PigPoints
Engagement Breakdown
  • Reddit | 1 PM = 175 PigPoints
  • Twitter | 1 DM = 350 PigPoints
  • Fiverr | 1 message = 175 PigPoints
  • WriterAccess | 1 solo/love list = 175 PigPoints
  • Wittypen | 1 star rating = 70 PigPoints
For all of the Engagement actions, the content of the PM, DM, or message has to be on track to possible gig. That might be a query for more info about my writing experience, requesting details on the topics I cover, or asking how much I charge for a project.
The path point to PigPoints conversion is based on anticipated average results from each platform. Since, it's already mid-week, I've got a way to go to 500 PigPoints!

tl;dr A new pilot idea means new conditionals. Since I'm using multiple paths, I've created a universal point system, PigPoints, to track my progress.

Author Bree Weber Published 3/21/2018, 4:16:32 PM Permalink

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I rolled for this week's #pilotidea and landed on #contentwriter!

tl;dr I rolled for this week's #pilotidea and it's confirmed: I'm a #contentwriter

Author Bree Weber Published 3/20/2018, 3:42:45 PM Permalink

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Looking back at my time as a #videogamestreamer, I can think of quite of few things that I did differently as a #streamer.
These are Twitch's 10 tips to grow your channel, and how I ignored them to get better results:
Know what you want to get out of streaming
I most definitely did not know what I wanted to get out of streaming. Obviously, the #goal of Pig Pilots is part of every single #pilotidea, but I didn't start with specific intentions for streaming. I allowed myself to learn and grow, and develop the channel and community along the way. In that sense, it was very organic, and my viewers played a huge role in determining my channel's style and goals.
Look at what makes other streamers successful
I very intentionally stayed away from other streamers, because I didn't want to emulate anyone else. I knew that I didn't know what I was doing, and it would be far too enticing to just copy what everyone else was trying. But if everyone is doing something, you're not going to stand out. So, I didn't even look at another stream until I nailed down my own channel's #brand and #community.
Look to maximize your audience reach from day one
Alright, this is a pretty vague tip to say the least. You can read in to it whatever you want. Market yourself! Use #socialmedia! Network with other streamers! Tell people about your stream!
I did use social media, but initially saw very little #engagement there. I was starting from a network of 0. I also was not part of any #gaming communities, since I was new to video games, so I didn't have an established network to help me out. Most of my viewers and followers came from a slow build up of Twitch's browse page and word of mouth, with a few trickling over from social media.
But don’t expect to be an overnight success
I 100% ignored this. I worked very hard to create immediate success – that's what Pig Pilots is all about. Of course, I tried to be realistic with the metrics of success and mini-goals along the way. But I was not willing to accept little to no viewers or engagement as as symptom of just starting out, which is probably why I made affiliate in month despite no previous gaming or streaming experience.
Observe the rules of supply and demand. Find your niche while also noting what your audience wants
This is one that I did follow, though, without realizing it. Initially, I spent my streams learning and playing different games just to see what I liked and how quickly I could improve. I streamed more then less, at different times, on different days. I continually changed it up to see what worked – both for me and my viewers. I asked for feedback regularly (maybe annoyingly often?) and immediately implemented what my viewers suggested. I quickly discovered what worked and what didn't.
Be prepared
Oh man, did I learn this the hard way! At the beginning of my #streamingcareer, I would hop online just a few minutes before I wanted to start streaming and scramble to get everything ready. I then started to give myself an extra few minutes each stream thereafter until I finally realized I needed at least half an hour to get myself squared away.
By the end, I had created a #streamersnackbox that I filled up every day with healthy (okay, mostly sugar) things to eat, in order to cut down on my stream breaks. I also switched from coffee to tea (which was a big deal!), so I could quickly caff up for long streams.
Consider your presentation style
After achieving affiliate status, I hit a plateau. I wasn't sure if it was because I was having an off week, spring break was taking people offline, my chat was broken, moving away from the noob vibe was turning people off, or something else altogether. I looked at some recent broadcasts and realized that I had been so tired I had hardly been talking – a big change from my earlier streams. So, I changed my presentation style... every hour... for 12 hours! – and I found what worked for me.
Be a reliable broadcaster
Everyone and their mom talks about how important it is for streamers to have a stream schedule. Why? I'm not a brick-and-mortar shop. If someone really cares about when I'm streaming, they can sign up for streaming notifications by following me.
In fact, I honestly believe that not having a schedule (but streaming regularly) encouraged more people to follow. I would even announce on stream that I stream regularly but don't have a schedule, so you can either follow for notifications or check back every 5 mins to see if I'm online. Worked like gangbusters!
Keep them coming back for more
Again, this is super vague and it's only meaning is what you read into it. This advice basically says have that undefinable, unique quality that will rocket you to success. Don't worry, I did that one! 😎

tl;dr Twitch shares their top 10 tips on how to be a successful streamer. Here's why I got better results by ignoring them.

Author Bree Weber Published 3/17/2018, 11:00:43 AM Permalink

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This past week, I did not hit a conditional.
That means, the #videogamestreamer #pilotidea is done, and it's on to the next.
I've taken the last two days catch up on #sleep and start putting together facts, lessons learned, and #insights from my 6 weeks as a video game streamer for Pig Pilots.
Specifically, as a video game streamer, here are the facts:
The Good
  • I was averaging 23% #growth
  • I #monetized in the first two weeks
  • I made affiliate status in 1 month
The Bad
  • Every time I took a day off, I lost momentum
  • As a result, I only took off 3-5 days each month
  • I streamed an average of 33 hours every week
  • I worked an average of 41 hours every week
  • Some weeks I worked 60+ hours
Some of my insights are less fact...
The Opinionated
  • Streaming changed my sleep schedule, which left me feeling exhausted
  • When I was tired I was less talkative, which negatively affected my engagement
  • Because of my streaming schedule, I spent less time on my social life
  • I ran 3 contests, but each had very little interest or engagement
  • People seemed to really hate my #conditionals
I'm going to continue to share facts and insights, including further thoughts on what I've shared above. I'll be re-rolling to determine my next #pilotidea Monday (3/19/18) morning.

tl;dr A run down of my life as a video game streamer. I worked hard and saw great results, but the rest of my life was impacted as a result.

Author Bree Weber Published 3/16/2018, 1:58:22 PM Permalink

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I missed a conditional
I'm definitely feeling bummed that this one week put me behind on my #goals so much so that I missed a #conditional. I #streamed for about 30 hours (and gamed for another 15) last week, but didn't make the gains I anticipated.
One silver lining is that I experienced my first week of bits and cheering. This was a completely new concept to me, but I really did feel cheered and motivated! Clearly, Twitch, has a super cool pysch consult.
I'm taking my weekend – the first in over 3 weeks – to regroup. I used up my one and only allowance for the entire quarter, so whatever happens next week determines if I move on to a new #pilotidea and leave #videogamestreaming behind.
My working theory is threefold: first is that I'm really tired (Pig Pilots is hard work!) and my stream content quality is suffering as a result. Secondly, I'm not as chatty and personable as I normally am because I'm focused on improving my game. And lastly, I do think the tech issues I discovered at the end of the week put a damper on things.
Clearly I need to rest up, practice up and get this tech sorted. So, I'm off to rest and recover and probably play a bit offline, so I can come back all shiny and new.

tl;dr I missed a conditional, which means this next week determines whether or not I continue video game streaming

Author Bree Weber Published 3/5/2018, 11:03:48 AM Permalink

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Since this week is going slower than I'm used to, I'm going to use this post to #reflect on how this #videogamestreamer #pilotidea is going. I can get some serious tunnel vision with #goals, but I've already made some pretty incredible headway.
Let's start with the #milestones πŸ’Ž
  • February 02 – first stream
  • February 04 – first follower
  • February 04 – 5 viewers
  • February 06 – 10 followers
  • February 10 – 25 followers
  • February 11 – first donation
  • February 17 – 10 viewers
  • February 25 – 50 followers
  • February 28 – Affiliate status
  • March 1 – First cheer in chat
Yup, that's just 30 days...
So, while it's not unheard of to get these milestones in one month, it's simultaneously totally freaking #awesome. Being new to Twitch (and, really, to gaming, still) these are tremendous accomplishments already!
Now that I'm part of the 'middle class' of Twitch, this is where it is supposed to get hard. I'm transitioning my #channel from new kid on the block -> to -> hey, I'm staying for the long haul. If that part was super easy, everybody would be a #twitchillionaire.
This is the time to work harder and try newer, more different things. Let's do this!

tl;dr It's been 30 days since I started streaming, and holy cow, I've made some amazing progress!

Author Bree Weber Published 3/3/2018, 2:51:49 PM Permalink

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It seems that I may have hit a plateau as a #videogamestreamer
After progressing each week, I upped the anti to meeting two (instead of one) conditionals this week. And as luck would have it, this seems to be the week that everything slows down.
Progress as of this post:
  • Reach 20 viewers (simultaneously) –> max viewership has been 13 this week
  • Attain 17 new followers –> have 14 new followers so far
  • Receive a sum of $7 donation/tips –> have not received any
I'm getting nervous because I've really begun to love streaming on #twitch and I actually don't want to roll the dice on a new #pilotidea. But, if #pigpilots has taught me anything it's that what feels impossible is, more often than not, absolutely possible.
So, I'm definitely not giving up. I've got about 2 more days to hit these two conditionals and I'm going to stream my heart out. See you there.

tl;dr It's getting down to the wire to hit these two conditionals and stay a video game streamer. I'm not giving up because the impossible is possible.

Author Bree Weber Published 2/25/2018, 1:34:39 AM Permalink

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Each week that I test a pilot idea, I'm analyzing my results to see if I'm meeting pre-determined #conditionals. For this past week, I was trying to meet:
  1. Reach 15 viewers (simultaneously)
  2. Attain 13 new followers
  3. Receive a sum of $5 donation/tip
I'm so stoked to have achieved a conditional again! This time I received tips and donations surpassing my $5 requirement. So, I'm extending this #pilotidea for another week and changing up the conditionals by multiplying met conditionals by 1.3:
  1. Reach 15 viewers (simultaneously)
  2. Attain 13 new followers
  3. Receive a sum of $7 donation/tips
When I started this #videogamestreamer pilot idea, I felt like a #gaming newbie who was testing the waters. But I've learned a ton about gaming and about streaming. Now, I need to focus on building my channel, engaging with viewers, and connecting with the larger #gamingcommunity.

tl;dr I met a conditional making this pilot idea the first to be profitable. So, I'm extending another week as a video game streamer and updating my conditionals.

Author Bree Weber Published 2/13/2018, 2:29:03 PM Permalink

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Now that I've had some sleep, it's time to reflect on the #24hourgamingmarathon
I have to admit, I completely doubted myself. I'm a person who loves to sleep, so the idea of staying up for 24+ hours made me want to vomit.
I didn't think I could even play for that amount of time, especially since I had never played #videogames for more than maybe 6 hours.
But... I did it!
As you can tell in that photo, I look zonked! I was ready to pass out, but I learned a lot about games, what I like, connecting with people online, and I think I actually improved tremendously in just a day.
After getting over the initial shock of completing this #challenge, I think there are a few lessons to be learned and insights I've walked away with. Here are the top 3:
  • Marketing is still a big deal πŸ“£
  • Not everyone belongs on the stream πŸ™…
  • Believe in the impossible πŸ¦„
Every time I had a surge of new viewers on my stream and had a chance to chat and connect with new folks, it was a result of posting to Reddit or Instagram or elsewhere on the interweb. Just like any other industry or platform, you can't just build it and expect people to come. You have to invite them!
I had my first interaction with a challenging viewer. I anticipated trolls and meanie-faces early on in this #pilotidea, but this was my first encounter with (what I thought was) a well-meaning kid who was simply interrupting the stream. I'd call myself someone who doesn't like letting people down, so it was really hard to say no and block the user from chat. Especially, when the user kept creating alternate accounts to rejoin. But I feel like I handled it well and stuck to my guns rather than indulging a user for more viewers. Goes to show that the community I want on my channel isn't for everyone.
It seems kind of ridiciulous in a venture about doing what seems impossible, taking big risks, and getting outside my comfort zone, that I would even need to remind myself, but hey, I'm a human, too. It's still hard to believe what others have claimed impossible or even what I've told myself is an impossibility. A week ago, I would have absolutely announced that a 24-hour stream was impossible, and yet, here I am, on the other side of that challenge.
The best news is I met another conditional, πŸ™Œ more in the next post.

tl;dr I streamed and played video games for 24 hours straight. I learned that marketing is a big piece of the puzzle, not everyone is good fit for my streams, and it's still hard to believe in the impossible... even when you're in the middle of doing it.

Author Bree Weber Published 2/13/2018, 10:48:28 AM Permalink

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In an effort to make this as quantitative a process as possible (as opposed to qualitative), I'm throwing some math into this #turtlerace mix.
For every conditional met, I'm extending the #pilotidea 1 week.
For every conditional met, I increase the conditional by 1.3.
So, that means for the next week of #videogamestreamer, I need to meet one of the following #conditionals:
  1. Reach 15 viewers (simultaneously)
  2. Attain 13 more followers
  3. Receive $5 donation/tip
In the case of fractions, I'll be rounding up. Let's see what I can do in the next 7 days!

tl;dr I have new conditionals based on math

Author Bree Weber Published 2/7/2018, 9:57:05 AM Permalink

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I stayed on my twitch stream for about an extra hour because...
  1. it was a lot of fun
  2. I met a conditional!
I had a lot of great engagement aka people were chatting both with me and other people which was awesome. Someone in the chat mentioned how the community for Diablo (the game I was playing) is small, but super friendly and chill – I definitely agree.
At the height, I had 9 viewers on my stream and ended the night with 11 total followers! So hooray! #conditional met 🎊
I'm going to extend this #pilotidea until the end of this week. I'll be back tomorrow to post a new update about the revsied conditionals I'll need to meet to keep this #turtlerace going.
All I know is I'm still a #videogamestreamer.

tl;dr I set conditionals to determine if I should extend the video game streamer pilot idea, and it succeeded.

Author Bree Weber Published 2/7/2018, 12:58:25 AM Permalink

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I've been playing more #videogames than I ever have, and I'm actually really enjoying it!
I'm pretty tired so #sleepygrammar all over this thing.
As I've learned more about streaming and the #videogamecommunity, I've realized that I set my conditionals a bit too arbitrarily. So, it's a bit late in the game, but this whole thing is about failing and trying new things, so I'm revising them.
  1. Reach 15 viewers (simultaneously)
  2. Reach 10 followers
  3. Receive $5 in donations/tips
I'm about half way to the first two, so I'm curious to see what will happen in the next few hours. If I don't achieve any of the conditionals, I'm on the to next #pilotidea
I'll #streaming until midnight on twitch

tl;dr I've changed my conditions, but there's only 3 hours left 😬

Author Bree Weber Published 2/6/2018, 9:19:06 PM Permalink

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Remember the tortoise and the hare story? [spoiler ahead] The hare speeds through, gets tired, and takes a nap thinking there is plenty of time to finish, while the tortoise takes it slow and steady and ultimately wins the race.
Well, I think there's another version of that story, more modern. The bunny spends ages researching routes, building his endurance, and planning out the best strategy, while the turtle jumps right in, adjusting when needed, failing and correcting, and again ultimately wins the race.
I need that. I need my own turtle race.
From an analysis perspective, I think my turtle race is to add in a few more conditionals when determining if a #pilotidea is successful.
Let's start with the current one: #videogamestreamer:
  1. Since a big aspect of streaming is other people watching your stream, the first conditional is to reach 15 people on my stream at once.
  2. The next element is followers since that definitely has an impact on how many viewers, so the second conditional is 50 followers
  3. And finally, since I'm testing this as a business idea/career path, the third conditional is receive a donation/tip or sum of tips totaling $5.00
If any of these three conditionals are successful before 11:59pm local time on Tuesday the 6th, then I extend this pilot idea. Otherwise, it will be on to the next.
So to get started, I'm hoping over to live stream on twitch right now.

tl;dr I've got conditionals to success which makes this a turtle race

Author Bree Weber Published 2/3/2018, 11:44:14 PM Permalink

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So... I just did a Facebook Live Video to talk about where I am in the process and how I'm approaching a new #pilotidea once it has been randomly selected.
I mentioned in the video that I'm feeling #frustrated today, but in replaying the video, oh man, do I look and sound stressed!
That's because I am.
I knew this would be hard and #uncomfortable, that each week and part of the process would be #challenging in its own way, and I'm kind of bummed I was right πŸ™ƒ
Disclaimer: #cursing ahead
Okay, so, yes, today is a shitty day. And, no, I'm not filtering that out of my posts or updates. Because starting a business is #hard. Testing new ideas #sucks sometimes. The entire point behind sharing the process is to be #honest and transparent about what happens when you shake things up in your life. In my life, when I shake things up, I curse. Really, does any shake up resolve without someone yelling "What the fuck?!"
I don't feel better writing this out, but I do feel satisfied that this is what I'm actually, #honestly thinking and feeling.
This shit is hard.

tl;dr This shit is hard

Author Bree Weber Published 1/30/2018, 2:35:52 PM Permalink

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Looking over my past posts, I've noticed a #trend.
There are a lot of typos, spelling errors and grammatical faux pas – mostly on my early morning and late night posts.
Clearly, I'm attempting to type without the influence of much-needed coffee.
I have been going back in and editing those posts to ensure that I look professional and literate. But, that takes time away from each #pilotidea
So, I'm going to stop doing that. (Ugh, that hurts to type)
I will be leaving all my errors out there for everyone to see 😣 and simply tagging those posts with #sleepygrammar

tl;dr New tag = sleepygrammar

Author Bree Weber Published 1/29/2018, 11:46:59 AM Permalink

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In this past week as a #musician, I've found that a great deal of the music industry is like book publishing – an industry I know intimately well.
The arguments for label vs indie are the same as publisher vs indie. The challenges and opportunities for indie artists are almost identical to those for indie authors. And the average income isn't too far off either. In both creative landscapes, only the ones that get big (like sold out stadium concerts big) are making great money.
Most are doing this on the side.
Most still have their day job.
All of this tends to validate my 19 year old choices. I told myself then that I couldn't be a composer full time, and so if I wanted to provide for my passion I needed another income avenue. The problem being that I didn't continue to play, compose or perform. So, what is it really my passion?
I'm not going to lie, I'm still not sure.
What I do know is that exploring music further is something I can (and want) do #ontheside. In evenings and on weekends, just like the other 90% of musicians out there.
But for #pigpilots, it's on to the next #pilotidea

tl;dr I'm about 75% sure I made the right decision 10 years ago. Now, for the next one.

Author Bree Weber Published 1/29/2018, 10:21:38 AM Permalink

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Thinking about the music that I like, bands I listen to, and where I spend my own money as a fan of music has me thinking about approaching music business models differently. πŸ€”
I've gotten a lot of tips this week about promoting myself on social media, building up a following, and even releasing music on #iTunes.
I'm going to go ahead and go against the grain on this one. 😎
I love the #symphony and I love #Phish (great band, look them up).
What do these two have in common? Their music is best performed #live.
And they've got great business models based on selling #livemusic!
So, for the remainder of my #musician #pilotidea, that's all I'm focused on. I'm not working on building up a following or even recording a song. I'm selling live music.

tl;dr Live music is the future (it just also happens to be the past)

Author Bree Weber Published 1/25/2018, 10:20:51 PM Permalink

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It’s been a decade since I’ve made a sound on this beautiful BuffetΒ #clarinet, but this week’sΒ #pilotideaΒ isΒ #musicianΒ so I’m taking toΒ #16thstreetmall to busk like a realΒ #streetperformerΒ for the first time ever 🀞

A post shared by Pig Pilots (@pigpilots) on

Author Bree Weber Published 1/24/2018, 2:24:46 PM Permalink

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I've landed my first #gig as a #musician!
Well, sort of.
I'm taking to the streets for my first practice session in about a decade 😬
First, I need to find clarinet reeds
And probably research busking laws (street performance) to see if this can land me jail 😳
This #pilotidea is taking off!

tl;dr I'll either be a street performer or land in jail for a night

Author Bree Weber Published 1/24/2018, 11:32:57 AM Permalink

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This week's #pilotidea is "senior tech helper". I left this pretty generic in the giant list of possible business ideas, so let's break this idea πŸ’‘ down: provide training and support to #seniorcitizens πŸ‘΅πŸ‘΄ looking to learn and understand #technology.
Technology is the easiest and fastest way to stay in touch with loved ones, keep up to date with current events, and learn new skills or concepts. There is absolutely no reason anyone should be left out!

Author Bree Weber Published 1/23/2018, 12:13:17 PM Permalink

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I had some serious help from my better half, and as a result, this site was developed, designed and launched within less than 24 hours! #programmingskills at work here. πŸ™Œ
Now, it's time to celebrate with some coffee β˜•οΈ, then get down to this week's #pilotidea.

Author Bree Weber Published 1/23/2018, 9:49:00 AM Permalink

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