I feel really vulnerable sharing this post with you. Vulnerable because I’m setting some very lofty goals (in my opinion), and that may set the stage for disappointment. However, I honestly think my goals are achievable.
In years past, I’ve shared personal goals and I’ve not shared blog goals. However, each year that passes, I’m finding that there is less separation between who I am, what I do, and this blog. They are slowly being molded into one. Thus, I’m going to share all the goals as both blog and personal.
Let me start with a recap of my 2010 blog goals (that I never publically published):
Subscribers. Goal = 1,000 by December 31st. Actual = 2,000 + subscribers. You’ll notice that if you see my Feedburner stats, it says I have about 1,700+ subscribers. However, I have about 450 subscribers who are not counted in that list because Feedburner only reports my one blog broadcast list (daily), not my weekly subscriber list.
Page views and visits = 20% below my goal. That’s OK because I had no idea how to set this goal so I pulled this number out of nowhere. However, I’m very happy with the traffic I’m getting to my site.
Income. Since I didn’t publish my income goal, I’ll just say that over the last three months I’ve averaged making 120% more than my December 2010 blog income goal. No complaints there. I even had three pillar posts on how I plan to make money blogging, make money writing, and make money selling eBooks. I call these three pillar posts because of their length and how they were positively accepted by my peers. All three articles were selected as top 10 articles for the week with the blogging and writing books getting the #1 positions. Furthermore, the blogging and writing articles were both selected as part of the top 10 articles of 2010.
Moral of the story. It is time to seriously up the ante. I’ve set my goals too low so it is time to reach for the sky (whatever that means).
BIG Goal #1: By December 2011, I want to average as much income from my online activity as I do from my full-time job.
In my post on how I make money blogging, I mentioned that it was my goal to make a full-time income by May 2012, but I’ve decided to challenge myself by bumping up that schedule by six months.
Starting at the end of this year, I’ll be supplementing some of my missionary salary with income I make from this blog. That is an exciting first step towards becoming a tent making missionary.
As you may or may not know, my family will be leaving the mission field in the middle of 2012. Either way, I want to see myself as a missionary. Our family plans to be actively involved in ministry no matter where we are and what we are doing. In fact, I don’t know what God has in store, but I have a feeling that He is going to use the flexibility of blogging for some contribution to his kingdom.
So in addition to what you’ve been seeing on this blog, here are some new changes and new goals.
- Occasionally I plan to post articles that are more personal in nature. I’ve had several readers ask me about life in Papua New Guinea, and I’ve pretty much avoided those requests. Here’s why. This blog is about personal finances – not my life overseas. However, I think it may be time for the blog to evolve. In these new posts, I plan to talk my goals, ambitions, failures, and accomplishments.
- Some blog posts that address topics that have nothing to do with personal finance. My brain is sort of fried on the topic of finances, and I’d like to occasionally reach out and touch on topics like marriage, family, and personal development.
- A small business and earning more money focus. Since I’ll be learning more about being a small business owner (any day now I should officially finish the process of incorporating my first business), I want to offer some tips, advice, and experiences along those lines. I also recognize that there is an increasing portion of the population who wants to break free from traditional models of work and work for themselves. In 2011, you can expect to have some resources to do just that.
Thus, in addition to the focus on frugal living, simple living, debt-free living, and generous living, you can expect to see articles on increasing your income. You’ll probably quickly find out that focusing on income is not self serving, but to be used in service of the Kingdom of God.
I am going to keep some very clear goals in front of me.
- I want to provide my readers with top quality material in every post. Of course, the Christian focus of this site is of primary importance.
- I want to earn an income online in a way that serves people by promoting products I really like. This is a good time to remind my readers that I do make money off of referrals and advertising from this website. I’m walking a fine line trying to maintain both a business and a ministry in the same blog. I always appreciate your feedback (mhforc at gmail dot com) when you think I cross the line.
- I want to increase my subscriber base. By the end of the year, it is my goal to have 4,000 subscribers.
BIG Goal #2: Manage the boss by reaching goal #1 in less than 15 hours a week.
Since my long term goal is to do other forms of ministry, I need to position this blog in a way that allows it to grow without my continual involvement.
In order for me to reach this goal, I first need to manage the boss. Who is the boss? He’s the guy I see every morning, and he is the worst boss I’ve ever had. Sometimes he forces me to get out of bed and work at 4 a.m. Imagine that! At other times, he won’t even let me have a decent conversation with my own wife.
I’ve had it with this business controlling me. I’m gonna be the boss.
Limit my hours online. Limit the number of times I check my email. Limit the number of times I check my stats. And work like crazy (with unbelievable focus) during those 15 hours. Yes, I do have exact numbers and times, but I just didn’t want to bore you with all that.
To be honest, around May of this year, I went through a very unhealthy stage where the blog was consuming too much of my life. So I put the blog in a box and have been managing it quite well in less than 15 hours a week for the last 7 months. But, I want to take that growth one step further and put the blog into a more passive mode where I can physically and mentally disconnect when necessary.
The reason? My ultimate goal is to use MH4C as a vehicle that allows me to do other forms of ministry. In order to do that, you’ll be seeing articles from some great staff writers like Darren from More Than Finances, Khaleef from KNS Financial, and Tim from Faith and Finance. Also, I’ve got a good behind the scenes support staff including Lahesha who has her own virtual assistant company and Sherrian (she’s married to Khaleef of KNS Financial). These wonderful people are important keys to helping me reach this second goal.
Don’t worry. I’ll still be writing my fair share of articles on this site so you’ll still see me around.
BIG Goal #3: Complete and release another eBook.
I’m in the process of writing a book that deals with Christians, money, simplicity, generosity, and radical discipleship. How’s that for a broad topic? I’ve never been so excited about a book because I really think this one will help people transform their money in light of their faith.
Even though the project is well on its way, I have no idea when it will be released (it could be weeks or perhaps a month or two). I just finished my fourth draft and I’ve given it to my wife for the first ‘outsider’ edit and review. I’m working like crazy taking advantage of some days over the holidays to finish up the book.
In terms of sales, I hope this will be my most successful selling eBook (who wouldn’t say that?).
I look forward to a great 2011. Thanks for being a reader, and thanks for helping me reach these goals!