2016: Year of Focus

Is it just me, or are the years becoming shorter? 2015 left as quickly as it arrived, it seems. But you know what? This past year was a great one for me, and it’s always nice to look back on what I’ve accomplished — as well as some things that I would still like to explore at some point in the coming months.

January, as usual, started with a major redesign of this very website. I introduced a heavier emphasis on my passion for branding, which has worked quite well in my favor. The overall design of my site also became more streamlined, making it easier for visitors to look around and get an idea of what I do for a living.

Needless to say, I am very happy with the progression of my personal website throughout 2015. And actually, with that said, it won’t see that many changes for the new year — which is when I typically rethink its focus. I’ll talk about that more in a bit.

Fast-forwarding to March, I rolled out a fresh look for Squarespace Summit. Version 2.0 introduced a whole slew of new video tutorials, all of which were re-recorded solely for the purpose of Squarespace 7 compatibility. Visitors could also request a Squarespace website of their own, which was a new addition to the site.

While the idea of Squarespace Summit never really took off, it’s definitely something I want to revisit for another project of mine. But hey, at least my Udemy course seems to be doing quite well. 2,800+ enrolled students isn’t bad.

Oh, and Brand Rockt? Yeah, it’s not exactly a primary focus of mine, at the moment. However, it’s important to note that the website is not dead — well, at least the idea of it. My plans for 2016 actually have a lot to do with both Brand Rockt and Squarespace Summit. I’ll go into more detail as the year progresses.

And finally, before I focus on what’s coming for the new year, let’s talk about Patreon for a bit. What can I say? My campaign has been doing extremely well. I am so glad I decided to go the route of Patreon. It has dramatically changed my outlook on content creation and the support from my community.

If you are ever curious about the performance of my Patreon campaign, check out my monthly Patreon Update series. I publish one on the 15th of every month. If you haven't seen it yet, December’s update can be found here.

So, 2016… What can you expect to see from me? Well, first of all, I have decided to dub it “The Year of Focus” — and for good reason. I have so many ideas that I would like to see happen; some bigger than others. Let’s talk about them.

Teaching What I’ve Learned

Since starting my YouTube channel in 2006, I have learned so much about what it takes to make a name for yourself and how to turn it into a paying career. Let me tell you, it’s not easy. It can actually be very frustrating. However, with the right kind of guidance, succeeding online can be easier.

Sometime in 2016, I want to take what I have learned over the years and turn it all into a project that can help others — an educational website, if you will. This new website is still a ways off, as I haven’t even started it yet. I want to do this right, so it will still be a while.

But what about Brand Rockt and Squarespace Summit? Well, they’re not entirely going anywhere. I’ve put a lot of work and time into those two websites. I would hate to see it all go to waste. That’s all I will say for now.

I know, I’m being quite vague. Isn’t it annoying? Seriously though, stay tuned for additional information as it becomes apparent.

Major Changes to My Setup

It has only been a few months since I’ve made my big office transition, but I am already looking ahead. With the large amount of space that I have gained, I want to take better advantage of my surroundings. Nothing is final yet, but here we go.

My primary setup will be consolidated from three Quad HD monitors to a single 4K display. This will open up space for higher quality speakers, as well as a somewhat permanent fixture for my iPad Pro. I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to go all in with Apple’s latest tablet.

Switching to a single display will also allow me to better focus on what I am doing, as I tend to become very distracted throughout my day. And come on, we’re talking 4K here. It’s about time I make the jump to a larger, more modern display.

Now you’re probably wondering, what will happen to my three ASUS displays? Let me make this clear: I love these displays. They are the best that I have ever owned, which is why they will not be going to waste. Here is what I am thinking…

Two of my ASUS displays will be going on the new gaming setup that I am planning to put together in the coming weeks. Each display will be dedicated to its own gaming console — a PlayStation 4 and an Xbox One.

With my recent interest in YouTube Gaming and Twitch, I am serious about making this a regular thing. This is especially true since I am no longer required to use a capture card, as both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have streaming built in. And yes, Di Franco Gaming will be making a return on YouTube. Be sure to subscribe!

I hope to begin the transformation as early as mid-January. Of course, I will keep everyone updated via my Geek Update series and the usual office tour videos that you seem to enjoy.

Continue to Work with Brands

It’s no secret that I have a serious passion for brands, especially when I am lucky enough to work with them. 2015 brought along some nice partnership opportunities from a number of brands that I enjoy, including HP with my HP Sprout review, and LG with my LG G4 and LG V10 reviews.

Going into 2016, I want to continue to build relationships with brands that interest me the most. Whether this is through product review opportunities or paid sponsorships, branding is important to me. The more I can get my name out there, the better.

While we are on the topic, I would like to thank FameBit for introducing me to some great sponsorship opportunities last year. They have allowed me to discover some interesting products, like the Click & Grow and Ring. If you would like to learn more, click here to check out FameBit.

Improve My Creative Abilities and Outreach

With the recent addition of the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to my setup, I am looking to take a serious interest in using both devices to improve my creativity. I have always considered myself to be the creative type. After all, I am ‘thecreativeone’ on YouTube. But I want to do so much more.

Whether it’s learning how to draw or improving my photo editing techniques, I am excited to put the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to use. I’m not looking to become the next Picasso, but I certainly want to see what kinds of opportunities are out there — especially in the form of tutorial apps.

And in terms of outreach? Well, to put simply, I am looking to bring additional clients onboard for my creative services. From web design to affiliate marketing, I am always looking to take on more work. This will be conducted via my recently revamped ‘Website Design Request’ form.

And Everything Else…

Being productive is something I take a lot of pride in, which is why I have no intention of slowing down. Between making YouTube videos, improving my Patreon campaign, designing websites, working with affiliate marketing, and managing social media, it’s safe to say that I have plenty to keep me busy.

Whatever 2016 brings, I will be ready for it. Remember what I said a while back: Do at least one productive thing every day.

Happy New Year, everyone! Make it count.

David Di Franco

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