Year-end look at my business

posted by Jeff | Monday, January 3, 2005, 2:38 AM | comments: 0

Seeing as how I have to live off of my own stuff, I've been looking at all kinds of numbers given that I can do a good year-to-year comparison.

The big surprise is that, contrary to what I expected, CoasterBuzz traffic overall grew by around 15%. Revenue on a CPM basis was down, but up overall in terms of dollars. It was a weird year, with certain months being miserable for advertising.

So now I'm wondering if I need to rethink my content strategy for the site. I still don't think the audience can get much bigger than the few million visits I get now, so in terms of return on investment, I need to budget time in a logical fashion.

That said, that site accounts for 75% of my revenue, which is far too much. I'd like to get that down to 50% this year (which would be easy if I considered my book into that figure).

Consulting money was a little higher this year, and I'd like it to be higher. This year it was all "found" money, and I didn't actively pursue anything myself. I've got some friends in various places that could lead to some nice gigs if I keep on them.

Expenses were drastically reduced this year because hosting has become a lot less expensive. I'm working now on a new mechant account arrangement as well. Bank fees kicked my ass at around a grand. I think I can cut that in half.

Right now I'm working on the forum rewrite. The snag at the moment is finishing my requirements document. It's boring stuff to write, but I know from experience that it makes all the difference in producing a great product. Technically, I have nothing to gain financially, but this software opens doors in terms of building my own stuff and in terms of recognition in the Microsoft community.

Goals this year:
Cut the business debt in half, or eliminate it entirely.
Sell my new book proposal and finish it by July.
Release v8 of the forums.
Finish my ad serving software, and perhaps sell it.
Revise CoasterBuzz in time for ASP.NET v2's final release.
See Hawaii again.


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