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2020 year end review – a ‘pandemic’ and ‘lockdown’ defined year

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2020 year end review – a ‘pandemic’ and ‘lockdown’ defined year

Back in 2018, I started a year end review post series, where I look back on how I did the year that is nearly over, what I achieved, the struggles I encountered, and all major events that happened through the year. Previous year in review posts: 2018 | 2019.

As I start writing this year-end review, the latest one in the line of these year-end rituals, I’m filled with a huge sense of gratitude. Unfortunately, in 2020 so many people around the world found themselves in a health or an economic crisis, getting sick, losing their jobs or businesses, or even their loved ones or lives. I want to start this year end review grounded in reality, to never forget how lucky I am to be here at all, together with my loved ones.

Fortunately, me and my family managed to keep our health in a good shape, however, many of the economic challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought, were also felt by me and my business. This is something most of other business owners from around the world will also tell you when asked about their opinion on 2020. Because of the global economy’s high level of interconnectivity, most of the businesses that were not directly affected by the pandemic, also felt a substantial revenue loss.

However, there were also some businesses that boomed in 2020, because of our ‘new normal’ of social distancing, lockdowns and moving of many companies into the online landscape. Some examples are: online retailing, entertainment and teaching or workspace solutions like video conferencing and remote employee management.

To get to the point of this post, you might already know that my main source of revenue is coming from creating WordPress plugins, and selling them on CodeCanyon.


Here are my achievements for 2020, in a nutshell:

  • I expanded my plugin portfolio, I created 10 new plugins and published them on CodeCanyon
  • Grew my YouTube channel, passed the 1000 subscriber mark and started monetizing it
  • Grew the traffic of this site, adding more articles to the blog section. Also, I added much more content to the member only section of this site, giving away more insights that will help other start online businesses
  • Created my first API, serving as a content source for the most popular plugin I created so far: Newsomatic
  • Created a new niche website to be monetized using AdSense and affiliate marketing
  • Updated many of my existing plugins, keeping them functional and adding to them new features
  • Continued to provide support for all my plugins, making sure all my customers will be happy about their purchase

So let’s see a detailed overview of what happened in 2020:

1. CodeRevolution on CodeCanyon

In 2020, I released 10 new WordPress plugins (vs 14 from last year), growing my total portfolio to 113 plugins. Here are some details about them: some more autoblogging plugins (1, 2, 3), a page load speed plugin, some RSS feed creators and editors (1, 2), a plugin that will backup YouTube videos for you, a plugin that will set up WordPress and also some pandemic awareness plugins (1, 2). If you want to know more about how I manage to maintain this large amount of plugins on CodeCanyon all by myself, you should read also this post: How I managed to publish my 111th WordPress plugin on CodeCanyon?

I also updated many of my older plugins, making them compatible with the latest versions of WordPress. Some of the most notable updates that I made are:

Regarding number of plugin sales, this year, I generated almost 2k sales for all my plugins, which is slightly up from 1.8k from last year. As always, thank you very much for being a part of the CodeRevolution family, and for using my plugins in your projects!

My goal for 2021 is to create some more new plugins (I have some interesting ideas up my sleeve), that will be useful and help people who are using them. Also, I continue to keep all my existing plugins up to date and maintained.

2. Plugin Support

2020 was easier on plugin support than 2019. Because of this, I managed to continue offering all by myself full support for all my plugins (even though I had planned for this year to hire some help for support, I delayed this a bit more, seeing that support is getting a easier to handle).

So, this years numbers in my mail inbox is the following: 15.372 emails in my inbox (down from 24.751 from last year).  To these emails, I replied 5.647 times (down from 8.543 from last year) – note that this number is not counting the replies that I left on CodeCanyon item comments, which were also a couple thousand, through out the entire year.

As I already mentioned in the last year review for 2019, plugin support can be an exhausting job, but it is the key for the 5 star reviews that my plugins receive. I am strongly adhering to this affirmation and I will continue to provide full support for all my plugins, making sure my customers will succeed while using the products that I created.

My goal for 2021 in terms of support, is to continue providing the best support I can to my customers, and in case I will feel that this task is too overwhelming for me to handle it alone, also to hire somebody to get some help.

3. Site Stats (coderevolution.ro)

In 2020, this site’s traffic had it’s ups and downs, but grew a lot when compared with the stats of 2019, and I am overall happy with the numbers.

At the time of writing of this post, 79,032 different people visited the site in 2020 (up from 23,789 in 2019). There were 175,310 page views (up from 60,479 in 2019) and an average of 1.75 page views per visit (down from 2 in 2019). From the total number of users, only around 1500 where returning visitors. Organic traffic also grew nicely, I am currently approaching almost 100 visitors per day coming directly from Google and other search engines. I will continue to publish new articles to my blog, targeting more keywords and continuing to increase my site’s organic traffic.

My primary goal for 2021 will be to pass 250,000 page views on the site in a single year. In 2019, my page view target was 100,000, which fortunately I managed to surpass. I am very grateful for this and I thank you for reading this blog!

4. Blog Posting Stats

In 2020, I published 99 new posts on my blog (down from 180 in 2019 – wow, I written a lot on my blog last year). Also, the member only section of my site grew with 40 articles (down from 49 from last year). I hope that this section of the site will continue to provide insights of how I operate my business and tell you about the tips and tricks I use to keep my online business operational and profitable.

I think that a decent goal for 2021 would be to keep these numbers up, and to continue publishing new content to my site, to keep visitors and also search engines happy. 🙂

5. YouTube Channel Videos

In 2020, YouTube growth was pretty crazy. This year alone, I published on my YouTube channel a total number of 338 new videos (as part of my publish a video each day challenge). This number is up, from 224 videos published in 2019.

I passed the 1000 subscriber mark in mid January 2020, and since then, I am also monetizing the channel with ads (made almost 1800$ only from YouTube ads, through the entire year).

My main goal for 2020 was to publish 1 video each day, which I did successfully. As a result, my channel gained 1600 subscribers (up from 560 in 2019). I am happy with how my YouTube channel is continuing to grow, it is not just a secondary income source, but it is also driving new customers to my plugins, because daily, more and more new viewers find me using my tutorial videos.

For 2020, my goal is to reach 5000 subscribers. The goal for 2019 was a bit far fetched, I was thinking of growing my channel to 3500 subscribers in 2020, but I managed to grow only to 2500, but still, I am extremely happy with the results. I am totally enjoying creating new videos, publishing them daily, at 7 PM GMT. 🙂

6. Niche Sites

In 2020 I created a single new niche site for myself.

  • https://theonlinenews.in/ (created with Youtubomatic). Currently it is monetized using affiliate marketing and ads leading to my own plugins. I got this domain from a friend of mine from India, and I had to build a website on top of it. I will look into alternative methods to start monetizing it and also growing it’s traffic.

Also, I continue to maintain my older sites, created back in 2019:

AdSense continues to run well on these autoblogging sites, also affiliate marketing works well on them.

As a goal for 2021, I want to keep them growing steadily and if I will have time and find some new niche domains emerge, also to create some new ones.

7. Online Courses

In 2020, even though I had in my mind a target to create a new online course, I did not have time for it (I did not even start it). This is the only section of this year end review where I feel that I did not meet my goal for 2020. Although, I have some interesting course ideas in mind, like showing how to set up an autoblog from scratch and how to monetize it and many more.

For 2021, my goal is to create at least one new online course. I hope that this time I will manage to reach this goal.

8. Other stuff from 2020

In 2020 I also started making some creative videos for my YouTube channel, like:

I hope I will have time to create more similar videos also next year, because I feel that I unleash my creativity while doing these video projects and I really enjoy the process of creating them!

9. Summing Up the Goals for 2021

Usually, I try to avoid setting major year-long goals and instead, I prefer to focus on smaller, more short-term goals that I can more easily measure and achieve. So, 2020 should come with the following achievements:

  1. As always, the goal is to create some interesting new plugins and to maintain the current ones. Support must be kept as a 5 star service.
  2. Grow my websites and make them more visitor oriented, while keeping monetizing them.
  3. Continue growing my YouTube channel and providing useful videos each day.
  4. Create a new online course (this time I hope I will manage to achieve this goal).
  5. And just like last year: keep delivering a pleasant experience to all my past and future customers. 🙂

10. Thank you for reading the year end review for 2020!

I close up this post with a picture of me and my 4 year old daughter, Maya. She also grew a lot during 2020!

To wrap this post up, I really wish people from around the globe can stay strong and get over the issues we all encountered in 2020. Lets have a healthy and wealthy 2021!

As always, cheers to years past and those yet to come 🍻!

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About Me:

Szabi Kisded

Hey there, I'm Szabi. At 30 years old, I quit my IT job and started my own business and became a full time WordPress plugin developer, blogger and stay-at-home dad. Here I'm documenting my journey earning an online (semi)passive income. Read more

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