Wow! Another year has flown by and I am excited to take a moment to be thankful and reflect on the great things that have happened and what is in store for Wolf & Iron! If you want to see where we were around this time last year, check out this post.
I am so thankful for those who have joined with me in the great High Call of Manliness! This has been a year of wonderful growth and, in particular, networking with other men who are blazing a trail in pursuit of a manful life. I want to say a special ‘Thanks’ to my F3 brethren who have been a constant source of camaraderie and support, as well as challenging me in the gloom.
For all of those who have commented and shared articles, thanks so much! For those who have contributed, thanks as well!
What This Year Was Like
In year two I really wanted to focus on growth, but the kind of organic growth that maintains the integrity of Wolf & Iron. I am trying to find the line between being profitable and growth oriented and not ‘salesy’. I don’t want people to think that Wolf & Iron and all of this “manliness” business is just a clever way to sell shirts or books and whatnot. I am beginning to think that as long as the quality of content remains high and the mission stays on course, people will want to support it and the integrity of the message will not be marred.
I stayed busy this year! We nearly doubled the number of articles published compared to last year and grew like mad. Here’s a quick run down of the stats.
131 Articles Published
Compared to the 78 last year, that’s pretty darn good!
554 Facebook, 437 Twitter, and 247 Instagram followers
Around this time last year Wolf & Iron had about 185 followers and we were not even on Twitter or Instagram yet. The late start on the other social media networks was definitely a poor decision on my part. The growth has been really encouraging! Thanks again!
~400 Page views per day, 101,000+ Views
Last year I was getting ~60 views per day and had a total of 14,000 total views. My goal was 1000 views per day for this year. I knew that was a bit ambitious and you really have only so much control over that sort of thing, but I think the progress is pretty excellent! Also, we have several #1 articles on Google which is really great to see.
I have had the opportunity to write for a few sites I really admire this year. Manturity is the only one that has published at the moment but the others are in the queue. I don’t want to reveal who they are just yet, but there are some exciting relationships forming.
At the same time we have had a few guests post on Wolf & Iron this year! I love being inspired by the thoughts of other men.
Every year has its unique issues, and probably some ongoing ones as well. Really, this year was awesome but there are some challenges that remain.
Believe it or not, I do most of my writing during lunch as Wolf & Iron is not a full-time thing for me (yet). This means that many of the articles I would like to do really can’t be done during the day and usually get pushed off until some free weekend. How-to articles are a good example of that. I try to use my time as effectively as possible, which can be seen from the number and quality of content I produce, but it is still a constraint. I write this not to complain, but to encourage any else who may be pursuing their passion in their free time. Time-boxing can really push us to be more efficient which are excellent habits to develop, and will certainly help us when we are able to devote more time to our work down the road.
I don’t worry too much about Wolf & Iron’s profitability, in fact I am probably concerned with it less than I would like to be. But, alas this is another constraint in forward momentum. There are a number of projects that I would like to do with Wolf & Iron, but generally these things come at a price. This year I have begun monetizing the site a little. I’m sure I’ll figure out more ways to do this in the coming year.
What Manliness is in Store for Year Three?
I’m glad you asked. There are a number of things planned for year two that didn’t happen due to the challenges above. Hopefully some of these will get knocked out in the coming year.
A Book (For real)
I mentioned a book during our last Manniversary. That book was put on hold by the idea of another book, which at the time I thought would be easier to write. It was not easier and so I am switching back to working on the first one. Anyhow, a book of some kind will be released in the coming year.
I have several ideas, mostly around Movember, for some funny and cool videos. I don’t, however, have the time or expertise to make them happen on my own. I hope to find someone this year to work with and make them a reality.
I believe year over year Wolf & Iron is going to grow. I am going to start putting some serious effort behind the growth strategy without seeming overly pushy. I basically need to make it a focus and make marketing as much a part of what I do as writing.
I’ve learned quite a lot in the last year. I am reading more than ever and have honed my writing skills a great deal. I am also learning a good bit about myself; why it is I do Wolf & Iron and what I hope to achieve. I am learning that I need to depend on other people more than I have if I hope this thing to really take off. That’s is a challenge for me, but I am getting better all the time.
I appreciate all of you more than I can express. I know year 3 will provide some great opportunities to grow and get to know each other better!
Here’s How You Can Help
If you’ve read this far than you are definitely on board with what I’m about! The best way to help Wolf & Iron is by spreading the word. Share us on your Facebook, Twitter, and or Instagram, right now, and get other men to start honing their lives. The more men who know, the more men who will grow, and the more families and communities that will be the better for it!
Also, get a Wolf & Iron t-shirt, and declare your stance on manliness! http://teespring.com/wolfandiron Hurry, the campaign ends in a few days!