Ok, after some deliberation I’m finally going forward with this. I’m going to post my end of year goals. Buckle up!
If you’ve been reading my site for a while, you’ll know a fair bit about my story, and how creating and growing this site is a primary piece of my business strategy. Having very little knowledge about building websites (I can just about change the colour and font of some text – hardly a HTML wizard!) I’m constantly learning new skills and improving my site and its reach.
As I write this there are 88 days left in 2016. That’s more than Phileas Fogg took to circle the entire planet in 80 days in Jules Verne’s acclaimed novel. If a fictional character can attain such a ridiculously difficult task, you’d think I’ll be able to meet some comparatively easy goals… right?
Are goals really that important? Hell yeah!
Properly set goals can provide you with a direction to follow. They make the more menial tasks feel like part of a much bigger picture. They make everything feel like progress.
However, setting goals is only party of the battle. It won’t do you much good to just think about your goals – it’s way too easy to give up that way.
People who commit to goals publicly are more likely to accomplish them than those who don’t, according to a recent study by Dr. Gail Matthews from Dominican University. The study concluded that people who successfully accomplished their goals used 3 tools:
- Writing their goals down
It’s great to write down your goals and to personally commit to them, but unless you tell someone about them and make them hold you accountable, you won’t experience the full power of public goal setting.
If you’re anything like me and share my ever-inquisitive way of thinking, you’ll now be asking:
“If setting goals publicly is so effective, why don’t more people do it?”
The simple answer is fear. You know, your old pal living in the back of your mind, looking out for you by keeping you out of any life-threatening situations.
Fear has proved extremely useful to us as a species. Fear of the dark has helped us to stay away from night predators. Fear of heights has undoubtedly saved many from plummeting to their deaths.
The thing is, fear of ridicule is not exactly a life-saving mechanism like the others. Nobody has died of shame, as far as I know! Fear of shame or failure keeps people from fully going forward with their dreams. I’ve decided that I’m not gonna forfeit what I desire the most in fear that I’ll fail.
I’ll be honest, I feel scared revealing this right now. I’m sharing goals that I don’t know if I’ll achieve in time. It feels scary to think that hundreds of people will read this and judge me if I fail.
But at the same time the fear of not accomplishing what I want the most scares me even more than trying and failing!
By the 31st of December 2016 I will…
While I was working at JLR I was sent on a half-day course on goal setting. In honour of that eye-opening and definitely not sleep-inducing lecture I’ll keep my goals in the SMART format: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Here we go!
1. Reach 100 unique visitors to my blog in one day
I’d like to have a day in which I get at least 100 unique visitors, as it’s a significant number of visitors which would provide me with a nice psychological boost! I’d love to average 100 unique visitors daily, but I doubt I’ll get there by the end of the year.
I’m currently getting anywhere from 15 to 40 unique visitors per day, which is lovely! A couple of months ago I was lucky to get one or two. I’ve found that getting people to read your blog is harder than some bloggers make it seem, so let me tell you first hand: it takes time to get readers, and it can get very discouraging.
As long as you know that you’ll have to go through that difficult period when you start, you’ll be fine.
2. Attract 50 e-mail subscribers
Having an e-mail list is hugely important to an online business owner. With an e-mail list, you have a direct way to communicate with your subscribers, and it’s also a way to safeguard your audience. If something happens to your main site, you can take your e-mail list with you, rather than having to start from zero.
An e-mail list also lets you sell to your audience in a much more personal way. There is a well established saying in the internet marketing blogosphere that says:
“The money is in the list!”
While I’m still a long way from monetising this site, it is the ultimate goal, and the e-mail list I develop now will become invaluable to me as a tool for marketing.
At the moment I have 15 subscribers, so the jump to 50 will be quite a challenge! It will provide me with an opportunity to try new things in terms of opt-in offers – right now I’m offering a Financial Independence Calculator as my lead magnet.
While we’re on the subject, I might as well self-promote a little bit! If you’d like to join my e-mail list, scroll down to the bottom of the article and pop in your name and e-mail address in the orange box. Thank you!
3. Be featured in an important media publication
Promoting a new site is the best thing that you can do with your time, as potential readers won’t be able to find your content otherwise. I’ve been writing guest posts on various sites that are bigger than mine, which has brought in a good amount of new readers (hello if you’re one of them!), but I’d like to also be featured in a major publication by the end of the year.
I hope this will be beneficial for two reasons:
- It will put my material in front of a huge audience, so I could attract many new readers and subscribers.
- It will provide me with credibility when I talk about stuff! Being able to display media icons on your website gives you instant online street-cred.
I anticipate that this goal will be difficult, as many publications may not take a new blogger very seriously. To counter this, I’m going to play the number’s game – turn probability on my side by trying, and trying until I succeed!
4. Have 10,000 Twitter followers
Having a large Twitter following is another crucial part of my blog growing strategy, and 10,000 seems to be the magic number. It’s also the point where your number goes from 9,999 to 10K when it’s displayed on Twitter. That added letter seems to make all the difference when it comes to perceived relevance, so I want it!
The approach I’ve been following so far (courtesy of Millennial Money Man) has been to look into who’s following people with successful blogs and businesses in my field, and follow a bunch of them at a time. If they follow me back I get a fairly targetted follower who will probably be interested in what I have to say. If they don’t follow me after a week or so, I can easily unfollow them using ManageFlitter.
As of today, I have 2,600 followers on Twitter, and I’m on target to reach my goal by the end of the year. In reality, this is probably the easiest goal on the list, as time-consuming as it is. If I end up failing every other goal, at least I’ll have this one to make me feel a little better…
5. Reach $500 per month on my Kindle publishing business
I’ll go into Kindle Publishing in my next article because it’s something some of my readers have asked me to write about. This is a side business that I built earlier in the year. I grew it to the point where it was generating around $300 a month.
Since all my books are still on sale on Amazon, they have kept selling without any work on my part – do I hear passive income? Well, not quite. The earnings have steadily decreased with each month of inactivity. I’d call it a semi-passive business model.
I think that $500 is a pretty steep goal, as I’m not convinced that I’ll be able to get my current books to sell well again. At the same time, it’s a realistic amount, as I can fathom a $500 month.
6. Attain an Alexa ranking of 400,000
The Alexa ranking is one of the most well-known metrics to benchmark a website. It ranks every website on the internet (I think) and ranks them in descending order. Google is first, YouTube is second… you get the idea.
Last week I broke the 1 million barrier, and I’m now standing at a ranking of 646,000. I’m not sure if this is especially good or bad, but I’m happy with it nonetheless – it shows I’ve progressed, and I’m a sucker for progress.
I feel that a rank of 400,000 is a big jump, but hopefully still achievable in 3 months. Common sense tells me that the better than ranking, the harder it’ll be to achieve, but I’ll set this goal and see how I get on.
Longer term, the objective will be reaching a ranking of 200,000 or less. This would mean I’ve completed the Yakezie challenge, and should help in opening a world of possibilities for me as a professional blogger, especially in terms of the people I will have met along the way.
Honesty and Relatability
You may have noticed that these goals aren’t too ridiculous. They aren’t too impressive either, especially if you compare them to those of some of the biggest money bloggers out there.
What they are, are accomplishments that any dedicated individual could achieve in a period of 3 months, and that’s what I want to convey here. I hope that in 3 month’s time I can write a goal update article and show you that I, an average guy, have achieved goals that earlier (now) seemed pretty crazy.
I want this site to be about the journey, with all its highs and lows. I want to show my success when it arrives but share my failures and struggles all the same. How are people going to believe what I accomplish later on without having seen me start from the ground up?
Let me know what you think about my goals in the comments below! Are they too crazy? How about your own goals – have you got any end-of-year goals yourself?