Since I’ve now been blogging for 3 months or so and am just about in the swing of things (although I don’t know if I will ever get used to the levels of tired involved with doing this around a day job), I thought it was about time I considered what my aims are for the rest of the year – my blogging goals for 2017, if you will.
I didn’t want to focus on numbers, though. Obviously they can be helpful as a marker of progress sometimes, but – and it’s just a personal thing because I know some people find it very motivating – I find that when I do anything by numbers (pounds gained, distance run, calories eaten, words written), I am not kind to myself.
I don’t want to be unkind to Sophar So Good by focusing on numbers alone. It’s my baby after all, and I want to love it and develop it rather than resenting it for not hitting a given audience by a given time…they’d just be numbers I’d picked out of thin air anyway. Here are my current blogging goals – they’re not ‘Reach XXXX followers on Instagram’ or ‘Get XXXX page views in a month’ – but they’re still the result towards which my effort will be directed:
Get better at…well, just about everything really
I very much believe in the importance of quality where content is concerned, and my goal is to get better at absolutely every aspect of producing this blog; writing, photography, the tech side, you name it. I’m still finding my writing style at the moment – writing is something I’ve loved since being a child (comes with the territory when you’re a bookish kid I think) and it’s something I want more than anything to be excellent at.
I’m aiming to improve my own photography for product, travel and lifestyle shots, and get better at outfit photos with the boyf, which I think – I hope! – is already starting to happen. Seeing these photos on the screen was the first time I had reviewed a set of images afterwards and thought ‘these look a bit like real blogger photos’ – which doesn’t even mean anything but there we go. Obviously I still have a long long way to go, but from now, I want my fashion images to be as good as these as a minimum, and I’m building on my own photography behind the camera too.
Clearly on the one hand this is difficult to measure because how ‘good’ something is is very subjective, but on the other, I know for myself whether my output is of a certain quality. It doesn’t mean that every post has to be an exquisitely expressed article style thinkpiece; I actually think off the cuff streams of conciousness, simple product reviews and quick outfit posts are great, I just want to do them well. If I’m not proud of it, it’s not getting published.
Share the love
I’ve discussed before that it’s nice to be nice by making your support for other bloggers visible with comments/likes/follows etc, and this is something I want to do even more of throughout the rest of the year. I think it’s such an important part of blogging which I only realised when I actually started doing it myself, so I’m going to continue to make sure that I comment on other people’s blogs to tell them when I liked a post, plus get better at being involved on Twitter too. I’m fairly crap at Twitter – I never quite ‘got’ it, but I think I’m starting to now, so I want to use it to chat with some of very talented people doing this whole blogging thing.
I’m also making it a goal to meet more people in the blogosphere if the opportunity presents itself – I’ve been lucky to already make a lovely blogger friend Beth, and would love to meet more bloggers either locally or from different cities.
Continue to say no
Considering that I’ve been doing this three months, I’m surprised to have been contacted as much as I have by PRs and brands over the past two of those (I really wasn’t expecting to for a while). And this may seem like a strange goal, but: I am going to continue to turn down as many emails as I have to. Basically I suppose, my goal is not to be sucked into the idea that to be a ‘proper blogger’ you have to be working with brands to promote their products and just accept any old thing that comes along on the basis that I feel like I need to ‘catch up’. Don’t write my first sponsored post for 3 years? That’s cool, as long as I really do want to do it when the time comes. It’s something I’ve been set on from the outset, but Victoria from In the Frow touched on it in her piece on protecting your brand as a blogger which is a very good explanation of why you should choose what you accept carefully for anyone interested.
Don’t get hung up on the ‘rules’
I am awful for reading blogging tips and then panicking that I need to be doing this or that or accept that I’m a failure. The thing is though; there’s no one size fits all or ‘right’ way to blog and the variety of successful bloggers out there all doing their very own thing is the perfect example of this. If it’s your blog, it’s your rules, so though advice is generally given to help with growth, it doesn’t mean you have to take it if you disagree or just don’t want to. I want to enjoy my little blog, and fussing about the fact that I’m not sure about a niche or am posting on the ‘wrong day’ (I never post on a Monday usually so what if no one reads this?!) does not help me to do that. The divine Sophie Cliff wrote a post about blogging myths that aren’t necessarily true (read it here) which was fab, particularly with the parts about niche, social following, and schedule; all of which are things that I don’t have and have previously read that I MUST GET OR I AM RUBBISH.
I don’t think I’ve done too badly consistency wise so far – the longest I’ve ever not published for is a week. My goal for the rest of the year is to keep this up, which may seem like a cop out because it’s something I’m doing already, but I honestly find it so hard to maintain. I want to continue to post consistently, without committing to a certain number of posts per week on any given day but hopefully making a week the longest gap between posts that I have in 2017.
Stats: be always improving
I guess this is the most number-related one; but I’m not going to set anything specific. My goal for my stats is for them to improve month-on-month for the rest of the year, even if that is by the tiniest of margins. For example, if I were to get 30 more page views in August compared to July, that would be an improvement, so I’d have hit my goal. Mine are obviously fairly low anyway and although a lot of the time I can see a correlation between work put in and stats, it’s not always the case and when I’m disappointed with the number itself, I’d like to be able to think that I’m still heading upwards slowly.
Don’t beat myself up if the goalposts have to move
Blogging is my hobby. While I absolutely love it, and want nothing more than to work my little socks off on it, life happens and things get in the way. That 7 day gap between posts might become 9, or it might be 4 but I’ve worked myself to extreme tiredness to do that, which isn’t good either. My stats might fall. I might publish something that I read back a week later and realise is not very good. I absolutely suck at accepting what I basically see as ‘failure’, so my final goal is to stop being unkind to myself over what is meant to be fun, shift the goalposts if necessary, and just keep at it.
What are your blogging goals for the rest of the year?
Photos: Rob Poor