So here’s a slightly delayed “State of the Winwar” for the year of 2019. Overall it’s been an interesting year, a year of change and refocus. So this blog post will be slightly different to what you’re used to seeing on a yearly basis.
Dwi’n Rhys – Decent Growth
Beyond a couple of shakey moments in February, Dwi’n Rhys has seen some solid growth this year. I managed to hit my goal of fully replacing my previous salary as a freelancer, which was a huge goal I wanted to hit. I did lose one of my early clients (the door is open for working again, but circumstances change), which I was sad about as the work was fascinating. However I’ve had my biggest client renew, which is nice. I’ve also picked up work with a UK Charity that has been absolutely fascinating to work with. I’m looking to talk about them at a conference this year.
One thing I used to say (and didn’t preach) was “there is no such thing as a one page site”. This has been true as attending Freelance Heroes in May, I learned from a great talk from Stacey MacNaught about the work she was doing with her site and creating landing pages for all her offerings. This has seen some success this year as I’ve started building dedicated pages for work I want to do (WordPress Maintenance) and work I do a lot of and am good at (WordPress Optimisation). They’re a bit ugly at the moment (a cobbler has the most worn shoes), but they’re ranking for keywords I want to rank for, so hopefully they’ll begin to bring in some leads. I’ve also split the WordPress talks I do into that site as well.
I’m not sure what my goal will be for my freelance for 2020. I guess grow some more recurring revenue, as well as structure my work slightly better, so I can have some chances to grow and take opportunities as they arise.
Wrestling Betting – Changes
I was losing focus on Wrestling Betting over the course of the year, so I took the opportunity to outsource some of the writing. I managed to find a writer not from traditional circles (he’s a friend of mine), but it’s worked out well. This has given me the chance to grow the site as well as pick up a few new enquiries. This has seen me get a new lease of life with the site – I’ve actually enjoyed working on it recently.
The goal for me for Wrestling Betting in 2020 is to start offering more markets (NXT, AEW & NJPW are all available to bet on), as well as expand outside of the UK (this has started, but I’m looking to do more of this).
Plugins & This Blog – Challenges
This year I’ve struggled with this blog. I stopped blogging fairly recently as I couldn’t maintain it with the freelance work I had, and I couldn’t justify hiring a writer. Furthermore, two of my plugins – WP Taxi Me & WP eBay Product Feeds got hit in different ways. WP Taxi Me suffered greatly when Uber removed their API, meaning half the plugin got crippled, whereas WP eBay Product Feeds lost it’s brand name it had built up, which sucked greatly. I didn’t think I broke anything, but it was removed from the WordPress.org repository in October. I detailed the incident as it left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth, but it was what it was.
This has meant this site has slowed a bit, and I’ve been looking at other revenue streams that aren’t WordPress plugins (which I’ve detailed a bit below), however I’m still maintaining my WordPress plugins, as they do have a nice amount of revenue on a yearly basis. Though I do have an idea for a plugin I want to build.
I’m going to try and restructure my newsletters to just detail new blog posts as they’re written, as well as start writing more long form blogs (albeit not one every two weeks), which will be pushed to a newsletter.
More out of sheer boredom and wanting to do something a bit different, I started my own Twitch Channel. This is something I’ve been looking to do in my quiet times and it’s something I’ve been really enjoying (you can follow me @TwitchyRhys for when I go live). Towards the end of 2019 I hit my first goal of becoming a Twitch Affiliate, though between Christmas, the New Year and a nasty bout of laryngitis it has meant I’ve not been able to take advantage of this. I’m in no great illusions that this will be a money maker, this is more of a hobby I’m looking to grow – though I am looking at restarting Retro Garden a bit next year as one of my main side projects. I’ve also got one eye of going to Twitchcon in Amsterdam this year.
Anyway, that’s my goals and focuses for the various items within my business for 2020. I understand I’ve been quiet recently so hopefully I’ll be back with it with a couple of posts and improvements to plugins soon. Be sure to keep in touch.