So 2012 is no where near over but I picked up my blog book again the other day after moving & opened the first page to look at my goals. I've mentioned before that giving up on my 20 before 24 goals has really helped me re-evaluate what I want to do & with blog goals its no exception!
By giving up on the pressure, I've found time to actually do things right! Here were my blog goals for 2012:
Blog Ideas 2012
-Around the House-
-Add to Craft Gawker-
Over the past 8 months, I've added a lot more things to Five Sixteenths -some that have worked & some that I've grown tired of- but Five Sixteenths has grown!
Make it Monday Posts
I jumped full force into doing more Make it Monday posts as I really wanted to share some quality DIY inspiration. DIY and being crafty is a passion of mine & I want to share that with you. So making a commitment to share something DIY related that is my own creation has been a big goal of mine. When I first introduced the series, it revolved around existing tutorials that I was going to complete. But blogging is all about creating original content & sharing it...not copying or only reposting. So creating a DIY inspired blog has been a great part of Five Sixteenths. Continuing with a passion is wonderful!
Blog Layout & Branding
A better blog layout & more cohesive design has always (& will always, I think) be on my mind. Spending a lot of time sharing branding ideas & blogging ideas with you has helped me document things I want to remember & things I wanted to try out for Five Sixteenths. Focusing on Five Sixteenths as a whole has made such a difference in how I interact online! Streamlining my twitter, instagram, blog, & etsy names has made all the difference! Branding is so important! And now that I want to jump into another (sorta secret) project, I have a brand style set up that crosses all platforms!
Sponsorships & Networking
Sponsoring has also been the greatest thing. I've finally taken the time to identify (sort of, at least with a better idea of) my target market. Sponsoring blogs like Little Chief Honeybee have been so helpful. I've also realized that while it pays to be the top sponsor on a blog (more exposure, etc) it can also work to be a medium or even a small sponsor on a blog with 7x more followers than you. That way you are guaranteed a lot of exposure. I gained so many followers/pageviews from the smallest spot on Smile & Wave and a giant amount of followers from LCH. I've realized that sponsoring is tricky but you have to stick with what works. I should have continued to sponsor LCH in August but wanted to test the waters on other blogs a bit. But I am sure that LCH would have consistently driven traffic/readers to my blog.
Additionally, I've found something that didn't work at all: posting on Reddit. Zach posted his Thrift Tip in a few frugal/thrifty forums and while I got a butt ton of pageviews, literally none of them turned into consistent readers & in fact I think it severely threw off my stats. I guess it's good to have pageviews but if the pageviews don't mean anything, I don't think I've gotten any where productive.
Sponsorship is so tricky. Like anything else though, it takes time to develop a strategy. And I think that you have to come at it with the ability to sort of let it develop organically. You can't plan because it takes experimenting!
Opening Five Sixteenths Shop
Opening the Five Sixteenths Design shop has been awesome too. I never thought that I'd actually like designing for others & at first it was a struggle. But now I think I've got it and am excited to learn. I also think that this is the only thing I have priced correctly for my skill set. It's hard to sell a knit hat at what it costs + time but a blog design can be so unique! I am actually thinking of separating my shops. I've learned a lot about promoting in the past 8 months as well. I've also learned I am no good at it! I try & try and somethings work & somethings don't. Finding a way of making a consistant income is really important to me (obviously!). Working on SEO & promotion is where I am at next with this goal.
I've loved developing a brand & discovering what I need & don't need to do. I am considering separating my shop into a design & then an accessories shop. It's sort of drawing the wrong traffic to my one shop. Blog design traffic is great but no traffic is going to my accessories...or rather very little. I though having it all in the same place would mean you'd come for a design & buy a necklace or piece of pottery. Also, the aesthetic is completely different between my pottery, jewelry, knitwear & my design. Instead of trying to make it cohesive, which has been a crazy battle withThat isn't the case. But any feed back on creating two shops would be great!
Blog Tutorials & Design
Finding something that is in need or something that you can put a new spin on is great for promoting so when I sort of fell into deciding to offer blog tutorials, I was surprised at the success of it. I didn't know that other bloggers would be interested in knowing about how to do things. I knew from my own struggles that often finding tutorials that made sense & didn't confuse me while looking through archives was a toughie. And I guess it surprised me that others had the same struggles too! Crazy mechanical looking blogs with different tutorials that weren't often relevant frustrated me & I wanted a sort of one stop shop on my blog for my own personal use and to share with others. Also, I just plain like building up the blogging community! Again, offering something you have a passion about is awesome & really shows the heart behind the blog. The key to staying relevant & developing is to offer something that you love & something that is unique.
So I can't wait to see where the last part of the year takes me. I've got a lot of developing to do to bring all of these goals up to the next level & have got a lot more goals that I need to set. We'll see where September - December takes Five Sixteenths!
What blog goals have you met this year so far? Have you re-evaluated any of them to give you a better vision? What tips do you have?