2013 First Quarter Check-In

It's time for my first quarterly evaluation for my business. While I evaluate my progress on specific goals more frequently, I use my quarterly evaluations to review my longer-term plans and resolutions.

So far things are going pretty well. But, as usual, I need to make some changes.

Progress So Far

Here are some of the things I can check off my yearly to-do list:

  • Overhaul content on my service site (new service page, copy edits, and rate changes). 
  • Launch WritingForBloggers.com.
  • Start promoting the Online Learning Hub brand (a rebranding for another site).
  • Launch my last author website.
  • Finish BizAmmo.com blog content audit.
  • Re-launch All Indie Publishing.
  • New design / theme customizations for my genealogy blog.
  • Draft the first short story in a new collection.
  • Give my assistant more responsibilities and more writing work to help out.
  • Incorporate new business branding into existing sites.

So far so good. Even better, I'm currently making progress on several other big goals for this year including:

  • Publishing a white paper or report targeting prospective clients -- I'm drafting this now.
  • Overhauling the job board at AFW -- I'm setting up a new ad strategy and testing the new platform now.
  • Launching self-paced e-courses at AFW -- Three of these are outlined, one is being drafted, and I purchased and installed the e-course delivery platform.
  • Finishing the AFW blog content audit -- This is a long process, but I plug away at it every week. It should be completed in the next month or two.
  • Drafting manuscripts for four short children's books -- The first is finished and waiting on me to choose the right editor.
  • Re-branding / re-releasing the boot camp e-book here at AFW -- it's being redesigned now, although taking much longer than I'd like.

Overall, I'm happy with my progress in the first quarter this year. But like I mentioned before, there need to be some changes. Those largely revolve around Web development and site launches, but I'm also making changes to my three-year publishing plan which will affect my goals.

Moving Forward

  • My plan was to launch more new blogs this year including DIYProjectIdeas.com, GardenAndFood.com, LiveWorkOrganize.com, and an Internet marketing blog. These aren't being completely removed from my list, but they're being generalized a bit. My goal is to launch three new sites by the end of the year, on top of ones already launched. One of those will be a big site launch that merges a few existing ones (I won't be sharing details on that until it's ready). These might be included in that list. Or I might move forward with other domains I have. I'm still hoping to get GardenAndFood.com up though, because I've been having contributors create the initial content. It just involves more extensive design changes than others. 
  • I was planning to work with my husband on the back-end of an author resource site this year, for a 2014 launch. This is being put on the back burner for now. Hubby's busy between his day job, running his own business, and helping me out with other development projects. And I'm too busy with this other big site merger / launch to handle another launch that big.
  • The first horror novel might not be drafted this year. That's because I've opted to pursue short stories in the genre first. The first is drafted. I'm editing it now and will send it off to an editor after my rewrites are finished. I'm publishing these individually in e-book form, and hope to release an e-book and print book collection either late this year or early next year.
  • I don't see any hope of me finishing the second Murder Script game (tied to a mystery series I'm working on). I'll be lucky to finish the first.

Those are the big changes from the original list I posted here. Other than that, I'll be tweaking the month-to-month publishing plan.

How is your year shaping up so far? Are you on track to reach your goals, or are you making any changes? Tell us about your quarterly check-in in the comments below.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

Subscribe to the All Freelance Writing newsletter to get freelance writing updates from Jenn in your inbox.

6 thoughts on “2013 First Quarter Check-In”

  1. Wow, you go girl 🙂

    I started my business in March, but it didn’t come out of thin air or anything. Still I did start with nothing more than my own knowledge…and now I have an actual business. So, my quarterly/first month check-in:

    For me, I’ve been able to check the following off my list:
    *Do market research to determine appropriate ideal reader and what writers to network with.
    *Determine pen name, and development brand with logo, slogan, and repeating elements in covers, etc.
    *Launch author website and blog.
    *Launch social media presences.
    *Network with similar genre authors.
    *Take workshops to improve my graphic design, copywriting, marketing, organization, and writing skills.
    *Plot first series of stories
    *Determine a secondary enterprise traffic generator/community. This is going to be menageromanceclub.com, something I’ve done lots of planning for, but not all of it, and there’s nothing on the actual domain yet.
    *Start connecting with readers (I’ve started this and have a more specific strategy/set of strategies, and this is going well so far. But I’m in a very, very infant stage with this).

    These things are still coming up for the year:
    *Draft first story to be released (I’m SO close to done on this one).
    *Have first social media release/launch party (This is going to be April 26 and I am so so so excited) and it is a little different than all other launches all have in that this is my “loss leader” series so that I have something out there while I keep promoting. I mean, blogging can only do so much, and relationships are great and would really benefit from something to show in the fic department 🙂
    *Publish three short story series
    *Launch romance and erotica ghostwriting business
    *Launch romance and erotica erotica PLR business
    *Begin article marketing/guest posting campaign
    *Begin Facebook advertising
    *Begin additional blog tours
    *Schedule blog hops
    *Launch a writer’s blog specific to my genre
    *Launch a ghostwriter’s blog – for marketers (clients of the ghostwriting business, as I am looking to work with marketers that want in on indie publishing and need editorial assistance)

    Because I plan in a two year time frame for publishing, I’ve also got these things on my publishing schedule:
    * 2 more short story series
    * Publish 2 novellas
    * Publish 2 novels
    *Not publishing, but I’m hoping to launch a book club of my books (as in mailing them to regular readers) within the two year time period, towards the second year tier.

    And these things have changed:
    * My novels are now in year two of my plan, whereas I thought they would be sooner. But this definitely works out for the better.
    * I’m doing my short stories in series form…and by adding new stories, not watering them down. This was both a writing and a marketing decision.

    Wheww, that was quite the comment for my lunch break blog hopping!

    Looking forward to seeing how other writers are doing on their goals. Especially other indie publishers 😉

  2. Hi,

    I’ve stepped my marketing by sending out more cold emails every day.

    I’m considering working with an SEO company so they can give me feedback on my writer website. I feel I have SEO best practices in place, but I’d like a second opinion.

    I’m working on my author website and have contacted a local marketing/web firm. If they don’t get back to me, I have another company to contact. I may go with the second company because they have a sample of a website for kids, and I want a separate website for my children’s picture book.

    I started my author Facebook page and have been promoting my book “Color Your Life: Daily Meditations for the Creative Soul” on FB and Twitter.” I’m also promoting my children’s picture book, softly. And I need to look into speaking about my book “Color Your Life” and my other two books that are out. It’s on my To-Do-List.

    I am querying literary agents for my children’s picture book. I have the second book written and want to begin on the third book.

    I want to pitch my teleplay and need to do that.

    I have to decide if I’ll let my Savvy Writing Careers website go. I’m still on the fence about it. Then again, if it’s not a strong Yes, it’s a No.

    I think this is it, for now.

  3. You make me feel like such a slacker. All I’ve managed to do this year is round up a couple of new clients, but that was at the top of my to-do list. It’s always at the top of my to-do list!

    I didn’t realize you had a genealogy blog. I’ll have to check it out. My cousin and I want to start on our family tree.

    • The genealogy blog doesn’t have a lot of content, so you’re not missing much there yet. Mostly it’s become a place to talk to other people who found out they’re dual citizens, and who are going through the process of getting their citizenship papers from Germany. I was actually surprised by how many people responded to that post with similar situations.


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