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What an interesting year it’s been!
Having been away from the internet marketing world for several years, 2019 was an interesting year for me. I decided that now was the right time to return to my blog here on JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, and reignite the personal brand I’ve aimed to build since I started in 2013.
At the same time, my two eCommerce brands – the companies I’ve been running since I left several years ago, have continued to blossom and present their own unique challenges as well.
I’ve learned a lot this year, and while not everything that I’ve tried worked as intended, many things have.
In this post, I’d like to take some time to reflect on 2019 – sharing my successes, my failures, and goals for 2020.
Let’s first start with an overview on the year as a whole.’
2019 In Review
Truth be told, I had been thinking of returning here for a while now, and began to miss my work on this website shortly after leaving in the first place. I always knew that this is what I wanted to be doing long-term, but with my other companies growing so quickly, they needed all of the attention that I could give to them.
In September of 2018 my former business partner passed away, leaving the company in a massive transition period. To make matters worse, I was out-of-state for the extremely busy Christmas season, causing the company to fall behind for several months into 2019.
Growth just about stagnated completely, and it was completely my fault. Taking sole control of the business ultimately proved to be a lot less smooth than I had thought, and we only very recently began to feel that our transition was complete.
February is historically our slowest month of the year, so I chose this month to return here and relaunch my personal brand. This rekindled an excitement in me that I hadn’t felt in a long time, and I truly feel that things here are bigger and better than ever.
I’d like to now share some of the things I’ve tried this year, and how they turned out for me!
Things I’ve Tried In 2019
James McAllister Online Audio Blog
Since my return, I’ve been recording each post and releasing it as an audio blog.
This is basically a podcast, but instead of the traditional podcast format, it’s simply me reading the blog post, using the content as a script.
This has given two key benefits:
- People can listen rather than read the content as an alternate way to consume it, allowing them to do other tasks while listening.
- People can subscribe to the audio blog on their favorite podcast player.
This has led to increased consumption of the content, and in many cases, a larger percentage of each piece actually being heard.
I recommend trying this out!
Relaunch Of My YouTube Channel – Building A Mini Studio
I’ve fallen in love with producing video content this year, and will make this an ever bigger focus going into 2020.
Despite the fact that it probably wasn’t necessary for a channel my size, I opted to buy a professional camera and microphone, studio lights, and a teleprompter to aid in my video creation. While I can’t say they’ve paid for themselves yet, I have seen positive growth in viewership and subscribers since I began taking this seriously, and I look forward to seeing this trend continue.
I will likely end up publishing more content on YouTube than I do here, so I’d truly appreciate it if you’d subscribe by clicking here.
Overhauled Social Strategy
In 2019, I amped up the production of unique social media content – whereas before, I primarily focused on promoting articles and other large content already published elsewhere.
Namely, I began releasing ‘tip of the day’ posts – posts where I share a random business or entrepreneurial tip. I also had a designer create many graphics with business-related quotes, and added my commentary over them.
Finally, I gave followers a deeper look into my day-to-day life through Instagram stories – sharing random thoughts that would pop into my head, or showcasing things like orders being shipped out.
This has worked very well and while I’m still trying to tune in my strategy, I’m excited with where this is going.
Twitter has seen the most growth, practically doubling to over 18,000 followers. Instagram has also performed alright, going from about 100 followers to near 1,100. To be fair, I haven’t focused a whole lot on Instagram specifically, due to the declining organic reach that previously plagued Facebook. We all knew that this was coming, and well, the declined reach is finally here.
Speaking of social strategy, I experimented with TikTok this year as well. I’m not sure I’ve had an positive business effect from it yet, but Gary Vee isn’t lying when he says the organic potential is enormous.
I poke fun at myself here by pointing out that the two TikTok videos I had published so far had more views in a couple days than all of my YouTube videos had in an entire month. You can view that by clicking here.
I had originally started this with the idea that I would simply showcase random funny moments I experienced during the work day, but in recent weeks I’ve been reconsidering – and trying out a more serious strategy instead. For example, sharing motivational, inspirational, or practical tips in a format that fits TikTok.
Still, I don’t really know enough about the platform to give great advice, but I intend to learn more about it quickly. Perhaps you’ll see some TikTok articles here in 2020?
New Course: Building Philippines-Based Teams
I still believe that hiring from the Philippines is one of the best things that you can possibly due to build your business. The low salaries drastically lower the barrier to hiring, and it becomes incredibly cheap to scale your employee-base.
This was one of the sole reasons my companies have been able to grow so quickly these past years, and I decided to develop a course on it.
While I was hoping to have it finished by the new year, unfortunately I still have some editing to do on the videos. This is very close to being released however, and I’m incredibly excited for its launch.
Freelance Writing Service
I’ve expanded my freelance writing service, and reopened it up to new clients. You can learn more about it by clicking here!
Goals For 2020
Because so much of 2019 was spent in a transitional period, I look forward to really hit the ground running in 2020! Here are some of my plans.
A Real Podcast
Podcasting and I have not had a very smooth relationship.
I started one back in the day, but ultimately did not stick with it for very long. I was doing it by myself, and it turns out that I wasn’t very good at coming up with things to say on the spot (even with an outline.)
Doing non-scripted YouTube videos has helped with that a lot though, and I look forward to launching a real podcast in 2020. I plan to bring in a panel of regular experts when discussing specific topics, and of course, bring guests in as well that I think you’ll want to get to know.
Several trial episodes have already been recorded, and I’ll likely start publishing episodes once I have a few more recorded.
Increased Video Production
I’m already publishing more video than text content these days, and this is likely to continue into 2020.
There’s just so much I love about video, but most of all I love the connection it builds with your audience. Video helps your audience to feel like they actually know you, and the benefits video production brings are just too powerful to ignore.
1-2 New Courses
I will likely release 1 or 2 new courses next year, but I haven’t decided on the specific topics yet. I will also continue to add new lectures to the courses I’ve already released.
While I rarely run discounts for any of my products, I do typically offer a limited-time discount to my email subscribers. Sign up to my email list and I’ll let you know when these are ready!
I really feel that I’ve ironed out all of the kinks these last 11 months, and growth here is just a matter of sticking with it.
Of course, as I learn new things, I’ll certainly come back and share them here as well.
I would like to thank you for reading this all the way through to the end. If there’s ever anything I can do for you, or there’s an opportunity to work together in 2020, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
I’m looking forward to it!
To your success,
– James McAllister