It’s hard to believe that we are in January. Of 2015. After clearing the haze left from the year-end holidays, and eying the still empty 2015 calendar in front of us, what better time to consider what you want to do with your blog this year.
In order to do something (bigger, better, more, less)—anything—with your blog, you should consider creating your very own 2015 blogging plan, which should include setting blogging resolutions and goals, and then listing a series of actions to get you there.
To me, a resolution is the guiding principle (for example, I want to be a better writer) while goals are a measurable way of achieving results (following the example, publish five articles during the year). Actions are simply the steps you take in order to get there (again, per example, research publications).
So here’s your bare-bones 2015 blogging plan:
- Set a blogging resolution for the year (or as some people like to do, a focus word/phrase)
- Set a series of goals (make sure they are specific and measurable) to help you achieve your resolution
- List the actions you need to take to get there
Blogging resolutions (choose one or write your own)
- Blog regularly and consistently
- Get better results/generate leads/improve thought leadership
- Increase blog readers
- Restart a blog
- Upgrade/change the focus/redesign the blog
- Be more focused on your area of expertise
Blogging goals (Pick and choose which would help you attain your blogging resolution and then add the specifics)
- Create a blogging schedule/editorial calendar that includes topics, authors, target amount of posts, keywords, etc.
- Write a mission/vision statement for the blog
- Set aside brainstorming time each month to generate blog post ideas
- Spend more time on each blog post paying attention to grammar, spelling, fact-checking
- Create better headlines for each blog post that will result in (more attention, more readers, better sharing)
- Implement a blog promotion plan to reach target audience
- Include graphics, video and/or audio in most or all blog posts
- Write a target number of blog posts per week/month/year
- Experiment with a different format (podcast, vlog, live blog)
- Determine specific call-to-actions to include with every blog post
Blogging actions (everybody should do most of these)
- Update your blogging software, themes and plugins regularly or as needed
- Review your current plugins and explore new or different versions (Do you still need all of them? What functionality is missing from your blog?)
- Review your sharing capabilities (Any new social networks you want to include? Noticed any good sharing plugins on other blogs?)
- Update your copyright line to reflect 2015 (do this now!)
- Research your “competition”
- Set your 2015 Google Analytics goals
- Study your Google Analytics ( if you don’t know how—search for a tutorial or class)
- If you use IFTTT, review and update your settings
- Create graphics “warehouse” (whether server or cloud-based) where you can access and store your own pictures, images, infographics, video, etc.
- Research and select an image subscription service
- Determine your blog loading speed and if it is slow, find ways to improve it
- Make your blog responsive already! Do you see many people without smartphones around?
- Update biographies, about us pages, gravatar pictures
This is by no means a complete list. What would you add? What are your blogging resolutions and goals? What specific actions do you take to keep your blog running smoothly?
Happy New Year 2015! Here’s a virtual toast to you achieving great things with your blog this year. If you’ve never had a plan for your blog, make 2015 the year to start!