January 1st is almost like hitting RESET and refreshing – we all have a sense of starting over, making changes and making a start on new beginnings. For me, these feelings have been more focused towards my blog this year, I realised last year that planning my personal life just didn’t work because you just don’t know what’s going to happen in the world, but with my blog, at least I have some grasp over what happens with it.
So this year I’ve decided to set 5 goals for myself. They’re only as simple as I want them to be though, because even though yes it would be nice to hand in my notice at work because I’m making so much cash from my blog or yes it would be lovely to go travelling for 6 months on a sponsored vaycay, but these are the things that I feel are a little bit too ambitious (and aren’t going to happen any time soon), so when I sat down to think about where I want to take things in 2019, I went through all of 2018 and pin-pointed what I disliked the most about my blog, what I wanted to work on the most, and finally: what I wanted to start doing.
1. Blog more when I feel like it
Here’s the thing with blogging: when you start making some cash out of it or start getting sent products in the post, you start to feel like you have to get posts up and in 2018 this definitely became the case for me – my schedule became a lot harder to stick to as well when my outside of blogging job increased in hours, I realised that my time was very limited and my content started to do a bit of a downwards motion because of it. Also, it’s very difficult to blog during the Winter for me. The sun going down earlier and the longer grey-looming days make it extremely difficult for me to get good shots and my whole motivation goes down significantly.
So, to combat this I’ve decided this year I will be doing a lot more blogging when I feel like it. My blog will have a schedule still, so you can expect to see regular posts still, but I won’t be limiting my writing to one day a week for a couple of hours, and if I want to miss a day and post a few days later than normal, then I won’t feel too guilty about it either. I’d like the fun of blogging to stay and I don’t like the fact that it’s been a bit stressful towards the end 2018 – it showed me that I don’t need to take things so seriously!
2. Quality over Quantity
One thing that blogmas showed me was that I’m definitely more a quality over quantity kinda gal. I found that the more I was posting in December the more the quality of the posts was slipping and the less motivated I felt to load up my host and get a blog post written. I found it truly frustrating and was really looking forward to my Christmas break, which also fell when blogmas ended, just to take a week off from blogging.
The ways I want to improve my quality are simple:
- Take longer taking photographs & experiment more
- Take longer writing posts and use the notes section in my laptop to draft ideas more
- If an idea isn’t working, scrap it instead of trying to save it
- Engage more with my audience to see what you want to read
3. Take a break when I go on holiday
Every time I went away last year, I packed my laptop with me and spent time blogging whilst I was away. I was also trying to get travel content up whilst travelling and I realised that it just didn’t work for me. My best ideas and my best content comes after the fact, and that by writing whilst I was away, it was kind of taking the fun out of my holiday too.
So, when I go on holiday so is my blog: I won’t write a single word whilst out of the UK and I definitely won’t feel guilty for it! Plus, there’s always something refreshing about taking annual leave at work, so what’s wrong with taking a bit of annual leave with my blog too?
4. Spend a lot less time procrastinating and just don’t force anything
I’m probably the worlds biggest day dreamer and I definitely have a tendency to procrastinate, especially when I know a deadline is coming up. So on the days I know I have a post due to go up 2 days from now my brain sort of freezes and I go into the uhhh what’s been on my mind lately? and then I wanna watch YouTube videos mode. Where basically: I get nothing done.
Last year I sort of told myself that if I was going to write anything, it had to be meaningful, and out came a lot of poorly executed think pieces and rushed posts. To begin with it was working because I had a lot on my mind that I wanted to get off my mind, and it worked because for a while I had a lot to talk about. When the thoughts ran dry, the posts got shorter and more repetitive. It was a lot of trial and error for me to hit a sweet spot, and I realised that think pieces don’t have to come out all of the time and my blog posts don’t need to be meaningful every time.
5. Stop worrying about my content vs her content
Something that sucks the fun dry out of blogging is obsessing over other peoples blogs. I mean, I love reading blogs and being someones fan-girl but when I started comparing mine to others, and when I started realising that I wasn’t including as many images or I was writing too much with too little to show for in-between each paragraph, blogging got boring fast. I live a pretty boring life, I like to blog and take photos but I also like to lounge around after work most of the time and get a grand total of: nothing done.
I also don’t have the time nor the annual leave to attend a million events that aren’t on weekends, so a lot of my blogging content is only done on the weekends or when I have a holiday. So, this year I’m going to stop comparing my content to everyone else’s, these women have built themselves an empire and have gotten to where they are over the course of a few years, it didn’t happen over night! It took me three years to start getting consistent sponsorships, and this year when I opened my emails on January 2nd I couldn’t believe that I already had collaboration offers since my first didn’t happen until around March last year. I was so pleased with myself.
Growth happens all of the time and it’s pointless to compare when I’m actually doing pretty alright.