Happy New Year and Hello 2011

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! Way back in 2009 when my site was just a few months old, I began the new year with a Happy New Year/Goals post much like this one. By the end of 2009 I found that I had exceeded most of my goals and fell just short of accomplishing the rest. I did the same in 2010. I set some pretty lofty goals for myself, but I have to say that I did pretty darn well! With 2011 on the horizon, I reflect back on 2010 and look forward to 2011 with another set of goals for my namesake blog!

Let’s first take a look at how I did with my goals for 2010:

1. Continue to build on goals 1-5 from 2009. The goal here was to see monthly unique readership improve from 17,000 in 2009 to 25,000-30,000 unique visitors in 2010. The actual numbers say that in 2010, the average number of monthly unique visitors to the blog was 41,000, with approximately 500,000+ people visiting the blog in 2010. Awesome! Furthermore, the peak month in 2009 saw 75,000, whereas the peak month in 2010 saw over 120,000 unique visitors. In 2009 I was fluctuating between 500-600 RSS subscribers. In 2010, I saw my RSS subscriptions rise to above 1000 subscribers. Beautiful! I wanted to do about 45-50 posts a month, but it ended up being more like 30 posts per month in 2010. I did zero guest blogging in 2010, even though I aspired to guest blog at 5 other blogs. Another goal of mine was to do 12 different contests and giveaways and it looks like I also accomplished this goal! I counted 9 different giveaways on my blog and 3 more giveaways specifically for my Facebook fans. Goal pretty much accomplished!

2. Continue the tradition of the epic post. I wanted to do 12 list posts this year, a major 101 epic post every month. How’d I do? Pretty darn good. Although they weren’t all 101 items long, I did do 12 of them and they were each epic in their own way (at least I think so). Goal accomplished!

101 T-Shirts for Apple Fanboys and the Mac Faithful!
101 LOST T-Shirts For The Ultimate LOST Fanatic
101 Bacon Products for Fans of the Other White Meat
SXSW 2010: A Haven for Geeky and Techie T-Shirts!
101 Nintendo T-Shirts For The Ultimate Nintendo Gamer
108 LOST T-Shirts To Celebrate The End Including 20 You Can’t Buy
76 Threadless T-Shirts From Sketch To Print
NBA Championship T-Shirts From 1980-2010 + Great Finals Moments
101 T-Shirts For Social Media Gurus, Facebook Fans and Twitter Addicts
101 T-Shirts To Help You Relive The 1980′s
Massive List of Black Friday T-Shirt Deals and Steals
9 T-Shirt Top 10′s of 2010

3. Get cited by a major news source in print and on the web. So 2010 ended up being a big year for this blog getting cited in major websites. My original 101 Lost T-Shirts blog post landed on Entertainment Weekly’s Twitter feed (over 1.4 million followers) and crashed my website in record time (I was able to get it back up in minutes). And then once I got the blog back up and running Carlton Cuse, one of the main writers and producers of Lost also sent out a tweet mentioning my post. This was huge. And again, our friends over at USA Today’s POP Candy blog also mentioned both of my Lost posts. Oh, and as far as newspapers go, my local paper, the Honolulu Advertiser ran a lost article that also made a mention of my epic Lost post. I jumped up and cheered! Likewise, I nearly fainted when my 101 Apple T-Shirt list was posted on both Gizmodo and MacLife. I’ve been a subscriber to MacLife magazine (when it used to be called MacAddict) since the mid 90’s, so you can imagine how excited I was. Goal accomplished!

4. Make at least 5 items go viral. Now this was a toughie, especially for a small niche blog like mine. I hit just above my mark of two 100,000 views posts, with three blog posts gaining over 100,000 pageviews. These included my 101 Science T-Shirts list (surpassed 200,000), 101 Nintendo T-Shirts list, and 101 Lost T-Shirts list. A fourth post came very close, but just missed the mark at 81,000 pageviews. I found it remarkable that in October, November, and December there was major Stumbleupon traffic to my 101 Nintendo T-Shirts list, which was published way back in April 2010. Not bad, not bad at all! Goal not accomplished.

5. Have fun. I’ve definitely had a LOT of fun this year with this blog, both online and offline! It’s great to see the blog grow and grow with each passing month. However, some of the offline experiences that I’ve had with my readers have been even more rewarding. For instance, while in NYC this past summer, I was able to meet up with Carlos EasyBake of Oven Fresh Dreams, as well as Brian Shevlin from Year of the T-Shirt. Hopefully 2011 will bring even bigger and better things! Goal accomplished!

2010 turned out to be a big year for CotyGonzales.com, but what does 2011 have in store? Whatever it is, I hope that it’ll be big! Let’s start with some goals that I have set for this blog in 2011.

1. Updated the blog theme and add categories. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time now and I think that 2011 is the year that I do it! Another thing that I want to do is implement categories. When my blog first started, it was more of a lifestream blog, in which I blogged about everything in my life (hence, the name of the domain). But then I figured out the importance of a niche. Unfortunately, since then I have been using a single category for nearly all my posts – T-Shirts. Of course, I’d have to go back through each and every posts and re-categorize each one based on T-Shirt genre (i.e. Humor, Political, Parody, etc.). It’ll be a nightmare, but it’s been something that I’ve been wanting to do in forever.

2. Implement an ad system. Firstly, don’t worry, I won’t have this blog overrun with ads and blinking GIFs. That’s the last thing that I would want. However, I do feel that now is a perfect time to implement some kind of ad system to the blog. I’ve gained a loyal readership, I have nice traffic numbers, the search engines are good to me, and people have been inquiring about ads. So, why not? This will go hand-in-hand with the updated blog theme. Both are easy to talk about, but difficulty to actually implement (because of laziness), especially when you’ve got a site that’s been working perfectly fine the last 2 years.

3. Continue to increase monthly unique readership. In 2010 the average monthly unique visitors were 41,000. I’d like to see this number jump to 50,000 – 60,000 unique monthly visitors. That would be amazing. At this point, I am not too worried about RSS subscribers. I feel as if RSS feeds are indeed a dying technology and increasingly not as important as they used to be. So, I’ll still keep an eye on my RSS feed numbers, but I won’t worry too much about them.

4. Continue to be social and increase Facebook fans. At present, I have 561 Facebook fans. By the end of 2011 I would love to see this number rise to 1000 Facebook fans. That would be amazing. Also, I’d love to continue with the giveaways and site related contests. Let’s shoot for another 12 giveaways in 2011!

5. Make at least 5 items go viral. I wasn’t satisfied with having just 3 items go viral last year (as indicated by 100,000 pageviews on a single post). I want 5. I really want 5. Not sure why, but I want it.

6. Have fun. This is my goal every year and I think that it’s an important one. Once the fun aspect disappears, I worry that interest will begin to also disappear. Let’s look forward to a fun and prosperous 2011!

I’ll leave you now with some of my travel photos from 2010! What a great year, I can’t wait for 2011!

My visit Jon Wye’s boutique in New York City, August 2010.

That’s me alongside the biggest dream of them all, Carlos of Oven Fresh Dreams, August 2010.

Me posing at PikaPika in JapanTown, San Francisco, in one of my favorite T-Shirts ever (Hello by Buddy Carr), March 2010.

I’m all Fuzzy Ink’d out in San Francisco, March 2010.

That’s me in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia all decked out in Made With Awesome gear, March 2010.

Say hello to Mr. Brian Shevlin of Year of the T-Shirt. He wore a 365 different T-Shirts in 2010, August 2010.

Ugmonk in Central Park, August 2010.

Brooklyn Bridge

That’s me and Michelle representing Fur Face Boy in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge, August 2010.

Happy New Year and Hello 2010!

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! I started 2009 off on this blog with a Happy New Year post much like this one. Some of you might remember that in that post I listed 5 goals that I had for my namesake blog. Let’s review my list of 5 goals from 2009 and see if I was able to accomplish them:

1. Increase Unique Readership. The goal was to reach 5,000 unique visitors per month. I reached this goal at around April 2009. Since then, I’ve been averaging 17,000 regular users a month, with a peak of 75,000 in the month of August. Goal accomplished!

2. Increase RSS Subscriptions. I started 2009 off with 50 RSS subscribers. The goal was to reach 300 subscribers by 2010. I currently fluctuate between 500-600 RSS subscribers. Goal accomplished!

3. Keep Up With Content. The goal here was to average 28-30 posts per month. In 2009 I averaged 58 posts per month with a high of 77 posts in June and July and a low of 45 in October and December. Goal accomplished!

4. Network and Build Strong Relationships. The goal here was to connect with different people and brands and stir up some interesting promotions and contests. In 2009 I’ve exchanged countless emails with a ton of indie brands and have held a bunch of contests and giveaways sponsored by some amazing people (you know who you are). Goal accomplished!

5. Guest Blog. So my wishlist of places to guest blog included: Tcritic, Taddict, Hide Your Arms, Cottonable and Troundup. The goal was to guest blog on at least 3 of those 5 blogs. From those 5, I only guest blogged on just one, and that was Cottonable. But the guest blog plan wasn’t entirely a failure! I was able to regularly blog at Tee-Junction and T-Shirt Magazine! Goal semi-accomplished!

So all-in-all, 2009 was a very productive year. I accomplished nearly every goal I set for this blog, which is very, very exciting. But how about 2010? What goals do I have for this blog in the very futuristic sounding Twenty-Ten?

1. Continue to build on goals 1-5 from 2009. I’d like to see unique readership improve from 17,000 to 25,000-30,000 unique visitors. RSS might be going out of fashion but I think that a goal of 750 subscribers is a respectable goal to reach for. As far as content goes, I’d like to not so much focus on amount of posts but more on quality of posts. Having said that, I’d be happy with an average of about 45-50 posts a month. And of course, this blog would be nothing without the great indie clothing brands with which I network with. I’d love to hold a minimum of 12 contests this year. Since the guest blog goal was not fully accomplished, I’d still like to reach this goal. I know that a guest post at HYA might be out of the question (I’ve already spoke to Andy about this and I respect his decision to keep the content on HYA solely his own), but I will still aspire to guest blog at 5 other blogs (none specifically).

2. Continue the tradition of the epic post. So I am not sure how many of you have noticed, but I have been doing a 101 T-Shirt list each month since August. I’d love to continue this tradition and do 12 of these epic posts in 2010 at a rate of one per month. These posts typically take me days to complete, however, the payoff is well worth the sweat.

3. Get cited by a major news source in print and on the web. In 2009 I felt the power of reputable link backs. My list of 101 Science T-Shirts was featured on a tweet by Apple Evangelist and Alltop founder, Guy Kawasaki. This led to a tremendoous flow of traffic to my blog. My Mustache Gift List was cited on the USA Today blog Pop Candy and that drove in a crazy amount of traffic. In 2010, I want to be cited in at least one major news source such as CNN, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, BBC News or NPR in print and on the web.

4. Make at least 5 items go viral. Now by definition, for me, viral means at least 100,000 page views for a given item. That’s a lot of eyeballs for a small niche blog like my own. In 2009, I accomplished this twice with my 101 Science T-Shirts list and with my Sketchy Santa video. The goal here is to more than double the two from 2009 to five in 2010.

5. Have fun. So one thing that I’ve noticed is that since this site has grown to have it’s own online presence, one that involves more than myself and a few friends, I’ve focused a lot of time maintaining the site and keeping up with content. What started as a hobby has sort of turned into a part-time job. Going a day without a post is like missing a day of work. The goal here is to make sure that I continue to have fun maintaining this blog, interacting with my community and writing content. Have fun, Coty. Have fun in 2010.

Oregon Jump

Happy New Year!

I’d like to wish all of the readers of my blog a very happy and prosperous 2009! This blog popped up early last year and only this past fall did I begin to focus on the t-shirt industry. I’d like to think that I have been able to mix my interests in tees, tech and social media in a way that has been fun and informative!

Now I typically don’t do new years resolutions so instead I thought I’d post up a few goals that I have for the site. I’ll check back on the eve of 2010 (how crazy is it that 2010 looms before us all!) and see how many of these goals I’ve accomplished. 

1. Increase Unique Readership. At the moment I am averaging about 2,000 unique visitors a month after just 4 months of consistent tee blogging. I’d like to think that it would be reasonable to increase this number to an average of 5,000 unique visitors per month. For the month of November 2008 my favorite tee blogs experienced the following readership numbers: Tcritic=19,000, hideyourarms=12,000, Cottonable=5,000, Taddict=3,000. Statistics were obtained using siteanalytics.compete.com.

2. Increase RSS Subscriptions. My RSS subscriptions numbers are paltry at just about 50 subscribers. Considering I’ve gained 50 subscribers since I first started blogging about tees in September, I am hopeful that I can reach at least 300 RSS subscribers by 2010. Help me out by adding my feed to your RSS reader!

3. Keep Up With Content. I’d like to think that the quality of my posts keep users coming back for more. Consistency is the key and I would like to average at minimum 28-30 posts per month. More content would be better, but, if I am able to post at least once a day then I’ll be happy!

4. Network and Build Strong Relationships. Within the last 4 months I have had the opportunity to work with some great indie brands. In 2009 I’d like to take things further and come up with some interesting promotions, contests, etc. to not only promote interactivity with my visitors but also highlight the awesome work of the indie community. If you are an indie brand and would like to work with me please feel free to contact me!

5. Guest Blog. I’d love to guest blog at some of my favorite tee blogs in InternetLAND! I’ll check off this goal if I can guest post on at least 3 out of these 5 tee sites: Tcritic, Taddict, hideyourarms, Cottonable, T-Roundup. To be considered among the best, you need to work with the best – and these guys, in my opinion, are the best in this niche. 

That’s it guys, we’ll see how well I did with these goals on the eve of 2009. Until then, enjoy the fireworks tonight and have an excellent and awesome new year!