2013 in retrospect

This time last year I wrote a short post about what I had planned for 2013 and spoke briefly about what I hoped to achieve. I thought now would be a good time to look back on it and reflect on what I've done during the last 12 months.

The good

I did a lot more writing

If you read last year's post you'll know that one of the goals I set myself was to do more writing and I'm happy to say that I didn't waste any time working towards it. I kicked off 2013 by writing several posts for Inspired Magazine. Shortly after I landed my first paid writing gig, turning in two posts a week for Webdesigner Depot. Before this, I'd never written for another blog and certainly never expected anyone to pay me to do so, so things really couldn't have gone much better.

If you're interested, I've started to archive all of the writing I've done for other blogs here.

I set up a shop on Creative Market

I've always loved the idea of creating and selling my own products. Last year I finally decided to give it a go by setting up a shop on Creative Market and selling small but handy design resources. So far, I've released 4 products, although up to now marketing them isn't something that I've taken too seriously. However, after seeing the results from the minimal amount of effort that I put in last year, it's something that I want to experiment more with in 2014.

I'll be writing a more in depth post about this in the next few weeks.

I started working on Dealotto

I'd just decided to take a break from writing for Webdesigner Depot and thanks to Creative Market I'd recently discovered a newfound love for digital goods. Then, as if by fate, I stumbled across a tweet from Liam McKay saying that he was looking for someone to work with him on Dealotto, part-time.

For those that aren't familiar with Dealotto, it's a daily deals site for designers and developers but with a slight twist—your luck decides what you pay.

I knew it was an opportunity too good to miss so I didn't hesitate to apply. I got the job and I'm now Content Manager, which entails reaching out to creators of digital goods and setting up deals on their products. So far I've loved every second of it.

I learnt more about web development

My understanding of and ability to write HTML, CSS and Javascript has improved significantly over the last 12 months. This is mainly down to using services such as Codecademy and Dash where you can to learn to code by completing a series of interactive challenges. I also read a lot of tutorials, and have been experimenting with developer mode on Squarespace, making all kinds of tweaks to my website. I've still got a lot to learn, particularly when it comes to Javascript, but I'm now at a point where I can at least put together a functional mockup.

The bad

I spent too much time working on projects with little financial reward

This applies to not just 2013 but the last three years, during which I've been working periodically with three startups. Although it's extremely rewarding in some ways, it has at times made things difficult financially. Mostly because there's simply not a lot of money to go around when you're trying to get a business off the ground. I also haven't been particularly great at dividing my time between that and trying to put myself in a position where I'm working on more profitable projects. It's a problem that I began to address last year but I still have some way to go in order to get the balance right.

In summary

All in all 2013 was a great year for me. It was my most successful to date and has given me plenty to look forward to over the next 12 months. I'm planning to document it all right here on this blog so if you want to come along for the ride, be sure to sign up for my e-mail newsletter below.

Goals for 2014

  • Write at least 1 post a week for this blog
  • Find the right balance between startup projects and freelance work
  • Make an effort to build a bigger audience
  • Continue to create and release new products
  • Put more effort into marketing my existing products