Back in January I was getting quite serious about all things blogging after doing some courses with Aby at You Baby Me Mummy. I decided to write a list of blogging goals because apparently if you write them down, you’re 42% more likely to achieve them. I started the year well, with my new fancy planner and lots of ambition. Then I got pregnant and had a serious blogging slump. The sickness and tiredness of the first trimester gave me some perspective. As much as I love this blog and am proud of what I’ve achieved in just over a year, I know my priorities at least for the next year or so, have to be my family. Growing my baby and looking after Miss Belle, ensuring she’s happy as our family dynamic changes, are what’s important. Not to mention looking after Matt and myself along the way.
Yes my blog is still just a hobby at the moment, but it’s also bringing lovely review opportunities and the odd bit of spending money now and again. It’s not consistent and the opportunities definitely feel like buses. They all seem to come along at once or not at all. Blogging remains addictive and challenging, and time consuming!! And as Miss Belle drops her naps, I am struggling to commit as much time as I did before. Thank God the football season is back…something I’d never thought I’d say! When Matt is busy with football I can blog, or if he goes to the footy on the weekend, I get some hours to myself to blog too. Only fair!
My 2017 blogging goals review (yes, a bit late!)
I’ve been looking back at the goals I set in January to see how I’m getting on.
1. Get a slicker new design.
Done! I did this at the start of the year. I paid £50 for a new theme and I love it. I’ve been told it’s much more professional, but I still need to change my header. I’ve recently re-written my About Me page and added a bit more background about me, and I somehow need to get my personality across more in the design/logo. But, yes I have a new slicker design.
2. Increase my social media following.
Oh stats… why are they so bloody important? Well, they kind of are if you want people to find your blog. Here’s what I set to have at the end of the year.
- Twitter: 3000 followers (930 in Jan) – Currently just over 2000. So I think that’s progress but I need to maintain it.
20001000 followers (370ish in Jan) – Currently just over 800. So I’ve doubled it, but I need to keep going. Instagram is a hard one for me, I just don’t have the time to engage for hours on it every night (I quite like talking to my husband and watching Eastenders). But, running the #funseekingkids community has helped me discover new feeds who’ve also discovered mine. I still think if I really want to grow it I need to show Miss Belle’s face (cute kids get way more likes than backs of heads and close ups of hands), but I don’t want to do that. So it’s my sacrifice.
- Facebook 500 (155 in Jan) – Currently just shy of 300. Facebook pages are so hard to grow without buying ads. I said 500 might be a bit too ambitious, but I think I might just get there, if I work harder these next few months. Running competitions seems to help.
3. Continue to grow my page views.
When I wrote my goals in January I was getting about 1700 page views on a good month. Now, on a good month, that’s maybe 2500. No where near the 5000 I set. To be honest I don’t think I’ll reach it without posting even more than I am, which I just can’t do, and without seriously investing in Pinterest, which I’m currently not utilising to it’s full advantage. Plus, when I got pregnant in April I seriously cut down the number of linky’s I was taking part in, from about 10 a week, to 0. This made a big difference to my page views. Now, I try and do three or four a week which is manageable (and obviously enjoyable to read great blogs). So I’m happy to revise this goal and say if I average 3000 page views a month by the end of the year, I’ll be happy.
4. Go to a blog conference.
Done! I went to BlogOn in May and it was fab. I was due to go to Britmums Live in September but it’s the day after a friends wedding, and I’ll be nearly six months pregnant so I’ve sold my ticket. Realistically I won’t be able to blog as much come next January, so I think now is not the right time. I hope to go next year or the year after (if I’m still blogging by then!)
5. Improve my photography skills.
Pahahahaa.. well the less said about this the better. I bought a cheap online course at the start of the year with loads of modules but I’ve not had a chance to get stuck into it. It’s the one thing on my blogging To Do list which just gets to the bottom every time. Getting a new camera and going on a photography course was my goal so I’ve technically half started it, but need to finish it!
6. Contribute to some other well known parenting websites.
As a journalist, although my back ground is in broadcast journalism, I want to get into written journalism by the time Miss Belle is at school. So far I’ve blogged for Huffington Post and had a blog post chosen as Mumsnet Blog of the day which I suppose technically counts as other websites. But it’s not “proper” paid journalist work. I’ve contacted Baby Centre but they ignored me! I need to look into some other avenues but just haven’t had time. This more long term plan will really need to wait until the children are older.
7. Increase my DA to 25.
Done! It’s currently at 26, up from 16 in January. So I’d like to maintain or increase this.
8. Monetise my blog.
Although I don’t want to fill my blog with sponsored work, a bit of spending money every now and then would be nice. And last month was my best month to date for that. My personal posts about my pregnancy, Norfolk family life, recipes and days out will always be my priority. My goal for the end of the year was to have four sponsored posts a month, one a week. I’m not sure I’ll achieve it, but maybe.
Yes this has been all serious and bloggy. I also added a goal for us as a family to get a puppy this year. And a few weeks after I published my 2017 blog and life goals (and after we’d told the neighbours) we also put our house up for sale. We hoped to move this year. As regular readers will know, that’s all been a big fat fail. And we are unlikely to sell now before the baby arrives, so we will be staying put and trying again next year.
I guess the biggest goal was to also try for another baby. I didn’t publicise that we wanted to do this in January, just like I wouldn’t really tell acquaintances or strangers on the street. There was always the worry things might be harder second time around. But, we did fall pregnant and that has to be the best thing about the year so far. Along with watching Miss Belle blossom into a wonderful, beautiful little girl.
I’m linking up with some of my favourite bloggers: