All in all, 2012 was a great year for me. I travelled to several countries in South America and managed to return to Scotland for two months in the Summer. From a business point of view, things went well, though I can’t help but feel I should have done better.
The course of my online business changed when I sold my blog WPMods.com foor $80k in May. The sale allowed me to develop some other websites I had been looking to create. The growth of my my martial arts community Black Belt Forums has been pleasing. It’s growing slowly but it has a dedicated core of loyal members who post regularly. Unfortunately, I’ve not had the time to develop my other martial arts community MMA Forums. It has huge potential but with travelling so much and working on other projects, I just didn’t get the time to develop it the way I wanted.
I thought I’d continue on with the old New Year’s resolution cliche and explain my goals for 2013. I’m a dreamer but I’m a dreamer with his feet planted in the ground so all of my goals are achievable. I just need to work hard to meet them :)
Develop This Blog
This blog has only been back online for just over a month. I never really set myself any goals during that month. My main concern was to get the blog online and build up a small readership. In 2013 I really want to develop this blog more and use it as a hub for all my online activity.
The blog will help me network with more bloggers and internet marketers; something which will be key to my success in 2013. All of my books will be released through here too so it will play a big part in me marketing my books and any other products I release.
Build My Email List
The money is in the list. I’ve known this for a long time however I never really put all the concepts I learned into practice. I would be a lot richer if I had. As I grow my newsletter list here, I will be able to connect with more readers and promote my products more effectively. It really is one of the best ways to market yourself online.
I’ve been reading a lot about email marketing recently. My knowledge of how to effectively use lists has increased considerably over the last few weeks. I know what I’ve done wrong in the past and what I need to do. I have no doubt my success this year will depend on the readers of this blog and my relationship with them.
Release Quality Ebooks
I really enjoy writing. The Art of Freelancing will be my first book of 2013. I have several other great book ideas and I am hoping that I find the time to release all of them. Whether I release 10 books this year or 40 will largely depend on how much time I devote to writing.
If I only updated this blog and wrote books, I believe I could release at least 25 books a year. It can be difficult to do that when you are also working on other things like promotion, social media and developing other websites. I hope I get the balance right. Diversifying your online income is essential so I am keen to work on a few different projects.
Work On My Other Websites
The problem with maintaining a lot of websites is that it becomes difficult to devote the time needed to develop them properly. When you don’t have enough time, you need to invest and hire people who can do the job for you. This is something I will need to do in 2013. I do not want to sell the 3 discussion forums I started in 2012 as I have big plans for them, however it just isn’t profitable for me to spend all time working on them at the moment.
If I can use profits from my other projects and invest them back into the site, I am sure they will be very successful. Hopefully the act of juggling all my projects won’t be too time consuming. I am acutely aware that having too many projects at the one time can result in you not devoting enough time to any of them however I enjoy working on them and am confident I can make them profitable if I can invest sensibly in them.
Improve As A Writer
My writing has improved considerably over the last 6 or 7 years however I know I can do better. Not only to I want to improve my writing, I want to improve the speed I write. Some days I manage to write about 5 or 6 blog posts whilst others I struggle to get 1 finished. I need to be more consistent and increase my productivity. If I can do that, I will be able to release quality books more frequently.
The biggest stumbling block for me just now is travelling. I love travelling however travelling so much makes it difficult to get into a good work routine. In September we were in Peru, in October Bolivia and Chile, in November Argentina and Uruguay and in December we were in Colombia (we being me and my girlfriend).
Today we arrived in Rio, Brazil. I’ve been wanting to come here for a long time so I’m really excited about it. We need to decide how long to stay here though. Hostels here can be over $50 a night here so it money can go fast. If we can find a well priced apartment, we can stay here for a while. Alternatively, we may look for a cheaper place in Brazil to stay. Our next stop is Paraguay so we can always go there sooner than we had planned as it’s about 5 times cheaper to live. That effectively means the difference between staying in a cheap hostel or one bedroom apartment and staying in a really nice hotel or two bedroom apartment.
I’ll let you know how we get on :)
Return To Martial Arts
I love martial arts. My hope is that I can train every day for most of my life. I’ve unfortunately not been able to train much over the last 4 years.
It started when I went to Thailand 4 years ago to train Muay Thai. After only a month of training, I tore my calf muscle. I initially thought it was just a minor injury and I’d be back training within a few weeks. I wasn’t so lucky. It was around seven months before I was able to get back to Taekwondo.
Ever since then, I’ve never been 100% with kicking etc. I’d do sparring and my right calf would get so sore that I’d be limping at the end. It’s improved a little over the last year.
A bigger problem has been my neck. The more I struggling with Taekwondo due to my injury, I started focusing on Brazilian Jujitsu (BJJ). I love it and I hope I can train regularly in it. Two years ago I pinched a nerve in my neck after training. It was a terrible injury that kept me in the house for a month and on painkillers for 3 or 4 months.
I’ve not actively trained since then however when I was back in Scotland in the Summer I had a gym built in my back yard that is great for BJJ and for practising my kicks. As I’ve been travelling since September I’ve not been able to train however I hope that changes in Brazil. If we can settle here for a bit I’m hoping to train in BJJ most days. Though Brasil is about 5 to 6 times more expensive than neighbouring Paraguay so we might have to change that idea.
Despite all my injury problems, I hope to do martial arts again regularly in 2013. I need to. I’m not the same person without it. I get frustrated more easily and feel stressed more than I used to when I trained. It feels like a part of me is missing. In 2013, I need to get back into martial arts so that I can feel like myself once again.
What are your goals for 2013? I’d love to hear what you are looking to achieve this year :)