Plans For 2019 And Updates
At the end of each year I like to reflect on what I've been doing and give myself a few goals to achieve going forward. I also like to review last years goals and discuss what happened and how I achieved those. I think a good place to start is to list last year's (2018) goals.
- 2 New Products
- $2,500 A Month
- 24 Blog Posts
- Increase traffic to 500 hits per day
- Increase Ad revenue to $50 per month
- Work 100+hours for 9/12 months
Let's first talk about products. For the last 2 years my main focus has been my CodeCanyon products; I spend most of my working hours on these, whether that's handling support issues, updating the code or working on new items. This year I set myself the target of releasing 2 new products and I didn't manage that.
I think the main reason for this has been: I haven't found an idea that I'm particularly excited with.
My last product I made was my online book site called Reader. It didn't do very well at all- my worst performing product overall. The product was a gamble- when I did my research into it I didn't see any product like it on the market. It's similar to Goodreads/IMDB in which you can rate books and review them, discuss and have social interactions. It didn't sell, and since then I've been a bit disillusioned with Envato for a number of reasons:
1) Envato's focus is no longer solely on their products marketplace. They are expanding in other directions, namely Elements. They are also introducing more and more expectations on their authors and giving us more and more responsibilities to handle. When I first joined- your focus was just on creating products and handling support. Now, you need to be aware of pricing, discounts, advertising, search, higher fees, reversals and other little issues which take up a lot of time. Don't get me wrong, there have been improvements to the marketplace too, but it's a very different landscape to when I first started. Some authors like having more control over their products- but I mostly liked making products and not worrying about all the marketing mischief.
2) The market is crowded and PHP scripts are a dying breed. I've been tracking sales for Envato PHP scripts and they have been declining overall for the last 2 years. There are so many programmers and so few products that actually sell, that we've come to a point of over-saturation.
3) Envato pushing Elements too much. The fact that Envato is pushing Element's so much is discouraging. It feels like they know the marketplace is going down and so they are looking at other ways to increase their earnings. Why should I stay on the ship that's sinking if the captain has already jumped?
With that being said, I'm not abandoning Envato marketplaces. I'm just realising that putting my eggs all in one basket is not a good idea. Who knows how much technology will progress in the next 5 years; I don't want to be in a position of creating scripts just to sustain a level of income- I want to grow into emerging markets too.
My plan for Envato is still to have it as my main source of income. Instead of new products, I'm working on updating my main sellers and making them the best they can be. That's what I've been doing the past couple of months and I'm happier with this. Starting over from scratch with new ideas is exhausting and I feel that some of my creativity and passion lacked in Reader, which is another reason it did so poorly in sales. With my focus on my existing products, I can really help develop them for people who have great feedback and need certain features.
The next goal was to earn $2500 a month. I didn't actually state the source of this income, just a general overall goal of this amount. My earnings for Envato have been the same this year as last year. Averaging around $2,000 a month, with ups and downs throughout. But, I've now managed to earn a significant amount from advertising. This new revenue stream has been helping me make around $3,000 a month consistantly and so going into the new year I want to give it some more focus.
In 2019 I want to explore this method of earning further and see if I can get it up to par with my CodeCanyon earnings. I enjoy it a lot and with my programming background I can create tools to help me grow sites. More about my 2019 plans later.
I've also been taking on a number of freelance roles. This has been a good way of boosting my earnings and in some cases makes me more than I get from Envato. However, these aren't consistant; for example, right now I'm getting offers all the time for freelance work to the point I'm turning work down. However, in April/May time this year I didn't have any freelance work to do.
I failed on the 24 blog posts a month for Patchesoft. However, I will say I managed to do at least 50 blog posts on all the other sites I'm working on. I need to figure out the direction I want Patchesoft to take because right now it's a cluster of many different ideas that I find interesting and nothing specific.
I smashed the goal of hitting 500 hits a day; I'm constantly now hitting 2000 hits a day which is amazing. My SEO skills have helped me capture traffic and I'm going to use this to help drive more and more traffic to the site. My blog is designed with very mininal overload and so it loads fast to help make users get the content they want without having to wait. The 2000 hits a day has also seen my advertising revenue increase and I still haven't even added traditional ads to the site yet. This is something I'm going to try out in the year.
I'm still not hitting those 100+ hour work months. I think I average somewhere around 75 hours but I've given up tracking the time. With my revenue increasing, I'm not too worried about this metric.
This year my goals are going to be:
- Consistantly earn $3,000 a month (from all revenue sources)
- Increase Blog traffic to 3000 a month
- Invest in 10 new niche sites & Break-even on costs
- Increase advertising revenue to $1500 a month
- 2 new products for CodeCanyon
- Keep income of CodeCanyon products as $2000/month
I feel like these goals are obtainable, yet also provide a bit of challenge. Earning $3k a month is what I'm doing about now, and I want to make sure I hit that target every month this year.
I have yet to hit 3,000 hits a day on my blog, so increasing it to this amount means I'm going to need to add more content and research into ideas that will drive traffic. I'm going to focus on gaming content for a bit of this year and see if that can drive traffic and then I'll review the amount of hours I put into it versus the amount of traffic it generates and go from there.
Investing in 10 new niche sites is something I'm excited about. I'm going to be buying small websites for around $200-$500 each that are currently earning money either through adsense or affiliates networks. Then I'll hope to build them up and increase their earnings over time. My goal would be to break-even on the amount I paid for them after 1 year, which should be easy enough since I'm only looking to pay around 10-12x their monthly profits. The risk is that most of these sites will be new and fresh, with the potential for them to collapse or get wiped out by big competitors. If this all goes well, I'll look to scale this up even more- maybe to 50 sites in 2020.
Increasing advertising revenue to $1500 is going to be tricky. I'm going to explore ad networks and see if I can get them to work on my site. I already know about Google Adsense, but there are a couple of others I want to try such as MediaVine. I'll also be continuing working on my recommendation section and improving the content on those pages.
For CodeCanyon, I'm mostly going to be working on updating my existing products but I do want to keep my portfolio alive and release two new products. I don't really have any ideas I'm in love with at the moment but I do have a few unfinished products I might try and start up again. Really, my main target would be for my earnings on CodeCanyon stay around the $2k mark. Last year it did, but each year I feel the marketplace getting more and more competitive and unless you're 100% focused on it, it will be hard to make it sustainable.
Those are my current goals for 2019! I'm looking forward to another year of making money online and I'm motivated as ever. I have a few personal projects I'm thinking about/working on also, but those aren't anywhere near ready to see the light of day.
Hope you all have a great 2019!