My Work Goals for 2010

December 29, 2009 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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2010 is only 3 days away, which means that I need to choose and set my goals for the new year.

The more I look back at it, the more I realize that 2009 was really a pretty bad year for me. I saw huge business growth from 2004-2007, and 2008 was a decent year overall, But in 2009 things really slowed down.

While part of this was due to things beyond my control, such as the effects of UEGIA creeping in and the economic recession, the fact is that I had forgotten about my goals in the first place, which did not help me to focus my efforts.

I know that everybody always thinks that the next year will be better, but in this case I think it really is true. As I wrote in my previous post: “If 2009 was my development year, then 2010 will be my marketing and traffic year”.

Tyler’s Work Goal List for 2010

Here are the 5 goals I would like to achieve by the end of 2010. If I can meet 3 of them, I’ll be very happy and 2010 will have been a great year. I have listed them in order of ascending difficulty (not in the order of which I would like to achieve most):

1. Revitalize PokerForums

Poker Forums had been my biggest money maker since its genesis in 2004. 2009 was the first year in which it slid down to #2 (narrowly). Similar to Movie-Vault, I have neglected the site for too long, and need to give much need attention again.

I did work very hard on it for about 5 weeks around April, but that didn’t help things all that much.

In 2010 I hope to bring the energy back into the forums and bring it back into the quality poker forum it once was, in both activity and poker-related discussion.

I want to port the current setup and design to the brand new vBulletin Suite 4.0, streamline the advertisements for better advertiser exposure, clean-up dead areas of the site and/or port them over to the new custom pages within vBulletin Suite, and really encourage members to take advantage of the brand new blogging feature.

I also hope to get grow the content and activity on the site, perhaps by setting up weekly poker tournaments and bringing back news to the site, hiring freelance writers.

For comparison reasons when I will reflect on this goal in 1-year’s time, the site is currently getting 13,000 unique hits a month and has 250 active members. 

2. Grow Movie-Vault to 100k Unique Hits Per Month

While I’m adding and implementing a few new improvements and features to Movie-Vault, the revamp development is pretty much done and working well. With all the technical and development issues taken care of, the site now needs content and traffic.

Movie-Vault is currently receiving around 20,000 unique hits a month, and so my goal for 2010 is to reach 100,000 unique hits per month which is a 5x increase in traffic.

This works out to 3,333 a day, which is really quite a lot, even for a movie review site, so it won’t be the easiest goal to meet, but I certainly think it’s attainable.

My plan of attack is to first contact all the previous staff writers that have since vacated the site and see if any are willing to come back to contribute to the site. I will also then invite some of the seasoned forum members to come on board as movie reviewers and/or news posters.

If I struggle with finding enough staff through those two ways, then I will hire some freelance writers to post reviews and news (mainly news) on the site. For any hired staff, I will have them submit their posts to various social media sites such as Digg, Reedit, etc. and also require them to add photos, wallpaper, trailer links, etc. to their reviews, and have them submit their reviews as external link content to sites such as IMDb.

I will encourage link-bait type posts, such as top-10 movie-related lists and Hollywood gossip.

For traffic, I will be sending out a newsletter to all the existing members of the site, notifying them of the brand new revamp, and simply reminding them about us since many would have long forgotten.

I also plan on doing some PPC marketing, using an affiliate offer landing page to help offset the advertising costs. I did this on another site before, and it’s actually a fantastic little trick if you have a quality website. For those who aren’t interested in the affiliate offer, many will stick around and register on your website.

I may also invest in some SEO backlinking and directory packages.

3. Hit Average of $100+/day Profit from PPC Affiliate Marketing

A “leftover” goal from 2009, my PPC affiliate marketing goal in 2010 is still to average a profit of $100 a day.

While it sounds relatively easy, it has been a constant struggle for me. I have certainly put a lot of time into my efforts thus far, so it’s not a lack of discipline.

I plan to keep cracking at it in 2010. I may try some new traffic sources that I hadn’t before, and may try another tracking tool, but my main plan of attack is to simply not give up. We’ll see if that’s enough to crack the $100 barrier.

4. Finish RobotWarz and Average $500/month Income

While this may sound pretty easy to achieve, I listed it as the 2nd hardest goal for good reason.

RobotWarz is already way behind schedule. We were off to a great start, but lost a ton of time while looking for the designer. We now have the designer, but things are still progressing very slowly. Game development is sure expensive and timely.

After finishing the game and getting it launched out into the gaming webosphere, it’s going to need to start bringing in the bucks to help me recoup the investment and then hopefully profit thereafter.

I know I have a full year to finish the site and then grow it to generate $500 a month, but this will be no easy task. I plan for the monthly subscription price points to be very low, ranging from $3-$25. If we assume a median subscription price of $10, I’d still need 50 subscribers to hit the $500 mark.

If 5% of the active members/players convert to a paid membership, it would require 1,000 active members a month to reach my goal. That’s quite a bit, which is why this goal will require a lot of focus and savvy marketing if I am to make it.

5. Earn $150,000+ in 2010

This is also another “leftover” goal from 2009. My goal is to generate $150,000 gross in 2010. I’m making the number gross and not profit because I wouldn’t be able to get that number until I do my taxes in the spring (making my results post ineffective).

The only thing that may skew this number is my PPC Affiliate Marketing, since I’m only making a tiny margin at the moment. This month I’ve spent $5,000 on my campaigns which works out to $60,000 a year, effectively meaning that I would only need to generate $90,000 to achieve this goal.

Heh… this is why it’s never good to use the gross amount… but as I mentioned above, I won’t be able to find my net income until my taxes are done due to just how many income sources and business expenses I have.

Although, I just took a look, and I only brought in $26,000 from my PPC affiliate marketing campaigns in 2009, so I think the $150,000 goal is still a tangible goal to use.

No More Set and Forget

As unveiled in my previous post, I didn’t meet a single goal from my 2009 list. This was largely due to simply forgetting all about them.

Dictionary.com defines goal as: “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.”. Therefore, my goals were really “desires” or “wishes” rather than actual goals.

I plan to change that for 2010 by actively reminding myself of my goals and their current status.

David Pagotto and Josef, two of the commentors in my previous post, reminded me to how important and effective it is to constantly remind yourself of your goals. Simply setting them and then forgetting them makes them pretty much pointless, as you’re not doing anything to “direct the effort”.

So, the next day I went out to Staples and bought a whiteboard (well, actually mine’s gray/metallic) and placed it in my office next to my computer and right below my calendar. I was contemplating placing it right above my monitors so that I would constantly see it, but it’s a bit of an awkward spot, and I like where it is now so I can make little notes and updates while still sitting in my chair.

Here are some photos of my new whiteboard in my office with my 2010 goals listed on it:

76

77

78

79

It’s a magnetic board too (those two round things in the bottom right corner are magnets), so I may print out a couple small photos of homes that are outside my price range, just to provide added incentive and drive.

I know that’s there’s a lot more I could be doing for goal setting, such as breaking up goals into smaller steps or timelines, but I don’t want to go “overboard”. I think this whiteboard with my goals will be a constant reminder of them, so at least I can’t say I forgot about them in one year’s time.

Well, here’s hoping to a good year in 2010. I’m curious what I’ll be writing when I revisit them in a results post a year from now.

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Posted: December 29th, 2009 under My Websites  

61 Responses to “My Work Goals for 2010”

  1. Ryan says:

    Great post Tyler. Hopefully this proves to keep you motivated and onto a successful new year. Good luck! :)

  2. Josef says:

    Hey! Good post..Nice to see you’ve got the whiteboard! I just hope you don’t wipe those Goals off!

    If you have some time I would think it would be beneficial in really giving these goals a strategy. I know some of the goals are specific but I think it would be helpful to identify the “hows” and the things that could “interfere” with you achieving those goals.

    Actually no. You need to have a strategy. You have to do it. Goals without a plan or a route are simply dreams. This board is great for starting to influence you and keep you motivated. But. I think they should be worded differently: I make 150,00k. Movie-vault will receive 100k hits a month.

    I would also ask if you’re taking these as averages?. 100k views a month? is that your target average for the year or do you actually hope to get 100k views in January. If so then the goal is flawed because you don’t instantly turn on the goal button.

    I know i’m being critical but I wanna see these work! And i know with a little more effort and brainstorming your goal setting will be a lot more effective. From where I sit it looks like you’ve put your foot in the pool but haven’t leaped in yet. Go the whole mile, get stuck in and get more detailed and plan it better.

    I wish you the best and enjoy the new year celebrations! I’ll be asking how you’re goals are coming along..maybe a monthly or bi-monthly update?

    Josef

  3. Simon says:

    Best of luck Tyler, I think the first 3 are definitely doable. $100 per day profit through affiliate marketing will only take one good surprising niche and you’re there, regards.

  4. Green Giant says:

    Goal #3: Good thing you didn’t take on any outside investors for robot wars, or else you’d have a lot of upset people as your goal is to earn only $6,000+ for the first 14 months (Oct 2009-Dec 2010).

    • Green Giant says:

      Sorry, meant to say Goal #4

    • Joe says:

      Very well said..Could scare off any potential investors now!

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      If you read, http://www.tylercruz.com/investment-project-updates/ that was based on the first 20-months, giving another 6-months of revenue, which would more likely be higher due to a slow starting curve. It was also based on a $15,000 investment which is less than what I personally put into it.

      Also, you seem to have missed the section:

      Guaranteed 100% Return Clause

      If, after 20-months, the investor has not received back 100% of their original investment, they will continue to receive their 80% share until they do. This effectively guarantees that the investor will make back 100% of their original investment. The only question is how long that might take… if the site ends up making virtually nothing then it could take years.

      Anyhow, I funded this all myself so there are no investors to be “upset”.

  5. Cool Tyler.. I’m creating goals for myself.

    Hope you will achieve all the things you want for this year.

    See ya

  6. Good Luck :-) I hope that you will achieve all your goal.

  7. @crowdmanage says:

    I like the fact that your posts are honest. It doesn’t seem to stack up to me that there are MMO bloggers that claim to make millions from PPC affiliate marketing whilst you are struggling to hit $100 per day. If I was you I would spend more time on this blog and get subscribers to 5,000.

  8. Andrew says:

    Shoulda wrote it on paper, stuck on the photos and then laminated it. Then stuck it on a frame. Then hung it up.

    Then there’s no way those goals are going anywhere. :-p

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I actually wanted a whiteboard so that I could write little notes or put little updates such as “Currently: $60/Day”.

      • Andrew says:

        Hmm, then here’s what I’d do – keep the whiteboard and then do the actual goals how I half-jokingly laid out. Half-jokingly because while it does seem a little over the top, as I said, those goals aren’t going anywhere.

        The whiteboard can certainly be a productivity booster, though, for little to-do lists, a motivator for minor goals like setting next week’s targets for your projects and a simple reminder of current levels, etc.

        But whiteboards are all too easy to swipe clean. And while you have this post, I can see pretty much anyone in that situation end up stopping hunting out this post to rewrite the goals, forgetting about them and ending up in the same situation as now for last year’s goals. I’d be the same.

        I’m actually going to set myself personal goals this year and do the whole laminating/framing thing for above my mirror and make it my desktop wallpaper too.

        Good luck with the goals, though. If you do manage to keep reminding yourself of them, I’m sure you can reach them.

  9. Wesley says:

    I have my doubts about some of those goals, particularly the flash game. There’s just too much competition. I don’t think you’ll be able to get a profit out of that one any time soon. Would love to be proven wrong though :)

    Good luck with the rest of the goals!

  10. Windsor S. says:

    Did you use a permanent marker to write on the white board?

  11. Tyler Cruz says:

    Haha, I’m not going to erase or edit the board guys. I failed all 4 of my goals in 2009 so it’s not like I have to keep up some type of perfect image or anything ;)

  12. If you make one out of 4 I’m sure you’ll be well pleased! Let’s not worry too much about the permanent markers :) you have this post to remind you! Best of luck with it…

  13. The Net Fool says:

    Those are some aggressive targets my man! I wish you the best of luck here, and hopefully you can stick with it for at least the first half of the year. I know that most goals are ditched in the first 2 months of the new year… but you seem like the kind of guy that can hammer out a plan over the long run.

    Economically-speaking, 2010 should be slow like 2009, so don’t expect the economy to come thundering back. However, things should be at least “better” than they were in 2009. Here’s to a new year of opportunity! :)

  14. Kristina says:

    Good luck with the goals Tyler!

    – Kristina

  15. poorblogger says:

    Yup.. I want to get a white board and write my goal now

  16. Lee Ka Hoong says:

    Wow Tyler, you have a wonderful goal for Year 2010! I’ll keep an eye on that to see you achieve them 1 by 1. I don’t set a goal for myself for year 2010 yet, I’m going to plan and set a goal for myself too!

    Happy New Year Tyler!

    Cheers,
    Lee

  17. Tom says:

    You could also try out rememberthemilk.com – I set that up a few weeks ago and I have recurring tasks which get emailed to me each week.

    Each task is a goal I want to complete that week. I leave it in my inbox until I complete the task (mini-goal setting, working to the larger goal).

    You could set a weekly or bi-weekly task reminder to update your status on each goal. Then, if you hadn’t done anything, it may spark you to move a project along.

    It also has a plugin to your GMail account if you use one, which you can add/complete goals right from your email. (if you are using gmail).

    Happy New Year – and good luck with your goals!

  18. Turkey says:

    In 2010, success in your goals

  19. I’m glad to see poker forums is going to get some more attention. I love that site!

  20. second so movie-vault its good.o like design.your project is nice.good luck.

  21. those are IMPOSSIBLE for me haha. I wonder how long will it take for me to do those things. You are like the MOST AMAZING blogger that I know so far Tyler.

  22. I think that we all have a lot to do in 2010, but your plan seems to be very specific and demanding. Hope that this is not going to take you so much time that you won’t have even a minute for your family or vacation.

  23. tattoo kits says:

    Good stuff Tyler – I know 2009 was horrible for many people I know

    I am feeling good about 2010 already!

  24. Good luck in 2010 Tyler. With the work you’ve done on major projects in 2009, this year that effort should pay off. You are setting yourself up quite nicely for some great long term success. Good job!

  25. Bidet says:

    Good luck with your goals, and if you keep at it throughout the whole year, I’m sure you can achieve them.

  26. John Luke says:

    What size are those monitors?

  27. they look like 22’s =]

  28. email backup says:

    Those sure are some envious goals! Good luck with your dealings and hopefully we can all keep learning from you.
    -Jack

  29. A great reminder to sit down and make my goals, the year is flying in already.

  30. chester says:

    You got a pretty good office setup though I think you need to get a Herman Miller Aeron chair especially if you’re going to be clocking so many hours.

  31. Lot of Luck with the 12 hours, unfortunately for me, I don’t have time myself to watch you for that length of time, so Good Luck!

  32. Tough goals, best of luck with them Tyler.

  33. Program says:

    Good Luck :-) I hope that you will achieve all your goal.

  34. A great reminder to sit down and make my goals, the year is flying in already.

  35. used tires says:

    I think its great that you’ve put up a whiteboard to remind yourself of your goals, I am sure you will get some of your goals accomplished in 2010 :D

    Till then,

    Jean

  36. Great posts….detailed goals the key to success lies in the bench marks we create for ourselves

  37. VHS to DVD says:

    Great idea to set your goals after revisiting your 2009 goals you had difficulties in meeting. How about running a monthly update to a) keep the goals in front of you, and b) to let us all know how you’re progressing? Hopefully you have a strategy for each of your goals that break it down into more manageable tasks you can complete each week/month.

  38. tattoo kits says:

    Some how I found if I write down my goals they have way more chance of happening then if I do not

  39. After seeing your dashboard with some goals, i have also decided to plan out the things expected to be facing during 2010. You have given me the path.

  40. Great list of targets for this year! I have the same target as yours..which is to earn $100/day from ppc affiliates :)

  41. Tyler, we have the same target earnings! setting up a goal is very motivating when it comes to work. You will work hard for it to be able to achieved it! :-) Great post! BTW, you have a nice computer tabke there! tsk tsk. .i loved it.

    Cheers,
    Regginald

  42. PPC Icon says:

    Cant believe its march already, gotta keep focused this year, gotta hit my financial freedom targets.

  43. SEO Tricks says:

    Good luck for your goal.
    I too have set my goals but they are at a lower scale as compared to yours.
    lol

  44. good luck for your goal , i saw your 2009 goals and the results from few minutes and i wish you reach all your goals this year.

  45. Horay Horay I’ve already reached my 2nd target which is to crossed the 500 unique visitors mark with my site goodluck on your target tyler and I hope you can reach all of your goals.

  46. Man that’s horrible. I just started blogging but I definitely need to keep backing up in mind. There have been a few posts I’ve read about automated backups, maybe I’ll research that more in-depth now!
    Glad to hear you are up and running again Tyler!

  47. Some how I found if I write down my goals they have way more chance of happening then if I do not…

  48. ekimleriniz says:

    Some how I found if I write down my goals they have way more chance of happening then if I do not :/

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