I love this time of year. It’s one of the few times where the world around me quiets down enough that I actually have time to sit and think. Reflect. It’s also a time to look forward and plan for the future.
I am a list maker so a lot of my reflection and planning ends up in list form—perfect for posting next to my desk for inspiration. I am glad I’ve kept it handy, because even though it’s been a crazy-wonderful year, I feel like I have really worked on the goals I set for myself. Of course I didn’t accomplish every single one perfectly, but as Hemingway says, “…it’s the journey that matters, in the end.”
I’ve been working on setting some goals for 2013 and I thought I would share some of my blog goals for this year. One thing you will notice is I don’t have number-based goals. I didn’t last year either. Part of it is because I am not a numbers girl, but the other part of it? When I started blogging, when I really loved it, it was because I was blogging for connections. I wasn’t blogging for a certain number of followers or page views, just the opportunity to make connections.
What types of goals do you make?
Keep Goals Visible Daily
You’re a creative. You’re visual. You learn through images. Make sure you can see what you want, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there every single day. I post my goals near my workspace, but post yours in the bathroom, in the car, in the kitchen…wherever you spend your time
Update Social Media Profiles
It’s easy to join and forget about your online social media profiles, especially when you typically login via mobile device and don’t spend too much time there. Spend some time making sure you have the perfect blurb in place…your “elevator pitch” in about 150 characters.
Meet New (Bloggers) Friends
It’s so easy to get caught up in the blah, blah, blah of blogging. Reach out and surround yourself with those who’ve just started blogging. Their enthusiasm can spark a creative streak. Their questions can remind you to review and tighten up your own work. Their admiration and support will make you feel like a million bucks.
Pick a Blog Star to Follow
I am not going to define what makes a blog star, but I am going to recommend you pick one blogger you love to follow. Study her work. Understand what it is you admire (her genuine style, the photography on her site, her ability to connect). Follow your blog star closely. Study her posts (on her blog and social media sites) and emulate her style, but remember to never, never copy her work.
Get to Know Your Analytics Inside and Out
You don’t need to focus on the numbers—it can be such a creative drain. Instead concentrate on the information behind the numbers. Get to know your audience better. Figure out where your traffic comes from (RSS, Pinterest, Facebook) and become the master of that source. Check out which days typically have the heaviest traffic and save your best posts for those days. Check out which content has been the most popular and figure out another take on it. Learn which content is the least popular and discontinue those types of posts.
Set a Blog Schedule and Stick to It
The most important thing you can do when establishing your blog is to be consistent. Post once a week, post twice a week, post every day. Just make sure it’s the same pretty much every week. It even helps if you post at the same time. Be sure to coordinate the days/times with your analytics results. Beyond just setting a day-to-day posting schedule, prepare an editorial calendar.
Create an Idea File and a Bank of Posts
I have a blog notebook (Now. Finally.) It’s a blank notebook in which I can write any ideas that come to mind. I have started carrying it around with me everywhere. It’s a great way to store ideas for future posts. In addition, I am working on a bank of somewhat timeless posts that I could put up in a pinch (you know, the day I feel cranky, the kids are sick, etc, etc.).
I’ve really only touched on each goal, but in the coming weeks I will be sharing full posts on each and what I am doing to reach them.
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