Prepare for the New Year
The new year is the perfect time to review your site and prepare for a new blogging year. Maybe you’re looking to monetize your blog, build your brand, or create a new goal to strive for the independence of blogging full-time.
Whatever your desire is for your site in the coming year, these 5 ways to prepare your blog for the new year will help you kick the new year off on the right foot, giving your site the boost it needs succeed in 2017.
1. Create a Plan
A lot of articles will tell you to create a one-year plan. I am not one of those people!
Yes, we should have a long term plan but really, most people won’t follow through on the plan. Instead, break that long term plan into smaller, manageable steps. Slow things down. Perform these tasks one task at a time.
For example, do you want to try adding videos this year?
Instead of saying that you’ll post a video every week, try doing one. How did that go? What would you do differently? Try again? Did you implement what you learned from the first video? What was the response from your readers?
Can you see how that one video is a lot more manageable than one video every week for the next year? That one video can be done in a few minutes instead of becoming a daunting task.
2. Find Your Own Voice
Do not be afraid to have your own voice. Stand up and be different. Dare to go against the grain. Be the one who leads instead of the one who follows. Push envelopes, make noise — even if you do it in your own quiet way. We each have our role to play but we can’t play our part if we’re trying to play somebody else’s.
3. Identify and study all Competitors in Your Niche
Sit back and ask yourself: What does my competitor (or ally) do that I admire? What can I learn from him or her? How can I improve my bounce rate on certain pages? Could my newsletter emails use some improvements?
Remember that blogging is a rewarding, never-ending journey. Always analyze and implement, then rinse and repeat.
You’re not merely doing it for yourself, but for the readers that have come to know and love you over time.
4. Build More Relationships
Make interactions a higher priority as one of your blogging goals, even if your connections are not exactly influencers.
Careful, though; you don’t want to “go crazy” in a sudden quest to befriend everyone right away, as it may overwhelm you and ultimately backfire. Simply communicate one day at a time as you balance everything else with care.
For example, I use a Twitter list to help me get to know my new followers. Each day, I will check my Twitter list and see how I can interact with them. Perhaps, it’s a small comment on their latest blog post or perhaps it’s about talking about my weekend. Either way, I’ve reached out and started a conversation with them.
5. Send Out a Reader Survey
You’ve been receiving comments on your blog all year, but aside from this, have you been truly listening to your readers? Now, is the perfect opportunity to ask your readers what they want from you, especially if you’re considering revamping the direction of your blog in 2017. What do your readers think about this?
An easy way is to create a survey (I use Survey Monkey), and then blast it out to your social media followers or newsletter subscribers. If you’re sending a reader survey via newsletter, consider offering a freebie, exclusive blog post or something special to your subscribers before you ask them to fill out the survey.
I shared 5 easy ways to prepare your blog for the new year. But remember, not to overdo it. If you’re anything like me, I try new techniques and start a bunch of new things all at once. In the end, they are all done haphazardly and I am burnt out. It’s like heading out and running a 10km race when you haven’t run in twenty years.
Most importantly, keep your blogging goals manageable. Once you have a few goals completed, you’ll be inspired to aim higher.
Set a goal(s). Achieve them. Set more goals. Rinse and repeat.
How are you planning to make 2017 the best year yet? Let me know in the comments below!
~ Rosie xx
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