300 posts in retrospect, and hoping for a happy new year

Happy new year's!

Well, it looks like I’ve finally made it up to 300 posts on this blog. The bad news is that it took more than 2 years to get that last 100 posted. The first hundred came out within a year, the second hundred was done 11 months after that, and now it has taken 25 months for the last hundred.

Not a particularly good trend, but one I’m hoping to turn around here in a hurry! I’m thinking 10 a month might be a more reasonable goal here, since I do have several other sites to keep up with as well.

The good news though, is that 2011 was a great year for me financially. I hit a personal income record in August when my websites drew in $3500 in revenue.

Unfortunately, the months since then haven’t been so great with affiliate programs dropping like flies and some weird SERP fluctuations from Google’s latest freshness update. Right now I’m looking at about $1000 in web revenue for December, and I’m really thankful that I’ve got a contract to do some part time work when the websites aren’t doing so great.

It definitely goes to show that you can’t get too confident on any particular strategy, and why diversification of income streams is really important when you don’t have a standard full time job.

Cleaning up old messes

Some of the biggest achievements for me have been technical rather than SERP-related. After a whole lot of frustration, I finally got the RSS feed working again, and got the Pligg installation here set up after a whole lot of problems with upgrading the database. So as much as I’m losing confidence in my SEO, I’m increasingly able to deal with PHP and SQL. Go figure.

Looking ahead to 2012

What is the plan for 2012? Well, beyond trying to write more frequently, I still haven’t figured that out. I’m going to need a new promotional strategy, and I’m a little hesitant to move forward with new web projects until I can figure out how to fix the current ranking problems. What good is a new handful of websites if I can’t keep up with the posting schedule on the old ones – or figure out how to get my ranks back to where they were over the summer?

I’m feeling a little bit dumbfounded, but part of me says I shouldn’t be so discouraged to pick up $20,000 from the web this year – especially not when I have another source of income beyond that and the rest of the country is freaking out about the economy.

On a personal note

Life is pretty damn good. After the bills and insurance are paid, there’s plenty of money for steaks and nights out on the town. We’re in a new town now so my fiancee can attend grad school, and although I don’t know a lot of people here I’m getting out enough to meet some new folks and have some fun. The hours are flexible and honestly I’m not working that hard. Christmas was great, and I really just wish it was a bit warmer here.

So what advice can I pass along from my most successful year of web publishing? Don’t quit your day job! At the very least, figure out how to make a decent part time income without burning your bridges. My frustration at income fluctuations could be downright panic if there wasn’t some kind of back up plan, and you can go from the best month ever to barely scraping by in a single Google update. If you crave stability and certainty, this probably isn’t the right job for you! However, I love chaos, and I’ll keep trucking on. Hopefully it won’t take so long for the 400th post to arrive, and hopefully things will be on an upward swing by then.

Here’s to hoping you had a great 2011 – and that 2012 is even better!

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