An Early Review of My 2007 New Year Resolutions
Last modified on 20th December, 2007
Some of you may recall that in January this year I’ve shared my top ten new year’s business resolutions in this blog. I think it’s a good time to review whether I’ve achieved any of the resolutions or on track of achieving them.
Telling everyone about my goals reminds me that there’ll be more people to prod me along if I fall behind. Therefore I’ll be more likely to stick with them. Ok lets review them one by one.
1. Managing my affiliate programs more effectively
My goal was to improve my relationships with my affiliates. I planned to offer more creatives for them to use in their promotion effort. Sadly I didn’t spend much time on this one. I realised that in order to manage my affiliate programs better, I need to improve my products first. Not that they are bad since I have actually sold over RM1 million worth of my own products since I got started in 2003. The net profit would be lower of course.
2. Create new products
My goal was to come up with brand new software products ideas. Well I did conceive three software ideas. But while researching the ideas further, I realised that I had already created the best software products that sell well online. So why don’t I just focus my effort trying to improve my existing products and market them more effectively?
In addition, creating totally new software products will require more investment in time and money, not to mention the time spent dealing with customer support issues, bug fixes, updates, promotions and so on. There’s no guarantee that they will be successful. While I am aware that there’s always an inherent risk when starting something new, the risk is somewhat reduced for proven products.
So instead of creating new products, I’ll create new versions of my existing products with all the cool enhancements and features that would make my software more attractive. My goal isn’t to create perfect software, but create software that are good enough for the customers.
Only after those issue are taken care of, I’ll start brainstorming for new software product ideas.
3. Make money with pay per lead/affiliate programs using PPC search engines
This is one resolution where I’ve concentrated most of my effort into. In addition to promoting pay per lead programs, I also promoted many pay per sale products often due to the fact that they offer higher profit margins.
When I talk about affiliate programs, I didn’t mean promoting “how to make money” ebooks to unsuspecting newbies. Affiliate program is much more than that. If you are asking your blog’s readers to sign up with Text-Link-Ads.com via your affiliate link, you are basically promoting an affiliate program. I’ve promoted more products outside of the affiliate marketing niche such as casual games, video editors, online faxing and so on and I am happy to say that things are looking pretty interesting.
4. Improve my blogs Technorati Rankings.
As I continue working on my goals, inevitably some goals took precedence and some took the back seat due to the fact that some are potentially more profitable than the others. While I’ll continue trying to make money blogging, I’ll have to spend more time in other areas that I think offer better return on investment. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you can’t make money from blogging, but I feel that I’m a better affiliate marketer than a blogger.
My goal was to break into the top 5000 of Technorati ranking by December 2007. Yes it’s this month. If I were a problogger who have been churning out quality articles one after another I have no doubt that such goal is attainable. But then again I am not one.
The highest ranking that I had achieved was when Sabahan.com sat around 9000. I think that’s good enough for a part time blogger writing about Internet marketing and making money online. Having a good Technorati ranking is a bonus but I won’t make it a priority anymore.
5. Learn new skills and knowledge
While I haven’t got the chance to learn a new programming language, I’ve purchased many ebooks and join an online course to improve my knowledge in Internet marketing. I am a member of PPCClassroom.com, an online course created by Jeremy Palmer and Anik Singal.
If you have never heard of Jeremy, he is the author of an ebook titled High Performance Affiliate Marketing (now has been discontinued). This guy made $1.4 million dollar from PPC marketing last year, about $1 million from CJ.com alone. In PPCClassroom.com, he reveals his methods, some of his websites and even how much money he has made from each affiliate program that he have promoted.
I think the course is one of the best purchases I have ever made. Even at USD497, it’s well worth the price. I might write a full review of it in one of my future posts.
6. Improve data backup strategies
This is more of a precaution than a resolution in case something goes wrong. Now I feel more at ease knowing that my important data is backup at multiple locations.
Besides the daily server backup, I am also backing up important data from my hard disk into an external hard drive regularly. In addition, I am using several thumb drives to backup password and other important data and place them at an offsite location. I am also using the free online backup service from Mozy occasionally.
When your livelihood depends on the security of the data in your hard disk, you can’t afford to have only one backup.
7. Outsource More
I think I am on the right track with this one. Often the amount of work you can outsource would depend on how much money you can afford to spend. However that won’t always be the case. The trick is to identify tasks that you may not need to do, or you can’t do it better, or when it’s cheaper to pay someone else to do it for you.
In the month of October alone, I’ve spent over RM10K paying other people to help with me with certain tasks and that free up some of my time allowing me concentrate more doing what I am good at. While I won’t recover the RM10K immediately, I look at it like an investment. You need to be willing to put some money in order to make more money.
8. Increase my advertising budget
Increase I did and it’s a good thing that my profit follows the same path. I’ve started exploring Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft AdCenter too.
9. Earn at least USD10,000 by December 2007
I am talking about net profit here not gross. I will only consider myself really successful once I break the USD10K monthly income level.
I’ve been dabbling with other things that distracted my focus towards achieving this goal. Some of the things I did were quite fun such as setting up GOGAGames.com in October where my plan was to sell casual games. Unfortunately it didn’t take off as I initially anticipated. I could’ve spent more time on it but I knew products that could give better profit margin so I’ll get back to it later.
So unfortunately, earning USD10K in December is quite unlikely even when I still have 3 weeks to go. With holiday, Christmas and the New Year around the corner, I’ve to at least take a break. Moving forward, I’ll concentrate more on things that offer the best ROI such as PPC marketing and selling my own products.
Don’t worry, I won’t be neglecting this blog. It will be one place where I’ll continue to share my journey and experience on making money on the Internet.
10. Manage my time better
Sometimes there are too many distractions and I ended up getting busy with activities that bring less return. In addition, like most people, I have offline tasks that take away my concentrating from building my online business. I guess this one is more of a learning process than a resolution. In a way, I think I’ve been managing my time much better than in the previous years.
My next New Year resolutions would be to continue where I left things off in 2007. And making USD10K monthly or more in 2008 will definitely be my first priority. I’ll have follow up posts and let you know how I’m doing.