2015 is in the books and it’s time to turn my thoughts towards 2016. This will be a particularly interesting year for me because after living in Korea for a decade, I’ll be moving to Canada. The plan is to kick the online business into full-time mode (See: All-In on the Digital Entrepreneur) from what I can currently squeeze in when I’m not busy at my day-job teaching in a university.
The Ultimate Online Business Goal for 2016
Before I get into specifics, the ultimate online business goal for 2016 is to make a full-time living off of my dividend paying stocks, online ventures and books I’ve self-published. I have a large reserve pool of money so I’m not that worried about doing it immediately. However, by the end of 2016, I’d like to be making $2000 a month, pretty consistently. With some of my frugal living power, it’ll be possible to live off of this amount.
How to Get There: Focus!
I know that one of my major weaknesses is that I like to have a ton of things going on and that I rarely focus exclusively on any one thing for a long enough period of time to make it the best it can be.
However, in the website development, or self-publishings worlds, it’s a long-term game. Websites takes time to get traction on Google and there’s this theory of the “sandbox,” which is where Google waits six months before sending traffic your way because they’re not sure if you’re the real deal, or not. When you self-publish, it takes time to market your books and get your name out into the world.
Keeping this in mind, I’ve come up with these online business goals for 2016, which for me, are kind of nervously narrow. But, time to get serious about focusing on only a few things instead of a million.
Niche Website: Menstrual Cups
About six months ago, I started a website about menstrual cups, a feminine hygiene product that I think is amazing, both for women’s health and also for the environment. It was kind of an experiment to see what online business looks like for me outside of the teaching English abroad world. So far, it’s been moderately successful, making $50-80 a month in Amazon affiliate sales, and this is with very little time and effort.
The plan is to get way more serious about this site by doing the following things: building links/other SEO, more reviews, review related products that aren’t specifically menstrual cups, and establish a social media presence. There is a lot of potential to earn closer to $500 a month with this one. I hope to get there by the end of 2016. And this website, along with the one below will be my top priorities for 2016.
Niche Website: Eco-Friendly Women
I recently bought some domains (www.ecofriendlywomen.com + www.ecofriendlywoman.com) and I want to develop them into a niche site along the lines of the menstrual cup one. This one has more potential in that there are simply way more products that I can review and topics to write about. Outreach will also be easier. My goal for 2016 for this one is to get a lot of content up there. But, I want to do it the smart way, which means a lot of keyword research and then optimizing it for search.
I currently have 11 books on Amazon and my co-author and I are in the writing/editing stages of three more right now. They should be done in a month or two. The plan is to kick the marketing for these books into high gear. Sales so far are quite decent-sometimes up to $400 a month. I think with some marketing efforts, it can get closer to $1000 by the end of 2016. Here is what I plan to do for book marketing:
#1: More Platforms Right now, I’m exclusively on Amazon. I’m pretty happy publishing there, but I think it’s really dangerous to be so dependent on them. I want to get on at least two other platforms. Ones to check into are Kobo, Ibooks and selling through something like Gumroad and Ejunkie.
#2: YouTube Videos I’m a bit shy about being on camera, but I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback from the very (VERY!) amateur videos I’ve put up on YouTube. I want to do more as a way to promote my books. Give some teasers of the content that I have and then put a link to the book on Amazon in the notes. The plan is for 50 more, 2-3 minutes videos in 2016. Less than one a week!
#3: Blogging Although I plan to focus more on niche websites related to environmentally friendly products for women, I do want to maintain the English teaching websites I already have, including:
ESL Activities, ESL Speaking, and My Life! Teaching in a Korean University. This past year has been all about getting a ton of content onto those sites and I’m starting to see some results. Search traffic from Google is now the biggest referrer, which was my eventual goal (See: New Plan = Long-Tail Keywords. Facebook Traffic is Fickle).
I want to add one blog post a week on these three sites to keep things fresh and not look like wastelands, to people to to Google!
#4: Email Marketing This past year, I’ve gotten around 1600 email subscribers to my list on MailChimp related to teaching English abroad. And that’s active people only who regularly open emails and click on the links in them. I go through my list a couple times a month, and delete anyone who hasn’t opened the first five emails I’ve sent them. I also delete anyone who has gotten 15+ emails and opens them, but doesn’t click on any of the links.
The plan for the email list is to mostly maintain what I’ve already built (about 50 emails in the auto-responder series), but go through it and freshen it up. I also want to add more emails. If someone is happy to read my content, I want to keep giving them the goods!
Book: Passive Income/Online Business Journey
My major book writing plan for next year is one about my journey towards making a full-time income from my online business. I will write it at the end of 2016 for release in early 2017. I want to write very, very detailed monthly income reports (that I’ll post here), which will form the basis of that book. I also want to keep track of how much time I’m spending doing what. The plan is to take a couple minutes at the end of each day and write it down in a spreadsheet. And finally, I want to focus on the psychological aspects of this whole journey-what it feels like to not have income coming in from a day-job. What dealing with failure looks like. How to stay motivated each day.
Follow along with me on here as I plan to do weekly posts about what’s going on with my journey into full-time online business. Will I meet my online business goals? I hope so, but I know it’s not going to be easy.
What about You?
What are your online business goals for 2016? Comment below and tell me! Nothing says action like saying something like this publicly. Are you going to start something? Make something better? Figure out your plan?