My Focus For 2015

Craig Holdheide  |  Jan 02, 2015  |  Comments

With a new year comes a new focus.  I have been thinking about what I would like to accomplish in 2015 and get it written down.  This is such an important exercise that I highly recommend you also do it.

First, we will take a quick look at my goals from last year and see how I did.  Being my first year blogging, I had no data to go off so you will see how bad I really did, but you will also see how unrealistic my goals were.

Second, I will set new goals and discuss how I might accomplish those goals.  If what I am doing does not match up to my goals, I won't do it.  This can be hard, especially as with a background in development, because you just want to go off on all these tangents an create stuff, but this can do more harm that good.

Finally, I just want to say that building this blog site is like an experiment.  First you try one idea and if that doesn't work, you shift and try a new idea.  Here I have learned some new things and now I am shifting and trying some new ideas.

A Quick Review Of My 2014 Goals

Okay, don't laugh, but here are my 2014 goals, found below.  I actually listed these goals in one of my first blog posts labeled "Beginnings" and honestly I did not complete a single one of these goals.  These were some pretty large goals and for just starting a new blog I felt I have come along way already and learned so much.  So I did some reflection on my 2014 goals and came up with some 2015 goals that I will share with you later.  So lets get started.

1. Get 1000  Unique Visitors To My Blog Site In One Month

I knew this would be a large goal for me and I actually aimed high because I really wanted to push myself.  I started this blog site around the end of July last year and I did not start to receive any real traffic to my website until October 2014.  Below are the stats for the last three months of last year.

MONTH UNIQUE VISITS 
 October 2014 54
 November 2014  176
 December 2014  72

2. Get 1000 People To Sign-Up For My RSS Blog Feed

Lets just say, I shouldn't have even made this a goal. 

3. Write One Post Per Week With At Least A Total of 50 Blog Posts By End of 2014

Not much to say here except I ended up writing a total of 8 blog posts for 2014.  A far cry from my actual goal.

So What Did I Learn About 2014 And What I Plan To Do Better In 2015?

First, I just didn't write much content in 2014, so in 2015 I am looking at more ways of creating more content.  Notice I said "creating" not "writing".  I plan to not just write content, but create other types of content such as video.  I did some of this in 2014 but I want to do allot more this in 2015 because I think this such an effective medium.

Second, I want to engage with my audience at a deeper level, not just pushing content out for the world to see.  In 2014 I had one comment on my web site and I hope to increase this in 2015.

And finally, my biggest take away from last year is that I need to spend more FOCUSED time blogging.  This means when I am working on my blog I am not doing anything else that could distract me.  

I also want to be clear, I am not increasing the time I am spending on creating blog content, I am just learning to become more efficient at blogging.  I also have a family that requires my time as well and it is ultimately important that I keep a good work/life balance.  In other words, don't mix work and family time.

My Goals For 2015

So here are my 2015 goals.  Each one of these are measurable, but along with each one of these goals I am also providing a list of work items to help me accomplish the goal.

1. Get 1000 Users To My Blog Site In One Month

This is the only goal that will stay the same from last year.  Last year I got 176 users to visit codeengage.com in one month.  To achieve this goal I plan to...

  • Post at least one piece of content per week
    Consistency is important because it helps your audience know when to expect new content on your site.  I haven't been so successful about this in the past so to help improve this I am creating a content schedule.  I'm not saying I'm perfect, but if it helps I will be more than willing to try it.

  • Post different types of content, such as video or audio
    Let's face it, a blog post with just text isn't that fun to read.  When I see a post that contains an audio version of it or there is a video included I am more inclined to want to click on the link and view it.  You can expect to see allot more of this in the year to come.

2. Engage with 200 People In My Target Audience 

Okay, you might be thinking, what does it mean to engage with people in your target audience.  Well if you look at the definition of "engage" it will say "participate or become involved in".  So there are about four ways I can think of that will allow people from my target audience to participate.  This includes...

  • Social Networking
    This is important for almost any online presents today.  You need to have a social presents on at least the major social networks.  If your a blogger it's a huge deal because it will help you get the word out when you have new content to share.  When people see this content on my social networks it will give them the opportunity to click back to my blog and view my content.

  • Subscribing to my RSS Feed
    Pretty straight forward here.  I am just allowing RSS readers to pull my content from my blog and read it at their convenience.  

  • Commenting
    You can't have a blog without allowing others to comment on your work.  Every blog post I write is another opportunity for someone to comment back and engage with me.

  • Signing up to my mailing list
    Email is still one of the best ways to engage with your target audience.  Think about it, whats the first thing most people do on there computer in the morning?  Check there email.  Even in a world where social networks are gaining more and more momentum, email is still the biggest player for communicating with your primary audience.  So this year I will be investing more time on improving this process.

    I also want to point out that subscribing to my RSS feed is not the same as signing up for my mailing list.  Signing up for my mailing list will give these users access to additional content.  Still working on the exact details yet, but I plan to have this process in place early this year.

3. Release A New Software Product

This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while now.  I enjoy the process of design and building software, unfortunately I don't have any details that I would like to disclose at the moment.  Mostly because I don't want to give the idea away but I promise more details to come soon.

Other than that, I have looked at building some open source products and paid for products.  Either way you look at it, this is allot of work and will take allot of planning and time to complete.  Even the smallest software projects can become complicated and overwhelming.

​Conclusion

​Okay, so there you have it, these are my new goals for 2015.  Next, I want to hear your feed back on these goals for 2015 and if your a blogger what kind of goals have your set?

Craig Out :-)

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