Blogging: Looking to 2020 and Beyond

It’s hard to believe that on the 18th of January 2020, my blog will be a year old! It’s been a rollercoaster of a year both personally and professionally. I wanted to write so much more and plan so much more content but blogging is a bit of a mind field. However, I do feel more prepared for the next year and beyond. This post is Blogging: Looking to 2020 and beyond.

My 1st Year

1st year of blog

I started this blog journey with the mindset that I wanted to share a bit of my life with the world but also share tips, ideas and be a little insightful along the way.

In September I moved to a self-hosted site, there were many reasons but I wanted more control over the features, plugins and general look of the blog. Eventually, I would like to be able to monetize my blog, so the change was a good one and worth the money. If you are interested, I currently self-host with GoDaddy. The simple reason being I can pay monthly, most other hosts I looked into required large yearly outlays, that I can’t afford. I’ve also used GoDaddy before, it was easy just keeping with what you know sometimes.

Running a blog isn’t easy

Running a blog isn’t easy, I started off planning my content via a simple Google Calendar in three-month chunks, taking into consideration national holidays, events, family events, trips, days out, holidays and topics that I generally wanted to write about. My aim was to post twice a week, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and when looking at my analytics, these were high-level traffic days for me. It began to feel like this huge burden, sometimes it was just hard to find the time between work, kids, home life and generally living. Like so many bloggers and vloggers, we do pressure ourselves to keep creating content to get the views or the shares.

Blog Writing
Running a blog isn’t easy

If I’m honest I wrote quite a bit of content but it felt like I was just writing it just to post, there was no passion behind it.

I am trying not to suck all the enjoyment out of writing, engaging and creating content for my blog. I am happy with my growth over the last few months, I know where I need to do better with my promoting and I think 2020 will be the year when I attempt to take it to the next level.

Blog Stats

Now the important bit Blog Stats for 2019.

To most bloggers, my stats are on the low side. To me, I was amazed that people even click! I wanted to start slowly, so with that in mind, I have been thinking about my goals for 2020.


Short term goals

Short Term Goals
Short Term Blog Goals

I’m not one for making New Years Resolutions, in fact back in my early 30’s I can to the decision that they were made to broken. I’m actually guilty of getting bored. It’s not on purpose, I made the resolution with the aim to follow it through but by March if not earlier, I find myself making excuses.

This year it’s all about growth, getting readers to keep returning and write content that my niche want to read.

Plan Ahead

I am guilty of not planning ahead. With all the will in the world, I plan. I am a planner, often planning holidays, trips and days out in advance but juggling a part-time job, a family, social media accounts and everything in between is tough. Something has to give and it’s usually my blog.

Moving forward I will attempt:

  • Use my content calendar, google calendar or planner to plan content for up to three months with an emphasis on the next month.
  • Write a list of possible blog posts, what is required for them and ideally when they would need to be ready.
  • Keep a checklist of what needs to be completed each day in order for the content to stay on track.

I have yet to find a content planner that works for me. I have ideas, spreadsheets, checklists, plans all over the place so one of my goals is to find a desk planner, one with daily prompts, to-do lists that stop me from just giving up.

Work in small chunks

Even as a student my time management used to run away with me. At work, I’m organised and methodical and work often staring with the oldest email first, easiest email first or urgency. With blogging, I find it all appears urgent.

I read a blog post recently which suggested setting a time limit. I’m guilty of sitting on my laptop for hours at a time without a break and by the end, I’ve often noticed in my writing that it’s all over the place.

Moving forward I will attempt:

  • Write a list of daily tasks/goals
  • Write for a set amount of time for example 30 minutes before moving on to the next task, even if the task isn’t complete.
  • I often spend 5 – 10 minutes writing key points or ideas for blog posts. I find this helps me get writing faster.

Consistency

I’ve struggled with my consistency this year, it’s not deliberate. I originally set family posts to Tuesday’s and Life/career/other to Thursday’s but I found LIFE got in the way.

Social media I attempted:

  1. Motivational Monday
  2. Take it easy Tuesday
  3. Wednesday Wisdom
  4. Throwback Thursday
  5. Friday Funday

At times it became quite overwhelming and I just switched off. My aim next year is with great planning comes great content and engagement.

Creative Space

Creative Desk Space
Creative Desk Space

I use a cross between the sofa (never a great idea), the dining table and my bedroom for blog planning. We have a desk, but it’s cluttered with an Apple Mac and I need to spread out a lot.

One of my goals for 2020, is to reorganise a little and find a creative space that feels tidy and my own. Everything just feels so part-time and borrowed. 2020 will see a few changes.

Blog Investment

Writing my first blog post made me realise this was something I wanted to grow with. I wanted to take blogging seriously and that means having to invest in a little here and there.

When looking at blog investment, I budget £50 a month for my blog. That includes a website, self-hosting, email address, design software such as Canva, Grammarly and any other promotional.

I’m wanting to invest in myself in 2020, through courses, training and general reading.


Long Term Goals (1-5 years)

I’ve thought much further than the end of my first year. Although I have considered my long term Blog goals. I consider my long term goals to be the next five years essentially.

Making Money

I haven’t jumped right in, quit my job and attempted to run my blog full time. I’m very much ready to take it slowly (not too slow) and that will eventually be monetizing my blog. That isn’t to say I’ve haven’t started.

I am currently attempting:

  1. Affiliate Marketing: I’ve looked into a couple of options. I’m starting small with Amazon Affiliates. The way the system works is, you place a link to an affiliate product or website if someone purchases that product through the link, I receive a percentage of the sale at NO cost to the purchaser. It’s early days, in the three months its been live, I have made £0.
  2. Collaborate with brands: This whole subject makes me feel slightly overwhelmed. So many websites offering collaborations with brands, DM’s via Twitter and Instagram offering me money off if I review their product. So far I have been reluctant but I have joined Zine, Bloggers Required, Mumsnet and a few others. I have learnt that although it says followers aren’t important, I feel that unless I hit 3k followers on Instagram it is unlikely I will get some of the larger opportunities. Essentially, brands should reward you with a financial award or a gift in return for a review or promotion of their products.
  3. Blog Based Ads: I’m very new at this. I’m using Google Adsense who place ads on my blog and if anyone clicks I get a financial reward. I think I’ve made 10p so far this quarter but it’s extremely new and something I will be looking more into next year.

In 2020, I am looking to further grow my blog and find a few more creative streams maybe in an attempt to make a bit of money.

I am currently investigating:

  1. Selling Products/Services: I would be really surprised if I created an ebook or an e-course that was worth a good read. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t consider it. There are other things I am currently investigating.

Blog Growth

I am going to leave you with a few things I am working on to increase my blog traffic.

  1. Newsletter – I did a rough version in the middle of this year but realised that it wasn’t going the way I wanted.
  2. Blog Collaborations – I’m looking to work with other bloggers to make some content, maybe some guest post swapping etc.
  3. Vlogs – I once studied media at college, so I am by no means camera shy but I’m still not sure this is really me. I attempted it in the summer but putting myself out THERE for the world to judge, criticise and probably tell me I’m just not that good, isn’t exactly great for my confidence but it’s something that might happen…so what this space.
  4. Attend Blog Events – This is something that will happen in 2020, I live in a small town in Hampshire but it’s very isolating not having any blogger friends to chat to about content or even ideas. So 2020 is all about making some friends either online or by attending local and national blog events.
  5. Social Media – Back in 2004, I was a huge Harry Potter fan, I met and became friends with five or six equally as fanatical fans and we shared stories, ideas, images and spoke about our love using forums. I even created one myself based on the creative writing aspect. That was before facebook, twitter and Instagram were even a thing. It was all MySpace and MSN Messenger. Engagement wasn’t heard of and no one had even heard of an influencer or a social media creative. Now, everyone sees themselves as a social media buff. 2020, I want to push my engagement, followers, links, likes, link clicks and impressions to the next level. I talk more about this in my next post but 2020, I hope the triple my social media following an increase my engagement by at least 30%.

Conclusion

There you have it! 2020, the year of big things for this blog! Are you a blogger? Do you fancy yourself as a new blogger or vlogger? Do you believe that blogging is dying and being replaced? Please let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading

Gemma x

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3 Comments

  1. Your blog stats aren’t low at all. Just proof that your blog is growing and your content is lovely. So will continue to grow. You are right though running a blog isn’t easy! But we should never give up on what we are doing. You should be so proud. Here’s to smashing it in 2020. Happy new year lovely.

    Love, AlexaJade
    http://AlexaJade.co.uk

    1. Thank you so much Alexa. Happy new year to you. I think people underestimate the time, effort and motivation it takes to run a blog or vlog. I have friends who just think, I write a post and upload but as you know it’s the promotion, the engagement, the sharing that also needs to be considered. Wishing you an amazing 2020.

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