2015 is already over and I am back on writing a year review of what I planned to accomplish in the year and how much I have done. I have also made some plans for 2016 so I will share them with you.
Overall this was a better year than 2014, but like any year, 2015 also teaches me lots of lessons that I am going to use in 2016 to make myself a better professional and a person in general.
2015 in Review
First things first, let’s look back at the goals that I set for 2015 and will see how many of them I have accomplished.
- Attending Conferences
So, I planned to attend two conferences; one in Philippines and other in Seattle MozCon. Due to some visa issues I couldn’t manage to make it to Philippines but I am so glad that Glen considered me as a speaker for PeepCon.
The other one was MozCon and I am so glad that I actually made it there. Here is the link that will give you more insight of my visit to MozCon 2015.
I am also glad that I got a chance to gain the firsthand knowledge from few of the best brains in the world and sad at the same time that I didn’t go to Philippines.
The reason why I will give it +1 is because I tried everything I could to make it to PeepCon, but some Visa issue got me that was completely out of my hands. As Glen announced on Facebook that he is going to another PeepCon in 2016, I will make sure I have Visa in my hands ahead of time.
And if I would be lucky enough, I might get the speaking opportunity too 🙂
- Making clients stick with us
One of the biggest problems I faced in 2014 was clients – they did come but they simply left us after few months, and the problem was not the service but the process. I tried to make systems and processes in such a way that helped me build a transparent relationship with the clients and show them everything you are doing, a lot of other people helped me with that.
This not only made the clients stick with us but they also gave a positive feedback about me. You can check my linkedin profile for it.
I am still working on it so I will not give it a +1, but as I do have some level of success, I will give it +0.5.
- Quality of Content
This is the one area on my website where I constantly try to test different stuff and stick with the ones that work for me. Previous year, I tried different kinds of content that are related to digital marketing and SEO but weren’t exactly about SEO, here are few of the examples:
- Tips to increase your chances of success as a Startup
- Pricing Strategies for SaaS startup
- Nuts and Bolts of a Digital Marketing Strategy
The test actually worked for me but I still have to create a proper calendar so that I can set the kind of content that fits well and get the maximum advantage out of it.
Also,this year few of my content pieces got natural links from industry giants like Citation Labs, Neil Patel and more.
I am happy that I am getting better at it but I see a lot of room for improvement in this area, plus I need to align things a bit more so that readers shall know when to expect a new content piece from me.
Result: I will give +1 here for this time.
- Double the Revenue
Learning is important but in order to roll things you need cash in hand. I did try to double the revenue but I had to get out from the (work together) contract with Pac and Copy, as we both clearly knew that we have different goals for the company.
I started setalks.com all over again and instead of focusing on number of clients, I preferred working with few good clients. I have to say that I did manage to increase the revenue but it is no way near to double.
Result: +0.25, maybe.
- Setting up an e-Commerce store
Failed! I didn’t really get the time to focus on this one but I am still very much interested in doing it. I think the main reason why I was utterly failed in this area is because breaking up with Pac and Copy was not in my calculation and restarting SEtalks.com ate almost all of my time.
- Magazine Authorship
Ok, I thought I will be able to make it but somehow I didn’t. I did try applying to few business magazines but obviously they required more commitment and dedication, which was not really possible for me.
I still believe that I can do it, but I need more time for that. Therefore, -1 for this.
- Two Family Vacations
As compared to previous year, this year was more of a family year, and it had to be because of my daughter, who is growing up and I need to give her more of our father-daughter time.
+1 here because I managed to get two (within country) vacations and it was probably the best time of the year.
- Bringing Dania Back
Those who don’t know, she is my lovely wife who used to work with me but due to our little one she had to leave work and focus on our baby girl.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage to bring her back to work completely, but at least she is smartly managing the HR part at the moment. I will not call it a success as she is talented and capable of much more than that, but this was not really a failure too.
Things I learn in 2015
Travel teaches you a lot and I had 3 trips in a year, so this year I learn so many things about myself, about things I need to focus on, and many more. Here are some of them I listed below:
- I haven’t been able to get out of my city for the past 26 years, and my first family vacation was actually my first ever trip out of my hometown. All I can say is that travel is healthy, and if you have a facility and you are still not going then you are an absolute idiot.
- If you are planning any business partnership, never say yes until all chips are down. Make sure you have the same goals for the future and if you have the slightest of the doubt, turn the offer down.
- You can always share your work with others, but you can never relay on them. Keep this thing in mind, whenever you are up to anything in life especially business related stuff.
- Controlling my anger! I am getting better at this and honestly speaking, at times this actually helps me stay away from some of the most terrible situations.
People who made a difference in my life
Here is the list of some amazing people who inspired me in the year of 2015.
- Matt Janaway
He is my mentor and the kind of person I can count on when I am stuck in any situation, and trust me when I say this, he always has the solution to my problems. Thank you sir for the ultimate support you provided all along.
- Alan Bleiweiss
I am witnessing him since the Dana’s incident and when I met him at MozCon I have to say that he is one of those personalities you will always get positive vibes from.
- Purna Virji
If you ask me to name the one speaker who really stands out at MozCon, it will be PurnaVirji. She is smart, intelligent and if you ask her for help, she will never say no to! (I have tried it).
- Zafar Ahmed
The best part, he is in Pakistan now! I love the energy he possesses in himself. I met him once and I can say that he is a knowledge bank and all you need is to ask the right kind of question.
- Cindy Krum
I listened to Cindy’s presentation at MozCon. Did some research on the Mobile and App SEO and this introduced me to the whole new section of SEO. Thank you for such a great help.
- Paul Shapiro
Paul possesses an amazing personality, whom I met at MozCon. We met at the inbound party and he guessed me with my blog’s name. He actually told me something and I quote here as “whatever you write on your blog it’s not for rankings only. People read it so make sure what you write is worth their time.”
Thank you all especially the people mentioned above for making for 2015 awesome.
Plans for 2016
Here are the few Plans I have for 2016.
- Start a new blog that has nothing to do with SEO and make it an established entity in a year.
- Read 4 Books on Marketing and Business Management.
- Write a Book (any topic related to Digital Marketing)
- Attend 2 More conferences this year.
- 1 Family Vacation (outside the country)
- Build a small tool that can solve target audience’s problem quickly.
- Redesign and Re-brand SEtalks.com
- Restart Abnormal Thinker
- Start and e-commerce store (resolution from 2015)
- Magazine Authorship (resolution from 2015)
Have a happy New Year!