Exactly one year ago to this very date, I posted my goals for 2007. I can’t believe how poor my posts were back then. Some readers say my posts still suck, but if you think they’re bad now, try reading some of the older ones in my archive.
The best change I did to improve them was really very simple: to keep each post to one topic. I used to write about several topics, often completely unrelated, in each post. As you can see in the Tyler’s 2007 Goals post, I list 7 rather odd goals, and then start writing about my condo search!
I will list the goals I made for 2007 below and comment on each one in detail. In a day or two I will follow up with a new post stating my goals for 2008.
My 2007 Goals
1. Get PublisherSpot established with content and making $100+ a month
I actually made this goal. When I wrote that, PublisherSpot had just finished getting the final design and development touches completed, and probably only had one or two reviews.
It now has 23 ad networks reviewed, and has been making a bit over $100 a month. Naturally, I’m happy I made this goal, and am a bit surprised I did to be honest. But the truth is that I need to work a lot harder on it. I haven’t added a review since early November, and need to find a programmer to replace my old one.
2. Do extensive SEO and reprogramming of Movie-Vault.com
Unfortunately, I didn’t get this done. And this was a very important goal too. My problem, of course, is finding a talented PHP programmer. The problem may also lie in that it may simply not be worth it to me; if I hire a very talented and professional programmer for $4,000-$5,000, it may not increase the site’s value by that much to make it profitable. For example, if the site is worth $30,000 now and I get the programming revamped for $5,000, it may only increase it’s worth to $34,000, essentially making me a net loss of $1,000.
But that’s really just an excuse. I need to get this done. I did start a very extensive and detailed project description for the overhaul of the site, something that I need done before I can get accurate quotes from PHP/MySQL developers, but only got the beginning of it done.
3. Average $75+ a month from MMAForums.net
Again, this is another goal that I made, and in hindsight am surprised I made. I had big plans for MMAForums.net, but then got incredibly busy and tied up with too many projects, and so wasn’t able to tend to the site as much as I’d like to.
Even though, the forum has averaged just under $100 a month, making the goal easily. Actually, that’s just from private ads… it’s probably closer to $120 or so a month with AdSense.
4. Grow PublisherForums.com’s traffic and forum activity dramatically; average $300+ a month
PublisherForums.com has proven to be one of the hardest, if not the hardest, sites I’ve ever tried to grow. I’ve held numerous contests (the last one giving out $3,700 in prizes where only two winners actually qualified for anything) and campaigned decent marketing efforts (multiple paid reviews from John Chow and dozens of other blogs, banner purchases, press releases, etc.), but in the end it seems to just be one of those situations where the formula just doesn’t work.
I’m not giving up on the forum, but it will not be of my focus for quite a while now. The webmaster forum industry is just too saturated, and forums always take a bit of luck anyway.
5. Establish a good work ethic, hopefully working an average of 3+ hours per day
This one is debatable, but I’m going to say I failed this one as well. I think I do actually work close to an average of 3 hours per day now, but you can’t really call that a "good work ethic". However, I have put myself through numerous evocations of torturous Work Week Challenges, so I have at least made an attempt at improving my time spent working.
6. Finish Replayer.org
Again, I failed this one, for the same reason as Movie-Vault.com above – I simply can’t find a very talented programmer. In fact, I actually did attempt to tackle both Movie-Vault and Replayer, but all the programmers I interviewed fell short.
Replayer still leaves a sour taste in my mouth, ever since the programmer I had originally hired ran away with my money, and a partially developed system.
I should really just sell the partially developed code, graphics, and domain AS-IS, but I doubt I’d even get half of my money back if I did that…
7. And last but not least: Earn more than 2006!
I actually can’t really answer this one until my accountant does my taxes in the spring, but I can make an educated guess. If you count only the advertising income from my websites, then I’ll be pretty damn close to equal that of last year.
This may sound bad, but it’s actually pretty good considering the US online poker ban. The ban cut PFO’s private ad income by $10,000, when I had expected it to reach $75,000-$80,000 for 2007. Let me take a moment to say "neiner-neiner-neiner" to all those Tyler-haters who laughed at me when the US poker ban hit, predicting that I’d be "bankrupt", as I still made close to $60,000 from private ads alone from the forum in 2007 🙂
To compensate for the $10,000 "loss" from PokerForums, my smaller forums and sites actually made up for it near exactly. They only made around $1,000-$2,000 each for the year, but when you have a bunch of them, that adds up quickly.
My blog saw the largest increase for revenue, which helped "fill in the gap" for the missing $10,000. So, again, my 2007 ad revenue is roughly the same as that of 2006.
However, that is looking at things very conservatively. Don’t forget about the $23,000 cheque I received after brokering a domain early in the year for $200,000. I’m counting that as my earnings, since I’m going to have to pay taxes on it! If you count that, I’m up $20,000 from last year, and made my goal 🙂
Lastly, even though my site’s earnings as a whole roughly stayed the same as last year, I think it’s an improvement; the fact that I "only" dropped $10,000 in revenue from my poker forum despite the poker ban in the US is actually quite favourable, and all of my other sites saw large increases in revenue, especially my blog.
I expect my blog to become my second largest income-generating site in 2008, and hope to… well… we’ll save that goal for tomorrow 🙂
Stay tuned in a day or two to see my goals for 2008. If I don’t post before or on Christmas, I wish everyone a great and happy Christmas!