2015: Year of Branding

Looking back on 2014, I am very proud with some of the accomplishments that I've achieved. It was easily my most productive year as a content creator. Not only did I successfully achieve some of my original goals, but the year also brought a few nice surprises.

Starting out in January, I rolled out a completely new look and overall focus for this website. It brought more attention to the promotional services that I offer, as well as recommended brands and services that I am affiliated with.

In mid-February I decided to take a risk and attempt to raise funds via Indiegogo for the late 2013 Mac Pro — something that could significantly impact my workflow and essentially future proof my content for years to come. Amazingly enough, I succeeded and nearly doubled my goal by raising over $6,000 in just a matter of days. And for that, I am incredibly thankful. It's something I will never forget.

Jumping ahead to May, Squarespace Summit made its official debut. Aiming to be one of the best unofficial Squarespace resources on the web, this new website required a ton of work. Featuring over 25 video tutorials and a handful of interviews with experienced Squarespace designers, Squarespace Summit has done quite well since its launch.

Late June saw something very interesting, and actually quite controversial at the same time. I made the decision to launch a Patreon campaign. Like my Indiegogo campaign, I succeeded. Creating and sharing content via Patreon has provided me the benefit of relying less on advertising revenue and more on contributions made by the community.

Come October, it was time to explore new territory and launch a website unlike anything I had created before. That website is Brand Rockt, a content-stop resource completely dedicated to helping others build and launch a successful brand. Without a doubt, this has been my most favorite project to work on in years — and it's just going to get better.

Now that 2015 is here, what do the next 12 months look like for me? Well, for one thing, I've decided to call it the "Year of Branding." I am going this route because... well, I love branding. It's something I have always been passionate about, so I think it's time to take things to the next level.

CES 2015 in Las Vegas

Last year's Vegas plans didn't quite pan out, as seen here. But that's okay! January has once again made its way around, so it's time to give this another shot.

I will indeed be attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, along with a few others by my side. Our plane departs on January 5th, so by the time you read this, I am likely packed and ready to go!

Because my Vegas trip will span across five days, this means that I will be recording a ton of content. To keep things organized, I plan to upload one video for each day. It's going to be a lot of work, but also very fun. This is my first time going to Vegas, so I intend to experience a variety of new things.

Personal Website Redesign

Redesigning this website seems like something I do every year, and for good reason. As time progresses and my content matures, as does my overall focus. With the debut of Brand Rockt and my recent interest in platforms like FameBit, I want to make my personal brand more apparent to those curious about what I do.

In order to achieve this, it's going to require yet another major redesign. I'm honestly not sure at how to go about this, but it is something I have been brainstorming for a little while. Of course, when the time comes to make the change, I will share details. Until then, this current design isn't so bad.

Heavy Focus on Brand Rockt

Something interesting happened last year. I realized writing about technology is something I simply don't care much about anymore. Videos are a lot of fun for me, but blogging? No, thank you. Why blog about something that will not matter a month later?

You cannot say the same about branding, however. From website building tutorials to social media marketing tactics, this sort of information doesn't become irrelevant. It sticks around for quite a while, which is why I am shifting pretty much all of my website building focus to Brand Rockt.

The days of tech blogging are over; at least for me. It's a saturated market that has been done before. Branding, in my opinion, is a lot more interesting — especially if it means I can help others in the process.

With all that said, expect some exciting changes with Brand Rockt. I plan to ramp up its Twitter account and become significantly more interactive. Another goal of mine is to release at least one new article every week, in an effort to keep the site alive and rich with content.

I do have something huge in mind that I've been meaning to explore, but I am still in the early planning stages. If all goes as planned, the final product could be quite resourceful.

An All-New Squarespace Summit

The introduction of Squarespace Summit was an exciting time for me. I have been a proud Squarespace customer for years, so the chance to express my passion for the platform by providing free video tutorials and resources is an amazing feeling.

Since its launch, Squarespace Summit has done quite well. I made a few sales here and there via my affiliate link, which helps pays for hosting costs. This is my way of generating revenue without the need for advertising.

But then something happened... Squarespace 7 was introduced and eventually all users of Squarespace 6 were forced to make the switch. And because Squarespace Summit's tutorials focus on Squarespace 6, this means that pretty much all of its content is suddenly irrelevant.

Not to worry, though! Like anything online, things change and you simply need to adapt. Sometime between now and March, I am making it a goal of mine to introduce an all-new Squarespace Summit. This new design will include video tutorials specifically made for use with Squarespace 7, as well as a more organized layout.

And Everything Else...

I'm all about content creation, which is why I have no intention of slowing down. From all the above to everything else that comes my way, I am driven to succeed in this world.

Like last year, you can still expect five videos every week, including the weekend vlog. I would also like to stream via Twitch more often, which seems to be requested on a regular basis. If I meet my milestone goal of $1,500 per month on Patreon, then you have my word. I will stream PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gameplay weekly.

A while ago I mentioned that I would like to begin transforming my bedroom into somewhat of a professional video recording studio. This is finally going to happen, and I can't wait. Expect details in the coming weeks.

And lastly, there is one more thing that I would like to try. I have recently taken a more serious interest in Flippa, an online marketplace used to buy and sell websites. At some point this year, I would like to purchase an established website (traffic, analytics and all) attempt to make it grow. Whether I succeed or fail, it could make for a great learning experience.

---

Like with anything I do, everything I mentioned above is just a small percentage of what could actually happen in 2015. Working online with content and branding, the Internet is constantly evolving. There's no real telling what kinds of opportunities I will discover along the way, and that is why I love what I do.

How is 2015 looking for you? Feel free to post your goals below. Let's make this next year unforgettable!

David Di Franco

Google me.