It’s time for my 2016 performance review.
Back in January, I set big goals to accomplish over this calendar year. Some of these were reasonable goals I felt I could accomplish, and others were stretch goals.
Now that it’s the end of December, I have to take an honest look at the year to see where I failed and succeeded.
Otherwise, let’s jump in and see how well I executed my goals for the past year.
Final Results Of My 2016 Goals
1) Author three books
Although you would be perfectly reasonable to put an asterisk on this goal, I wrote two more Amazon bestselling books in 2016 and then completed an online course at the end of this year (not yet released). I decided to pursue this online course instead of another book. So if you look at the goal as three major projects, as I am because this is my blog and I make the rules here, I completed this goal.
This course actually took more work than a book. The transcript totals almost 14,000 words. I have PowerPoint slides with audio narration in the background. Another domain and website had to be created. And I also had to implement the videos and modules onto the pages. Bottom line, I’m super stoked with completing three major projects this year, including this course! (You’ll definitely learn more about it in a week or two.)
2) 250,000 total views
Final Result: Failed—Take Your Success reached just shy of 240,000 total views (with three days left in December).
Website views are probably the least important goal on this list. What’s ironic is when I started my website, I used to check my stats page all the time and view it as the Holy Grail for my website’s success. Now, I give much less weight to views.
While I still would have wanted to reach this 250,000 total views goal, I’m not too upset because I’m close. And organic search totals more than 50% of my daily views. That is really good for the health of this site moving forward. So as long as people keep Google searching, then they’ll find my site. It will be unbelievable when this site hits 1 million total views!
3) 3,000 total subscribers
Final Result: Completed—I reached north of 4,000 plus email subscribers.
Through my hundreds of blog posts this year, books, interviews, and word of mouth, I significantly multiplied my email subscriber total. In advance of the How To College book launch, the Apple Watch Giveaway also made a significant dent in the subscriber count.
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4) 750,000 Alexa rank
Final Result: Failed—My current Alexa rank is around 1.3 million.
Although I improved from my 2015 Alexa rank of 1.85 million (which ranks websites based on their traffic and traffic metrics), I didn’t hit the 750,000 mark. Personally, I believe excuses are the worst. Yet I’m going to make one, because I believe that I would have hit this ranking if I didn’t start my other site—SelfPublishingX.com. Without a second site on my plate, all of the time spent producing content on there would have went to time spent on Take Your Success and increasing its traffic.
When I continue to put out consistent, valuable content and market myself, I’m bound to improve my Alexa score. So hitting this 750,000 goal is really just a matter of time—and I’m hoping that I do it in 2017.
5) 15,000 Twitter followers and 100,000 Instagram followers
So maybe I set the bar too high, but remember that I don’t believe in excuses. I should have taken more action on both of these mediums. I felt those numbers were doable, but didn’t collaborate with enough people and publish enough consistent, quality content to increase my followers.
Missing my goal doesn’t discourage me though. It actually makes me more fired up to get stronger in my social media reach. For 2017, I’m going to aim to get a huge amount of social media followers and traffic. I have some promising ideas in the works! You’ll learn about them soon.
6) Write a minimum of 12 guest posts in 2016
Final Result: Completed—I can’t find or remember all the media mentions I had in 2016, but it’s certainly more than 12.
I also slightly changed this goal from guest posts to include podcast interviews and radio interviews. Here are some of the guest posts and interviews I did in 2016.
- Freedom Money – The Road to Financial Freedom (guest post)
- Building Financial Freedom with Brian Robben (podcast interview)
- Publishing and Money Advice from #1 Amazon Bestselling Author: Brian Robben (guest post)
- 6 Steps To Stay Safe At College (guest post)
- How to Create Your Personal Brand and Other Tips to Rock College (podcast interview)
- How to Be More Successful in College (podcast interview)
- Never Do Homework In Bed: 3 Reasons Why (guest post)
- Interview with Brian Robben of takeyoursuccess.com (podcast interview)
- 700 WLW Radio Appearance (radio interview on 12/15, starting at 36:32 mark)
- Financial Advice from Personal Finance Bloggers – Part 2 (quote)
- Major AOL.com feature (see Goal 7 below for more information)
7) Get featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Fortune, Entrepreneur, LifeHacker, or another major website
Final Result: Completed—AOL.com featured my How To Negotiate A Higher Salary article!
After going more than 11 months without a major website feature, AOL featured my salary negotiation article on December 15. It 100% made my day.
Now this link continues to send daily traffic to my site. Thank you AOL! And this AOL link, with its high domain authority, is the number one site linking to Take Your Success.
Final 2016 Results: 4 / 7 Goals Completed (57%)
My Feelings And Takeaways From 2016
In 2015, the first year of Take Your Success, I spent most of my time learning the ins and outs of producing valuable content for you (my audience).
And I feel that in 2016, my second year in the middle of this, Take Your Success became solidified as a brand in the personal development space (at least in my mind). In March of this year, I became a real entrepreneur and could dedicate all my time to the cause.
All in all, I’m proud of what I accomplished in 2016. I made major strides in producing content, audience growth, and revenue. Plus, I’d rather hit 4/7 stretch goals than 7/7 easy goals.
Missing these three goals only fires me up for setting new goals for 2017.
Which reminds me that I can’t put to words how motivated I am to help thousands of people, including you, in the new year.
I’ve never been more confident that 2017 is going to be a massive. This campaign will be unlike any other year to date! Get ready.