Hope for your financial life and beyond

Reshaping My Focus in 2015, Plus a Short Survey For You

Happy New Year catMay I say an early Happy New Year to you! We’ve finally arrived at the final week of the calendar year. I hope 2014 turned out to be all you hoped it would. I’m excited about the future that lies ahead and am looking forward to making some big blog steps in 2015.

I’d like to take a few moments today to share several goals I have for Luke1428 and beyond in 2015. I mentioned the other day how not developing clear and specific goals for 2014 was a big disappointment. It caused me to drift around many a day in that I didn’t have targets on which to focus. I’m not sure why my apathy toward goal development happened in 2014 but I’m committed with renewed effort to a different course this year.

My Goals for Luke1428 in 2015

Here are the three main things I’ll be focusing on in 2015. They represent a change in focus as to how I’ve approached managing Luke1428 to this point.

Understanding the Needs of My Readers

To be really successful at any endeavor it’s important to understand the needs of one’s audience. One wouldn’t go speak at a weekend couple retreat designed to strengthen marriages and talk about fantasy football. Some may actually enjoy that twist of fate but the vast majority of the attendees would be checking their tickets to see if they came to the wrong event. It’s not what they expected or needed. So expect some negative feedback on the evaluation forms.

Some days I know there’s a connection between what I write and what the audience needs. It’s evidenced by the amount of comments and the social sharing that occurs. Other days…not so much. I’d like to hit it out of the park and connect with the reader on every post. Maybe that’s unrealistic but shouldn’t that be what I’m shooting for? Why would I publish something no one enjoys, needs or can learn from?

So I’m asking for your help with this. I’ve developed a short survey using Google Docs and would greatly appreciate your participation with it. The survey is designed to give me some demographic information about my readers, to gauge your perception of Luke1428 (what you like most and what you’d like to see different) and what you’d like me to write about (what are your needs).

You can participate in the short survey by clicking here. All responses will be seen only by me and used for the development of this blog.

Thank you in advance for those who help me with this. You have been such loyal readers and I’m thankful each time I post you continue to stop by.

Creating Non-Blog Post Content

Another reason the survey is important to me is that I want to be highly focused in 2015 on creating non-blog post content. This would be content found in other areas of the site other than the front page where the blog updates occur. By utilizing the survey I can see what readers need and create content that could be used more regularly, that I could give away in a promotion of some kind or as an incentive for signing up for my email list.

The giveaway content would be short and provide a quick win (digestible in one sitting) for the recipient.

Not so for my other non-blog post content goal for 2015 which is to write my first book (e-book) to sell. I’ve been thinking about this for some time and have a solid idea developing in my brain that I just can’t shake. My thoughts come back to the idea time and time again, seemingly a little bit every day. I guess that’s a good sign as a writer that it’s a topic worth tackling.

I don’t have at timetable for it’s completion yet, for how long it will be, how I’ll exactly publish it or how much it will sell for. All that will unfold over time. My initial goal is to finish its outline in the first month of 2015 so I can begin writing in February.

Develop a Steady Income Stream

For two years of writing, I didn’t focus a bit on producing income from Luke1428. I thought about it and read that other bloggers were doing it but it wasn’t an objective for me. I still had my career as a teacher and our family was going through a life transition. Time did not allow for me to learn and implement money-making strategies. All I had time for was to write.

Things sure have changed since I become a stay at home dad this past June. Once the kids went back to school in August, I was left with considerable time during the day to not only complete all our household chores but also turn more attention to this site. That allowed me the opportunity to dig deeper into how to make money on a blog.

With the help of some of my blogger friends and by asking A LOT of questions, I’m excited that I actually pulled in my first significant amount of money in November. (The word “significant” has different meanings for different people. For context here, let me just say it was more than the total I’ve ever made using Google Adsense and it prompted me to start a Quickbooks file to track income and expenses for Luke1428.)

Making money from a blog does change one’s perception and strategy a bit. But it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on quality of content. I can assure you that will not change as long as this site is up and running.

What Are Your Big Plans for 2015?

Have you contemplated what your goals will be for 2015? I’d encourage you to do that in the coming week. I just lived through a year where I had very few goals and I felt directionless often. In that respect, the past year seemed wasted. I could have accomplished so much more.

Don’t forget to complete the survey. I’d love your input into what you love about and would like to see at Luke1428.

Click on the link to fill out my survey. Thanks!

What keeps you from creating goals? How does it feel to accomplish so little? What goals do you have for 2015?

Image by hehaden at Flickr Creative Commons

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Comments

  1. Brian,

    I’m glad to hear you’re making money from the site and wish you the best in 2015. Let me know if I can be of any help (though I should note that I’ve made a grand total of $0 from Done by Forty). 🙂
    Done by Forty recently posted…Gambling and Risk AversionMy Profile

  2. Good deal! Glad to hear of your success and hope you have lots more in 2015. A set goal should go a long way to seeing positive change.

    Our plan for 2015 is just to get a side hustle. Mr. WW is looking at possibly investing in a CNC machine. I’m thinking harvesting leeches is a much safer bet. : P
    Mrs. WW recently posted…How to gain in 2015My Profile

    • The side hustle gig is not an easy one for sure. But if you can integrate it into your family life without going completely crazy then go for it! Sure can make a difference in the monthly budget and long-term financial health.

  3. Congrats on getting your first income! It totally does change how you look at your blog and how you plan for the future. I think it will be awesome to see what you achieve next year! Connecting and understanding the needs of readers is definitely a great thing to do that lots of us bloggers skip!
    Fig recently posted…2014 Goals ReviewMy Profile

    • I need feedback to plan. Plus for my own peace of mind to know how (or if) I’m being effective and helping others. It’s just so hard to come by from readers, an anonymous survey made the most sense.

  4. Kudos for being focused on your readers. I think the biggest thing blog owners need to decide is if they are going to write for daily readers, Google, or both. I think pretty much every blogger chooses “both” whether they admit it or not. I’ve moved closer towards writing for Google than daily readers and probably will go even further in that direction.
    DC recently posted…8 Ways to Start InvestingMy Profile

  5. I plan to take my company to the next level in 2015 and it will require the investment of outside investors. I am slightly scared about the process, but committed to that fear because the end result will mean financial planning help for anyone despite their assets and incomes. I know this is what God has planned for me, and I trust His plan no matter how scary.
    Shannon recently posted…Music Mondays – Teacher, TeacherMy Profile

  6. I’m going to be a little opposite of you. I plan on having less overarching goals and more mini month goals. Life for me just changes to damn quick to plan a year out. We shall see how it goes. 🙂 Just took your survey! Keep up the great work, and good luck on your future e-book!
    Tonya recently posted…2014 Goals ReviewMy Profile

    • I’m going to do the mini month goals also. I want to stay focused on the short and long-term. Thanks for doing the survey…I saw your give-away answer…haha. 🙂

  7. Nice work Brian on seeing your first income for the site! Like Holly said, blogging can take a ton of work and if you’re able to get compensated by helping others out then why not?

    I have a few things up my sleeve for next year. I have my ebook written, but just need to get the thing formatted and made available on the site. I’m ashamed that has been sitting on my to-do list for way too long. I’m with you on setting goals – I need to have them, because otherwise, how are you to know what you’re actually accomplishing and if it’s in the right direction?
    John recently posted…Do You Live In A Wealthy Zip Code?My Profile

    • I’m looking forward to digging into the ebook process. Glad to know you’ve been working on one. Now I know who I can ask questions from. 🙂

  8. Great job monetizing your site! Blogging takes a lot of work so I strongly believe that people should be compensated for the time they put in.
    Our goals are to simply stay the course. We are currently getting our site redesigned and the goal attached to that it to rewrite much of the content on our main pages. I am anxiously awaiting our new site design so I can see what it looks like and tailor the content it as much as possible.
    Holly recently posted…Would You Cuddle a Stranger for $60/Hour?My Profile

    • “…strongly believe that people should be compensated for the time they put in.” I’m coming to that conclusion as well. Otherwise the site really becomes charity work. Nothing wrong with that necessarily…just not sure it’s motivation enough to keep going.

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