At the beginning of every year, I like to take a moment to reflect on everything that went down throughout the previous 12 months — and of course, everything that will occur in the coming year. This goes for anything that is related to my personal brand, positive and negative. It's important to focus on what's working for my business, and possibly more importantly, what's not working.
Looking back on 2017, let's begin with the positive. To put simply, 2017 was my best year yet. I introduced all kinds of new projects and ideas, which in turn allowed me to have my most financially successful year to date.
My Patreon campaign received its own dedicated website, allowing patrons to easily access exclusive content. While I couldn't move forward with my original plan of requiring patrons to log in via the website, I think the outcome turned out to be the better route to take. At some point, I even introduced the Patrons Showcase, which can be a great way for patrons to get their work seen by others. To learn more about my Patreon website and its features, click here.
Di Franco University... Let's talk about it. Yes, the website is still live and filled with a ton of useful content. From original articles to in-depth courses, Di Franco University saw a significant overhaul about halfway through the year — giving it a fresh new look and overall easier navigation. The website has certainly come a long way since its debut.
However, there is something missing with Di Franco University. It's not quite the website I originally envisioned. I have no plans of axing it any time soon, as it's a website that I care greatly about, but it's something I want to think about as 2018 progresses. In other words, I would love to see Di Franco University grow. It's just going to take some more time.
Websites aside for a moment, let's focus on my YouTube content. I made it a goal of mine in 2017 to form additional partnerships with major brands that I enjoy. Thankfully, I was introduced to some amazing opportunities before the year wrapped up — including review offers from Razer and Energizer.
Oh, and I was even on TV! Iceland Foods, a popular food retailer in the UK, chose to feature one of my Christmas videos in a TV advertisement during the holidays. Considering this is my first TV ad, I was very excited. You can watch the ad here.
Let's talk tech.
Remember "Project 4K" that I mentioned in last year's post? I'm happy to say that everything went according to plan. I bought myself a Samsung 65-inch 4K TV, brand new audio equipment, and even some new furniture. Okay, so this doesn't exactly pertain to my business, but it's still something I am very proud of. As someone who enjoys watching movies and playing video games regularly, this kind of upgrade was a big deal.
And finally, I cannot forget to mention one of my favorite things that I accomplished in 2017. For the first time in over ten years, I built a custom gaming PC. This is something I found myself talking about for quite a while now, but never actually acted on it. But yes, it finally happened, and was it a process! Check out all my parts on Kit.
So, with 2017 officially behind us, let's turn our focus to 2018 and my goals for the next 12 months. I do have a lot in store. The sooner I begin to execute these ideas, the better.
Taking Affiliate Networks to the Next Level
My name is David, and I am addicted to affiliate networks. There, I said it. I have always been fascinated by the idea of "selling" something and making a commission off the end sale. But then again, for anyone who watches my videos regularly, this shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, I have been part of the Amazon Associates program for as long as I can remember.
Actually, I belong to a variety of affiliate networks. It's exactly why I feature a Resources page on this very website. It's my job to provide the information that can help others and possibly get paid in return — provided someone signs up using any of my affiliate links. It's a basic idea, really. Still, I would love to see this idea executed on a grander scale.
I plan on building my affiliate networks using a simple method — be everywhere. Whether it be Amazon or Wix, I want it to be known that I am partnered with brands that I enjoy. And that's important. It's critical that I only endorse brands that I use myself. Affiliate networks are not just there to earn revenue. They pave the way for amazing opportunities that can allow you to grow as a content creator, marketer, etc.
And speaking of that...
Twitch is Life
Did you know that I have been streaming almost daily on Twitch? Hey, I didn't build my gaming PC for nothing. Now that the holidays are over, I plan on putting a lot of my time into growing my Twitch channel. As of this post, I currently have over 2,100 followers. It's my goal to surpass 10,000 followers by the year's end. I think I can manage that. But of course, growth doesn't happen over night.
Because I am now a Twitch affiliate, that alone has motivated me to really take things seriously. Soon I will be putting together a much more functional streaming setup in my bedroom — one that allows for broadcasting from not only my gaming PC, but a variety of gaming consoles as well. I'm excited to show everyone the final result in future videos.
If you're not already following me on Twitch, please feel free to do so here. I am in the process of building a truly amazing community, and I would love for you to be a part of it. Interacting with the chat room is important to me, so stop on by and say hello!
I consider myself to be well-versed with two of my favorite content management systems, Squarespace and WordPress. Both have been great to me, as each platform has its strengths and weaknesses. However, I recently decided that it was time to try something new, which brought me to finally wanting to give Wix a fair try. And wow...
Where have I been all these years? The more I use Wix, the more impressed I become. Not only does the platform offer a ton of different content widgets to use, but the design tools are extremely flexible — far more flexible than anything I've experienced with other platforms. Naturally, this recently discovered excitement of mine cannot be ignored. That's where "Project Wix" comes in.
I'm not exactly ready to discuss details just yet, but I am making it a primary goal of mine in 2018 to create a Wix resources website that can help fellow creators build quality websites, grow their brands, and gain the kind of exposure they deserve.
Of course, "Project Wix" will tie in directly with my Wix affiliation, so I am looking to make this a win-win for everyone involved. I will share details as they surface in time.
Scaling Back on YouTube
Wait, what's this? Shouldn't a goal involve growing and not the opposite? Yes, of course, but there comes a time in your workload where you need to step back and look at everything you have going on. Sometimes certain projects can take up too much of your time and interfere with other work you could be getting done. For me lately, this could not be further from the truth.
As of this week, I am indeed scaling back on the amount of YouTube content I publish. I have come to the conclusion that I need more time in the day to get other things done. This is especially true with my website related work. I take a lot of pride in creating websites and exploring different marketing techniques. In order for me to grow in those areas, YouTube is going to have to take a back seat — but only on certain days.
In no way is my YouTube content going anywhere. The vlogs will continue to be published on their usual days, along with the occasional tech review or unboxing going live randomly throughout the week. Going this route also gives me more time to actually plan videos that represent higher production value. I am by no means looking to become an expert, but I'm definitely interested in seeing what my creativity is capable of.
And Everything Else...
Moving forward, those are my primary goals for 2018. Obviously this doesn't include everything that I would like to accomplish this year, but I think it's a solid start. As a self-employed content creator, you can never tell what the future holds. That's one of my favorite things that comes with the territory of content creation. I am free to do what I choose.
Now that I've told you about my goals, what are some things that you would like to accomplish for the new year? Feel free to make a list in the comments below. Your goals could help inspire others to better themselves.
Here's to another great year of original content!