Two weeks ago I wrote about how my goals for the last 3 months of 2016 had gone, as well as a bit of a recap of the year in general. It really was crazy how I went from working a 9-5 job that I hated to working for myself by starting a business that I feel a real connection with.
I started Escaping to Freedom back in July, so the first 6 months have served to build a solid foundation. I’ve learned lots about online business and how to grow a blog, so it’s now time to put it into practice.
How I’m growing my blog in 2017
2017 will be the make or break year for me. If I can successfully create an income that allows me to cover my expenses, then I’ll have made it and the sky will be the limit. Otherwise, I’ll have to reassess my life! Maybe I’ll have to get myself an office-based 9-5 job…
Just kidding – I’m never going back! 😛
To achieve my vision of success, I’m setting myself 6 goals for 2017.
As I explained in my original post on goals, it’s hugely important to set public goals.
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.
It’s great to set goals yourself – and even write them down – but to get the full effect they have to be made public.
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
So this is what I’m doing! Committing to my goals by writing them down for thousands of people to read over the internet – and possibly hunt me down if I don’t accomplish them.
Be gentle. 😛
1 – Make $1,500 a month from my business by the 31st December 2017
The most important goal for me at the moment is to earn enough money to live.
As you may know, I quit my career in engineering after saving $20,000 and have been using some of that to cover my living expenses. Since I’m fairly frugal and don’t spend money on crazy stuff that I don’t need, this amount is going to last me for a while, but not too long into 2018.
That’s why I need to start making more money ASAP.
The main way that I’m planning to make money with Escaping to Freedom this year is through affiliate marketing. This is when I recommend a product or service that I personally trust to my readers.
If you buy said product after clicking on my link, I will earn a small commission. This doesn’t cost you any more money and you may even get a discount, so it’s really a win-win situation.
Why $1,500, you may ask? Why not set a lower target that I know I can hit?
Because I need to accomplish two things:
- Prove to myself that Escaping to Freedom can become a sustainable business.
- Actually earn enough money to live!
$1,500 a month (around €1,400 using today’s exchange rate) is more than enough to maintain my current lifestyle and seems like a reasonable amount to be achieved within a year.
Escaping to Freedom is one of two major income streams that I’m pursuing to hit this goal. The second leads me to my next goal:
2 – Start a marketing services business and find my first client by March 31st 2017
Back in October, I had a coaching call with Bobby from Millennial Money Man. As soon as he learnt that I was doing this full-time he urged me to do as he did when he was starting out: start a marketing services side hustle.
Blogging requires many skills: writing, copywriting, content marketing, creating relationships, graphic design and technical ability. Many small businesses require these services but don’t have the money to pay a dedicated marketing agency.
That’s where people like me come in.
I can provide some of the same skills that I employ here on EtF to their businesses. I can bring my skill-set and expertise at a fraction of the cost of hiring a marketing agency or employee, and I can use this site as a portfolio!
Blatant self-promotion alert: If you’d like to work with me, don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail 😉
I hope that this new business venture will be able to bridge most of the gap between me and the $1,500/month goal. After all, this is active income, so it will be better paid than the more passive blogging income.
3 – Have a month with 50,000 pageviews by 31st December 2017
As a rule of thumb, a blog is considered big when its monthly pageviews reach 100,000.
50,000 is half of 100,000. #mathsgenius
Why half? Because it’s more manageable but will still require a tremendous amount of work. I currently average something like 2,000 pageviews a month, so I have a LOT of work to do.
My strategy to achieve this includes the following:
- Using the Skyscraper technique to create content that gets shared a lot and even goes viral.
- Experiment with paid advertising, probably Facebook.
- Create more SEO-focussed content and start ranking on search engines – organic traffic baby! I’ll be using this SEO guide from Millennial Money to guide me.
- Appear in reputable media outlets with huge audiences, which leads me to goal #4…
4 – Have an “As Seen In” banner filled with 10 reputable media outlets by the 31st of December 2017
I bet you know what I’m talking about. If you follow big bloggers that have been at it for several years, they sport a banner with the logos of the media outlets they’ve been featured in – or even just mentioned in.
This immediately creates an image of authority to new visitors and they are bound to take you way more seriously as a result.
My goal is to be featured on 10 reputable outlets and create an impressive banner on the front page – just below that picture of me smiling 😉
How am I going to do that, I hear you ask?
I’m going to follow the drafting technique, as explained by Derek Halpern.
This consists of identifying an article in your area of expertise that has been featured in the publication you’d like to write for. Because you know they are likely to publish articles on this topic, you can then contact the reporter who published the article and start a conversation- hopefully leading to a feature.
5 – Publish 2 articles per week from now until the end of the year.
I’ve been pretty bad with this so far…There are some weeks that I’ll publish two articles, but those are the exception rather than the rule.
To meet my goals and make this a successful blog I need to post twice a week. It’s as simple as that.
6 – Start a Youtube channel OR create a digital product.
This makes me nervous. It’s by far the scariest of the goals, as they are both alien to me at the moment.
To be clear, I plan on doing one or the other – not both.
A Youtube channel would expose me to a completely new audience, and will make my content available for the many people who prefer to watch videos that to read articles – I’m often guilty of this 😉
There really isn’t much of a personal finance or entrepreneurship presence on Youtube, so I may have an easier time getting noticed than with just blogging. I also love video editing and anything audiovisual, so this could also be fun!
The second option is to create a digital product: probably an e-book or a course. If I decide that there is a market for a certain product and that I could improve people’s lives with it then I may go for this instead.
A digital product would also help with Goal #1, so there’s also that!
Let’s do this!
2017 is going to be the best year I’ve ever had.
Rather than sit here and hope that it is, I’m going to go forward and take action! You know what they say, “fortune favours the bold.”
I encourage you to do the same. I’m a strong believer in perseverance and dedication – if you keep going and don’t give up, things are statistically bound to happen! 🙂
Question for you: How are you going to make 2017 amazing for you or your business?