January is the time for New Year’s resolutions, goal setting, and recriminations. I gave up resolutions years ago, once I learned that around 80% of them fail by February 1st. However, I am a strong believer in goal setting, and particularly in setting SMART goals. The concept of SMART goals has been around since the early 1980s (what I call high school), and originally came from the world of business management. SMART is, of course, an acronym, generally translated as:
Across the years, a number of studies have found that SMART goals are more successful than goals which do not meet the above criteria. The folks at Creately have put together a comprehensive guide on setting SMART goals that we have found very helpful as we went through our goal-setting process for the new year. It includes information on setting goals, applying the SMART method, identifying obstacles and creating an action plan that can be continuously monitored. It is filled with useful resources and worksheets of the latest goal setting techniques.
We have created a set of SMART goals for Poker Pilgrims in 2021. Of course, our top (not so SMART) goal is to play live poker once again. We can’t wait until we are all vaccinated and safe to get back to the tables. But on to some goals that we have control over…
Our SMART Goals for 2021
Publish a Post with at least 1,000 Views by the end of March – This goal succeeds at being specific, measurable (via Google Analytics), and Time-bound. We only had three posts reach 1,000 views in 2020. Our article about The Best Places to Live if You Love Poker got to 1,000 the quickest, while our article about South Florida poker rooms published way back in 2019 had an additional 2,500 views last year.
Rather than bore you with how SMART our remaining goals are, we will simply describe each below.
Grow our email list to 100 people by the end of the year – We use MailerLite to collect email addresses and send out our weekly newsletter with post updates. As a small blog that can’t afford to even think about ConvertKit, we have been very happy with MailerLite’s capabilities. However, after three years we only have a whopping 29 names on our list (and one is my daughter!). So building that list is a big goal for the year.
Updating our Table Count Data by the end of July – One of the resources that we have been most proud of is our table count information. We have done extensive work over the years collecting data on how many tables various poker rooms average on different days of the week. While Bravo and PokerAtlas are great resources for current table counts, they offer no information on how many tables of Omaha were running last Saturday, or how many tables of $1-2 NLH run on an average Tuesday evening. We have spent hours over the past two years collecting data on a number of markets (Las Vegas, Florida, and New England in particular) to help poker travelers learn which rooms offer the poker action they are looking for.
Unfortunately, as with everything else, 2020 turned poker on its head. Rooms would open, close, and re-open again (hopefully). [In case you are interested, we are keeping track of room openings and closings across the US over on the APT blog. You can find them here]. The number of tables was never stable, and even the definition of “table” varied from room to room, as rooms would seat anywhere from 4-handed (back in the early summer) to 8 handed (in Vegas and Florida with plexiglass).
A big goal this year is to refresh our table count data once we regain some stability in live poker. We would also love to expand our numbers to all of the major markets in the US. But first thing’s first. For more information on our table count data, check out our post on average cash poker tables.
Get to 60,000 page views by the end of the year – This is more about getting ourselves out there. In 2020, despite the general downturn (and our corresponding reduction in output) we managed to get to over 32,000 pageviews. We figure we can double that in 2021. This will require a more regular publishing schedule, quality content, and getting our posts on social media when we can. We have found Twitter to be of limited value in drawing readers to our best posts. Facebook, however can draw hundreds to a new post in the span of a day. In 2020 we also started an Instagram Feed which we hope to employ more fully in 2021.
Make $2,000 in blog income by the end of the year – We made just over $1,200 from the website in 2020, which covered our expenses with a bit left over. However, we would love to elevate the blog from a passion project to a money-making endeavor (even if the money-making is minor). We would also love to be able to reduce our reliance on our Main Hustle as we move into our travel years.
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