9 Goals for Bloggers in 2015

9 Goals for Bloggers in 2015

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1 | Add time to your day by unsubscribing from listservs.

As bloggers our email addresses get thrown around all over the place as we are often early adopters – new social media sites, apps,fellow blogger newsletters not to mention favorite stores and restaurants. Parse out what’s important, inspiring, and educational and unsubscribe from the rest. You’ll be amazed how efficient email will become. When you do actually need to buy something I guarantee that you’ll be able find a coupon code online.

2 | Add Dropbox to your workflow.

Sharing your own images and other files across platforms (cell, laptop, tablet) and with those that need it, such as sponsors and partnerships with customers. No more emailing images and documents to yourself.

3 | Less is more.

When it comes to posting, instagramming and tweeting, focus on sharing your best work and dismissing the rest. If you’re creative juices aren’t flowing, shelf your posting schedule in place of better content a few days later. Your readers and followers will appreciate it.

4 | Track every expense (and profit!).

Even if you’re not a full time blogger, every dime spent should be counted and submitted as a business expense at the end of the year. Bottom line, this is a tax break. On that note – track any profit made too!

5 | Strive for honest engagement.

There’s so much talk about the importance of commenting. This is the absolute best way of engaging with readers. If you aren’t already using Disqus then install it right away (where have you been?). When making and replying to post comments try your best to make them as genuine and thought-provoking as possible. Sure, a “Great idea! Thanks for sharing!” is appropriate at times, however, using the Disqus platform to create honest conversations will make the entire blogging experience far more enjoyable and productive (in terms of reader engagement) for everyone.

6 | Leverage Google Calendars to simplify your life.

Track everything from sponsorships, guest posts, to personal trips that might impact your blogging availability in your Google calendar. Download the app for easy reference across all platforms. Bonus points for color coding!

7 | Clean up/out old posts.

Formatting, grammar, or generally lake-luster, clean out and update all those posts from the past. If a post isn’t aiding in the raising the bar on the quality of your blog then kick it. For WordPress users, look for the handy little eraser icon, ‘clear formatting’, on the Post editor page to quickly clean up funky formatting.

8 | Learn the tools for being a better blogger.

Google analytics, photography, graphic design, skills in these area are at the foundation of nearly every blog. The better you understand how to use them the easier it will become. Case in point, I tinkered in Lightroom for weeks before finally taking a class. What was taking me hours now takes seconds thanks to a few simple shortcuts I learned. Not to mention, improving skills in these areas is resume-worthy. I highly recommend Skillshare and A Beautiful Mess courses.

9 | Move the conversation off the internet.

There’s a lot to be said about our online blogger-buddies. It’s crazy how well you can know someone without ever actually meeting them. Reach out and make plans to meet in… you know, real life. Nothing like a face-to-face convo to solidify a friendship. The personal connections made through blogging are a huge perk of this hobby/job, enjoy them!

  • The biggest one I have to do I think is to clean up/ clear out old posts. I recently looked back at all my posts from this year, and there are so many from the beginning of the year and last year that I really need to improve or get rid of. Lots of work, thats for sure!

    • same here! good luck with that, it’s such a mega task! I try chipping away at it when I’m watching tv but it can be so tedious.

  • Caitlin Travis

    I haven’t taken the time to make a resolution list devoted just to blogging, but now I know I need to. This is such a good list and I probably should do all of them in 2015, but if I can accomplish just one thing in the coming year I need to learn to be more on top of things. Not sure if my organizational skills or my priorities need to be fine tuned, but something has to happen for sure!

    • I hear ya – what is it that you feel like you got lost/behind on? Posting or just the whole blogging workflow? Sometimes when I feel like I’m really on it I’ll write 3 blog posts in one day then space out the posting.

      • Caitlin Travis

        I think it’s the life-in-Germany flow that needs to be figured out a little more concretely. Feeling directionless in one aspect of life has kind of spilled over into a lot of different things, blogging included. But for the next week I’m devoting lots of time, brain power and reflection to figuring it all out. That’s the plan at least, fingers crossed.
        And it’s probably so helpful and I would love to be able to have tons of posts stored up and scheduled. We’ll see if it ever happens.

        • Hmm, good luck with that one dear. I DEFINITELY know the ‘what the heck am I doing with my life’/life-in-germany confusion. Being this age can be very stressful with regards to feeling like you need to figure out your career/life plans because we’re not in college anymore. I promise everyone has gone or will go through how you’re feeling. Good luck, I promise it’ll become clear eventually. 🙂

          Shoot me an email if need an ear, k? 🙂 theoverseasescape@gmail.com

  • Dropbox is amazing. I move from room to room at my job and Dropbox has saved me a million times.

    • seriously! can you think of life pre-dropbox? Seems like a horrible world.

      (Perhaps that’s a little dramatic…)

      • I CAN’T. Actually, I do remember a fated day when I lost a paper on the university’s system and had to retype the whole thing. *single tear falls* Dropbox could have prevented that mess.

  • Oh I love this list! There is something to be said about unsubscribing from email lists. So important to maintain a clean inbox! And I’ll have to get better at dropbox this year. I haven’t uncovered all its potential yet!

    • Unsubscribing feels SO good. I swear I’ve unsubscribed from JCrew 10 times but they always come back… and then I purchase something again. Ha.

      As for dropbox, it’s like a shared drive with all your platforms so whenever you find yourself passing files/images between email that’s exactly where Dropbox saves the day. I use Dropbox a lot for images that I want to share on IG but captured on my camera.

      Good luck!

  • A goal for me in 2015 is taking advantage of skillshare and taking courses that will benefit me and my blogging, hello photoshop I am talking to you!

    • ha! yes ma’am – photoshop and I are frienemies. sometimes i love him (her?) sometimes I hate him. either way let me know if you need any help with it! 🙂

  • I think my main goal is in 2015 is just to enjoy blogging more! That’s not say that I don’t enjoy it right now, but I haven’t really been feeling it over the last couple of months, so I’ve been working on implementing a few changes to make the experience more fun for me again! 🙂 And yes, making real-life friends is probably the best thing about blogging! 🙂

    • i completely understand! not to mention, you’ve already got a ton on your plate – i can see how ‘this’ would be a bit hard to juggle. good luck my dear and i’m SO grateful that we’ve connected! 🙂

  • Brianna DePauw

    Great post, I really need to get better at a lot of these! Especially google calendars!

    • I’m sure there’s other great ways of staying organized but google calendars, like dropbox, just keep everything SO streamlined. I love it. (Okay, I’ll calm down now…) ha. 🙂

  • Thanks SO MUCH for this! My blog is super new, but I’m already loving it and always looking for ways to make it better. I wouldn’t say that I don’t really know what I’m doing…………actually, pretty much that’s exactly the case!

    Just downloaded DISQUS as per your suggestion! Baby steps!

    • Ha, well if there’s anything I can do to help at all then let me know! When you’re ready just shoot me a link and I’d be happy to give some pointers (if there’s anything that actually needs to be pointed out!). 🙂

      • Ah thank you so much! I would absolutely love that! I’ve been posting semi-regularly for the past few months. Its hard to balance blogging with a full-time job!

        My blog is http://www.sara-says.com !

        My first question is about something simple. The URL. Right now, Sara Says doesn’t automatically reflect that my blog is focused on travel. Do you think that’s a big deal? Althought it has a nice ring to it, I’ve been debating on whether or not to change it.

        But I would love for you to take a look at it and would appreciate any and all feedback! I would love to gain more readers!

  • Great advice. I think everyone can use some great advice every once in a while. I love blogging because I find it to be an all-around kind of hobby. You have to learn a lot! And I do get frustrated with some of the techy things and hope my husband gets less frustrating on finding solutions. I have been wanting to take classes on various topics, so I appreciate your recommendations! I’ve also thought about Lynda.com. Have you used them?

    As for meeting in real life. We’d love to hang out with a fellow Virginian! So just let us know when you are in Amsterdam 🙂

    • I agree, 1000% I have learned so much about writing, photography, social media, etc. etc. because of blogging. Honestly, at times I feel a little embarrassed to talk about blogging with non-bloggers because it might seem kind of silly from the outside, but it’s honestly a ton of fun and inspires me to improve on so many areas day after day.

      We don’t have plans at the moment to visit Amsterdam but if we do get up there I’ll be sure to reach out! Same goes for you guys and a visit to Heidelberg! 😀

      • Non-bloggers have no idea what really goes into it. And that’s okay. But I feel judged a little when I mention it. Yes, anyone can blog, but every blog is actually looked after and given the love it needs. I know mine is not perfect, but I do love it 🙂

        Of course we will let you know if we make it to Heidelberg! Happy New Year, Margo!

  • Wonderful advice! Last year I jumped on the less e-mail train. Have you tried Unroll.me? It condensed all my subscription mails into one mail a day and let me review all the millions of things I’d signed up to over the years. Made a world of difference. (Number 7 above is also spot on…I’ve been slogging away organising and getting ride of ancient posts for the last few days – left it too long!) Happy New Year!

    • Unroll is the best!!!

      • Oh cool, nope I’ve never heard of it. I’ll try it now! Thanks, gals!

        How about for each post we clean out we reward ourselves with something.. a cupcake, coffee, bloody mary? 😀

  • Great tips, Margo! I’ve been blogging not-so-seriously for about four years, and pretty seriously for the last year, and I STILL feel like I have SO much to learn. I love your suggestion about getting out from behind the computer: I love meeting new people! Also, I really, really, really need to sit down and weed out my old/ irrelevant/ badly written posts–I just get so attached to them! 🙂

    • Oh boy, old posts and I aren’t very good friends. I love the content on some of them but this switch from blogger to wordpress did some crazy funky formatting to most of them. Fiddling around in HTML is such a drag isn’t it?

      If you’re every in Heidelberg count on me for a coffee date! 😀

      • I’m hoping to head to Germany this year–I don’t know exactly which parts yet, but if Heidelberg makes the final list, I’d love to meet up! 🙂

        And I’m totally inspired by your blogger-to-wordpress DIY move! I’ve been fiddling with the idea for MONTHS now, and I just can’t seem to gather the courage. On a scale on 1 (laying on a beach) to 10 (getting multiple teeth pulled), how painful was it? And did you use a guide of some sort to go through the process, or were the steps pretty intuitive?

        • Yeah, I’d probably say it was a 6. It really wasn’t so bad. I just followed a couple of random online guides and was delighted (really) with how smoothly everything went. My biggest headache is actually Disqus comments not migrating.

  • I’ve loved getting to know you this year xoxoxo

    • Not more than I have! Your energy and enthusiasm for life/europe/jcrew is absolutely infectious. xoxo

  • Mary Lyndall

    This is perfect. I had not thought of many of these thank you. I will be striving to achieve these goals this year!

    http://sweetheartsofthesouth.blogspot.com

    • good luck my dear, glad to help a little with this big, crazy blogosphere! 😀

  • Sheesh! I’m scared to look at my old posts… Oh the horror!

  • Love this!

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