2010 was a great year for me for a lot of reasons – however on the affiliate side of things there were four things that really stood out for me
#1: No New Websites
At the end of 2009, I felt I was spreading myself way too thin. I was launching a new website at least once a week, and with 50+ active websites plus another 50 or so mini-sites, it was getting too hard to manage.
I decided in 2010 I would launch no more new websites, and focus on CasinoAnswers.com which I had launched on Dec 31st, 2009, as well as my existing websites. People thought I was crazy and wouldn’t stick to it, yet here we are a year later and I didn’t launch one new website!
I’m also proud of where Casino Answers is after a year. We currently get 300+ unique visitors per day, have over 1000 articles all approximately 1000 words long, which is just crazy. The branding has worked out well as we get over 20 uniques a day just from people searching the phrase “Casino Answers”, and it’s been a huge success on so many levels.
Being able to focus on my existing websites was great, and if Google decides in 2011 to stop giving bonuses to exact match domains I’ll be laughing, due to all the work I’ve put into Casino Answers.
#2: Going Premium with the NBA Tips
I’ve had my NBA Tips website for over 4 years now, and the tips have always been free. After 4 successful seasons and a 5th season with a 60.4% win ratio, I decided now was the time to go “pro” and start selling the tips.
This ended up being a success that even I didn’t expect, and it really makes me happy knowing I have that guaranteed income every season. It also inspired me to hopefully work on some more sports betting websites next year as I have some really sick domains.
#3: The Revamp of Affiliate Bible
I’ve written a lot about this already so I won’t go into too much detail here – but yeah, it was really good to get this done. I’ve not been able to do the work on content / backlinks yet that I was hoping for, but I aim to focus heavily on that in January.
#4: Tested Out Semi-Retirement
I’ve been working my ass off for years now, and I’m probably at the stage financially and as a business where I could retire and let my employees handle everything.
Of course let’s be honest – as an affiliate we can’t retire. It’s impossible. We do this because we love it, because we’re good at it and because it’s just goddamn awesome to make money doing things that you love.
So I decided to test out semi-retirement in the Summer of 2010. What this meant is that I have a few things I HAVE to do every day – like some sports tips, e-mail and a few other things. I allocated an hour per day to “getting all my work done” – and then after that my days were free, to do whatever the hell I wanted.
I’d watch the World Cup. I’d hang out with my family. I’d do stuff with the kids. I’d play Xbox. I’d read books. I’d go for a liquid lunch. I’d relax and watch movies. I’d take a bath. I’d golf.
Hell, sometimes I’d even do work!
Semi-retirement ended up being the best decision of my life. I just felt so much more relaxed, and when I did do work I’d feel more motivated than ever. I wasn’t “forced” to do work, I’d “choose” to do it. The distinction was huge, and it really was a great feeling.
One of the most important things about working for yourself is freedom – having the freedom to be able to drop everything at a second just because you can. It was great to be able to do that. To have my son ask me if we could go to the library, and end up going downtown for the day, not having to worry about “that website I was in the middle of setting up” or “those articles I have to write today”.
On January 23rd 2011 I turn 30 years old. I’ve decided that I will go into permanent semi-retirement on that day as well. From then until the day I die I will do one hour of work per day which involves doing everything I need to do, and then the rest of the day is totally up to me.
I can’t wait. I know a lot of you guys out there who work like absolutely crazy, and I ask you to sit back and think about taking it easy in 2011. As someone who has tried the semi-retirement route, and has also pulled those 18 hour days just to get a website done I can tell you right now – you’re working yourself into an early grave. We’re all very lucky to be in the position we’re in – so take advantage of it and stop working so damn hard!
Happy New Year!