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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 minefield. However, I do feel more prepared for the next year and beyond. This post is Blogging: Looking to 2020 and beyond.
My 1st Year Blogging
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 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 a large yearly outlay 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 I generally wanted to write about. I aimed 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 hard to find the time between work, kids, home life and generally living. Like so many bloggers and vloggers, we pressure ourselves to keep creating content to get the views or the shares.
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 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.
Now the important bit Blog Stats for 2019.
- Visitors: 713
- Page Views: 1589
- Top Post: Are Mum’s Being Forced to Work Minimum Wage Jobs
- Top Referral: Social = 44.4%
- Top Social Source: Facebook
- Followers: 33
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
I’m not one for making New Years Resolutions. In fact, back in my early 30’s, I decided that they were made to broken. I’m actually guilty of getting bored. It’s not on purpose, I make the resolution 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.
I am guilty of not planning. 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, emphasising the next month.
- Write a list of possible blog posts required for them and ideally when they need to be ready.
- Keep a checklist of what needs to be completed each day 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.
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:
- Motivational Monday
- Take it easy, Tuesday
- Wednesday Wisdom
- Throwback Thursday
- 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.
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 feels so part-time and borrowed. 2020 will see a few changes.
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 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. However, I have considered my long term Blog goals. I consider my long term goals to be the next five years essentially.
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 haven’t started.
I am currently attempting:
- 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.
- Collaborate with brands: This whole subject makes me feel slightly overwhelmed. Many websites offer 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.
- 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:
- Selling Products/Services: I would be amazed if I created an ebook or an e-course worth a good read. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t consider it. There are other things I am currently investigating.
I am going to leave you with a few things I am working on to increase my blog traffic.
- Newsletter – I did a rough version in the middle of this year but realised that it wasn’t going the way I wanted.
- Blog Collaborations – I’m looking to work with other bloggers to make some content, maybe some guest post swapping etc.
- 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.
- Attend Blog Events – This will happen in 2020, I live in a small town in Hampshire, but it’s very isolating not to have 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.
- 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 in 2020, I hope the triple my social media following an increase my engagement by at least 30%.
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.
**2021 Update – With the onset of a global pandemic that would eventually become known as covid-19, alot of my blog goals for 2020 never came to be. So 2021 is the year of blog changes. You can check out my blog goals for 2021 if you would like.
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