Evil Ink’s Goals for 2013

Nicholas T
Photo by Nicholas T

It's that time of the year again when I review my past goals and come up with some new ones.

Increase Traffic by 10% monthly:

I did manage to triple my monthly traffic overall, however I did not manage to grow it by 10% a month. I had some bad months and some good months.

My bad months were a direct result of not promoting my content on social media platforms primarily Facebook where I'm more active. I was surprised at the sudden drop in my stats when I got lazy.

I also started to experiment with ad campaigns through sites like adsense and project wonderful. There was a third site that I had used but for the life of me I can't remember it's name but ultimately ended up being too expensive with very little ROI.

By my third quarter I had started to experiment with  Project Wonderful with great results. I've begun to compile a list of sites to purchase ad space on where I can attract strong traffic streams.

Lessons learned:

There's no excuse for not self-promoting your work. You're only hurting yourself if you're too lazy to share what you're doing.

My podcasts attract more traffic than my articles or my videos. This may be in large part due to my guest promoting their interviews to their fans. My videos attracted more spam than readers/watchers. This might be because of the content of the video not really resonating with my demographic. If I choose to more videos in the future than I should choose platform that my audience is likely to use. At the very least I should compile a list of technical resources to share with my readers.

Going forward:

I want to keep the same goal as last year: Increase traffic by 10% monthly.

Now that I have a fairly good idea about how each content types works, I'm going to apply that knowledge for future content by incorporating more of a community spirit. This will be taking the form of a second podcast, an Ask segment, and guest posts.

I have a few ideas for video content, but for the time being I think I'll try to keep my tutorials very simple and practical instead of doing a full development project.

Contests:

That ended in total failure. I did actually run one contest last year, and so we're clear I also promoted via social media, ads online and off-line, and set up stuff on craigslist and kijiji.

Lessons learned:

Technology changes in a blink of an eye. Just as I was throwing the contest, the technology used for the prize went obsolete. Poor timing on my part.

Going forward:

I may toss up another contest in the year to come using technology that's less volatile.

Ebooks:

I am working on ebooks, just not for Evil Ink. I think this one still counts as a success regardless. In 2012, I wrote 2 ebooks for clients and 6 short stories for me. Will I be doing more?

I sure do hope so. But as an Evil Ink thing? I don't think so.

Lessons learned:

You need a separate ISBN for the different versions of your ebook. Print, PDF, Kindle, Mobi, etc, all get different ISBNs.

Learned how to format for ePub.

Learned about different ebook aggregators. Be very careful when using these needlessly expensive add on services.

Registered for a service with Apple that I can't use. The jerks.

Registered a TIN for sales with US based companies.

Going forward:

Thank god that the registration process is done. That was painful for no good reason.

It took months for me to figure out how to set a high quality ebook in ePub format. Between fighting with images and then fighting with the XML code, it's enough to make you want to smash your computer to bits, but it was well worth the experience.

I plan producing more ebooks for clients and myself in the near future. By learning these skills, I've saved myself well over $4000 per project, which is what I was quoted by one of the popular aggregators which just included basic compiling from a Word document (that makes me choke every time), no formatting, and basic distribution to a handful of online shops (albeit the good ones). No promotion, no marketing.

Business side: Increase revenue & 1 new Client a month

These two go hand-in-hand. On the positive side I just barely managed to match my profits from last year within my first quarter. My biggest pay cheques came from service work particularly writing ebooks and tutoring for web design.

I did gain a couple of new clients, but after a painful blow by the end of the first quarter I shied away from actively pursuing new ones and began pushing products.  

Lessons learned:

You need to get back on the horse. It was rather recently that I shook myself off and decided to give it another whirl. In fact hiring my editors gave me some great insight about how to attract new clients through freelance communities. It'll be a lot of work, but sooner or later it should pay off. No instant riches there.

On the positive side my hard work this past month seems to be paying off. I've already lined up 3 contracts for the new year.

Goals for 2013

  • Increase traffic by 10% monthly
  • Increase content trough community participation
  • Review at least 13 comics/stories
  • Increase revenue so that I can get all of my content edited and carry on promoting Evil Ink through paid ads.

Amber Dalcourt is a design and digital media consultant for Evil Ink. She believes that goals should be challenging; even if she doesn't accomplish them this year, she knows that she has a strong foundation set up to succeed the following year. I hate referring to myself in the third person.

1 comments

I don't know exactly what you have in mind when you talk about contests, but have you tried Rafflecopter? I think it's changed a bit since I used it, but it was very easy to use, and you can have people earn entries by following you on Facebook/Twitter, so it can be a great way to build your audiences. http://www.rafflecopter.com As for everything else, sounds like you've got some exciting leads and directions. Best of luck for a fruitful and rewarding 2013!

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