I’ll be honest, I plan a LOT. I have notepads filled with notes for ideas I’ve had and tasks to do. Many of those ideas will never see the light of day as I’m only one person and there’s only so many hours in a day. However I do try and keep to some kind of roadmap as I believe it’s important to have a focus and a series of goals to work towards – it’s all too easy to get caught up in the general day-to-day processes and lose sight, ending up stuck in a progressionless loop.
Much of my focus in 2017 was on the development side of That Website Guy, and trying to get it to be a presentable and fully-functioning product, and I believe I achieved that goal. That brings me to 2018 and my goals for this year.
I find that many of my ideas and goals are intertwined, though I try to work through tasks based on priority, time, and simplicity. I’ll try and keep this list updated throughout the year and cross off completed tasks.
That Website Guy
My main goal for 2018 is to build a stable client base of 30-50 customers at That Website Guy. This was actually also one of my goals for 2017 but development took priority. Obviously the reason this is top priority this year is to make myself financially stable, which honestly I’ve been struggling ever since I left my regular day-job back in 2015. (Todo / Done)
To achieve this main goal I need to work on a few other things too. All the pages over at That Website Guy need to be search engine optimised for keyword phrases so we can finally get ranked in Google beyond people searching for the company by name. The content could also be greatly improved to give a much better idea of what the platform can do and who it’s for to try and improve the (currently terrible) conversion rate. (Todo / Done)
I’m also considering changing yet again the signup flow to revert back to how it was originally where people sign up for the free trial and then upgrade – rather than being confused by clicking on a “Get started for free” button leading to a pricing table with a small text link underneath for the free trial – this could also be affecting the conversion rate. (Todo / Done)
Adding to SEO I’ve planned out a series of landing pages which should also help with search engine keyword ranking. (Todo / Done)
Also adding to SEO I’d like to start a series of blog posts – though I think I first need to improve my blog-writing skills and figure out some more topics I could write about. This could tie in nicely with a mailing list I’ve been wanting to start for a long time but never gotten round to actually doing. (Todo / Done)
One of my blog post ideas is to write about how easy it is to start an ecommerce website selling your own custom apparel with minimal investment thanks to That Website Guy & Printful. I’ve been trialling an integration with Printful on a few customer sites for the past year which has reached a point where I can release it as an official App on the Basic plan – all that’s needed is a documentation article. (Todo / Done)
Another important goal for That Website Guy in 2018 is to finally complete the knowledge base, and I’ve been allocating myself time each month to push out more documentation articles. Having a complete comprehensive knowledge base would help ease added strain on customer support from handling 50 customers – instead of explaining the same thing over and over I could just point to an article, or even better they could find it themselves. I’m also trying to prioritise finishing existing documentation before any new development work, or at least writing documentation for new features before releasing so I’m not adding to the todo list. (Todo / Done)
Once I’ve filled my 30-50 client slots I then plan to start on my next project which actually builds on to the That Website Guy project.
Web Design Agency
My next project will be an agency providing Web Design, SEO, and Marketing services partnered with the platform at That Website Guy (in a similar way some other agencies operate with a platform rhyming with ‘Chopify’), though will also be able to accept the type of web development projects I typically turn away at That Website Guy for being incompatible, as well as freelance projects.
Hopefully I’ll be able to build a team with the agency to lighten the load, and it would also mean I could stop offering web design as an included service at That Website Guy – which let’s be honest I should be charging extra for anyway but am only including it free to build up the portfolio/showcase..
Another hope with this is that it may spawn other agencies to consider working with the platform at That Website Guy.
Last year I designed & built a website for a potential customer for a web design agency and we even talked a great deal and figured out all the terms of a partnership agreement between them & That Website Guy. Just when things were about to move forward the guy announces he’s sold the business to somebody else and they’d be contacting me to continue the agreement. They never did. So now I have a website sitting on the platform which was never even paid for that would be perfect for this, and it’s actually where the idea for this project originally stemmed from. (Todo / Done)
Gamer Grind Co.
I try to dedicate one day a week to working on Gamer Grind Co. I think it’s important to take a day off each week from focussing entirely on That Website Guy in order to preserve some form of sanity, but I also hate being non-productive, so this satisfies both needs at once. Having said that it’s also refreshing to use the platform as a customer would. It allows me to see the platform in a completely different light and helps me figure out how things on the platform could be improved and any essential features which might be missing.
At this point I’ve partnered with somebody to lighten the load, and my aim is to finally get this up and running in the first half of 2018. For those who don’t know, Gamer Grind Co is a coffee brand for gamers.
We plan to have sponsorship opportunities with esports teams, and as well as selling our coffee brand we’ll also be providing esports apparel and team stores. My business partner and I have had a lot of long conversations about the project and it’s looking pretty bright with a lot of potential. (Todo / Done)
Lastly, we have this little website – I’m Jamie. I do have a few plans for this in 2018, though I’m still not entirely sure on which direction to take it yet.
I know I’d like to push out a series of blog posts giving my personal tips and resource recommendations for other web designers and developers, which will hopefully improve my blog-writing skills that I could then apply to the blog at That Website Guy. (Todo / Done)
But do I keep this site as more of a personal blog/journal along with a showcase of my work?
Do I put more of a focus into pushing services like freelance web design/development? With the web design agency all planned out this may cause some conflict, but one idea that has been floating around is offering a service to build platforms similar to That Website Guy for other web design firms. This would likely fall out of the scope of what I could expect the agency team to be able to provide so may be perfect for this site. This may also be looking way beyond 2018 though. (Todo / Done)
See what I mean about everything being intertwined? 🙄