Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Business Resolutions for 2008

It's almost the end of the year, and just about everyone is posting their New Years' Resolutions in cyberspace. I think this is a good idea--a whole bunch of people will see my resolutions, and they'll know if I don't follow through. Hopefully this means I'll be more driven to accomplish them--public shame is a great motivator.

What works better for me, however, is setting goals I can achieve. I'm a dreamer by nature. I love setting elaborate, fantastic, reach-for-the-stars goals. When I was in school, this worked pretty well--I was surrounded by a network of teachers and parents who would help me out. However, I'm finding that the key to adult success isn't necessarily dreaming big--anyone can do that. The key is to keep trudging along--a bunch of little achievements can add up to some big-time success.

Anyway, enough motivational blather. Here are my (eminently achievable) business goals for 2008:

Move this blog to Wordpress. I would really like to move this blog from its current Blogger location to my own URL: www.catalystwriters.com. There are a few reasons, but the biggest is that I think the continual updating on that URL will help my business site's Google rankings, plus make my blog look a bit more professional. I'd love to do a whole-site-in-Wordpress thing like Matt's site at Copywriter's Crucible, but I'm sticking to one thing at a time here.

Monetize this blog. I can't say this blog hasn't been a blast, but I'd have even more fun if I was generating some income from it. I think I'll give myself a few months to see if my current traffic levels will sustain--I got a big boost from the Top Ten Blogs for Writers awards. Then I'm going to start looking into ways to monetize that won't be too intrusive to readers. Expect a few surveys on which types of blog advertising you mind the least and the most while I figure this out.

Streamline my marketing routine. I have to admit, I haven't been experiencing the same slowdown I've seen Lori writing about at Words on the Page. I think part of the reason is that I'm lucky: right now I have two very regular clients who put in large orders each month, as well as a circulating stream of repeat clients who drop in every few months or so with new orders. Most of these folks I met through Elance--either by bidding or by keeping my profile up--which is why I stuck with the site all this time, in case anyone's wondering why I've bothered. But a few of them came to me through other marketing tactics--and some even found me through Search.

All this is great, but I'm very aware that my two regulars could take off at any time and my circulating regulars often do fade out--and they need to be reminded or replaced with new clients. My marketing habits are haphazard at best--I start thinking about it only during the slow months. Instead, I'd like to develop a streamlined process that I can apply continuously, so that there will always be more work waiting.

Look into some passive income streams. PLR has caught my attention lately, and I've been thinking about writing an E-book for ages. This year, I'd like to make a commitment to start developing some passive-income products I can sell on my site.

Continue with my article marketing campaign. It's been working well for me already, but I've been slacking off lately on article marketing. I've still got a long list of titles for articles I haven't written, and I think it's definitely doable to work through it this year and raise my site's Google rank even further.

This year has been great for my freelance writing business--I've accomplished a great deal. Here's hoping I can continue my progress in 2008.

2 comments:

Susan said...

Hi Jennifer,
Loved your article on Parenting Teens Online, by the way! These are great goals, and I wanted to make a suggestion for monetizing your blog. I've tried Adsense and Amazon.com affiliates and made a little money from those here and there. BUT the thing that has gotten me more money is selling reprints of certain blog posts after they appear on my blog (or using those as a spring board for other articles). You write a lot of detailed instructional pieces and those might find a home on another writing site where you can get a little money for the reprint AND include a link to your website or blog to increase traffic. Enjoy your holiday, and I can't wait to read about all your successes in 2008!
Susan

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Susan! What a great idea--I'd never considered re-selling my blog posts. I would love to hear more from you on what markets you've sold yours to in the past. I'm adding that to the list! Happy holidays to you too, and all the best for 2008!