Goals for 2021

Published under Thoughts.

I've never been a big believer in goal setting. The concept of writing down something to accomplish at some point in the future doesn't make sense to me for two reasons:

  1. Goals that you set today in hopes of achieving by some future date may not be important by the time the goal date rolls around.

  2. Instead of setting lofty, high reaching goals, why not just take action on something you know you can achieve (or partially achieve) right now?

I figure in order to actually accomplish change and not just hope for it, I need to change my actions. I am going against my gut and documenting public goals for the year 2021. Although I am writing out high level goals, each will have a series of small goals which I can work towards each month. I'm not too concerned about hitting the specific numbers for each month, more so that I am trending in the right direction.

I'm also not afraid of adjusting my goals throughout the year if my priorities change or life throws a curve ball.

The Goals

  • Launch 4 SaaS applications

  • Increase my website traffic

  • Grow my YouTube channel to 1,000 views per day and 10,000 subscribers

  • Monetize my YouTube channel

Goal: Launch 4 SaaS applications

I want need to get the ball rolling on passive, self earned income via SaaS products. I've been wanting to do it for years now, but 2021 is the year it'll happen. I'm taking two approaches to achieve this:

  1. Launch a couple of micro-SaaS applications

  2. Launch a larger SaaS application with my co-founder, Jeff Sagal

I don't need (or expect) any of these projects to be major hits, but if I can achieve even $100 MRR by Dec 31, 2021, that's better than $0 MRR.

Micro-SaaS applications

I have three, very small applications I've built in the past couple of years of which I am the only user because I've never really promoted them. I am planning on releasing them all under the Oh See Software namespace.

Roadmaps

  • Roadmaps automatically publishes a public-facing roadmap for your connected GitHub (and in the future other project management tools) projects. Instead of managing your project with GitHub's issue tracker, and then separately managing a Trello board for your roadmap, Roadmaps will generate your roadmap from your GitHub issues.

  • There are various configuration options available too, for instance you can opt to only publish tickets with a specific label to your roadmap if you need to keep certain issues private.

Redirects

  • Redirects is an easy to use service for setting up HTTP redirects for your website. It works by having you point an A record at the Redirects IP addresses, and then you setup your match and redirect paths via the Redirects UI.

  • There'll be additional features such as analytics on your links, option to password protect a redirect, link shortener, etc.

  • An example redirect I have setup for personal use is: https://ohsee.link/youtube which links to my YouTube channel.

Documents

  • Documents is an application for users to store encrypted files in the cloud with search, tags, and filtering.

  • I am planning on making Documents open source, and then offer a paid plan for users who don't want to self-host.

Larger SaaS application

We're not ready to publicly announce our project, but Jeff Sagal and I are getting started on building a platform for content creators. We have a goal to launch our marketing site in January, and hopefully release a MVP in the first half of 2021.

Goal: Increase website traffic

I currently average about 170 unique views per day on my website. I would like to increase that number to 500 unique views per day by the end of 2021.

I use Fathom Analytics (affiliate link, save yourself $10) to monitor my page views. I also publish my analytics on my website for the public to view.

How to increase my unique views?

Currently, 71% of my traffic comes from Google via organic search. My plan is to write 2 - 3 posts per week on web development topics, which should naturally grow organic traffic via search.

In addition, as my YouTube channel and Twitter profile grow, traffic from those two platforms will be increased. This is essentially a snowball effect: as each platform gets larger (YouTube, Twitter, SEO traffic), the snowball (my website) gains traffic.

Steps to achieve increased unique page views

  • Publish at least 2 text articles per week.

  • Post links to the articles on Twitter, ensuring to make use of appropriate hash tags to increase reach.

  • Cross-post summaries of my articles on DEV, with links to the full article on my website.

  • For certain articles, create Twitter threads explaining the concept with the CTA at the end of the thread being a link to the article. I've seen this trend explode in the last year on Twitter, so I'm hoping to take advantage of it.

Unique page views progression goals

To achieve 500 unique page views per day, I will need to grow my unique page views by 35% each quarter:

  • March 31: ~230 unique page views

  • June 30: ~310 unique page views

  • September 30: ~419 unique page views

  • December 31: ~565 unique page views

Goal: Grow my YouTube channel

I currently average around 200 views per day on my YouTube channel. I would like to increase my content library and get my average views per day up to 1,000.

My plan to increase my views per day is to consistently publish new content. I am aiming for 2 videos per week, with a mix of livestreams here and there.

By organically growing views per day, subscribers will also follow. I currently have 1,020 subscribers, growing by about 2-3 per day. I'm not too worried about forcing subscriber growth. Instead, if I focus on publishing quality content, subscribers will follow.

Steps to grow my YouTube channel

  • Publish 2 YouTube videos per week

  • Whenever possible, publish a text article to go alongside the video content. Embed the YouTube video in the text article on my website. This way, search traffic to the website also drives YouTube views, and by linking to the text article from the YouTube video description, I drive traffic to my website via YouTube's search and recommendation algorithm.

  • Livestream at least once per month. Although they may not be good for generating page views, livestreams can be good for increasing Watch Time.

YouTube channel growth progress goals

To reach 1,000 page views by the end of the year, I will need to increase my page views by 50% each quarter. This is a lofty goal, but I'm hoping YouTube's recommendation algorithm can help me out here. The algorithm uses Watch Time and CTR (Click Through Rate) to indicate a video's performance, and therefore recommend that video to more users.

  • March 31: ~300 unique page views, 50% increase

  • June 30: ~450 unique page views, 50% increase

  • September 30: ~675 unique page views, 50% increase

  • December 31: ~1,012 unique page views, 50% increase

Goal: Monetize my YouTube channel

There's nothing actionable I can do to achieve this goal. YouTube has a set of requirements that you must meet before you can monetize your channel:

  • 4,000 hours watched in the past 12 months

  • 1,000 subscribers

I've hit the subscribers requirement, but I'm only at 2,800 hours watched in the past year. So I need to grow my hours watched by ~42% before I will be eligible for monetization. This will come as I focus on the YouTube channel growth goal.

Summary

Firstly, if you've made it this far, bravo. This is by far the longest blog post I've ever written in my life. Thanks for sticking through it with me.

To recap my goals:

  • Launch 4 SaaS applications

  • Increase my website traffic

  • Grow my YouTube channel to 1,000 views per day and 10,000 subscribers

  • Monetize my YouTube channel

I'll revisit this blog post once a month to update on my progress and adjust any goals as necessary.


Thanks for reading!

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