Written by: Catherine Harper of Walking With Cake
I’ve had a personal blog for years, but after taking a blogging class this past summer, I found a new passion and spent the rest of the year working to improve my writing and my blog. I’m really hoping to step my game up in 2013, so I’m setting some blogger resolutions for the new year. The holidays are always a time of personal reflection, and it’s also a great time to examine your blog and plan for the coming year. Here are a few tips to help with setting those blogging resolutions.
Set Realistic Goals
As a new blogger, I don’t expect to gain a large following overnight, but I can work to increase my readership by utilizing more aspects of social media and reaching out to other bloggers. I’m a loyal blog reader, so leaving regular comments helped me build relationships with fellow bloggers, and even led to a few guest posts. This year, I’ll find new blogs to read, and hopefully make new friends and contacts while broadening my horizons.
Recently, I moved from Blogger to WordPress, and I’m taking an online class and reading tutorials to help me better understand this new platform. For 2013, I’d like to improve my blog’s design, so I’m beginning to prepare for that now. My goals are fairly simple and straight forward, but by planning ahead, I know that I can reach them.
What Can You Accomplish?
I’m trained as a writer, but photography and blog design don’t come naturally to me. This year, I’m planning to improve my photography skills with classes and LOTS of practice. I’d also like to learn more about blog design, I’ve found several bloggers who offer design classes, and I’m planning to attend (in my pajamas!) when the time is right. Since those courses typically aren’t free, I’m saving a little here and there to cover the cost, too. It’s important to me to know the ins and outs of my blog, and I like to be in control of all aspects of it. Since I know this about myself, I’m actively working to learn as much as I can about the blogging world.
Your goals may be different than mine, but you can evaluate the things you hope to accomplish and work towards them in the new year.
While it’s great to have several resolutions in mind, you don’t want to try to complete them all at once. That only leads to burnout and will get you nowhere in the end. I can’t become an amazing photographer by the end of January, but I can work on my technique each week as I take pictures for my blog, and with practice, I should see my abilities increase. And I can’t hire myself out as a web designer, but with lots of practice and patience, I can learn basic coding and Photoshop skills that will improve my blog’s design. Hopefully by the summer, if not before, I should feel confident enough to change my blog’s appearance. It’s important to stay flexible, too, and give yourself a little wiggle room. Blogs seem to evolve naturally, and you don’t want to rush the process.
Hold Yourself Accountable
While you’re making these plans for the new year, take some time to share your thoughts with your readers. By putting your goals out there, they become real, and you can find strength and motivation from the encouragement of others who have been through similar experiences. For example, If you’re planning a platform move, give your readers fair warning and you’ll be rewarded with loyal followers who will move with you. If something doesn’t work out according to your plans, it’s okay to share that, too. Bloggers are only human, and sharing our failures with our readers strengthens relationships and shows that you are a real person, too.
The second half of this year was such a turning point for my blog, and I’m excited to see where 2013 takes me. I wish you a wonderful year full of inspiration, and I hope you find these tips useful!
Do you have any blogging resolutions for 2013?