I have been blogging for four whole years now. Unbelievable to think that I started my blog in January 2013 while I on my maternity leave with Alfie. Through this time I've worked hard at my blog using it as a place to vent, procrastinate, express my emotions and most of all document memories. At times it's hard to keep it going, I've thought about quitting in the past more so recently but I don't want to give my blog up as actually I love my little online diary, plus noone likes a quitter eh! My blog has also brought me many lovely opportunities and I've been fortunate enough to work with some really lovely companies which can make all the hard work that goes into blogging worth it. I've had lots of support and some amazing comments on many of my posts which helps with the motivation. I'm only small fry in a big ocean but it's nice to know that people read my ramblings.
Some people see blogging as a way to get freebies but it isn't simply a case of being sent something for free, far from it in fact. You have to test it out, photograph it, write about it, edit the post and promote the post. This can be very, very time consuming and with 2 small children to look after and work to fit in it can be tiring. That been said blogging is extremely rewarding and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next year has in store for my little blog.
So I've been thinking about what I'd like to achieve on my blog in the next year. I recently wrote a post about my personal goals and aims and thought it would be good to set myself some 'bloggy' aims aswell. I want them to be achievable so they'll only be little goals but it's nice to have something to work towards and aim for.
- Firstly and most importantly I am not going to stress if I don't write a post. I used to try to post Mon, Tues, Wed and Friday (and recently Sunday again) but lately I've found I just haven't got the time or motivation to stick to this. I'm still going to try and post as often as I can but I'm not going to beat myself up about it if I don't.
- Learn to say no! As lovely as it is to receive things to review I really need to start being a bit more picky and only review things that I feel are something that are my worth my time. Sounds harsh? Well no not really in the grand scheme of things I need to learn to manage my time better and saying no to things might be the way forward.
- Continue to build my social following. Over the last year I've been trying to build my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter. Slowly and steadily I've built up (what I deem in my mind) to be a fairly ok following. It's not easy to get engagement on social media but I'm happy to do it gradually. My aim is to continue working on these and hope to reach over 2k likes on my Facebook page, over 7k follows on Twitter and to hit 2k follows on Instagram would be fab but I think that will take some time and dedication.
- Make a media kit. I really need to do this .... I've been saying this for a good 2 years now *embarrassed face*. I don't get asked for one very often but I think to appear professional I probably should have something to send over!
- Probably one of my proudest achievements to date is entering in the 'top 500' of the Tots 100 charts. It means nothing to the non bloggers out there if I'm honest but it's a chart of parenting bloggers and considering how many there are of us, to be in the top 500 is ace. It's tough to climb up the ranks and it can vary greatly monthly so my aim in 2017 is to keep within the top 500 if I can. I'm not going to get too stressed about it though, stats and figures are not something that I am overly bothered about, after all the blog is my hobby and not my job.
- I'm not going to lose sight of the greater picture. As I said above, my blog is a hobby and that is simply what it is. I will never let it get in the way of family time and if I want a day of not writing/promoting/replying to emails etc then so be it, far too often I spend my time with my head in my laptop on an evening but over Christmas it was so refreshing to not write anything!
- Improve my photos. I am still your classic phone user when it comes to taking pictures, it's just so easy, I always have my phone and am snapping away on it. Recently I've started to become a bit more aware of trying to take better shots and editing then slightly more. I try not to over edit my pictures as I like them natural but just sharpening them and making then a bit brighter does help. I'm definitely going to be doing that more in the next year.
- I'm going to continue to participate in linkies, I dropped linking to several last year as I just couldn't commit to keeping up with the commenting but towards the back end of last year I started to link up to a few more again. I particularly like 'That Friday Linky' run by Twin Mum & Dad & DIY Daddy, 'Word of the Week' run by The Reading Residence, 'Marv Mondays' run by Back with a Bump, My Petit Canard and Hello Archie, 'My Sunday Photo' run by Photalife and most recently 'PoCoLo' run by Life at 139A and Morgans Milieu. I do link up to a few other ones here and there but these tend to be the main ones........but am always on the look out for others to link up to when I can. I also continue to co-host Best and Worst with Sarah from RunJumpScrap which will be reaching its 2nd birthday in 2017!
Overall I'm just going to go with the flow and see what happens with my blog. Opportunities present, motivation comes and goes and I'm going to write when I want to write not because I feel I have to. I think the goals I've set are fairly manageable and it'll be interesting to look back on this post later in the year to see how I'm doing.
Have you set yourself any goals this year? What are they? Do share!