January 1, 2013, 5:00 am

Online Company Goals: Let’s Kill It

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Blog Evolution Report
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Yesterday, I followed-up on my personal financial goals of 2012 and set the year with new goals. Today, I’m back with my online company’s goals.

 

Focus on Traffic + 33%

 

My goal is to go from 367,017 visitors to 491,000 per month. I didn’t pull this number out of nowhere and it’s a total coincidence that it makes exactly 33%! In fact, I looked at 10 important sites in our network and checked our last 30 days stats. I put the number of visitors (not unique, just visitors) besides each of them and they totalled 367,017. These are good numbers but not enough to make real good money. Then, I wrote down a round number of how many visitors this site could get if I put serious effort into promoting it. The increase wasn’t the same for all sites. Some sites will have to show a progression of 500% while others will have to grow by 5%. I used a few metrics to determine where I want to see them in a year:

 

Nature of traffic (direct, reference or search engine)

Potential growth through each source of traffic

Types of strategies that we can put in place

Traffic history

 

This is how I came up with 491,000 visitors per month. I would have preferred 500,000 because it’s a round number and that’s a huge psychological level… but growing by 33% is big enough to be a challenge instead of a regular goal.

 

I truly believe that traffic is the key to make more money. We have several affiliate funnels in place and our conversion rate is pretty good for some offers. The problem is often the number of visitors we get.

 

I will be focusing on one site per month in order to increase its traffic. I noticed that we had left comments and social media on the bench during 2012 and it has certainly hurt us now that Google has abandoned some of our sites. Depending on the type and size of a site, we will use several strategies such as:

 

Link building

Comments

Links exchange

Guest post

Social media

Better use of our newsletter

 

 

Publish Another Book

 

With the recent success of Dividend Growth, I just can’t ignore the potential that exists with selling our own products. I’ve built a strong network of sites in dividend investing and can use their potential to launch another book.

 

I’m limited to the number of books I can launch about dividend investing because it would dilute the benefit and identity of each book. This is why it will be my 2nd paid book (3rd overall) and probably the last one. I don’t want to spam my readers with cheap products; I want to offer them super high quality.

 

We already have the idea and have started to work on our next book. I know that the process is quite long (read how writing the book is only the beginning of your journey!) and I don’t want to rush a product. I also want to use this book to use an “upsell marketing strategy” where the book will be the first step to a bigger strategy that will include a membership website (more on that later on this post). I’ll be using my book revenues to cover my fees to build a larger platform where I’ll be making the real money.

 

In the meantime, I’m launching today my 2013 Best Dividend Stocks eBook on The Dividend Guy Blog. I got over 4,000 downloads for the 2012 edition and expect to double the number of downloads this year! This is a great way for me to promote my investing websites, other investing books and to make a few bucks here and there with affiliate marketing! I cracked the 400 copies sold of my book in December and am aiming at 500 for January 31st with the promotion of my best stock picks eBook.

 

Launch a Membership Site

 

I have no goals of traffic, subscriptions or revenue for my membership site for this year as I know that it will take a good part of the year to create. The idea has been put on the shelf for 2012 as we wanted to grow our readership base. Since we went from 2,000 to roughly 8,000 newsletter subscribers to our investing mailing list in the past 12 months, I think it’s now the time to launch it! By the time the membership site will be ready, we will probably reach 10,000 subscribers!

 

The membership site is quite a journey as we have never done this in the past and will require a lot of testing and tweaking before we can launch the beta version. We have a good idea of what we want to offer but I will certainly request feedback from my readers to make sure I offer something that people want. I certainly don’t want people to get frustrated or disappointed by our site since they will be paying for access.

 

In 2012, we sold 110 paid newsletter subscriptions for 1 year at $39. It was an affiliate program and we made a good cut out of it because it was a special price. I’m thinking that if I can run a similar campaign for my own membership site and make between $4,000 and $5,000 with a special offer, this would already cover our operating costs. Then, the idea is to get people to renew their membership the following year with at a higher price. Imagine if 50% of the 110 subscribers renew their membership at $89 for example, this would generate $4,895 (on top of the $4,290 made a year ago with the same “group” of customers). The magic behind this whole strategy is even more powerful. Here’s an example:

 

membership calculation

So with a conservative rate of 110 member acquisitions per year and a 50% renewal rate at a higher price, it takes 2 years before cracking $10,000 in revenues. I don’t about the industry too much, but if you are able to crack the 60% renewal rate instead of 50%, here’s what you get:

 

membership calculation #2

 

In five years, I would be making $1425 per month from my membership site while offering more or less the same thing as I would be offering in 2013. I think these are very conservative numbers and if I can bump my sales up through affiliates, it will be even better. Imagine if I could sell 110 newsletter subscriptions, there are tons of sites able to do the same thing for my membership site. What if I offer you a 75% commission on a $39 product? I’m sure you would be in to selling my product and make $29.25 per sales, right? If you follow my Aweber series, this is twice the commission target you need to get your Aweber subscription for free! This means that running this campaign only could make you enough to you double the investment you put into the Aweber email services…. not bad huh?

 

Forget About Revenues?

 

Surprising enough, in 2013, I want to forget about revenue goals. The reason is simple, if I don’t concentrate on building a sustainable business, focusing on profitability will serve nothing. I’m under the impression that we have focused too much on the dollar sign in 2012 and it has hurt us on the traffic side. We made money, are diversified and have learned a lot. However, I think we are better off focusing on working on our existing sites for now and use the monetization techniques we have learned previously.

 

This is why I won’t focus on revenues this year. We make enough to pay our corporate debts and treat ourselves from time to time. This is enough for me to be happy!

 

What are your blogging goals? Have you thought of to create challenges for 2013?

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Comments

Hi Mike, I have just been reading the eBook – impressive. I love your timing for it as well – smart. Your membership site also seems like a great way to go as I believe you are in a great niche to make it happen. I just published my goals for 2013 – I am planning on cracking six figures again. I am absolutely sure I can do it but I have no doubt I will have to be 100% focused – but thats the idea behind goals right? Lets Kill It!

Great post! I like your plan of doing a membership site. You will have to keep us updated on how it goes as I would be very interested in seeing how viable it is.

Great ideas. These are specific and tangible goals that if you focus on, revenues will be sure to follow. I like your idea about focusing on one site a month and doing everything you can to build links and increase traffic there. By the end of they year this will definitely prove to be a good strategy in increasing overall traffic. Good plan!

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