Goals for 2019 - July to December

Ryuzaki

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We're going to try something different.

The monthly goals format is stale and less and less people are interested in it. It's become boring and predictable. Another issue is that many of us run Lab threads, so we can end up posting the same stuff in multiple places, which is tedious.

Let's turn this completely free-form:
  • Want to post monthly goals? Sounds good to me.
  • Want to post a daily journal about what you've done, what challenges you faced? Great, let's do it.
  • Want to jump in whenever you can at random? Now that's free-form!
This can be casual or as formal as you like. I think this will simply be more interesting and valuable for everybody if these threads run for a longer time and more conversation can be had within them. If it works good, we can do a year long thread for 2020.

Feel free to give feedback if you're a Goal Thread Enthusiast. Your opinion matters the most.
 

Ryuzaki

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July Overview

Client Site - Redesign Done

Picking up from last month, I wrapped up that site re-design I did for a new client. Was fun and pleasant and fast thanks to them being completely organized and knowing what they wanted. I then turned my attention right back to my main project.

Main Project - Ported Back From Staging Server
My main project has been sitting on a staging server for 6 months as I did an obscene technical SEO audit on it, converted every post to Gutenberg while creating custom blocks and fixing up other issues and improving the content. The theme is half as big, much faster, and everything is cleaner with faster queries. I looked at and improved every possible thing. Even removed 301 redirected sites, pruned 147 pieces of content, etc. I went nuclear on it.

Main Project - Content Drip
So now there's nothing else. I might have some bad links in my portfolio or something, but they're so few and far in between, they can't possibly be a problem. All that's left is to scale content. I'm not even interested in getting backlinks right now. My goal is to ramp up to a steady publishing schedule and keep it in place forever as the top priority for this project.

New Project - Get Live & See Reaction
Tonight & Tomorrow, hopefully just tonight, I intend to get a basic Wordpress install up and configured for a new project. I've mentioned around that I have this crazy old and powerful domain not being used that has the main word of a class of products in the domain name. All the backlinks are from the oldest and most juicy sites on the net, zero exaggeration. They're completely relevant in terms of the niche and vertical, but perhaps not the content itself.

Anyways, I got a nice long piece of content for an information term written. I'm going to build out a basic homepage and get the category structure set up, then post this article and see how Google reacts to it. If it starts ranking well, it's all outsourced hands on deck to get more content done quickly. If it does really well I'll probably design a custom theme for it and add it into my mental compartment of my main projects.

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Today

Since it's the first of the month, I'll be doing my EOTM (End of the Month) routine first. Then I'll jump over to the new project build.

If you guys don't have an EOTM or Start of the Month routine, I highly advise it. I do things during it like:
  • Pay bills
  • Reconcile all bank statements with my software and clear current transactions
  • Gracefully reboot my servers
  • Crawl my sites for broken links, images, and videos
  • Update my disavow files
  • Check my domains for upcoming expirations
  • Run finances and other metrics for my site's spreadsheets
  • Check backups to ensure everything is still working there
  • Etc.
There's certain things that don't demand constant action but need to be touched every once in a while. This is the perfect time to do it, and making a list means it won't be eating up your mental RAM during the month, freeing you up to take care of the real work.
 

darkzerothree

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July

SAAS

Here we have a lot riding on the initial meeting with the stakeholders on Wednesday, 3rd of July.
Either they give the go ahead, or the project is dead.

  • meeting /w stakeholders done - funding secured
  • Connection to SIM card and location detection done and presented
  • Start of MVP development
Client site 1
  • Finish documentation
  • Send invoices
  • Secure outsourcee

Client Site 2
  • Small updates (panorama pic, staff site)

Other
  • "Hermes" course started

I'm omitting non-biz stuff here (health, etc..) unless this is of interest?
 
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July Goals

Client Work

-Get 1 more writing client
-Hire 1 writer

Niche Site
-Post 50 articles
-Revamp my PBNs
More info: Lab Journal

Personal
-Start exercising (3 days a week, 15 mins a day)
 

Ryuzaki

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I've been meaning to post here more frequently as a way to congeal my thoughts in my mind, maybe raise some good conversation, and just be entertaining to some degree. So here we go.

This Week

We're halfway through July, and above I posted a monthly overview. I want to check in and see if I'm on target.

Main Project
Yes, I ported the site back to the live server. It went swimmingly well. I about had a heart attack doing it just because I'd built it up so high in my mind. It went over with zero down time. I went ahead and started dripping some new content too, like planned. Three posts have gone out so far. I've slowed down on that for the moment as I take care of something below. But I'll try to get another piece of content out before the week is over.

New Project
I wanted to get something live and see how Google reacts. I did get something live but it's so shit (in my eyes) that I fear it's not going to be good enough for Google. It's a basic theme with two pieces of content on it and a tiny homepage and category page. So I went ahead and ordered a logo, got it back, and started building a custom theme. I've put probably 10 hours into it and am halfway done. I'm keeping it very minimal but that hasn't stopped it from looking amazing either. It's crazy how much time gets eaten up by designing special little features that make very little impact, versus just getting the broad swaths done. I'm going to order content as soon as I can get some research done. I'd like to add that to the staging server then port it all back live in one shot so Google has something tasty to eat up all in one go.

These two things are consuming all of my time right now. When the New Project is live, I'm going to start a 3rd project that I've wanted to do for a while, but it's going to require me to find an aged and juicy domain or find a live site I can purchase off someone, which is usually hard to do since they always over-value their precious babies.

All in all, I'm ahead of schedule and under budget!
 
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My issue with monthly goals is that you never know when the next month will hit. Even with my loose schedule, I'm living week to week. And so I tend to plan the week ahead on Monday morning, just to have a rough plan to stick to.

August started on Thursday this year, that's 3 days after I've done my weekly plan. So I'm busy grinding. And I don't feel like coming out of the rut to look at the big picture since I already have the game plan for the week. And then the monthly goals get postponed into eternity...

So I'm rolling with quarterly reviews. I'll share my next 3-month plan in September.
 
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August is here, so I thought I should review my goals and set some new ones for the month.

Let's start with July Goals
Client Work
-Get 1 more writing client [DONE]
-Hire 1 writer [DONE- I actually ended hiring 5 writers]

Niche Site

-Post 50 articles [DONE]
-Revamp my PBNs [DONE]

Personal

-Start exercising (3 days a week, 15 mins a day) - FAILED. I haven't built the discipline to be consistent with exercising. From my logs, I only exercised 1 day a week. Yes, that's a grand total of 4 times the whole month.

For August, I want to keep up the momentum of what I've started building. Here are my goals.

Client Work
-Get 2 clients.
In case anyone is wondering, the clients I'm looking for are SEO agencies. I find it easier to work with agencies because they pay promptly (usually weekly) and tend to have regular work to keep the writing team busy.

Niche Site
Got a whole load in store for my niche site. The major task is to create content (about 100 articles). I also have some marketing stuff I'll be doing. I've outlined everything in the Journo.

Health
I've realized I don't usually exercise because I'm usually tired when I get home. I walk home every day (about 30 minutes walk) from the office. I guess walking is also somewhat exercising/

Anyway, I'll be concentrating on building the upper core with. 10 pushups daily (will increase them when they become too easy to accomplish), 2-minute planks, and 50 rollers (need the abs). All these should cumulatively take about 10 minutes. That's the bare minimum I'm looking to hit, everyday. Already started the routine on 1st Aug.
 
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Health
I've realized I don't usually exercise because I'm usually tired when I get home. I walk home every day (about 30 minutes walk) from the office. I guess walking is also somewhat exercising/

Anyway, I'll be concentrating on building the upper core with. 10 pushups daily (will increase them when they become too easy to accomplish), 2-minute planks, and 50 rollers (need the abs). All these should cumulatively take about 10 minutes. That's the bare minimum I'm looking to hit, everyday. Already started the routine on 1st Aug.
Walking - take the stairs when you can as well. The average 10,000 a day is good (not for any particular medical benefit from that number - just that it keeps you motivated and 10,000 is better than 8,000 is better than...)

Unless you have health problems, your fitness routine seems excessively minimal for a 'normal' person who isn't a gym rat. Try doing one set early morning, one set lunch and one set evening of whatever you choose. This programme helped me when I was out of shape following a medical procedure.
 
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Walking - take the stairs when you can as well. The average 10,000 a day is good (not for any particular medical benefit from that number - just that it keeps you motivated and 10,000 is better than 8,000 is better than...)
My office's actually on the 2nd floor. So I'm going up and down the stairs every day a couple of times. Not sure if I'm hitting the 10,000 mark. On average, I think I'm up and down the stairs about 10-15 times a day.

Unless you have health problems, your fitness routine seems excessively minimal for a 'normal' person who isn't a gym rat. Try doing one set early morning, one set lunch and one set evening of whatever you choose. This programme helped me when I was out of shape following a medical procedure.
Yes, I reckon that. My biggest challenge atm is finding time to exercise. Last year, I'd enrolled in a gym. Used to go from around 10am-12pm. However, when I left the gym to go back to work, I found myself sleeping. Basically, I couldn't work after a gym session. Ended up wasting my afternoons, so I canceled after 3 months.

I could go to the gym early, but my schedule's kinda random. Some day's I'm grinding till 5am while other days I'm going to bed at 2am. So, the morning thing couldn't work out. For evenings, we'll the gym is usually packed to the brim. Not a fan of this. I ended up buying a home gym setup.

Now, even with the home gym, I still don't find time to work out, or I'm usually feeling too lazy. I know I need to change, but forming the workout habit has been a challenge. That's why I wanted to start small and build from there.

Thanks for the Darebee link...the exercises look simple though, apart from the lunges. I hate lunges to the core...ha ha.
 
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Thanks for the Darebee link...the exercises look simple though, apart from the lunges. I hate lunges to the core...ha ha.
Yes, that was what worked for me - being able to tick off the numbers during the day (rather than doing a 'session' all at once). And they are relatively simple without needing equipment so you can do a lot of them anywhere. My knees also hate lunges...
 

Ryuzaki

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August End-of-Month Overview:

Main Project - Content Drip & Google Update
Last time I said I'd port the new, improved version from the staging server and drip content, hoping Google reacts positively to the changes. Well, I did drip content, and Google did update and it was nice! I posted 4 articles at 1500-2500 words each. I also got two more offers to buy the site, turned them both down. It's not time yet. Learn more about this site in the case study thread - new update tomorrow!

New Project - Site Designed, Made Live, 10+ Posts
My goal was simply to get a basic Wordpress install up with a little content. I ended up designing an entire custom theme, wrote like 5 posts, then outsourced another 10 or so. They're coming in and I'm posting them as they do. Now I'm in the "how will Google respond" stage. I'm already getting clicks on affiliate links. This was an aged domain with links. Follow this journey on this case study thread - new update tomorrow, too!

Even Newer Project - Site Designed, 5 Posts Up, Aged & Juicy Domain
Like a beast, I designed an entirely custom theme, wrote 5 posts, bought an aged and juicy domain, and got it live. First big update coming tomorrow in the case study thread with all the gory details!

I've got no time for anything else new. My plate is full. It's just go time now, relentless grinding and outsourcing and dealing with what's returned.
 

darkzerothree

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End of August Update
As can be seen in my other thread, work on the SaaS is well underway.

All other projects are pushged to the back, and have evolved and changed.
 
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September Goals
  • Finish up grabbing pillow links/profiles
  • Write & Post 12 new articles
  • Decide my article optimization cut-off points, e.g. the point of diminishing returns
  • Reach the optimization cut-off points
  • Create a V1 process of hiring and vetting writers
  • Outsource at least 1 post to a writer
  • Create a V1 process for guest post outreach
  • Score 10 guest post links
  • Add Review schema (reviewed by X + stars rating) to posts
  • Update site "about section" and author image
  • Add segmentation to my Onesignal push notifications
  • Test out Yandex.Metrica heatmaps on the site
  • Set up 1 A/B CRO test per week, so 4 in total
Should be about complete. Also made some quarterly goals, but time will show if planning that far ahead justifies itself with my lack of experience.
 
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August Recap
I did not fully accomplish all my goals set for August. Here's how I fared.

Client Work
-Get 2 clients.
DONE

Niche Site

Create content (about 100 articles). MANAGED TO CREATE ABOUT 60 ARTICLES
Did a couple of other things (UPDATE HERE)

Health
FAILED. Exercised for just 3 days


September Goals

The goals for the month are just like what I had for August, with some slight differences.

Client Work.
-Build my team to 5 dependable writers.
-Finish design of my writing agency website
-Send 100 outreach emails to SEO agencies

Niche Site
Got a load to do here. Details on the Journo.

Health
Commit to exercising for 10 days (30 minutes sessions)
 

Ryuzaki

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Since I'm breaking down my specific goals in my case study threads, I'm just going to use this thread to congeal my big picture concept of the next month and comment on the previous month.

What I'm trying to do these days is simplify my operations. Two things I'm eliminating as much as possible of:
  • Link Building
  • Affiliate Marketing
So I can focus nearly entirely on:
  • Keyword Research
  • Content Publishing
Link building takes forever, is expensive to outsource in a way that doesn't bring algorithmic risk, and the results aren't as dependable any more. My main project is linked to the gills so I don't need to worry about that, and my two newest projects were started on aged, non-dropped domains with powerful links in place.

Affiliate marketing is great. It gets a good ROI if you do the right product and niche selection. But the number of keywords to target are limited and much higher competition than I care to get frustrated with these days. I get plenty of sales from those and from general product mentions, because the strength I have is lots of traffic.

Which is why I'm "reducing" my focus back down the ladder to display ads. Specifically high CPM ads. Yes, bottom of the barrel, regular old CPM ads. It might sound dumb but again, I get a lot of premium-geo traffic that goes to waste when nobody buys a product or clicks an ad. And with every visitor earning, I can calculate PPC budgets and do something I do well, which is traffic leaking.

We'll see how it goes. I think I can 4x my display ad revenue on one site just by switching to a premium ad network, which is currently passing my site to it's ad exchange partners for approval. If they don't play around I can get in and get those high holiday CPMs. One of my newer sites I'm already to the point where I don't care about it. I just built it because I had the domain. My other one is exciting and designed entirely around this model.

All of this allows me to focus on hitting the publish button as much as I can, targeting the endless amount of keywords I know I can rank for, instead of competing for stuff everyone else wants. It's not because I can't compete, but because I'm convinced there's better ROI elsewhere. High competition, buying intent SERPs are a semi-zero sum game. There's so much more money for less hassle.

We'll see how it goes!
 

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What I'm trying to do these days is simplify my operations. Two things I'm eliminating as much as possible of:
  • Link Building
  • Affiliate Marketing
So I can focus nearly entirely on:
  • Keyword Research
  • Content Publishing
I have been thinking the same thing recently. I’m looking to move to a website sponsorship model based on CPM. Sadly, that means I need to reach out to companies and try to convince them to buy a sponsorship. That takes a lot of time, but is more relevant to the audience. Very targeted for the advertisers. Not sure if this has a chance to work.

My audience clicks on ads, but I don’t know if they click on the relevant ads or the tracking ads from their previous searches. Wish I could figure that out.
 

CCarter

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90 Days and counting...

We got 90 days left, well less yesterday and today, so 88 days till 2020.

I don't know what it means for a lot of you, but I didn't even think I would live to see 2020. There is a lot of Red Bull running through me right now. I haven't had Red Bull in years, but I had to go back at it once again for the last 5 days.

Just win... Whatever it takes!

 

CCarter

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74 days till 2020 and counting down...

40 days till Black Friday...

We're in the final inning now. As marketers this is our Super Bowl - if you can't make money during the Holidays - just give up; because everyone is spending money, and a lot of them are spending money on themselves! Take advantage!

 
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All of this allows me to focus on hitting the publish button as much as I can, targeting the endless amount of keywords I know I can rank for
It seems you are moving back towards pre-Panda content mill strategies?

Instead of getting keywords from Analytics, we just get them from Search Console instead. Instead of Adsense, we just use CPM.
 
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My primary 2020 goal is to implement payments for my SaaS. My progress is so painfully slow because I need to juggle school at the same time. I know I know, its an excuse. I'm committed to making at least one git commit (haha) per day to keep disciplined and keep having that momentum. At the rate of development, I'll be able to roll out the new feature release by next weekend.

I'm not working on the payments yet until I'm happy enough with the feature set and retention is good enough. Until then, there's no point if no one will pay.
 

Ryuzaki

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Which is why I'm "reducing" my focus back down the ladder to display ads [...] I think I can 4x my display ad revenue on one site just by switching to a premium ad network
This mission is nearly complete. I signed up to two premium networks, one that isn't that hard to get into. I wasted an hour on a conference call with them by their request so they could understand the needs of my site. Then they completely butchered every single thing we talked about. I spent 2 weeks waiting on approval, then they showed their complete incompetence / lack of care.

So I swung for the fences and signed up for the most exclusive network around and after 2 weeks got in. Within 3 days we had ads live on the site, 100% perfect. I signed a contract, they get the full takeover. Got ads live just before the 1st of the month, so I'll get a full month's worth of data after November is over. I'm thrilled.

All of this allows me to focus on hitting the publish button as much as I can
Now that I've got the ad situation settled, I'm down to just "smashing publish." I didn't publish as much as I'd like to have done because I spent a good chunk of time doing some redesign work to maximize the revenue from the ads. It's all settled now. I've got 2 sites that I just need to do nothing but publish a ton, and one that requires no more content and just needs optimization and maybe some direct links. Life is simple once again.