I recently posted about the book, 365 Blog Topic Ideas. Following that post, I typed up all the prompts (all 365 of them) onto a word document to make it easier for me to see them in a consecutive list rather than flipping through all the pages of the book. That, and when I get an idea, I can easily search terms like “obsession”, “favourite”, “purse” and so on, to see if any of the 365 prompts fit with my idea. Of course, many of the prompts provide inspiration on their own but I like to live on a “two birds, one stone” kind of path. I want to complete as many of the prompts in the book, and if I can do so with posts I come up with in other ways, I feel doubly productive.
ANYWAY, the first prompt that stuck out for me was #94: Share your goals for your blog.
Even though we’re now all the way through January and starting into February, I feel like that is a good place to start. It will be like my “New Years Resolutions: Blog Edition”. Throughout the process of learning about blogging, I have grown a lot in the past year but I know that there are a lot more things I want to improve on for 2016.
MY 2016 GOALS FOR EHDREEAHNAH.COM
- Take better pictures. I am guilty of “half-assing” the photography aspect of my blog. I apologize for the term, but it’s the best way to describe it. I have a pretty nice camera. I was in journalism class. I have read multiple photography books. I know how to take good pictures, I am just often too lazy to do the work required for it. My number one blog goal for this year is to be more intentional with pictures: from planning them out, setting them up, editing, and posting. What happens a lot of the time is I will have a post written and I just want to get it out there. So, I quickly take a picture with my phone, post it onto the draft through the WordPress app, publish the post, and call it a day. As someone who is marketing a blog based on aesthetic qualities and creativity, having pretty pictures is pretty important.
- Improve categories. One of the biggest differences between the Blogger and WordPress post layouts is WordPress’ addition of categories. When I moved my blog from Blogger over to WordPress, the process of figuring out tags, categories, pages, and menus was overwhelming so I essentially did the minimum and separated my posts by the four categories that I wanted to focus on. However, “lifestyle” is so vague that I presently have 36 (37, including this post) posts in the lifestyle category with only 6 in beauty and fashion. While this is a lifestyle blog, I think that dividing everything up into subcategories will help make the blog easier to navigate.
- Post more often. This one is pretty straight forward. I want to get into a posting schedule if possible, or at least post a certain number of times a week.
- Improve bio/ about section. I am really bad at talking about myself. This translates into some pretty weak description passages on my social media, especially in my little sidebar bio and my about page on this blog. Both are things I want to tweak and improve this year.
- Better header. I am not 100% sold on the header I made. I feel like it’s a good start but not exactly what I’m going for. Hopefully inspiration will strike!
- Branding. Some advice I got for my blog appearance was that it was too plain and not memorable. Hopefully a new header will change that but, as a whole, branding and “what I represent” is something I need to work on.
- Legit contact page: Right now my only contact information is my social media links in the sidebar. I want to instate a more thorough and professional ‘contact me’ page with an e-mail and maybe a little form to fill out. I’m thinking about combining this with the about page.
- Go through old posts and tag/ edit/ optimize. This kind of links with #2. When I moved from Blogger to WordPress my original tags on my previous posts changed into categories which weren’t what they would be most functional as, so a lot of my posts before October are untagged. As well as improving the categories, I need to improve the posts without changing their “original integrity” as I feel that’s kind of like cheating. I want to go back and make sure posts are easy to find and have the right fonts and just look nice in general.
- Grow audience. As much as I love writing for myself, there’s something special about knowing that people are reading what I am putting out there. I haven’t really promoted my blog on my other social media networks and I plan to do so and reach as many readers as I can!
- Connect! This might sound similar to #9, but I felt it deserved it’s own point. That, and I couldn’t leave my list at just nine points. I know, how annoying. As wonderful as it would be to grow my blog audience and to have more readers, I really feel that the importance falls with connecting with those individuals. Right now I am pretty much just posting for myself, but my goal is to post content that people ask for and want to see. Also, having ongoing conversations and seeing people recurrently posting comments and contacting me is important as I would be creating those bonds with my audience. And that’s what this is about, right?
So those are my blog goals for 2016! We will see where the year takes us but hopefully this December I can say I achieved all ten of those things!
Is having a blog something you’re starting this year? If you already have one, what are your 2016 goals for it? I’d love to hear from you! As always, thanks so much for reading!