Memoirs on a project that took too long (way too long)

So, I have finally completed my upgrade of my Diablo 3 Calculator site. I am very happy with how the final product turned out I feel like I greatly improved the tool. On the outset I thought that since this site was my most successful project to date that it would be worth it to polish the whole thing into a even better, bigger, badder tool. However, I am afraid that from a economical perspective and in regards to my ultimate goals, I think I made some pretty significant errors. I would like to get down on paper what I feel I did wrong so I can hopefully be more efficient in the future.

First: I spent too much time on the project. Way too much. It took me like 5 months or so. I probably put in a good 300 – 400 hours or so to polish everything up. Since I am still new to the world of web entrepreneurship I think this is the equivalent of putting all my eggs in one basket. I could have done 3 or 4 smaller projects and maybe could have come up with something that was even more successful, but instead, about half a year later I have pretty much the same in terms of income producing web property as I did before.

Second: I don’t know if I an going to see any extra return on my time invested. The site was already reasonably successful in the first place and ranking well. While I know I greatly improved the tool, I don’t know if from an economic standpoint I will make any more money from the site than before. So far I have seen little change in the adsense income coming in and it seems unlikely that will change. I probably should have never started the project upgrade in the first place. I think before starting future projects (or improving existing ones), I should take the time to try to judge if the potential increase in income can justify the time I will invest in the project.

Third: My Market/Niche I feel was a really poor choice. Diablo 3 has been a fairly unpopular game. I doubt it will maintain a very large player base for very long. I knew all this before I started the upgrade. I want to build things that will be viable for years to come. I think it would be far better for me to focus on markets niches that will hopefully be profitable for decades or more.

Fourth: The keywords for this site are low paying. This directly translates to lower income potential. I should probably spend some time before starting a project to research out if it is a higher paying market and how much competition there is in the market. Hopefully in the end this will translate into more profitable sites with higher paying keywords.

Fifth: I think a very useful skill to develop is the ability to correctly estimate how long a project is going to take. So far I have been incredibly poor at trying to gauge the time involved in completing stuff. Instead, up till now I just get a idea and then just throw myself at it assuming that it wont take long. If I could get a more accurate reading on how long something will take, I could better judge if it might be worth my time to try.

Sixth: I am always trying to learn new stuff. Pretty much everything I have done up till now I have been trying a new technology, different language, or some framework or something. While this is for sure a good thing as I have greatly expanded my skill set, I think it might be about time to start trying to cash in on what I already know rather than trying something new each time.

So, I guess ultimately what I am trying to say is I really need to start valuing my time more. I need to take the time to plan the whole thing out and try to see if the proposed endeavor might be worth my efforts. If I am ever going to get to $1000/month I need to more strategic with my time and not so willy-nilly.

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