Two days before before the new year of 2008, I set a list of work-related goals for myself as I have done for a couple years now. In my Goals for 2008 post I listed 5 specific goals I hoped to achieve in 2008. This post will revisit those goals in detail to see which of them I met and which I fell short of.
To be honest, I usually forget about these main work goals I set for myself throughout the year until when New Years starts to creep forth. While this can be self-defeating in some ways as it’s important to constantly remind yourself of your goals if you intend to conquer them, it’s also simply a great way to measure your successes throughout the year as well as to remind yourself what you still need to work on.
If you haven’t set any long-term goals for yourself (I consider 1-2 years long term when it comes to the Internet) I highly recommend you do. Most rich and highly successful people (in any industry) recommend it for a multitude of reasons. Whether it be a subconscious effect or a daily motivating reminder, simply setting goals for yourself will bring you one step closer to actually achieving them.
My Goals for 2008
1. Average 3,000+ RSS on my blog
While I failed this goal, I didn’t do too bad. My RSS has been averaging around 2050 for around the past 6 weeks, which is nearly double what it was last year when it was 1,109.
While you’d think it shouldn’t be too difficult to grow your RSS by 300% in one year, it’s actually a lot more difficult than you might realize. I think the smaller your RSS numbers, the easier it is to achieve such growth, but it definitely gets harder the higher you go. Therefore, I’ll probably make my RSS goal for 2009 to be to average 4,000 RSS which would be a 200% increase.
2. Do some live "Networking" with the industry
This goal turned out to be a fantastic success. Prior to 2008, while I networked a fair bit lot online, I had done absolutely no real life face-to-face networking or attended any conferences. I understand the immense value in obtaining useful contacts and as well as getting your name out there and was therefore determined in achieving this goal.
The first thing I did was drive 2 hours down the island to visit NeverBlue’s headquarters in Victoria, BC. It was fun visiting an affiliate network in person to see what it looks like behind the scenes!
A few months later, while on a poker trip to the River Rock Casino, I met up with my friend and famous blogger John Chow. It was great to finally meet John in person after speaking with him on MSN almost everyday for over a year. Yes, he really is that tall.
Last, but certainly not least, I attended BlogWorld in Las Vegas in September. The trip was absolutely awesome and I’m definitely glad I went.
First, I met up with Paul Piotrowski (InspiredAffiliate.com) and watched him his a sub he bought which he found disgusting, and then met up with MarketLeverage at their booth.
Later, Shoemoney, John Chow, Zac Johnson, and yours truly competed in the Cashinator Showdown… which I ended up winning!
At the dinner hosted by MarketLeverage, I ended up sitting alongside Jeremy Schoemaker, Darren Rowse, and John Chow. How’s that for a who’s who of bloggers (…and me, haha)!
Some others attending the dinner were my friends at MarketLeverage, Brian Clark (Copyblogger), Zac Johnson, JoeTech, and the ever-partier Ian Fernando (who seems to attend every possible webmaster and affiliate marketing conference on the planet).
So as you can see, I definitely managed to smash this goal. While I don’t plan on attending to many conferences in 2009 (as I feel it can distract from actually working; a lot of these conferences are really just excuses to get together and party), I’ll probably be attending BlogWorld again for sure, and possibly an Affiliate Summit or PubCon.
I might also fly down to Florida to visit MarketLeverage!
3. Average $3,500+ per month from blog
When I wrote these goals I should have specified what determined ‘average’. For example, if you take the monthly average from the entire year of 2008 then I’ll fall short of my goal, averaging $2,900.
However, if you take the average of the past 6-months then the average works out to $4,200. I personally feel that I met this goal as I feel that 6-months data is more than enough time to determine an average, but I’ll leave it as debatable since I wasn’t clear on my definition of ‘average’.
The growth has been awesome. In November of 2007, my blog brought in a total of $1,047.20. One year later we see November 2008 bring in $6,663.94! I’m thrilled with how I’ve managed to grow my blog income and look forward to an equally great 2009.
However, this month of December will see quite an unfortunate decrease in blog revenue due to a couple of affiliate referrals having slowed down their campaigns. Even so, I plan to soldier on and push for new records in the new year.
4. Do extensive SEO and reprogramming of Movie-Vault.com
This is the second year in a row that I had this as one of my goals and completely failed both years. I think I never get around to doing this because I simply don’t want to. It’s a huge task and not a fun one like starting a new project from scratch.
The site is programmed with very old and poorly structured Perl and is a complete mess. The MySQL structure is equally laughable and the site just needs to be completely reprogrammed.
My focus (and passion) has been more in the blogging and affiliate marketing industries lately and my heart just isn’t in working on a movie site anymore. In addition, I have so many projects going on that I’m not sure I’ll ever get the site revamped.
Therefore, I’ll probably just put it up for sale again. I’ve already put it up for sale numerous times without any success, so I might even lower the asking price some more and just give somebody a really deal on it ($20,000)… although it’d really make a lot more business sense for me to revamp it and then sell it…
5. Make more than 2007
I won’t really know how much I’ve made in 2008 until my taxes are done in a few months, but I can make a pretty good guess after going through some of accounting files.
In 2007, I made just over $100,000 which was my first 6-digit year. Unfortunately, after a quick (and rough) calculation of my earnings for 2008, it seems that I’ll finish the year with just over $90,000.
To be honest, this calculation (which I just made a few minutes ago) has come to quite a shock to me. I had thought this year was great and that I’d easily beat my $100,000 record but apparently not. It’s partly due to my poker forum bringing in $10,000 less than last year, and also because in early 2007 I had brokered a domain for a $20,000 brokerage fee (10%) which give my year’s income quite an increase. I’m also not counting my PPC affiliate marketing income even though it was over $10,000 since most of it was balanced out from the expenses.
If you look at it without the domain sale in the equation, I’d actually be up $10,000 this year over last.
While I (surprisingly) didn’t make more in 2008 than 2007, I’m not discouraged. First of all, $90,000/year isn’t too shabby working a job an average of 3.5 hours a day doing something you love. Secondly, I consider 2008 to be a transition year. That is, I spent the majority of the year building up my blog and personal brand, growing other projects such as PublisherSpot and my PPC affiliate marketing efforts, and building some new ones such as the big project I’ll be unveiling in just over a month.
Therefore I think I set myself up very well for 2009 to definitely set a new income record for me. In fact, I think I can hit $150,000.
2009 Goals Coming Soon
Be sure to stay tuned, as in a few days I’ll be releasing my goals for 2009!