5 Blogging Goals To Start A New Year
The last 365 days found me falling back in love with blogging in a big way. It’s become more than a hobby. It’s a creative outlet, a growing project that I’m proud of and something I’m always striving to improve. With that in mind, I thought I’d share 5 blogging goals I’ve penned to myself to start this fresh new year.
LIMIT WHAT YOU ABSORB
What I mean by this, is to not necessarily take on board every blogging tip, piece of advice or method of doing something. In 2016, I absorbed so much information through articles, blog posts, podcasts and videos. It was amazing and I learnt so much but it’s overwhelming. You cannot implement everything you learn. And not everything will be right for you.
Carve out time for researching, learning and discovering with longer breaks in between these phases. This allows ideas and information to marinate in my brain a little. When content that piques my interest arises, bookmark it for later. Don’t spend several mornings of the week delving into all that content at once. I want to spend the first few months of this year creating and writing and doing more. Instead of thinking of ideas and have them collect dust for later whilst I go off in pursuit of what else is new.
CREATE QUALITY AND CONSISTENT CONTENT
Last year, I trialed daily blogging and it was such a fun experience. Realistically, it’s not something I could maintain and I stick by that still. I don’t want my content to suffer nor be robbed of my down time for the cause. I spend most of my day at a desk for work anyway so I’m conscious of not allowing my blog to swallow all of my non-working time.
Over the last few months I’ve started posting less often but have really worked on having that content exactly how I want it. I’m planning for 2-3 posts a week (instead of 4-5) and allowing time to really hone the purpose of the content. This leads me into quality. Since moving to Squarespace I’ve found it easier to play with the aesthetic of my blog posts. Larger photos, the use of buttons and text alongside photos. I’m enjoying discovering the different blocks I can use to make my posts look more interesting and the content more readable.
Working from home meant that the line between work and blogging blurred ridiculously last year. Whilst the flexibility to blog when I had the inspiration was refreshing, it led to all sorts of hiccups with me working at 1am or missing out on an exercise session because I hadn’t done enough work so far that day.
To help me practice organisation for work, I built myself a blog content calendar and workflows in CoSchedule. This is was in December and so far, so good. The plan is to use it as a guide and reference for when I’m carving out blogging time. After my 14 day free trial I was honestly hooked. I will have an entire post on this process up in February (yes, that’s on the calendar) but if you’re curious, you can give CoSchedule a trial today.
- You can plan content as far in advance as you want.
- Create workflow templates to track where you’re at with creating a post (draft, photos, graphics etc.).
- Attach a social campaign to each blog post for sharing it on all social media platforms - this has been so helpful for me and I spend so much less time faffing around with scheduling content.
- If you’re on Wordpress, there’s a direct plugin to schedule posts straight onto your blog.
BE MORE CREATIVE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY
I reignited my love for photography in the second half of 2016. Before blogging, nature and landscape photography was my thing and honestly, after nearly 5 years of taking average photos of beauty products I was fed up of my camera. Taking photos for a blog post became my least favourite thing and I needed to find a way to re-inspire myself.
Instagram was an incredible source for this inspiration. I realised that there was no reason I couldn’t merge my favourite photography styles with the products I was taking photos of. I want to create photographs that may pique people’s interests because although they may be of a lipstick or face mask, they’re not sat in the usual white or marble background flat lay.
There are amazing bloggers out there who have mastered the craft of creating stunning flat lays. I tried to follow in that aesthetic but it didn’t work for me. I learnt that the photographs you love to look at aren’t necessarily the same as the ones you want to create.
I started to build on this in 2016 with the introduction of a tonne of petals and rosebuds gracing my photos. I want to continue in this direction of jazzing up my flat lay styles, using different textures and props and hopefully getting outside more. I also treated myself to a new lens that encourages me to play with composition and depth of field.
In some of my blog posts (like the top of this one), I’ve started using stock photos which are a major help when I’m pressed for time and help me experiment with what aesthetics I want to create. It has also inspired me to start building my own stock photography shop on this blog which should be available in the Spring.
INTERACTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
This one speaks for itself. When life and work got busy, I noticed that my social media feeds were just full of self-promotion and I wasn’t a fan of it. I wasn’t getting in touch with people as much as I’d liked and it felt isolating (even though I’d created that bubble myself).
These are short and sweet actionable steps so I’ve put them into a handy list.
- Join in Twitter chats again! I used to enjoy these and hosted a few in 2016. It’s also how I met some amazing bloggers last year too.
- Live tweet more in between scheduled posts and interact with others.
- Share more content that I love from others. I do this now but want to make the effort to add it in daily.
- Comment more on Instagram and reply to comments. With the new liking system it’s so easy to like and move on but I want to engage and have conversations.
- Actually participate more in the Facebook Groups that I’m in. I lurk a lot but there’s so much to learn and share on those platforms once the effort is made.
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