Sticking to your blogging New Year's resolution
So you’ve created a blog as part of your New Year’s resolution, but like many, you’re struggling to fulfil the resolution ritual. To ensure your blog doesn’t fall into the pile of incomplete resolutions, and ensure you’re getting the most out of your new venture we’ve compiled a list of strategies to help you develop.
When setting up any new project, it’s important to have a vision and scope for what you’re wanting to achieve. It’s great to have dreams, but you also need to ensure you set out those goals and objectives based upon those. Lay down what you want to do with the blog regarding topics, what you’re hoping to get out of it and who your target audience is; then formulate S.M.A.R.T. goals. This refers to:
Specific – Be clear in what you are wanting to achieve, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
Measurable – Establish criteria for measuring the goal(s) set.
Attainable – When identifying the goals, make sure it’s one which you can develop the skills and attitude required, but also the capacity to reach.
Realistic – You need to be realistic, it can be high and realistic – something which you are both will and ability to make work.
Timely – Whilst long-term goals are excellent, ensure it’s grounded to a realistic time-frame but not too relaxed that there’s no sense of urgency.
With your S.M.A.R.T. goals defined you’re giving yourself accountability for the future of your blog, allowing you to make visible progress and kick your goals.
Set a clear content schedule for your blog from the get-go. Determine how much time you have available to you for new content and set a suitable schedule to ensure you can get the content up frequently. Aim for a post or two per week, and give yourself time to write your articles. If you need to set aside some holidays and weekends in advance of your article releases, to give you time to think about your content and structure.
Your writing style reflects who you are and who your audience will be. Think about your target audience to understand the post quality, length and language needed to appeal to your readers.
The design of your blog needs to reflect who you are, your content and your audience. Importantly slapping on the first WordPress theme you like may not suit the purpose of your blog, albeit that may be all it needs if that’s your style. Take a look around at blogs with similar content to yours, getting inspiration and a feel for what you want out of yours. Given the popularity of WordPress, there is no doubt you’ll be able to find a nice free or premium theme to suit your needs, but if nothing catches your eye you can always look at a freelance designer to give you that custom look.
It’s important to promote your blog from the very start to ensure you get your views up and your ideas heard. If you’re blogging about a popular topic, link to other blogs with similar or opposing views and aim to get a link back. Utilise social media to keep in touch with your readers, using Facebook and Twitter to send you the traffic you can maximise your visitor reach.
Give these points a bit of thought and aim to make the most out of your new blog adventure. The most important part of this process is to learn and have fun, so never lose sight of those. As you progress you’ll develop skills and knowledge which are highly transferable, giving you new discussion points in social experiences, improve your time management, better your writing skills and establish newfound project management skills to apply in the workplace.
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