I feel it’s important to set goals in life, no matter if they are personal or business goals. During the past year I finished a private online experiment to see if making money or a residual income on the internet is feasible. Was it successful? I would say yes. Did I get rich? No, but I by the end of the year to pay for my monthly gas bill to drive to my regular full time job at Hamilton Color Lab.
It was successful enough that I have decided to take it to the next level and set a more ambitious goal for this year.
CafePress is my most successful income stream in the past year. Since both my sons are US Marines I started designing Marine Corps items in Photoshop I created to sell my Marine and military themed apparel and gifts. (click on the image below to go to my store)
My YouTube account is still generating a change (ok a few dollars, two months of gas) not as much as 2012 but then again I don’t have any new Marine Corps videos. The demographics are males between the age of 18-27, you can imagine who is watching. I also started writing for Squidoo, which is another blogging site. Squidoo shares the click through Adwords income with their successful writers and any Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Zazzle or CafePress purchases generates a commission. (You can sign up for Squidoo here)
My biggest social media accomplishment was growing my @3Quarters2Day Twitter account from about 1,800 followers in the spring to 20,000 in less than nine month. Yes, I have
20,000 30,000 people who follow me at @3Quarters2day and it’s been a lot of work to get it there.
Many hours spent on my Twitter phone app following people, responding to tweets and being real. It has paid off though, Twitter is responsible for over 60% of my referral on my internet platforms. (Pinterest is a close second.)
I have learned a lot about Twitter, how to write tweets that get responses, how to use #hashtags successfully, and how to free up my time for responding to followers by using paid social media tools such as SocialOomph and JustUnfollow
In addition I have learned more about Photoshop, shortcuts, design, layout and multiple other tips and tricks that have helped with creating templates and military designs for CafePress.
This year I also started doing some free-lance graphic design and marketing for a few clients. One of which is for a jazz musician, Steve Raybine and 2014 holds a lot of promise on a new venture of Music Motivational posters. We are currently looking for nationwide distributorship in the music industry. Currently the designs are for sale on Fine Art America where I also have a small presence selling my photography. (I didn’t do much with my own photography this past year, however that will soon change.)
As with anything marketing and developing an audience and following takes time and although my income curve is definitely on an upward trend I spend many hours a week nurturing the various channels. In fifteen years I would like to retire, travel around the country (or world) in an RV and generate enough online income to live comfortable and enjoy life sitting on a beach chair with my laptop.
2014 Yearly Goals
(I refuse to call them resolutions)
- Increase @3QuartersImages Twitter followers to 5,000
- Increase @PetsNCritters Twitter followers 10,000
- Create a Military Pride store on Zazzle (mirror CafePress to a point)
- Write an average of one Squidoo lens (article) per week
- Increase backlinks from WordPress to Squidoo
- Increase Twitter feed on SocialOomph to reflect WordPress content
- Move to WordPress.org and add affiliate partners (DONE)
- Use the WordPress scheduler to post on a regular basis (at least twice a month)
- Increase monthly revenue stream an 50% by the end of the year
Are these goals achievable? I tried to make them S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, attainable, reachable, and trackable) and although I haven’t written out how they will be achieved I know where I’m heading.
Have you created goals for your personal or business life? It helps to become accountable by either writing them down or telling them to someone. My co-worker was my accountability partner this past year and my pocket book, the empty one with dust bunnies, reminded me to stay on track.
Part of the WordPress journey will be providing updates on the goals, how the social media platforms function, and continued photography posts with more Photoshop tips and tricks. I may even learn how to video the steps and create a YouTube channel. Notice I didn’t put that on my goal. I’m staying realistic. Who knows what the year will bring!
Above are monthly revuneu graphs of income streams from two of my internet platforms. As you can see, I’m not getting rich. The number of hours to maintain this growth I can’t even begin to count. For example just today (Saturday) I’ve been on the computer for ten hours photo editing, creating reoccuring tweets, creating new Squidoo backlinks, creating the graphic for this article, writing this blog and gathering the links.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask, I’ve received a lot of advice and it’s my turn to pay it back.
- Jazz Hipster (http://3quarterstoday.com/2013/03/28/jazz-hipster/)
- My 19 Years in Social Media
- 365 Photo Challenge (what started my WordPress journey)