2017 Plans and Updates
The year is almost over and it's time to take a look back on 2016, which has truly been a very strange and turbulent year for me personally and I think in the media too.
Back in 2016, I outlined some goals and plans that I wanted to achieve. A quick recap:
- Release 4 new products
- Release Alpha/Beta version of Poker site
- Start new blog series
These were small simple goals for me to try and achieve during the year. I decided to do them small because the year before I had set even higher goals and not met them. Unfortunately, I hadn't met these ones either.
I managed to create 5 new products in 2016 and that doesn't include the complete revamps I gave to some of my older products too. At the start of the year, I was putting very little time into product making and focusing solely on freelancing. By September, that had all changed and it allowed me to reach the this goal. I've definitely learnt a lot this year with releasing products and with each new one I make, I feel the quality gets better and better.
This venture sadly didn't materialise. I had spent quite a bit of spare time on this project; I had a functioning site that allowed users to store their Poker hand history online and later review it in a web-player. My big plans for this was to create some sort of social media site for poker, where poker players could interact with each other and learn more about the game.
Sadly, the site didn't make it to launch. I would say the main reason was because the site needed more of my attention to be successful. Putting in a couple of hours each week wasn't going to get it anywhere and I just didn't have the time to dedicate to it. I knew the site would also take a long time to grow before it could make any kind of profit, which also made me want to put even less time into it.
I don't plan on revisiting this site in the future, but I did have a lot of fun with it and learning all about Poker. As a programmer, it was a great challenge to be able to write an algorithm to analyse hundreds of thousands of hands on the fly.
Start new blog series
This one sort of came true. I did write a lot more articles this year on my blog than I did the previous year, and I did start several different "series" of posts, such as Niche Site Case Study, Income Reports and Learn Linux. But I also left a lot of these series unfinished and incomplete. In the latter half of the year, I didn't write as much as I would have liked to. I think the reason for this is because my focus has been solely on creating new products.
Unfortunately, this year has been pretty awful in terms of my own personal life. It's what inspired me to write an article on Dealing with the tough times in business (which got published on Envato). Things have been better the latter part of the year but there is still this horrible shadow lurking over me. There isn't anything I can do about it, which has probably made me a stronger person; when you have gone through something terrible, other challenges seem to pale in comparison.
There's also been some pretty huge changes in the world too. The UK voted to leave the European Union (#brexit) and Donald Trump was elected President. I feel like there is a lot of discontent between people at the moment. The hashtag #fuck2016 has been trending on Twitter, which pretty much sums up people's feelings towards this year.
The good parts of this year were that I got to stay in Paris for a couple of months and visit some amazing places. In 2017, I'll be staying in the south of France too, which is something to look forward to. I was able to get tickets to the Wimbledon final (tennis) and see Andy Murray win the tournament, which was a once in a lifetime moment. I also really enjoyed seeing Lord of The Rings Live, as I'm always listening to the original soundtrack whilst programming.
Overall, I won't be sad to see the back of 2016 for sure. I'm hoping for a better 2017.
For 2017, the main focus for me is going to be building my portfolio of products. I'll be continuing to work hard on Titan, making it into one of the best project management systems out there. I'll also be revamping some of my older products too; my eyes are currently looking at Live Chat and Pro Polls but I may do some others too if things work out well.
I want to set some targets for 2017 so that I can review them at the end of the year.
6 new products
I have some ideas of products I want to create in the future and some of them will require a long time in development. So I've set myself the target of creating 6 new products. If I can revamp 2 or 3 of my older products, that would also be amazing.
I also want to try and increase my earnings to $2,000 a month. I've never earned over $2,000 in a single month before, so it's definitely a target I want to hit.
Publish 26 new blog posts.
My blog is something I am passionate about but is always something that I never manage to focus enough time and energy on. This goal represents around 1 blog post every 2 weeks for next year. I've got some cool ideas, including a couple of self-challenges, tutorials and articles.
One smaller target of mine is to increase my email subscriber list. It currently sits at...9. I'd like to try and get it up to 50 subscribers. Email subscribing is free, and every time a new blog post goes out, my subscribers get an email. It's a good way of retaining your visitors and giving them useful content. There are lots of tips and tricks for doing this, so I might explore a few in 2017.
I'm also working on a few side-projects, but none have any real legs at the moment to warrant a target. I'm just seeing what happens before I put pressure on myself to make them into something.
Thank you to everyone who has been visiting the blog in 2016 and I hope to have some more useful content in the new year.