Welcome to my goal post for 2014 – finally. Yes, I realize that it’s already March, but I think it’s important from an accountability standpoint to publish a goal post online. In reality, I actually already crafted my goals, and I spent a lot of time in December really hashing out what I wanted for the year.
Last year, my wife made me a beautiful whiteboard (not really white, actually canvas), that I’ve plotted out my goals and milestones for the entire year.
Now, I’m just codifying publicly what I’m already working towards.
Alright, so here is what I’m working on this year, and the reason why. If possible, I’ll also share any tactics I’m using and any progress made.
Monthly Epic Posts: One of my big content marketing strategies for my blogs is to create epic posts each month. The goal of this is two-fold. First, I’m a big believer that epic posts can add a lot of value to readers, which is always a good thing. Second, epic posts get shared a lot – and that is always good for traffic and exposure.
So far I’ve been on schedule with my epic posts on The College Investor, and they have been driving a lot of traffic to my site. So far, I’ve charted out the posts I want to write through the first half of the year, making sure that they fit in my overall editorial calendar (which I’ve also plotted out for the first half of the year).
To give you an idea of what I’m going after, here are the posts I’ve done already:
- 17 Top Investors Share Their 2014 Market Insights and Strategies
- 4 Investing Mistakes That Cost These Investors Millions
Build My Email Sales Funnel: One of my big marketing goals this year was to create a sales funnel for my site. After the great launch of my Investing 101 Course, I quickly learned that it was hard to make a course sustainable. I tried a bunch of different options, by soon realized that the key was an email marketing funnel to drive traffic to my course. Basically, it was hard to get “cold” leads to sign up for a course they knew nothing about. My initial launch was successful because it was marketed to “warm” leads – the existing readership base of my site. However, why would new readers simply jump into a course without knowing me?
This is one goal I’ve already implemented, but I’m continually tinkering with and working on. To set this up, I put together a 3 part Free Video Online Investing Training series, where I cover 3 essential steps to getting started investing. It has been incredibly successful for me, and it is helping get subscribers on my email list, and converting them into paying customers.
Boost Email List to 5,000 Subscribers: Along with building a sales funnel for my course, I want to get my email list to 5,000 subscribers. Right now, my list is 1,576 subscribers, and I’m currently averaging 3.3 sign-ups per day. If I continue at this rate, I will add about another 900 subscribers this year, which will bring me to almost 2,500. That’s where I need to step it up. I need to start averaging about 12.5 sign-ups per day to get to my goal of 5,000.
I’m going to do this two-fold. One, I’m going to continue to promote my Investing Training Course on Facebook using sponsored ads. Second, I’m going to launch a strictly email-based free training targeting more advanced investors, not just new ones. And finally, I’m going to ping my readers soon and ask them what they want to see – and hopefully that will help bring in new subscribers as well.
Develop 1 Paid Product for Beat the Nine to Five: As you know, I don’t have any paid products here on this site yet. I also don’t have any advertising. But, at some point, I need to move from the free model to the freemium model. Don’t worry, I’m still going to provide great, useable content, but I’m also going to shoot to create at least one paid product for this site that I think will really add value to what side hustlers and other small business owners are looking for. I have some ideas already, but I’m always open to your input as well. If you have some thoughts, share them below!
Develop Another Paid Product for The College Investor: I’m also planning on creating another paid product for The College Investor. This one will be much more targeted to advanced investors and those that want to improve what they are already doing in the stock market. It will be very similar in layout to my current course – with text and video, and simple, easy to follow modules. Hopefully it will be a hit as well!
Checking In On My 2013 Goals
Truth be told, I didn’t reach any of my goals for 2013. But that’s okay – because I set high goals and I moved the ball forward in ways I would have never imagined before.
I had two key goals set for myself:
- 1,000,000 visitors combined
- $100,000 in revenue
For overall total visitors across all my sites, I hit 402,385. I’m happy because that is a 72% increase in traffic from 2012. However, I’m even happier that in the first two months of the year, The College Investor has already received 150,550 visits, including it’s first 100,000 visitor month! Kids Ain’t Cheap is also boosting it’s traffic significantly, up to 6,840 visitors last month, which is up over 200%.
For overall revenue, I made $64,660. Not bad for a side hustle, but still short of my goal. I’m not truly setting a revenue goal this year, but I do want to go after than mythical 6-figure mark. I think that is a big milestone, and while money isn’t super-important today, it becomes more important as I look to convert from a side hustle to a full time gig.
What Advice Do You Have For Me?
So, there you have it – my goals for 2014. What advice do you have for me? Have you gone after any of these things before and have success or failure stories you can share with me? I’d love to know!