The 10 blogging goals for the new year shown below are meant to help me reach one objective and that is to grow my blog traffic in 2015.
1. Organize, Plan, and Do
Last year I wrote about 20 restaurant reviews that never got published. That’s a lot of eating out! I also developed a few new recipes and made several long time family favorites that are still in my draft folder. I bought lots of baking tools and decorations that are either collecting dust or have since expired. It’s not just food either. I have more yarn and craft supplies stocked piled than most of the craft stores. I can’t remember what I was going to do with some of it. I hate waste, but it looks like I’m one of the biggest offenders. I’m going to take advantage of some of the many fabulous free blogging planners and calendars, set up a schedule, and stick to it.
2. Learn the Tools of the Trade
Taking great photos, I think, is the one area of olives-n-okra that lacks. I have a new camera with DSLR lenses that I haven’t figured out how to use, lamps and reflectors that have never been opened, and backdrops that I made that are under the bed. I’m going to take a photography course this year and improve my photography skills.
I’ve threatened to do a newsletter for three years. Not sure why I avoid this. I read several newsletters every month, and it seems to me that this is something I can do. I just signed up for MailChimp, so my list of newsletter subscribers is slowly growing.
I finally redesigned olives-n-okra last year, but I’m still mulling over a new logo and buttons. I have looked at thousands of blog buttons over the past few months, many of which are awesome and so creative. Buttons are tied to blog branding, which is one task that I find to be overwhelming.
5. Blog Hops & Linky Parties
I recently started participating in blog hops and linky parties. They are awesome fun and most inspiring. Not sure why I avoided them for so long. I’m developing my list of parties to share with you. I also started Funtastic Friday, our blog hop. Each week, I work on growing the list of participants. I don’t have a particular goal in mind, but it’s probably worth coming up with one just to measure progress.
I think I only promoted one give-away last year on olives-n-okra. It was promoted by Eggland’s Best Eggs. Giveaways and promotions are something I need to research before I jump in head first. I do have a goal of four giveaways for 2015; one a quarter, I think, will work.
7. Increase Social Media Activity
You can find me on all of the major social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Instagram, Google+, and Bloglovin. Some I use more than others, but I don’t use any of them as much as I should if my goal is to increase blog traffic. I also use Reddit and a couple of other bookmarking sites but not enough to see any real increase in blog traffic. Part of my blog schedule will include a plan for improving social media activity.
8. Slow Food/Farm to Table
One of my big things is the slow food movement. Part of the Orlando movement worked to get landowners to develop and keep up pick your own patches (see my posts on Papay’s Strawberry Patch, U-Pick Blackberries, and Beck Brothers). Originally, slow food and the farm to table initiatives were going to be a major feature on olives-n-okra. Poor planning and scheduling is the primary reason you don’t see more of these posts and promotions. I’m going to fix it.
9. Guest Posts & Interviews
Occasionally, Steve, or my brother Chris, will post a new recipe or restaurant review. This year I plan to increase blogger interviews and guests posts by bloggers with similar interests. I hope to do at least 6 in 2015.
10. Attend local blogging events
I live in Central Florida, and we have a number of monthly blogging events and meet-ups. Many of my friends who do attend end up picking up promotions, guest spots, and free giveaways. I haven’t attended one event yet, but I will try to attend 4 this year. We also have one or two annual blogging conferences held in Orlando that are worth attending. I attended only one last year, and it was well worth it. This year I’m going to make it a habit.
Once a month I will check my blogging goals and progress, and make adjustments where improvements could be made. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.