How can it be that
New Years is here? It freaks me out, honestly. A new year means new responsibilities and new opportunities and I'm ready to take them dead on. I'm writing out goals. I'm finishing up last year's resolutions and making new ones. I wanted to share some resolutions you can actually keep for your blog in 2016 as well as some I'll be working on myself.
Every year I like to pick a word to help me focus and realize my goals. This year's word?
In 2015, I took a few classes and courses that helped transform my business. I intend to continue to improve all aspects of my life by improving my education.
Up first? I'm taking a 25-week DSLR class. I feel good about using my camera, but not great. Since blogging is my job, I want to excel in my photography skills. Michael gave me a 25-week course for Christmas that starts January 25th. I can't wait!
Next? Organization. I intend to learn from the best and strive to be more minimal. Do I really need all this crap? No. I need to clean out my closets, organize my stuff, and purge things that I don't use.
I'm also putting my health in the forefront. I let it slip in 2015. I thought that it was okay to skip a workout when I was super “busy.” I'm over that frame of mind. I've learned that when I actually take breaks and make time for what's important, I do everything better, especially things that take top priority, like work.
I'm also taking a dance class. I haven't in years and it's one of my favorite hobbies. I'm ready to get back to it.
I'm also on the lookout for other classes and courses to help me further develop. Whether that's spiritually, mentally, physically, or involves my biggest passion — my blog.
Can you tell I'm serious about taking classes?
Here are 10 ideas for resolutions that bloggers can actually keep in 2016:
1. Write it down. If you have a blog post idea, write it down. This helps immensely. I keep a section in my phone dedicated to blog post ideas. It's also great on a rainy day. Need some ideas? Here are 101 Blog Post Ideas.
2. Leave time for yourself. I know a million things are vying for your attention. But don't forget to take time for yourself to relax or meditate.
3. Have a goal. Whatever you do, pinpoint a goal for yourself. This can change, of course, but when you have a goal in mind it's easier to see the finish line. What goal do you want for this post? How many Instagrams a week do you want to share? How many followers do you want to hit by April? Now, think about the time and effort it will take to do each and write this down. Visualizing this goal will help you actually achieve (and maybe even surpass) it.
4. Study up. I've said this above, but taking free or low-cost classes to improve your blog can change the game. It's so much easier when you have a leg up. By the way, have you signed up for my free class: Blog Smarter, Not Harder?
5. Focus on quality content. Ask yourself: would I share this information if I didn't write it? If the answer is no, move on or restructure the post.
6. Respond to comments. I know, it's hard, but responding to comments is so important. Also, check your commenting system. Do you have word verification turned off? Check by commenting on your own blog post. Try this tutorial if you're unsure.
7. Edit your photos. The number ONE way to make your blog look professional (or just not like a brand new, “hey look, I have no idea what I'm doing”) is to edit your photos correctly. Here's your complete guide to editing photos without Photoshop.
8. Keep track … of receipts, what posts do well, your follower stats, and so on. It's amazing to examine how far you've come, how you can improve, how you can scale back, and more, when you simply pay attention to the little things.
9. Try something new. Do something new on your blog. Test it out and see if it works. You might be surprised.
10. Invest in yourself. I used to avoid paying for anything for my blog. Then I invested in some tools to help manage my blog and my time. OH. It helped immensely.