Revisit of My Goals for 2009

December 26, 2009 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Just as I do every year around this time, reflecting on the goals I set out for myself at the onset of a new year, here is my annual post to see how close I came to achieving them.

I have set a list of yearly work-related goals for myself for several years now. In my Goals for 2009 post, I set 4 very specific goals I hoped to achieve in 2009. This post will revisit those goals in detail to see which of them I met and of which I fell short.

To be honest, I usually forget about these main work goals I set for myself all throughout the year usually until when it’s time to write another of these posts. While this can be self-defeating and rather pointless 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, even if that’s only once or twice a year 😉

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 successfully ambitious 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 2009

Before I start on the actual list, I wanted to reflect on one goal that actually didn’t make the list, but only because I had procrastinated about this particular goal for so many years that I ultimately decided that it would never get done. In fact, this goal was on my previous list from other years.

That goal was to completely revamp, which I actually managed to do just before the year came to a close. This was a big undertaking in expenditure, complexity, and scope, which is why I had always brushed it off as just too onerous a project to take on. But, I did get it done, but it feels good because it came out as well as I ever could have imagine, if not better.

I only now have to market and drive traffic to it again, which will probably be one of my goals for 2010.

With that being said, here are the official 4 goals I set for 2009:

1. Reach 4,000+ RSS Readers on my Blog

Result: Fail

My RSS is currently 2,313 as I write this, so this was an obvious failure.

Looking back at my original post, I said: “Now that I am at 2,000 RSS readers, my goal for 2009 is to double that and hit 4,000.” which means that I actually only gained 300 new RSS subscribers during the whole year. This is a radically slow growth, but I’m honestly not too perturbed by it.

I purposely stopped focusing on monetizing and growing my blog in 2009 so that I could focus on other projects. I honestly think that I could have met this goal if I had wanted to, but the truth is that I really don’t care about RSS numbers nearly as much as I used to. For one thing, RSS seemed to be much more of a growing trend in 2007-2008. I think now that everybody uses Twitter, RSS has been overshadowed.

Now, that doesn’t mean that RSS isn’t still a pretty good indicator of popularity, as most of my colleagues have seen a great growth in RSS during 2009, just not me 🙂

2. Hit $100+/day Profit from PPC Affiliate Marketing

Result: Fail

In my my original post, I wrote: “I consider this to be my hardest goal for 2009” which ended up being all too true.

I restarted my foray into affiliate marketing when I returned from my trip to the Philippines during the last week of July and actually did work very hard at it. But no matter how much I work on it, I just can’t seem to pull in those hundreds of thousands of dollars that so many super affiliates seem to be able to blind-folded.

The challenge of it all is probably what keeps me going. I’ve yet to make anything note-worthy from affiliate marketing, but that only agitates me to persevere, even though I don’t really seem to be going anywhere.

While I didn’t make this goal, I did come close. A month ago I netted $233.39 which was the most I’ve ever made from affiliate marketing in a single day.

And last month in November I profited $1,000 which was my best month ever:


In fact, it was twice as good as my previous best month, so at least I’m showing some level of progress, even if minimal.

But my goal was to average $100 a day in profit, not just hit $100, so ultimately I didn’t achieve this goal.

3. Hit $10,000+/month Profit from my New Project

Result: Fail

When I made this goal, PublisherChallenge was still being developed which is why the goal says “New Project”. I had incredible ambition and high hopes for this project which explains the bold goal.

I failed this goal too, but I didn’t too too terribly. In February, PublisherChallenge made around $9,000+ profit, the majority of which was from MarketLeverage.


I just did a quick audit, and PublisherChallenge brought in approximately $35,000 profit for the year which works out to just shy of $3,000 a month on average. So, just like the goal above, I only managed to reach a third way to my goal.

Also, PublisherChallenge did its best during the beginning of the year. It has slowed down a lot during the past few months, and January will be the first month when there will be no competition running at all (unless I manage to scrape something together at the last minute).

4. Earn $150,000+ in 2009

Result: Fail

Yes, yet another fail.

My last goal for 2009 was to make $150,000+. I have so many different income sources so I never really know how much I made for the year until I do my taxes, but I know that I didn’t make $150,000, not even gross.

$150,000+ works out to $12,500 a month or $410 per day, so I was largely betting that I was going to make the above goal in order to achieve this one.

2009 = Epic Fail


Overall, I believe that 2009 was my worst year in terms of income. My best were between 2005-2008, with 2007 probably being my best.

I just didn’t have a very good 2009 year. I’m not afraid to admit when things don’t go well or as planned. There’s no point in hiding it. In fact by addressing it, it helps me to focus better.

I don’t blame the economy, as it only had a very small very impact on my business. And I actually don’t blame myself either, as I did work pretty hard during most of the year. I think it was just a number of factors. My poker site really started to slow down in terms of advertiser demand, my PPC affiliate marketing efforts never took off, I spent a ton of time and money on the development of, PublisherChallenge, and my most recent endeavour, RobotWarz.

I therefore think that 2010 will be a much better year than 2009, since the development of those projects have been paid for and are complete. If 2009 was my development year, then 2010 will be my marketing and traffic year, especially for Movie-Vault.

I’m very curious how RobotWarz will fare as well. It is a big gamble I’m taking, and it’s one of those things that will most likely either fall flat as a failure, or should do quite well.

Stay tuned soon for my upcoming post where I’ll announce my goals for 2010. Hopefully I’ll be able to achieve them next time!

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Posted: December 26th, 2009 under My Websites  

61 Responses to “Revisit of My Goals for 2009”

  1. browie says:

    I hope publisherchallenge brings on more prizes. Or I hope that PeerFly keeps up their Tier prizes. Even a quick $50 – $100 extra cash is nice. I was headed for the other prizes until the bans started to happen.

  2. LukePeerFly says:

    This year has not been my biggest earner either. However, I am now working for a fantastic company and we are very excited about 2010. Hopefully we can dominate 2010 together 🙂

  3. tattoo kits says:

    Hey Tyler – wow what a great blog post – you are very honest to post your real earnings and to analyze yourself and your achievements for the year like that I assure most “gurus” would not have the b*lls to do so.

    Bravo on such an inspiring post and all the best for 2010!


  4. Jimson Lee says:

    I admire the honesty in this post. Always remember FAILURE IS NOT THE OPPOSITE OF SUCCESS. In fact, failure is a pre-requisite of success.

  5. Nice one Tyler. Yeah.. see that you didn’t achieve your goals.

    I didn’t achieve mine too. $100k in 2009.

    But I was closer than anything.

    In 2008 I made $10k in the whole year.

    In 2009 I made $35k (withouth working a lot).

    Now 2010 is going to be the great year of them all.

  6. Dave Starr says:

    Hi Tyler,

    Best wishes for the coming year. The report is refreshingly honest … an all-to-often rare thing online. I am a bit in awe of all the things you have worked on this year and I disagree with your big red letter assessment next to your picture. I would submit that this year has also not been a ‘Epic Failure’ … just because some dollar amounts fell short does not mean you failed … most companies who see their results in December of a given year reach figures above the goals would say the goals were too low, and raise them.

    An “Epic Failure” to me would have been to sit on your duff all years and whine about where the income had gone … something I’m often guilty of, and I see thousands of others doing. If alot of us spent as much time doing and trying new htings as we do complaining, we’d be way, way more successful.

    As several before me have pointed out, trying things, setting goals and sometimes falling short is an essential part of long-term success.

    I’ve known you now/followed your blog for what, three years or so now, and you did more work in 2009 to position yourself for the future than pretty much any ten of us readers put together have done.

    And don’t forget a couple notable successes you didn’t mention … you discovered your hereditary roots, and you met your lola … all success isn’t measured in money, by any means.

  7. starbort says:

    So this begs the question, will you think of going back to school to complete a degree so you can perhaps pursue a side career as a backup plan or to supplement your current income?

  8. josef says:

    For a moment I thought I was on the failblog..

    I think where you ultimately failed was in your goal setting. They weren’t very specific as regards to time frames and methods of approach. A goal without a plan is simply a dream. You need a strategy. What can I do do get goal A on track. The answer to these lie in performance goals. To get 4,000 subscribers I WILL interact more on other blogs,i WILL post more helpful and insightful stuff, i WILL Release a free ebook to capture emais,i WILL hold a competition, i Will tweet more…etc..with a combination of performance goals spread out over a period of time and actually scheduled you’ll be on track.

    Notice I WILL. not i should or I need. I will!

    This year I am taking a leaf out of Chris Brogan’s blog and doing the three words methods. Basically three words that encapsulate all your goals and are there as a constant reminder. I plan on printing them off and placing them in the house. I also intend on doing my own method of goal setting on top of this..

    I notice that you don’t blame yourself. Without too much knowledge of your situation I have to say that seems like a lack of responsibility for your situation. If you can’t accept that the reason you are there and if you can accept total personal responsibility for who you are then you won’t go on and achieve much in that way. By holding your self accountable I think you can be more motivated and more determined to prove to yourself that you are capable.

    I think 2010 will be a great year. Personally, I would like to see you focus on methods and ways of getting there rather then them just happening. Schedule performance goals throughout the year. Crush the damn thing Because only you and you alone can do it for yourself.

    Congratulations to your success of 2009, you’ve learnt, grown and are now stronger. Make 2010 the best yet!

    Personally 2010 is the year of self improvement and personal mastery.
    How can I be a better Human?


    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I was thinking of buying a whiteboard today and listing my 2010 goals above my computer…

      • josef says:

        Do it..also investigate affirmation board..print off three goals on paper..( i will goals) and put them on a cork board just in sight from your desk..your goals will slowly be cemented into your subconscious and you’ll automatically get there!

  9. Sorry to hear about that … perhaps it will help you to be more focused on your goals. Specific goals that are meaningful can be instructive and helpful, I find. Even if I didn’t reach them.

    For my offline business, I think I realized that the goal in 2009 was staying IN business long enough to come out the other end. So I only set very modest goals for our offline business, given the difficulty of making $ in 2009. We’ve seen a decline in footfall, enrollments and in income over the year. With 6% unemployment in Taiwan, a sluggish export market, and a tepid property market (ex. Taipei City)… it’s been tough.


  10. Patrick says:

    Great post. Thanks for your honesty. Many people aren’t as honest as you. They’ll post when things are going very well, but won’t when things aren’t going well. 2008 for me was far better than 2009, but we now have 2010 to re-group and focus. Good luck to everyone!

  11. NEELMONEY says:

    What is your plan for 2010? In 2009 you failed to achieve the accurate target,but there is a chance to adjust the target in 2010. anyway Best of luck for you.

  12. BlogApper says:

    It’s not all that bad, Tyler. Afterall, you’ve managed to work all for yourself the entire year without having to go out and work a full time job for somebody else.

    I still say, congrats!


  13. As you have clearly stated Tyler, 2009 was your turn to develop most of your sites…therefore you’ve done the ground work and 2010 will be for these newly revamped/developed sites to start generating revenue…you’re on point and come December 2010 you’ll be singing a different tune.

  14. Becky Marie says:

    Tyler! Thanks for your honestly in your blog today. That’s what keeps people coming back. You’re not a failure and your know it!

    In other news:

    WordPress deactivated my blog!

    stating: ” This blog has been deactivated because we believe it does not comply with the Terms of Service or advertising policy.

    If your blog is designed to promote affiliate links, get rich quick programs, banner ads, consists solely or mostly of duplicate or automatically generated material, or is part of a search engine marketing campaign, is not the place for you. Please use the Export feature to move your content to a more appropriate hosting service.

    Occasionally we make mistakes. If you believe we have misclassified your blog, please click here to contact us as soon as possible so we can fix the problem.”

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      That’s because it was hosted on the servers… I guess they don’t their servers to be used for free for for-profit sites. Anyhow, you’re rich – just move it over to HostGator 😉 At least they’re letting you export it so you didn’t lose it!

    • Paul B says:

      WordPress hate anything to do with MMO. It tends to go against there whole reason for being 😉

      On the plus side there are loads of multi-domain hosts out there that charge less than $10 a month (Bluehost are my favourite, although their affiliate program sucks), some of which have one click wordpress setup and when you’re self hosting you can do whatever you like 🙂

  15. Very brave of you to share all of this with us. I think you should stick with aff marketing and keep going for it. Your results were pretty good.

  16. […] noticed that Tyler is thinking about this too!  He is reviewing his past year compared to his goals at the beginning […]

  17. Tyler, I would not say you are anything close to an Epic Fail. Even though you did not meet your goals, just thinking about what you did achieve is a lot more then most. Plus look at all the lives you have changed by getting rookies into the online money making business and helping them to become successful.

    You were a huge inspiration to me and look, I’m a finalist in the Shoemoney Affiliate Summit Contest

  18. Paul B says:

    Brutal honesty at it’s best. I know it’s easy to pick from a distance but where I think you’ve failed most this year ( and I have too to be fair) is in actually promoting what you’re doing. The days of chucking it up, writing a couple of blogs posts and they WILL come seems to have past. With any new website it’s all about getting it out there in people’s minds. Links and social proof, links and social proof, links and social proof, it’s going to be my mantra for 2010 🙂

  19. Sohail says:

    I think one of the most important thing when deciding goal for next year is TO BREAK those year goals into short term goal. Lets say you can write 2010 goals but then also write goals till march 2010, june 2010, spetember 2010, December 2010 and check them every 3 months if you achieved them and where you need to work more. That in my opinion will help.

  20. Blogger Den says:

    These are some heavy goals, but not impossible. I share with you the earning of at least $100/day, so we can both work on that. At least I know other internet marketers are able to do it, so that gives me inspiration to try even harder!

  21. Brandon says:

    That sucks you didn’t hit your goals.

    I’m surprised your PPC campaigns are so far off from making $100/Day. I’d of expected you to be in the $500/day range already.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Yeah… *shrug*. I just don’t seem to be able to get it to work. I’m still plugging away at it though!

      • Out of curiousity, how many new campaigns are you testing a day?

        Take a look at my example facebook campaign on my blog, I was doing $50 easy a day with it.

        • Tyler Cruz says:

          This week I tried about 8 or so on Facebook, lost about $450. I should mention that I rarely use FB though, I mainly use the big 3 PPC networks. I also tried porting a newer campaign on MSN which is doing half-decent but still losing a bit of money.

          How are you getting any traffic bidding 1 cent and lower on FB? Were you using CPM? I can’t get traffic on submits when I bid $0.09 let alone $0.01, and I’m not even targeting any keywords…

          BTW, that 3rd commenter on your post seems to have had quite the issue promoting what you were… they must have had a problem with the quality… or else it was in the TOS not to use competitors TM, etc.

          • Brandon says:

            I only do CPM , it’s the only way to get good bids,as there’s tons of bots out there that just click on ads all day long.

            I’ve had only one person complain about the method, quite a few others that have done well , however I’ve got one campaign that i’ve run off and on somewhat similar to the shown one that’s a easy $300-$500/day money maker.

  22. 2009 was a pretty bad year for me too. Didn’t make as much from blogging/affiliate marketing as I would have liked. 2008 was pretty good though.

  23. Sohaib says:

    Excellent post Tyler, hope 2010 will be better 😉

  24. Don’t feel so bad. We all learn from every mistake. You seen really good in what you are doing Tyler, so just keep it going. Happy new year. 🙂

  25. […] unveiled in my previous post, I didn’t meet a single goal from my 2009 list. This was largely due to simply forgetting all […]

  26. @crowdmanage says:

    It’s great that you are not just focused on using this blog to flog affiliate products to us, but if you increased your value-add post rate then I think that the readership would accept some more affiliate promos – interviews with the new product floggers etc. It would turn some people off though so you would need to increase traffic to counteract that.

    I think RobotWarz could turn it all around.

  27. that’s not bad at all tyler. For me I can earn that for 1 year haha

  28. Happy New Year Tyler! While you didn’t achieve most of your 2009 goals, you did seem to make significant progress on these goals. That must be rewarding at least. I guess you were just a little too optimistic at the beginning of the year.

  29. your goals might seem extremely high to some people , but I think you can do it. Good Luck for 2010!

  30. email backup says:

    I think 2k9 was an epic fail for most people. At least 2010 can only really go up from what 2009 brought!

  31. Program says:

    Very brave of you to share all of this with us. I think you should stick with aff marketing and keep going for it. Your results were pretty good.

  32. Kristina says:

    haha..I love that Epic fail picture

  33. I love your wallpaper with goals idea, everyone should have one of them. I am off to make mine right this second:)
    I dont agree you had an epic fail year, its all part of the learning curve!

  34. Through failure we can learn a lot, and hopeful won’t repeat the same mistakes. Good Luck with 2010!

  35. Fred T says:


    You said it’s not your fault that you didn’t reach your goals. I disagree with that! It’s 100% because of you. We all have to take responsibility for our results. If your “2009 epic fail” is not because of you, then whose to blame?… whose responsible?

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ve been at the ppc affiliate game for going on 2 years now. If you’re not at $100 per day by now, it’s probably a lack of consistent effort, focus & commitment. Once I got focused I ran right past $100/day, it’s not difficult at all with consistency. Also, it sounds like you have so many projects going that you can’t fully focus toward making this work.

    Lastly, I don’t see your 2009 (as you’ve explained it) as a failure. I think the best way to view it is as results, and since the results aren’t what you wanted, analyze, make changes and move forward.

    Bro, I wish you a successful 2010!


  36. Bidet says:

    I’m sorry to hear that all of your goals failed, but you got close, maybe this year you can achieve all your goals. Good luck in 2010.

  37. haha..I love that Epic fail picture

  38. Jet says:

    Seeing the goals you set youself last year, it stuck to my mind to have goals like that also but not that high. I’m just new to affiliate marketing. But that gives me an idea what to acheive for this year. Thanks for the good post. I hope you acheive yours for this year . btw I like your pics.

  39. VHS to DVD says:

    Thanks for the honest review of how you’ve been progressing. I wouldn’t say it’s been an EPIC fail, however, because you are still progressing… In any business environment, growth and staying in business is a success.

    As with any goals, I think your biggest fail was in your forgetting about your goals. For your 2010 goals, revisit them on a monthly basis to see what you’ve accomplished, and what you need to do the next month to continue your progress.

  40. Even though you did not achieve your goals at least you have increase a minimal, and because of this post I was inspired and will create my own list 🙂

  41. no problem you can try harder this year and sure there will be more success for you.

  42. I like your style. Upfront and honest.

    Hope that you can do better this year.

  43. […] is already thinking about this too! I noticed that Tyler is thinking about this too!  He is reviewing his past year compared to his goals at the beginning […]

  44. I like your style. Upfront and honest…

  45. ekimleriniz says:

    As several before me have pointed out, trying things, setting goals and sometimes falling short is an essential part of long-term success. :/


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