Want to take your blogging endeavours more seriously this year? The start of the year is a natural time to re-evaluate where you are with your blog, and to plan for a more successful year than the year before. What constitutes blog success will vary from blogger to blogger. Want to increase the number of blog posts you do? Significantly increase views to your blog? Start earning money from your blog? Make your blog look smarter and more appealing? Whether you are a hobby blogger that wants to improve the performance of your blog or you want to become a pro blogger, success (in my eyes) usually always comes when you’ve planned for it.
But don’t get freaked out if you’re not the most organised creature. Some simple changes can really make a difference in how your blog performs. The following tips are all things that have helped me stay focused on Willow Lane and making it as good a blog as I can.
ADOPT A ROUTINE
Your blog will thank you if you give it the time it requires. If you’re wondering why your audience isn’t growing or you’ve lost your blogging mojo ask yourself are you putting enough hours into your blog? Having structure around my blogging habits helps me blog consistently. Establishing a routine will help you focus. For me, I blog 3/4 evenings a week, from between 1-4 hours at a time. I’m not always actively writing posts – I’m promoting and engaging on social media, writing and replying to emails, maintaining the back-end of my blog, updating my diary etc.
It’s always good to set yourself targets and goals for the months and year ahead. But they’ll only work if they are specific and you set yourself tasks to achieve them. It’s no good to say you want to increase views to your blog in 2016. Be more specific. Would you like to increase views by 20%? And how will you go about achieving this? Will you spend more time promoting each blog post on your various social feeds? Will you pair up with other bloggers throughout the year to try and drive more traffic to eachothers blogs? Will you undertake paid promotion?
CREATE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Having your own editorial calendar will mean you’ll never be at a loose end again when it comes to writing posts. An editorial calendar will definitely keep you on track and motivated. And it doesn’t need to be a complex set-up. I use Google Sheets to devise my editorial calendar. Mine runs January to December and the aim for me is to have a blog post idea for each of my main lifestyle topics every month. This helps ensure consistency in my blog features. In a separate tab I chart key events in each month – from public holidays (Christmas, New Year etc), sporting events (Wimbledon, Olympics etc), popular cultural events (the Oscars, the Man Booker Prize etc), to birthdays and meaningful dates like my blog anniversary.
I may not do a blog post around each and every event but it gets me thinking about topical posts which may be of interest to me and my readers. For example, making a note of Pancake Tuesday means I’ll think about doing a recipe post in the weeks before the actual day so I can capitalise on the popular food day and hopefully drive lots of traffic to my site when it counts.
USE A DIARY
And actually use it! Don’t just buy a pretty diary and not actually write in it. Find a diary that suits your needs. I love my black leather filofax diary. I use it to record events, appointments, meetings and a whole host of other things. I have a little note area to jot down blog musings and inspiration.
I also use my phone calendar a lot to set up reminders for myself during the day, but I like actually writing things down in a diary as I’m more likely to remember it that way. Plus carrying a diary around makes me feel important! Refer to your diary every day and at the end of the week use your diary to plan activities for the next week so you stay on top of blog posts and important goings-on. You’ll soon feel super organised.