It’s hard to believe that my blog will be a year old on the 18th of January, 2020! It’s been a rollercoaster of a year, both personally and professionally. I wanted to write more and plan 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, share tips and ideas, and be insightful.
In September, I moved to a self-hosted site for many reasons, but I wanted more control over the blog’s features, plugins, and general look. Eventually, I want to monetise my blog, so the change was good 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 to keep up with what you know sometimes.
Running a blog isn’t easy.
Running a blog isn’t easy; I started planning my content via a simple Google Calendar in three-month chunks, considering national holidays, events, family events, trips, days out, holidays, and topics I generally wanted to write about. I aimed to post twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and when looking at my analytics, these were high-level traffic days for me. It began to feel like a huge burden; sometimes, finding the time between work, kids, home life, and living was hard. Like many bloggers and vloggers, we pressure ourselves to keep creating content to get views or shares.
If I’m honest, I wrote quite a bit of content, but it felt like I was writing it 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 improve my promotion, and I think 2020 will be the year I attempt to take it to the next level.
Now the critical bit Blog Stats for 2019.
- Visitors: 713
- Page Views: 1589
- Top Post: Are Mums 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, I was amazed that people even clicked! 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 Year’s Resolutions. In my early 30’s, I decided that they were made to be broken. I’m guilty of getting bored. It’s not on purpose, I resolve 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 writing content my niche wants 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 demanding. Something has to give, and it’s usually my blog.
Moving forward, I will attempt the following:
- 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, ideally when they need to be ready.
- Keep a checklist of what needs to be completed daily for the content to stay on track.
I have yet to find a content planner that works for me. I have ideas, spreadsheets, checklists, and plans all over the place, so one of my goals is to find a desk planner with daily prompts and to-do lists that stop me from giving up.
Work in small chunks
Even as a student, my time management used to run away with me. I’m organised and methodical at work, often starting with the oldest email first, the most straightforward 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 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 the following:
- 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 initially set family posts to Tuesdays and Life/career/other to Thursdays, 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 excellent planning comes excellent 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 it 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 that I wanted to grow with this. I wanted to take blogging seriously, which means investing 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 want 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, and I believe my long-term goals will be in the next five years.
I haven’t jumped right in, quit my job and attempted to run my blog full-time. I’m ready to take it slowly (not too slow), which will eventually be monetising my blog. That isn’t to say I haven’t started.
I am currently attempting the following:
- Affiliate Marketing: I’ve looked into a couple of options. I’m starting small with Amazon Affiliates. The system works by placing 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 it’s been live, I have made £0.
- Collaborate with brands: This whole subject makes me feel slightly overwhelmed. Many websites offer collaborations with brands and 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, I will unlikely get some of the larger opportunities. Essentially, brands should reward you with a financial award or a gift for a review or promotion of their products.
- Blog-Based Ads: I’m very new at this. I’m using Google Adsense, which places 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 incredibly new and something I will be looking more into next year.
In 2020, I want to grow my blog further and find a few more creative streams, maybe to make some money.
I am currently investigating the following:
- Selling Products/Services: I would be amazed if I created an ebook or an e-course worth a good read, and that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t consider it. There are other things I am currently investigating.
I will 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 not camera shy, but I’m still not sure this is 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 with about content or ideas. So 2020 is about making friends online or 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 passionate fans, and we shared stories, ideas, and 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. The engagement wasn’t heard of, and no one had even heard of an influencer or a social media creative. Now, everyone sees themselves as social media buff. 2020, I want to push my engagement, followers, links, likes, 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 and increase my engagement by at least 30%.
There you have it! 2020 is 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, many 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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