2014: The Year in Review
Last year was an amazing time for me and it was all due to readers of the blog, listeners to the podcast, and members of the community. I'll share more in a minute, but it's true – I couldn't have done it without you!
Every year I do my very best to learn more about everyone who is in my community. FYI, if we're friends on Facebook, if you follow me on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn, or if you're on my email list, I consider you a part of my community.
Though I don't have the science of surveys figured out, I do try to get to know each and every person who comes my way.
2014 marks the second year I've done a ten question survey, and I want to share what I've learned with you. Instead of just doing a regular slide share, or a series of images, I thought I'd get creative.
This year, I recorded the video below. As I read through the answers community members provided, you'll see my reactions and a few comments.
There are only a few edits so you'll get a pretty candid look at the effect readers and listeners like you have on me. Below the video are some additional stats, figures and screen captures for you to dive into if you're interested.
The 2014 Reader/Listener Report
Disclosure: The numbers shared below are representative of May 1 through December 31 of both 2013 and 2014. I reset my stats in April 2014, so my tracking isn't for the full year, but the stats are still accurate and relevant.
By the Numbers:
- Total Visitors – 268% increase Year over Year (YoY)
- Bounce Rate – 88% decrease YoY
- Page Views – 522% increase YoY
- Average Time on Site – 73% decrease YoY
- # of email subscribers – 233% increase YoY
Top 3 Countries with Readers
- United States
- United Kingdom
Top 14 Search Terms Driving Traffic
- Ellory Wells
- ideal work environment
- things to do before the year ends
- types of people to avoid
- ideal working environment
- what keeps me going in life
- Phil Jackson leadership
- people to avoid
- types of people to stay away from
- importance of follow through
- things to do before the end of the year
- what keeps you going in life
- how can we maintain our momentum
- how to kill a presentation
Top 14 Most-Read Blog Posts
- The Ideal Work Environment
- 7 Types of People Successful People Avoid
- 49 Things To Do Before the End of the Year
- Leadership and the Importance of Follow Through
- 10 Things I’ve Learned from 4 Years of Marriage
- 25 Tools You Should Be Using To Automate Your Business
- Podcasting Essentials: How to Create a Podcast Studio in a Bag
- Leadership Principles from Legendary Basketball Coach Phil Jackson
- Leadership Lessons From Game of Thrones, S2
- Are You Tired? Here is What Keeps Me Going (and can keep you going too!)
- How Writing Will Make You a Better Speaker
- How to Create a Mobile Video Production Studio in a Bag
- What If You Could Spend 2 Hours With Anyone In History?
- How to Get a College Education for (almost) Free
Top 14 Most-Viewed Pages
- Turn Your Offline Expertise into an Online Business
- The Empowered Podcast
- How to Start Your Professional Podcast for $200 or Less (The Bonus Page)
- A Little About Me
- How to Start Your Professional Podcast for $200 or Less (Sales Page)
- Personal Branding Toolkit (Sales Page)
- Contact Me
- An Invitation to Write for My Blog
- Personal Development Coaching
- My Podcasts
Top 5 Commentors of 2014
- Steven Tessler
- Dan Erickson
- Johnny Lee Phillips
- Ryan Bonaparte
- Jon D Harrison
Top 14 Podcast Episodes
- EP56: How to Merge Your Passions for a Happy Life with Jon Harrison (@CT_blog)
- EP53: How to Connect Better & See More Success
- EP49: Ellory Tells All: Getting Fired & Forced Entrepreneurship
- EP44: How to Market Yourself with Amy Schmittauer (@schmittastic)
- EP57: How a Combat Veteran & Cancer Survivor Fights to Stay Positive w/ Mylee YC (@MyleeYC)
- EPSE1: Ben Adam-Smith – What Really Happened in Vegas
- EP46: From a Desk Job to the Voice of the Opera with Kelly Laning (@kellylaningvo)
- EP59: How to Stand Out & Own Your Uniqueness with Laci Urcioli (@lacivegas)
- EP64: Get Focused and Take Massive Action with Jessica Rhodes (@JessRhodesESS)
- EP48: Making the Leap from Day Job to Dream Job with @KaryOberbrunner
- EP55: Overcoming Tragedy through Exercise & the Alpha Man Project with Ted Ryce (@AlphaManProject)
- EP54: Embrace Your Story and Be True to Yourself with Berni Xiong (@BerniXiong)
- EP60: How to Build the Brand of You w/ Michael Peggs (@MichaelPeggs)
- EP50: Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone with Whitney Miller (@Miss2Jits)
My Affiliate Earnings
- Amazon – increased 530% YoY
- Bluehost – increased 65% YoY
- StudioPress – increased 100% YoY (new in May)
- OptimizePress – none yet (new in December)
- AWeber – none yet (new in December)
My Top 3 Products by Revenue
- How to Start Your Professional Podcast for $200 or Less
- Podcast Pre-Launch: Getting Your Site Ready for Your Show
- Better Social Media Buttons
Top 3 Lessons Learned of 2014
- Be specific – Define our target market and our ideal readers and listeners. We must be as specific as possible when describing our avatars. The most successful entrepreneurs will be those who embrace a specific person and talk to them, write to them, and solve their real-world problems. The more specific we can be when creating content, the more likely our avatars will feel we're talking directly to them.
- Solve problems – Mindset changes are great topics, but problem solving posts are better. If a reader asks us how to do something, try to show them how to do it. If we hear about a pain point, try to solve it. These types of posts connect the best.
- Pursue what works, focus on the best – Toward the end of 2014 I had three major projects I was working on – filling my mastermind group, building a membership site, and boosting enrollment in my 30 Day Blog Transformation email course. All three projects were very successful, but it's not a good idea to try to promote all three at the same time.
Early last year I shared my goals for 2014. You can read about them here. Some things went well, others didn't. I had several wins as well as some significant misses.
While it's frustrating, there's a lesson to be learned with each miss. I'll share the miss below, and if you want to know how my misses can help you in your business, click the link below and I'll show you!
I wanted to have five coaching clients in 2014. I took my eye off the coaching ball and missed the mark. While I didn't hit it, I was in the ballpark. I had two clients and a third about to start.
During the middle of 2014 I spent time focusing on building a tutorial site I'll share about below. It wasn't until April that I really discovered what I want to be known for.
After the realization that I want to focus on equipping and empowering entrepreneurs, I spent a lot of time cleaning out my blog and podcast pipeline so I could redirect. I had about a 60 day period of transition before I could move fully in the new direction.
This was a miss because I lost sight of what I loved doing and got distracted.
My Tutorial Site
Early in 2014 I was pretty gung-ho about creating passive income by selling tutorials to teach bloggers how to use WordPress and the tools that make it work. While I learned a lot while building the site, I quickly realized I didn't want to be known as “the WordPress guy.”
I looked at the market, the amount of work it would take to grab a piece of it, and decided teaching WordPress wasn't what I wanted to make a living doing.
This was a miss because I didn't generate the revenue I wanted, but a win because I learn a lot and can repurpose the tutorials I created.
Because I can set up and design a website quickly and easily, I thought I would add design services to my portfolio. After my April realization (mentioned above), I decided this too was an area to cut. Also, just because you're good at something doesn't mean you should try and pay the bills with it.
I still do some web design but only on a very select basis and to help people who really need it.
This was a miss because I didn't meet the goals I set, but a win because I have more clarity around my mission in life.
I wanted to create an affiliate network for my products, mainly my tutorial site. Building a network of affiliates takes a significant amount of work. Honestly, more work than I realized and more than I wanted to invest.
My affiliate network still exists but I doubt I'll accept any more applications or grow that network in 2015.
This is a miss because I didn't generate the income for my affiliates that I wanted to generate.
Outlook for 2015 and Beyond
Honestly, I couldn't be more excited for 2015! February 1st will mark the beginning of my third year of doing business online and, with your help, I've got a ton of momentum. I've learned so much over the past three years and I've never been in a better position to give back to my community.
Once I figured out what I want to be known for, and how I can make the biggest impact on the world, I gained a surge of new energy.
I now have three areas of focus to help people like you.
Though I missed my goal in 2014, I'm excited about 2015. Coaching is the most effective way I can help people take their lives to the next level.
Even if online business isn't your goal, you need a coach who can see what you can't see. You need someone who can connect you with the right people and help you develop the skills necessary to get you where you want to be.
I love coaching and I'd love to coach you! If you want to take your career, your business, and your relationships to the next level, click here to apply for coaching.
I love the concept of a mastermind group. If you're not part of a mastermind, you're running with your arms tied behind your back.
Masterminds provide a group of like-minded people for you to bounce ideas off of. They offer a safe environment for you to share your goals, your struggles, and your ideas. Masterminds are a great way to hold yourself accountable and are one of the best investments you can make in your personal growth.
I attribute much of my success in 2014 to being in a mastermind. If you want to start building network, expanding your influence and growing your business, click here to reserve a spot my next private mastermind group.
My members get access to live experts calls, templates they can use for building their business, email autoresponder templates and a growing list of training videos to help with every aspect of building an online business.
More and more of my content will be focused on helping my members. If you want to become a member, act now. There is an early bird discount for everyone who signs up before February 1, 2015.
Click here to join the Membership team and you'll also get access to my bestselling ebook for free.
Every experience can teach us something. If you'd like to learn the takeaways from 2014, and how you can apply them to your blog and business in 2015, click the link below.
Question: What was your biggest win of 2014?