The best way to be ready for 2009, is to set goals for 2008. Here are as many of my search marketing related personal development goals for 2008 that I could think of at the time.
1. To meet all of the goals that I have established for the corporate site that I manage. I’ve got to keep management happy and I am pretty confident that I will see the growth that I expect in terms of the web traffic. The big challenge will be building membership along with this, so I have some work to do there, but I love a great challenge. Just a few days ago, I sent the boss some of our newly acquired top rankings in Google; she was pleased.
2. To blog more consistently. Last year was an interesting year for me in that I went back into a corporate SEO role after getting married, but subsequently spent much of my year taking care of my wife who developed some major health challenges shortly after we got married. This, of course, was followed by a cross country relocation (Maryland to Arizona) to be closer to my wife’s family, and a new corporate position in AZ. This put things like blogging at the bottom of the priority list. Thank God, my wife’s health has improved much, and continues to do so, In fact, after being on (unpaid) disability for the past 6 months, she is getting ready to take on some part time consulting work in her field of Social Work. My initial goal for this blog (one of three primary blogs that I run) will be posting 2 times per week, and while this doesn’t sound like a lot, it gives me an easy goal to attain and exceed, but also allows me to focus on submitting unique content, rather than regurgitations of other posts such as rebuttals, my opinion on what someone else said, or the like.
3. To redesign my blogs. I think I need a new look and feel for my blog instead of the “Matt Cutts” look. I think it works for him because, well, he is Matt Cutts, and I just want to put out something more snazzy. Also, it will help bring in advertisers (which leads to #4)
4. Increase my revenues through my blog. The first step of which is actually blogging so people show up consistently (#2). Next, is getting a new design (#3) and third is driving traffic through a variety of sources which will justify selling ad space. I will also promote my Internet Marketing book (in revision), rather than Aaron Wall’s SEO Book from the blog (sorry Aaron).
5. Maintaining multiple blogs. This is kind of a huge thing to consider and I am not 100% convinced that I have the exact game plan, but I do have a few other niche blogs that I run, and those sort of fell behind as well with all that went on personally in 2007. The goal is to kick the three primary blogs back up a few notches, and potentially start a few more. I may have to bring on some blogging help for these – time will tell. One of the blogs I am considering is a generic “life” blog, so that I could just get things off of my chest without boring people in the search marketing community (somewhat like this post might be sounding like, but it won’t be niche specific). This new blog would address life issues, things that happen that I just wouldn’t believe if I didn’t see or hear it myself things like when we asked one of my wife’s doctors to do a thyroid ultrasound and he said “you don’t want to find out more bad news, do you?”. Or when one of our doctors at the (world renowned) Mayo Clinic said “I wouldn’t take a vitamin to save my life” (I subsequently asked her if she grew her own food on an organic farm.. and she doesn’t). Good thing she’s at the Mayo, she’ll need them soon enough, and not just for her job.
6. Stop being cheap, and pay for Askimet. Because spam sucks. How I wish I didn’t have morals sometimes; what would I do to the spammers. I mean, I am not a designer, but I have done some programming in my day… hint, hint, retaliation. Oh, wait… they don’t use their email addresses, they are spoofing mine to send my spam. So Askimet it is. And Askimet, I am open to becoming a “lifetime” beta tester… I’ll even blog about it
7. To update my ebook, Internet Marketing Secrets from the trenches. Considering I didn’t have time to blog last year, I certainly didn’t have time to update my book. I guess I could have brought my laptop to my many ER visits with my wife and gotten it done there, but I don’t know if my wife would have appreciated that. She already graciously let me write one book while on vacation a few years ago. Along with this, will likely be that the book will be sold and not just given away. If you want to get a free copy before it goes on the market, get the old version here and then when it is updated, you will get a free copy. My one request is that you don’t email me and tell me that it’s outdated, I already added that as a disclaimer on the web site. There is still lots of good stuff in there, especially for those just getting started in trying to figure out how to get traffic to their web site.
8. To attend at least a few Internet conferences. Now that I am in Arizona, I am much closer to Vegas (Pubcon, Affiliate Summit) and Cali (SES. SMX). I didn’t get to any last year, so I am due for a few at least in 2008. Of course, I welcome a trip to the East Coast to see family and friends, so as long as it’s not too cold, I may trek out east for a conference (but not overseas yet).
9. To not take on too many clients – so that I can focus well on helping the ones that I personally manage to get the best results. Currently, I have two new newly signed contracts for 2008, with another on the way, which would leave me room for only one more that I would personally service. I don’t think I want to build a larger company as I did before because I think it would take funding to do it right and I am just not up for that (although any Angel Investor or VC is welcome to try and change my mind). For my overflow of clients, I have developed some great referral sources for both by US based and UK/International clients with two firms which will help me with overflow.
10. To incorporate more video marketing for my personal SEM projects and my clients. Here is a YouTube video I made as a joke, just because. I am seeking potential partners that can develop videos for online distribution at reasonable costs. Someone based in the Phoenix Metro area would be ideal, but it’s not a requirement.
11. To focus on building affiliate revenue in additional niche markets. Everyone has a spin on affiliate marketing, and mine is focusing on a particular niche, and building a brand around selling affiliate products. I have done this before is three different niche markets, and I have several affiliate relationships in place and need to get out there are do it again.
12. Get my wife blogging. I think she will be good at it; she is well educated, and very smart. I always tell her she has enough degrees for both of us, not that you need an advanced degree to blog, but she’s obtained a few – and both with honors. Of course, when I married her (2006), I inherited her school debts, so I will have to show her also how to monetize her blog.
13. Publish my Internet Marketing Book in print. Having published a book in the past, and also having gone to a great publishing seminar in 2007 and learning what I did, I am poised to make this happen, and now I am even more prepared as I know exactly what to expect. The only down side is that once it goes to print, much of it will be outdated. In this day and age, I don’t think it’s likely to have a best seller when writing on a rapidly growing industry.
14. Strengthen relationships with complementary service providers and partners. Read this as – I am looking for web designers, developers, and other web related professionals that I can network with.
That should keep me busy, yet it’s all attainable. I think I should start with #12 so my wife can help me get the others done. Also, I know she wants to have a few blogs of her own. We share a few passions such as health, nutrition, and wellness, especially after all we have gone through with her health over the past year. It has cost us a fortune (even having excellent health insurance), and we have learned a lot in the process. I now appreciate Michael Moore’s movie Sicko, because I lived it.
So have you set your goals for 2008? If not, it’s not too late; in fact, it is never too late to re-evaluate goals, I do it all the time and it keeps me sane.
Make 2008 your year!
P.S. – I forgot one, I will become a Premium Member at SEOMoz this year