While I’m not a huge resolutions fan, the New Year is a nice time to sit down and think about the year a head and what you may want it to be like. I had a lot of time over my Christmas vacation to catch up on the blog and it made me think, What do I want my blog to be like for 2015?
As bloggers, we put a lot of time and effort into our blogs. We basically all willingly have a part-time to full-time side job that always demands our attention, whether we want it to or not, and usually pays very little if anything at all.
We all deserve a little balance in that, and I think most of us would like it if our blogs were less about stress and more about whatever we want it to be about.
Every blogger will have different goals or ideas in mind depending on their situation, but here are 5 “resolutions” that can apply to every blogger.
1. Say what you mean to say.
No, I am not trying to quote John Mayer here, although I do like that song. Yes, the internet is a scary place to be honest. Maybe being direct isn’t really your thing. But do you ever feel like you’re just not being honest?
I feel kind of stifled a lot on the blog. I try to be honest, but fear saying too much or revealing my emotions too much. I also never want to seem negative. Maybe this is just how I am in real life too? Either way, I just want to be honest this year. I have a little girl on the way and I know motherhood will probably throw me for a loop, but I don’t want to hide that part of my life just because it may not be easy to write about.
While the perfectionist in me loves to write happy little 5 bulleted posts (like this one!) and make it seem like I have it all together (I don’t!), the real me longs to be true to myself and say what I actually mean to say. I am happier when I do and my readers typically respond to the very honest posts over other ones.
Why it makes you happier: We all started blogs to have an outlet of some kind, right? If you can’t even say what you mean on your own blog, there’s a problem. Being honest gives you the sense of relief that you have gotten those feelings out, and you’re sure to feel much better after that!
2. Clean up your social media.
If you’ve been blogging any amount of time enough to get into social media for your blog, chances are, social media is a big time suck for you. It’s great to grow your blog via social media and make new connections, but the more I use social media, the more I find that some things about it are not a good use of my time.
You can clean up your accounts however you’d like. I’m going to start with Twitter, where I follow way too many people whose blogs I don’t even read. I have no idea what their updates are about. It just fills my account with noise. A great tool to clean up Twitter is unfollowers.me.
I’m also going to match up my following on social media with blogs I read. Sometimes I realize I am not following a blogger on their Facebook page or Twitter, which means I’m less likely to engage with them elsewhere. I like it when the blogs I read are also readily available to engage on social media in front of me. It makes for better connections.
Why it makes you happier: Only following what adds value to your life is a great way to create more space for what you actually want. If anything annoys or offends you, remove it. You don’t have to follow everyone who follows you. You control your social media.
3. Read more.
If you’re a blogger, you’re a writer whether you consider yourself one or not. Writing is great, but is that all you do?
Reading more, whether that be blogs or books, always stimulates me to generate new ideas for my own writing. When I’m not reading much myself, my writing ideas are stale and hard to come by.
You are also a part of some blogging niche most likely, so being an active participant in that niche is all-around healthy for you as a writer and your blog’s growth.
My goal this year for blog development is to be better about reading other blogs. Last year, I got sidetracked from reading regularly because my work schedule didn’t allow as much time for it. I got out of the habit fast and my blog suffered because of it. I’m going to work on this by having a “daily reads” list of bookmarks (sorry, BlogLoving just doesn’t work for me) and set aside time at least 3 days a week to read blogs. I also want to use this time to find new blogs.
Why it makes you happier: Being connected to other bloggers in meaningful ways is one of the greatest joys of blogging. There are many benefits, but having bloggers you can reach out to when you really need to talk is awesome. Reading other blogs is also a great way to stimulate yourself for new ideas.
4. Quality, quality, quality.
Let this be your mantra. This does not necessarily mean “work harder.” It may mean you post less and focus more on the posts that really matter to you. You are putting information on the internet that hangs around for a while. Make sure it’s worth looking at a week, a month, a year from now.
Too many of my posts end up being “space fillers” just because I wanted to have a post for that day. I’m choosing to let go of this (just like I did last year), and focus on quality content over large quantities of content.
Why it makes you happier: When you look back on your blog and see high quality posts that still have lasting power for your blog later, you’ll be glad you took the time and put in the effort to create quality content to keep readers coming back. Your blog is your showcase!
5. Try something new.
There are so many options when it comes to blogging, and I bet you haven’t tried them all. Why not walk the path less traveled?
Some ideas are…
- join a weekly link up series or create your own
- take a photography class
- start writing posts in advance
- go to a blog conference
- meet up with a blogger in your area
- write about a topic you never have before
- monetize your blog with sponsored posts or ads
The new thing I want to try this year is actually learning how to use my blog’s Facebook Page. I have one but I have a low amount of followers and an even lower amount of engagement there, mostly because I just don’t use it much. It’s always been something that I’m too lazy to do, but I want to see if I can make some growth and connections there.
Why it makes you happier: Trying something new can take your blog in a totally different direction or create opportunities you never thought were a possibility. Trying something new is a surefire way to help you grow as a writer, creator, and blogger.
For all the bloggers out there, I hope you have a productive, happy, and balanced year of blogging for 2015!
Questions for You:
- Are you making any resolutions or goals for your blog this year?
- Do you have trouble saying what’s really on your mind?