I love this time of year. It's exciting for me when I get to sit down and look back on my business and make plans for the year to come. Every year there are goals I reach and those I don't. I change goals or make new ones throughout the course of the year. This is the time of year when I create the big master list though, and it will become my road map for the next several weeks to months.
Today I'm going to share some of my goals for 2010 (professional goals at least). Here they are:
- I want to increase All Freelance Writing pageviews. Last year my goal was to maintain around 100k pageviews each month. I didn't have a lot of ambition for the site other than to keep on blogging. That's changing this year. I initially set the 2010 goal to 150k pageviews per month. I expected December to have a traffic slowdown due to the holidays, but oddly traffic increased quite a bit and I've already exceeded 150k pageviews for December. So for now my goal will be to try to maintain that level for at least three of the next six months, and then increase to 200k pageviews per month by the end of the year. I'll re-evaluate the goals as I go and increase them if needs be.
- I want to earn more money. That's a given, right? I already earn a rather nice income, and have seen increases every year I've been in business. 2009 saw around a $10k increase over 2008, and based on existing monthly contracts (several of which only started mid-2009) I'm expecting to earn about $20k more in 2010. That's accounting for client work alone. I plan to earn significantly more through my own sites and projects as well, although I don't have a set number in mind for that right now.
- I'm relaunching my business site, with a client-targeted blog. Much of my blogging is focused on networking with colleagues. When I ran the PR firm I had NakedPR which brought in work. Right now I don't really blog for clients. That's changing. I launched PublicRelationsWriting.net months ago as part of a challenge here, and I'm moving that to my business site at ProBusinessWriter.com. I redesigned the site recently to a very minimalistic design and finished coding it. It's going to operate as a static site with an attached blog, through WordPress as usual (this was actually my first time coding my own WordPress blog which feels good and which was much quicker than expected). The PR writing blog content is being moved to that attached blog, which will focus on a wider variety of business writing topics. The new site is up on a test domain for now, but I'll be moving it over to the business domain either on the 1st or when I get back officially from my vacation after the 4th.
- I want to increase All Freelance Writing subscribers. My goal for 2009 was to reach 1000 subscribers for the main feed (not including the freelance writing jobs subscribers). I met that goal. For now I'm setting my 2010 goal at 1500. At the six month mark we'll see where we are and I'll decide whether or not to increase that goal.
- I want to release two Web Writer's Guide e-books. The second e-book in the series has been sitting around waiting for me to finish it for quite some time, and I'm hoping to release it in January (in addition to the Query-Free Freelancer's 30 Day Marketing Bootcamp e-book and a 2010 planner for freelance writers). I want to put out another one in the second half of the year.
- I want to increase my productivity. It's nice always having a full work schedule and being able to turn down gigs. But I know I can do more and without burning myself out or working longer hours. There are some things in my work process that take more time than they should, there's downtime I could be putting to better use, and I want to see if I can improve things. Basically I want to consolidate what I'm already doing in a way where I can take on one or two more regular monthly contracts (which would be in addition to the $20k more I already expect to earn this year, not a part of that goal). I'm going to stick to my current work schedule -- get up at 4am, start work at 5am and work through noon (my 8th hour is my lunch hour off from noon to one if you want to get technical). What I need to do is find ways to avoid my mid-morning slump, which is at least not as bad as the afternoon slumps I had when trying to work 9-5. So I've set a very detailed schedule for myself, and my goal will be to stick with it for a few weeks to see if it becomes habit or unmanageable. While I won't go into all of the details here, it amounts to a 30 minute workout once I get up followed by a shower (meaning getting changed out of my beloved PJs before work) and a few cups of coffee with a healthy breakfast. I'm going to be doing more cooking to make sure I have good foods around to keep me energized rather than resorting to frozen meals and takeout. Little changes like that have worked well for me in the past, and I'm sure they will again. I just tend to get distracted for a few days and throw my whole routine off in the morning. I figure if I make that workout and breakfast non-negotiable before work starts, it might be harder to get completely off-track if I do go off the plan for a day or two for some reason. We'll see!
I have lots of other small goals like a survey and report here, launching a classfieds section / marketplace here, releasing a white paper through my business site, creating a few other products to sell over the course of the year, and launch an online class / course series hopefully by this spring. But these are the big ones. Now tell me, what are your goals for 2010 for your freelance writing career?