January 1

Excel TV 2016 Review


Howdy everybody.  Happy New Year.  It’s noon, so I’m awake now.

2016 was quite the transition year for Excel TV.  Seems like a good time to take stock of where we are at and where we are heading.  Give our readers an opportunity to help mold our direction going forward.

2016 Review

Goals from Dec 31, 2015 email

  • Youtube
    • Goal- “We will continue creating videos at the same rate we are today.  Likely to total over 450 videos by the end of 2016.”
    • Result- We significantly slowed down video production in the second half of 2016, ending with 410 videos.  Here is our channel
    • Comments- We use Google Hangouts on Air for our show.  In the second half of 2016, Google announced that it would end support for Hangouts on Air.  We took this time to pause for the remainder of the year and reassess our video delivery in 2017.
  • Newsletter
    • Goal- “This will be our biggest focus in 2016.  Improving the quality and timeliness our our email correspondence.  I expect the number of analysts who receive our email updates to grown from 1,000 today to over 6,000 by the end of 2016.  Ending the year at a rate of 1,000 a month.  I expect our emails will also be more timely.”
    • Result- We ended the year with 2,700 analysts receiving our newsletter updates
    • Comments- We missed the number here.  No doubt about that.  Some of the steps that we took include…
  • Website
    • Goal- “For the newsletter list to grow to that size, the website will have to be restructured to allow for ease of search by search engines like Google.  Additionally, we will have to move from being a “hobby blogger” site, to a “professional blogger” site.  Meaning that we will release posts 3 or more times a week.  visitors will grow from 30k to 225k in 2016.  Visits from 40k to 300k. Page Views from 60k to 350k.”
    • Result- Mixed result on this one.  In short, we doubled year over year.  This is short of what I wanted, but respectable growth for a blog that was a labor of love in 2016.  This (2016) was second full year of the website’s existence.
      • We consistently released 1-3 blog posts a week until November 2016 (more on that later).
      • Visitors increased from 30k to 60k – roughly doubling year over year
      • Visits increased from 40k to 80k – another double
      • Page Views increased from 60k to 130k – messed around and got a triple double 🙂
  • Support
    • Goal- “In 2015, we added support to allow for the growth that we expect in 2016.  We now have 3 writers and a virtual assistant.  Our support staff are in the US, the Philippines, India, and Qatar.  If you want to write for Excel TV, just get a ahold of me… There is a “Contact Us” popup at the bottom of every webpage.”
    • Result- Guess there wasn’t a real goal here.  We continue to keep the same international staff.  The truth is that our virtual assistant is working more on preparing our online training materials and that we are continuing to look for more writers.  If you are an Excel Blogger/writer looking for an audience, hit me up at Rick @ Excel [dot] tv
  • New Shows
    • Goal- “Excel TV desires to be a network of shows.  To that end, the second show will be hosted by Oz du Soleil and will launch in December 2016.  The show is “Excel in the Wild”.  If you would like to be part of the Excel TV network, please reach out to me.”
    • Result- Excel In the Wild kicked off in 2016.
    • Comment- We are continuing to evaluate what our free video content will look like as we move forward.  We all have different strengths.  Things that make your eyes light up when you talk.  For me, that thing is building a platform.  Not necessarily a blog, a video show, a free giveaway, etc..  But a PLATFORM.  What get me excited is knowing that I am building something that is larger than me, and that people find valuable.  As such, we are finding our way a bit, as we evolve.  The Hangout/Show was the entirety of our platform in 2015.  I would say that it was thousands of hours and 10s of thousands of dollars.  Labor of love type stuff.  That’s not sustainable.  We will dive into that more in the next blog post as we discuss 2017 direction.

Other 2016 Stuff

Not everything can be tied to a specific goal.  With any small enterprise, much of your progress is taking advantage of opportunities as they are presented.  Having the presence of mind of altering direction when it makes sense.  Here are some other major happenings from 2016 that may impact the way we serve the analyst community in the future.

  • Excel TV Media Group LLC is born
    • Through the end of the second quarter of 2016, Excel TV was owned by Tagrilla LLC, a parent company of mine that owned Small Business Champion Bundle, RickGrantham.com and Excel TV.  In short, I was funding Excel TV out of my pocket (writers, virtual assistants, everything).  As the Excel TV brand grew in 2016, I was entering into contractual agreements to administer online training for various companies.  So it made sense to break the company out as its own legal entity.  Excel TV Media Group LLC was born mid-year as a partnership between me and Excel MVP Jordan Goldmeier.
      • Rick Grantham (Me) – Founder and CEO
        • Responsible for building the platform
          • strategic direction, marketing, promotion, legal, finance, website, video editing, content management, management of virtual assistants and writers.  In short, I am responsible for building the type of platform that Excel MVPs and bloggers will want to place their products and services and that the Excel analyst wants to visit.
      • Jordan Goldmeier (Him)- Founder and COO
        • Responsible for building the Excel community
          • affiliate program, training engagement manager, conferences, public speaking, etc.  In short, Jordan is responsible for building Excel TV as a community of analysts.
  • Shopping Cart Opened
    • In 2016, Excel TV offered it’s first product… an eBook written by Szilvia Juhasz Excel Power User’s Kit Volume 1The eBook is the culmination of many of the power-tips that she consistently reviews in her in-person training in Los Angeles.
  • First Online Training Product Developed
    • Jordan developed the first of what is to be several online training offerings from Excel.  Excel Dashboard Pro is complete.  The recording and editing is done.  All the downloads and labs are finished.  We are just preparing for the launch at this point, which is scheduled for January 2017.
  • First Community Survey
    • In 2016 we launched our first community survey.  View the results here. We learned that our audience is not the typical Excel Website audience.  That Excel TV visitors tend to be intermediate to advanced users and that they are looking for products and content around 4 broad areas.
      • Data Cleanup
      • Automation
      • Visualization & Dashboards
      • Excel Power Tools
    • What this means for the reader, is that you will start to see that our training, products, and content begins to evolve into these 4 major categories as we enter 2017.
  • Updated our logo/branding
    • This was probably overdue.  But it was time to call in a professional to help with our logo and all of our artwork.  So we updated the logo, which in turn changed all our business cards, letterhead, templates, etc.  In short, things look “PRO” now.
Old Logo
New Logo

So… That’s it.  All in all, 2016 was a very busy year.  Our major social media accounts mostly doubled in size,  Our website audience doubled.  We created a new legal entity and began product development.

Stay tuned to the next blog post for our direction in 2017.

Bloggers LOVE Comments

Do you have things in mind that you would like to see Excel TV tackle in 2017?  A direction that you would like to see us head in so that we can serve you, the Analyst Community, better?  Anything in particular that you liked that we did this year, or anything you would like to see us tweak?  Hit the comments section below.  Cause BLOGGERS LOVE COMMENTS.

Rick Grantham
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