A successful entrepreneur shares her thoughts on business success and failure.

2010 1st Quarter Goals Update

2010 1Q goals update On my blog, I publicly set three goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2010. (If you’re new here, welcome! I set 3-5 major goals every year publicly on my blog and update my progress every quarter.)

It’s the end of the first quarter (okay, a little bit past it…where did the time go?!) and I’m ready to share with you what’s happened in the past three months.

First Goal: Create and Release 10 Products in 2010

I’ve released three products so far!

Product #1: Guest Post Secrets

The first product was Guest Post Secrets. Through March 31, I sold 58 copies of Guest Post Secrets, for a total income of $2080.00. This is solely to my own email list and on this blog–I haven’t pushed it hard anywhere else. In Q2, I plan to start advertising it and offering it other places. (The affiliate program is up! You can sign up here.)

I used some of the income from Guest Post Secrets sales to create banners (via 20dollarbanners); you can see them inside the affiliate program and place them on your own site or blog to promote Guest Post Secrets and make money!

I’m pleased with the amount of Guest Post Secrets sales, especially since the product will continue to sell for many moons to come, generating a nice stream of passive income for me.

Note: If you purchased Guest Post Secrets, you should have an email invite to the special online workshop I’m doing just for buyers on Tuesday, April 27. If you have purchased Guest Post Secrets and didn’t receive that email, please contact me.

Product #2: One-Day Workshops

My next product is a series of one-day workshops. On March 31, I did a free 90-minute webinar, which I called a “Wednesday Workshop.” At the end, I made a pitch for an in-person workshop here in San Diego in June.

I developed the workshop idea because of the large number of people who are asking me for coaching of some sort. My main concern with coaching is becoming too passionate and getting “sucked in”. When I work with someone, I really want that person to succeed, and I absolutely go out of my way to help that person grow his or her business. But that often leads to me spending hours helping the business owner tweak her website or get “just the right” 30-second pitch.

I love doing that, but I don’t want to pull myself away from being able to help thousands of people at once via this blog or creating an information product. So the workshop, for me, is a good compromise. It gives you, as the business owner, a full hands-on day with me, with at least one hour guaranteed to be about you and your business. It also introduces you to four other small business owners and gives you insight as to what they’re struggling and doing well with. We meet in person, so we can kick down barriers easily. And, because the cost is split between five business owners, it’s far less expensive than straight-up hiring me for a day.

I made the pitch on my Wednesday Workshop and four of the five spots for San Diego sold out right away! (If you want the last spot, go read the details and then contact me. You’ll need to pay from the workshop page. Once you’ve paid, I will be in touch with you to confirm everything.)

Will I be doing these workshops again? Yes, absolutely…but the price is going to go up. I want to take them on the road, too. I’ll announce more workshops via online workshop webinars throughout the year. But if you want in, don’t wait. That fifth spot will fill up. If you’re the right person for it, shoot me an email.

Goal #2 and Product #3: Create and Launch My Startup

Goal #2 was to create and launch my startup. (I’m counting this as one of my ten products.) By now, you may be familiar with it: BestBlogs.net. I ended up hiring a developer to write the site. (I found him on rentacoder.com.)

After a few weeks of hard work, I launched Best Blogs at South by Southwest on Leo Laporte’s This Week in Tech. Unfortunately, the project has been relegated to the back burner as I work on another information product, but I plan to get it started back up soon.

My next task on Best Blogs is to hire a VA who can go through and add ~10,000 blogs to the site. This will take a month or two, but then the site will have some great data. I also have some big new features in the works. I just have to start making more time for the site!

Goal #3: Get 20,000 Blog Subscribers

Goal #3 was to get 20,000 blog subscribers to erica.biz. I’m moving along well on this goal. I gain about 13-15 subscribers a day at this point, which is nice growth–although still slower than I need to reach this goal.

The Feedburner counter on the sidebar, which currently shows ~7,800 subscribers, seems to be undercounting subscribers a significant part of the time, so I may need to switch up my goal and just use Aweber’s email subscriber count instead. I currently have ~4,300 email subscribers via Aweber.

There are a few methods I plan to use to increase my subscriber count. One is to continue guest posting on other blogs, particularly on the “become a blogger” type of blogs where my Blog Success Manifesto will go over well. I have a guest post already scheduled for Daily Blog Tips in June.

Another one is to implement a pop-up “subscribe” window when a person reaches the end of a blog post. I got inspiration for this from Chris Guillebeau, who implements this nicely on his site. He cheerfully made an introduction to the developer who did that for his blog, and his developer implemented it for erica.biz a few days ago. It shows up only the first time you visit my site, and prompts you to opt in for my Blog Success Manifesto when you finish reading an article.

Along those lines, I have in the works a new free ebook. It’s going to be about business mistakes. I expect to release it in the next month or two. You all will get first dibs on it as my blog subscribers…so be on the lookout!

Revisiting An Old Goal: What Happened to Making $10,000/Month?

Some of you old-time subscribers may remember that I set a goal in December, 2007 to make $10,000/month in online income from this blog.

I still haven’t made that goal, but I’m making huge progress toward it. In March, I made $4,660.76 of revenue that is directly attributable to this blog.

Next week, I will detail exactly where that income came from–and reveal some surprising statistics! Make sure to sign up for my free business tips, if you haven’t already, and I’ll see you then.

Feel free to post any goals you have or any questions you have about my goals in the comments!

Recommended Reading:

  • 2010 Goals. Posted in January 2010. The current set of goals I am working on.
  • 2009 Goals. From January 2009; I recap my 2008 goals and set new goals for 2009.
  • 2008 Goals. Posted in December, 2007.

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I'm Erica Douglass.
After selling my online business at age 26 for over $1 million, I created this blog to help you grow your own business quickly.

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