Playing Catch-Up is Tiring

January 5, 2009 Posted by Tyler Cruz

It’s been two weeks since I last gave update on my web projects so here’s my first project update of 2009.

I worked very hard the 2nd and 3rd week in December and so by the time Christmas Eve neared I decided to take a little break. Well, that “little break” ended up turning into a two week vacation!

First, one of the gifts my girlfriend bought me for Christmas was a DVD box-set of the first 4 seasons of House, and so I naturally had to watch those back-to-back which took me about 4-5 days including watching all the special features. When I watch a TV series I haven’t seen before on DVD, I always like to watch them from the beginning to the end.

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After my House fiasco I bought Grand Theft Auto IV which entertained me for 2 hours before I got bored with it. I then caught up on a lot of my video sites such as CollegeHumor and TodaysBigThing. Starting to get bored again and being stuck inside with all the snow and ice outside, I bought a bunch of games for the Wii including World of Goo (which I highly recommend BTW. I played a lot of it 2-3 days in a row and beat it on the 2nd or 3rd day as I do with most games), Tetris, and Dr.Mario.

Before I knew it, two weeks had passed with only a few work sessions here and there. So now that my entertainment fix has been consumed I’m ready to go back to work. I started another little work challenge which is something I regularly do, set at 51-hours, which basically means I get no entertainment other than TV until I complete 51 work hours. This system has proved to work very well for me and I usually get a lot done during these challenges, as long as I don’t quit which happens from time to time.

Here then, is what I’ve been working on during the past 13 work hours/sessions:

Blogging

This is only my 4th post in January so far but blogging takes a lot of my time. I typically spend 1.5 to 2 hours per blog post which is probably a lot longer than most bloggers. Then again, my average post is a lot longer than most bloggers as well.

I also spend time doing side things on my blog such as updating the Affiliate Marketing Challenge stats on my blog once a day, and earlier today I spent a good 2-3 hours completely rewriting and updating my Recommended Resources page.

Advertiser Catch-Up

I’m old-school and still manage all of my private advertisers by hand. I have excel spreadsheets for each of my sites and contact all the advertisers by e-mail to negotiate renewals, new campaign purchases, etc.

Sometimes I have to create insertion orders (IO’s) for advertisers of bigger companies, other times I need to set up bank wires, etc. I hadn’t done one of my ‘advertiser rounds’ for a while which meant going through all my accounting records manually to remind advertisers whose campaigns were expiring (or had expired recently) to renew.

Yes, I should automate this, but it’s partly how I’m able to maximize the revenue my sites make by having a direct hands-on approach with advertisers. Once I make more money from more automated sources such as PPC affiliate marketing or more passive income from referral income, for example, I’ll probably automate my private advertising since it won’t be worth my time to do it all by hand anymore.

Revisiting My “To Do” List

I have a simple notepad text file that I keep to jot down any ideas or things needed doing that aren’t immediately important. When I’m caught up on most other things such as e-mails, blog posts, etc. I’ll open my “To Do” list and complete an item or two from it.

It has been so long since I have had the opportunity to revisit my “To Do” list that a lot of the items in it were comically outdated and I had to go through each of the items to weed out any that didn’t apply anymore. It was also scary to see how behind in things I was (and still am).

Anyhow, I managed to complete half a dozen of the items there. I still have about 40-50 left that still need doing though.

The Big Project

Lastly, there’s the Big Project which I still haven’t unveiled. Don’t worry, I might unveil the domain and a little teaser in a couple weeks, but not until the backend programming gets underway first.

Unfortunately, there was quite a delay with getting the site frontend coded. The XHTML/CSS coder was 90% done coding it two weeks ago, but the code wasn’t commented or formatted to my liking and there were a few other minor bugs that needed attending to. It ended up taking so long to fix those remaining issues due to the many holidays in late December and early January.

Fortunately, I was given the completed front-end design earlier today and so I am finally able to get the backend programming started (I wanted to wait for the frontend coding to be 100% complete first).

I now need to begin writing my long and boring detailed description that I will hand off to my programming team. It will probably span close to a dozen pages and will be very technical and tedious so I won’t be looking forward to that. The programming on this project will be very complex, but my launch date for this project is February 1st, 2009. That only gives the programming team 3 weeks to complete the programming so it will be very tight.

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Posted: January 5th, 2009 under My Websites  

28 Responses to “Playing Catch-Up is Tiring”

  1. Sounds like you are pretty busy! Make sure you get your jobs done and reward yourself with the entertainment :D I just talked about this on my ‘overcoming procrastination’ post.

  2. Looking forward to hearing about your new project.

  3. Chris M says:

    Good old House, what a fantastic series! I went out today and purchased a big whiteboard, which I’m going to use to track my goals and tasks for 2009 – I left a nice photograph on my blog if you’re interested.

    I look forward to seeing the new project, I have a feeling it has to do with blog aggregation and rankings ;)

    • Dogstar says:

      I am going to guess just based on having read tyler’s blog for years.

      Similar to what exists on poker sites, I think it is going to be a cash back site for affiliates to get some of the commission back to the entity/person that signs them up to an affiliate referral program.

      Let’s say for instance, tyler signs up whaleA and receives 5% commission from Market Leverage, which adds up to $5000 for a month. What this site does is give the affiliate back a percentage of this commission, say $2500. This will encourage many more people to sign up with tyler as an affiliate (even a better motivator than ipods). He makes less per affiliate, but since there’s no competition, he rakes in the affliates (so he gets diversification and affiliates that stay for long-term), so it’s a win-win situation. The site simple automates the management of this processes through various affiliate companies.

      Just a hunch… Am I close?

      • Tyler Cruz says:

        One of you is correct. The question is… who? :D

      • If this is the service Tyler will be offering, this will actually be a nice incentive for people to use his service and provide a nice earning through affiliate marketing.

        Since he said that the other theory posted by another user about blog aggregation is wrong and one of the people posted its correct, it must be this.

        As its similar to poker sites, and people would like some extra $$ from their affiliate commissions then I suspect this will get a decent amount of signups pretty quickly which should meet the $10k/month target off Tyler for this project within a year of launching

  4. Donny Gamble says:

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much Tyler. I think you are doing an excellent job by hosting great contest while also offering your readers good content

  5. Blog Expert says:

    I think you’re doing excellent. Your posts are always filled with information so I do not think you need to write all the time.

    • As long as they are fairly consistent i.e. two posts per week. Then it doesn’t matter, as content is still flowing but on a consistent basis and this is what is required to grow a blog.

  6. Beer Monies says:

    We have all had weeks like this, I went though several months of this myself. I wish it was just weeks.

  7. Greg Ellison says:

    I can’t wait to see your new project. You also need some kind of distraction once in awhile. Thanks Greg Ellison

  8. SlickEddie says:

    Perhaps your new project involves automating your affiliate marketing challenge?

  9. Brian says:

    You should have purchased “River City Ransom” off the Virtual Wii. You still wouldn’t be back to work :)
    Good luck with everything. I want ti dip my toes in affiliate marketing in ’09. Do you have a start-up guide? I would like to learn from you. You are very real and I respect and salute that.

  10. Sophie says:

    Wow you sure sound busy!

    Can’t wait till your new project is revealed I am intrigued…

    Sophie

  11. Mike Paul says:

    I know how you feel. Catching up myself before we get too far along in this new year. I have a lot of goals and every day that I don’t get started on them is a day that I’ve got to make up somewhere. Take action now!

  12. MLDina says:

    Project delays?! That’s no fun. Tell them to hurry up!

    I do like the hands on advertising approach, though. It can be a pain to try to figure out the details and what works best without talking to the person who runs the site.

  13. Jeff Poole says:

    I think you’re doing excellent. Your posts are always filled with information so I do not think you need to write all the time.

  14. emmanuel says:

    great job, nice piece of information keep it up.

  15. Caleb says:

    Playing “catch-up” is alright as long as you’re only playing it with yourself…I learned in NLP that you should only do self to self comparisons.

    There’s no need to catch up with other bloggers, just let your own project flow ;)

  16. AJ Kumar says:

    Hi Tyler,

    I can tell you certainly take your time in writing each post. I just stumbled upon your site from Neil Patel to Zac to you :) I actually just started blogging a few weeks ago about self-help and personal development. I’ll be checking out your other posts and hopefully get a chance to meet you in person at a conference this year.

    AJ Kumar

  17. Paul B says:

    Post Christmas guilt, excellent! All of a sudden every blogger is pumping out posts again. I know I’m doing exactly the same.

  18. drive says:

    Best of luck getting unburied from the workload. Being buried now is better than not having taken the 2 weeks off!

  19. Atniz says:

    All the best with your new big project. I always visit collegehumor site. It is one of the best funniest site we can find on Internet.

  20. Becky says:

    Thank you Tyler for your neverending support!!!!! I’m really excited to see what you have up your sleeve!!!!

    ~ Becky

  21. Win Prizes says:

    I ABSOLUTELY love watching House with my wife :D It’s hilarious at times, but what amazes me are some of the cases they have. It comes shockingly to us, but it’s fun to understand the issues.

    As for blogging, it used to take me about 4-5 hours a day to complete an article on bloggin-ads. If you check the older posts, you would see that some were EXTREMELY long, lol.

    -Mike

  22. House is an awesome show i like to watch every episode

PeerFly

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