At the beginning of the year, we tend to set our freelance writing goals, or resolutions. But sometimes we take a set it and forget it approach. Now that we're in July, we're a bit more than half-way through the year. I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the progress we've all made so far.
Take a look at some of your goals set at the beginning of the year, and see how you're doing. Here are mine:
- I want to flip at least 6 sites. (Probably not going to happen. I flipped 2-3 early, and have a few others built and sitting until I'm ready to flip them, but I'll likely wait until they're earning a bit more to get a better price, rather than the originally-planned quick-flips.)
- I want to finish drafting at least one of my outlined novels. (I'm not sure about this one. I got about 11,000 words into the first draft, but I'm not really happy with it. This is the novel I outlined in 2004, and let sit because I was torn between whether it would be a better novel or screenplay. Frankly, it seems more screen-worthy than appropriate for a book. I'll finish pursuing that story one way or the other this year - it may just not be in novel form. If I do go the screenplay route, I'll likely finish that and then start on one of the other novel outlines - putting together a first draft. But I don't expect to finish it, since I'm focused on the nonfiction book for The Query-Free Freelancer and my e-book series right now).
- I want to get AllBookMarketing.com on a regular posting schedule, even if just once per week. (I actually opted to merge that site into All Freelance Writing instead.)
- I want to get back on posting to AllBookWriting.com about my books and e-books-in-progress. I didn’t post enough there during my e-book process. (This was also merged into AFW. Most of my book writing talk for now will focus on QueryFreeFreelancer.com, because it ties in nicely to the book there and writing books is a part of platform-building, although any references to fictional work will likely stay here.)
- I want to launch at least two more Web Writer’s Guide E-books after I settle my marketing on the first one. (A part of me wants to say I'll likely only get one more published, but it's possible I'll hit two. The marketing e-book is a bit delayed, but will be out soon enough. The next will probably be a shorter, more specialized one, so it is indeed possible that it will launch by year's end.)
- I want to get published with my byline in at least one print publication. (Frankly, while I'd still like to do this, it's just not a huge concern of mine right now. And with the push on QueryFreeFreelancer.com, querying publications just for the sake of meeting this goal would seem hypocritical. So if an opportunity presents itself, great. If not, I'm not too worried about it.)
- I want to finish eLearn101.com, build some traffic and revenue, and then sell it. (This is a tougher one. I'm not pursuing the directory there anymore. That's what I know for certain. I have considered moving FreeOnlineCourses.info to the elearn101.com domain (monitizes well as it is, but I'd probably be able to build more traffic and income with the more brandable domain, either to keep it for the income or to sell it. It's just not going to be a priority for a while, so might be a 2010 project when I'm doing my own sites full-time.)
- My big goal for the year (and one I know will be a struggle to achieve) is to move from full-time freelance writing to full-time income from my blogs, e-books, etc. (writing “for myself”), with just part-time client work by the end of the year. (I am very happy to say that progress towards this goal is moving along very nicely. Next year, client work will be a part-time income source, while the bulk of my earnings should be coming from my sites, blogs, e-books, and hopefully the QFF book. I'm quite excited about that prospect, I'm thrilled at how some of the sites have progressed this year so far - more about that below.)
- And of course, I want to see my overall income keep climbing year over year. (This goal will absolutely be met.)
- I desperately need to finally get a new accounting and filing system setup to help me with my always-messy records and such. (And this goal probably WON'T be met! lol)
So there you have it -- my goals published here early in the year, and how they're coming along. However, those aren't my only goals. As the year progresses, new goals are formed, old ones change a bit (hence the site mergers), and some cease to matter. Here are some of the things I'm up to currently that weren't originally-planned goals for 2009:
- I'm writing the nonfiction book -- The Query-Free Freelancer. I finished outlining recently, and began drafting this week (sign up over there, and today I'll be publishing the rough TOC to let my members decide what I draft first, since I'll be publishing excerpts for them).
- I launched QueryFreeFreelancer.com. It's tied to the book-in-progress as a way to get people thinking about the issue of becoming query-free, while building an audience for the future book.
- I'm re-designing several sites. Basically, I'm going to custom designs instead of templates (for the bigger sites for now). I wanted something very simple and "old school" blog format for NakedPR.com, and that was the first to be done. Then I did the unique design for the QueryFreeFreelancer.com launch. I redesigned AllFreelanceWriting.com (that design is off with the coder now being finished up and should go live next week I hope). I'm in the process of redesigning a small business blog (more on that below, as one of the "Big 3"). Then I'll likely redesign AudioXposure.com and possibly Free Online Courses (if I get around to moving it to the elearn101.com domain this year).
- Big 3 Blog Changes - My previous "big 3" blogs are having some overhaul work done. NakedPR is pretty much finished. Just a design change there (and income is surprisingly nice over there, considering I rarely update it). I do need to update a few of the older pages / posts there, like the distribution site list.All Freelance Writing is going through its changes now. Design changes will come first, followed by a few minor changes for monetization. Income on this site could easily be improved, and I'm going to be trying a plan that doesn't involve a lot of sitewide banners and such (which you can see on the design itself). The job board will be reinstated (used to earn well when jobs were on their own domain). The e-books will have a prominant link on the site to hopefully keep those sales coming in. I'll also be moving more towards affiliate promotions which were doing very well here before, but which I stopped to focus attention elsewhere. The contextual Clickbank ads will be gone - they've proved pretty much useless over time. Instead I'll be going to back to promoting specific products that I'll hand-pick because I think they're actually worth your time. I don't intend to promote them with any banners, buttons, etc. sitewide.The business blog will have the most changes. In that case, I'll actually be going with more ads. I'll be moving the worthwhile blog content over to a new domain when the design is ready, updating and better-optimizing a lot of those posts as I go along (meaning a very big project indeed). The current domain will be wiped clean. The only thing I'll likely keep is the slogan (and possibly the logo altogether). A new site will be launched on that old domain, so it won't be redirected to the new one (meaning the new site will need a lot of early promotional work). The old domain will instead be used to house a collection of business tools and resources, and will either be a static site or a WordPress site setup to essentially be static (no blog).
I'm sure there are other smaller things that I've forgotten, but those are the activities (aside from client work) that I'm personally focusing on right now.
What about you? How are your 2009 goals coming along, and have you set any new ones?