As 2016 quickly comes to an end, many of us are looking toward 2017 wondering how we can improve ourselves and our blogs. You may have big goals for your blog in the new year, such as growing your readership, making a legitimate income, or increasing your credibility. But you likely have trouble coming up with specific resolutions that will help you achieve those goals. Here are 6 new years resolution ideas for bloggers that will help you focus.
1. Connect to Other Bloggers
You got into blogging thinking that it was a solitary activity. After all, you generally write by yourself and maintain your blog by yourself. However, many forget what a benefit the larger blogging community can be.
Finding a positive and loyal blogging community, especially in a specific niche, can be a challenge, but it's definitely worth it. Having a connection with other bloggers allows you to easily collaborate and support each other. Blogging is fun. It can be even more fun when you have a community of people behind you for encouragement, advice, and understanding.
If you're not already connected to a good blogging community, make it your new years resolution to find one and get involved on a daily or at least weekly basis.
2. Analyze The Past Year
Whether your blog has been active for 5 years or 3 months, you needn't go into the new year blindly. The best way to grow your blog is to look at what has been working for you in the past and expand on it. This is where analytics become especially handy.
Don't hold onto anything that you've done in the past that hasn't worked. You may love a certain social media site, or a certain kind of content, but if it's not growing your blog or adding value, it's just a waste of your time and you need to let it go.
3. Focus Your Social Media
We've all seen bloggers who seem to be on every social media site known to man. But being on every social media site possible is definitely not the way to go. Being on too many social networks does two things: dilutes your time and dilutes your effectiveness.
If you post your content on too many social media networks, you really don't have time use any of those social networks well. Pick only the social media sites you can reasonably engage with. I recommend no more than 3.
What social media sites should you focus on? Focus most on the sites that already get you results and that you feel most comfortable using. Check out your blog analytics to find out which sites are sending you the most traffic and the bounce rates of that traffic. Focus on the social networks that send you blog visitors that stick around for awhile.
Here are more tips for choosing which social media sites to focus on.
4. Keep up on Blog Maintenance
If you got into blogging because you love writing and sharing ideas, blog maintenance may be your least favorite activity. But ignoring blog maintenance can be a huge mistake for the health and growth of your blog.
Make it your new years resolution to make a blog maintenance routine and stick with it. Here are some ideas for what to add to your routine:
- Regular backups of your blog and blog content
- Get rid of broken links and updating affiliate links
- Site optimization
Check out this detailed blog maintenance checklist for more ideas.
5. Come Up With a Plan
Everything that we've discussed so far has been leading up to one thing: You need a plan! The best thing you can do for the growth and development of your blog is to have a clear plan that lays out everything you want to focus on and accomplish for the next year.
Your plan should include:
- Content strategy (including what your content will include and how often you plan to publish content)
- Research strategy (including where you will come up with blog content ideas and your keyword strategy)
- Personal growth strategy which deals with how you will improve your writing and other blogging skills
- Promotional strategy (including email marketing, social media, guest blogging, etc.)
- Blog maintenance strategy
You already have a jump start on your strategic plan by thinking about all of the things that we've discussed so far. The next step is to start writing it all down. How organized you make your plan is up to you.
Your plan can be in the form of a detailed word document or a series of short checklists and notes. Remember that your plan is for your utility. Don't worry as much about how it's organized as how you can make it work for you, both to keep you focused and to motivate you.
Here are more practical tips for creating a blog strategy that works.
6. Ask for Help
You started blogging because you are an independent and motivated self-starter. Being fiercely independent means that it can be hard to ask for help. I suggest setting a new years resolution to ask for more help when you need it.
It can be as simple as emailing a fellow blogger and asking them for advice on a particular blog strategy. It can be asking someone to share your content. Or it can be asking for a leg up by being allowed to post a guest article on a more prominent blog.
Ask for help if you realize there are certain blog strategies that you're not very good at. Develop a business plan and a financial plan, and hire someone to do the tasks that you need help with, such as blog maintenance or social media management.
Bring on the New Year!
Whether you are a full time or a part time blogger, and whatever your goals for you blog may be, a little planning goes a long way. Asking yourself these questions and thinking about what you would like to accomplish in the new year will help to focus your efforts, and hopefully make 2017 the best year yet for your blog.