The start of a new year is a great time to sit down and think about where you want to take your blog in the next year. Writing down your goals and revisiting them regularly is one of the best ways to grow and improve.
The key to achieving your goals is to make them specific. At the beginning of each month, sit down and look at where you are at with your goals. Choose a few to focus on during that month.
As I was working on setting my own goals for A Savory Feast, I came up with several areas that will help you think of specific goals to set for your blog.
Revamping & Improving your Blog
One of the best things you can do for your blog is make it visually appealing and easy to navigate. No matter where you are at with your blog, there is probably something you can do to make it even better this year.
- Get a redesign (my current favorite designer is Grace & Vine Studios).
- Have professional photos of yourself taken for your sidebar and about page.
- Create a gallery menu.
- Switch from Blogger to WordPress (I highly recommend BlueHost if you need hosting!).
- Create a Popular Posts page to show off your best work to new readers.
- Redo your About Me page.
Learning & Growth
When it comes to blogging, I’m always trying to learn something new! There is always something that I can work on, and the internet makes it easy to get the information I need.
- Attend a blog conference (I just bought my ticket for Influence!).
- Take a Skillshare class to learn more about photography, web design, or HTML.
- Choose a specific social media platform that you want to learn about and get better at using. For me, it’s learning how to best use the new Pinterest Smart Feed. The best way I’ve found to learn about this is by reading blog posts that I find through Pinterest or just searching Google.
- Order a few books about blogging and set a goal to read them throughout the year.
I have been so blessed and encouraged by my blogging community! I have friends that not only help me out with blog-specific questions, but who also are there for me with everyday stuff.
- Attend a blogger meetup.
- Find other bloggers in your area.
- Get business cards (I shared mine here, as well as some tips for handing them out!).
- Organize a collaboration or a giveaway with other bloggers.
I found that I am so much more productive when I am organized. This is especially true of blogging! It stresses me out to wait until the last minute to write a post. Planning ahead and being organized made a big difference in my stress level, but it also made my blog much more effective.
- Create an editorial calendar.
- Put together a blogging binder. It could include your editorial calendar, a list of your goals, a weekly or monthly to do list, a list of post ideas, sponsor information, etc.
- If you make money with your blog, do you have a way to track your income and expenses? I created an Excel spreadsheet to help me do this.
- Organize your social media. Use Hootsuite or another program to schedule your posts.
- Clean out your social media accounts by unfollowing people who aren’t following you back. You might set a goal to do this once a month or once a quarter.
When I started my blog, it was just a hobby. Eventually, I found out that I could make money doing something I love! Now I just have a part-time job so that I can spend more time growing my blog. Eventually I hope to turn it into a full-time career.
- Set up blog sponsorships (or improve your system if you already have sponsors).
- Find a new network to join. You can find a list of the sites I make money with here).
- Design a media kit and start pitching brands.
- Become an affiliate for a company you love. Choose a company that is in line with your blog’s niche.
- Write an e-book.
How to Stay on Track with your Goals
So you have some goals in mind for the new year. How do you stay on track and meet your goals? The first step is to write your goals down and keep them where you will see them regularly. I keep mine in my blogging binder.
Next, break them down into more manageable chunks. I mentioned earlier that it’s a good idea to sit down each month and choose a few goals to complete that month. There may be some goals that are bigger, and can be broken down further to make it easier to complete.
One such goal could be attending a blog conference. You could make it a goal in January to research and determine which conference you will attend. If it’s going to be a large expense, set a savings goal each month. The month before, make it a goal to prep your business cards and anything else you may need.
What are some of the goals you want to achieve in 2015?