The start of the New Year means bloggers everywhere are sitting down, reviewing stats and trying to determine how to move forward in 2015. Looking at what worked, what kind of made an impact and what totally failed in hopes of not repeating the same mistakes again.
Reviewing, planning, and scheduling what’s –hopefully, fresher and stronger content than the year before.
If you’re looking to really hone in and make changes to your blog this year, there’s no better piece of advice I can offer than to find a focus, and stick with it. You may have a list ten miles long of things you hope to do or changes you’d like to make to your space:
- Tweet more often, and use hashtags
- Create and launch a newsletter to engage my readers
- Instagram twice per week
- Create quality blog post images and use less stock photography
- Learn web design
- Gain more followers on Pinterest
- Just be better…
I definitely have a list with some of the above right at the top.
It’s easy to get lost in everything we hope to accomplish. And in the end, we end up sub-coming to stress and overwhelm and achieve far less than we would have had we placed less pressure on ourselves. We dedicate so much time and effort to these small tactics that we totally lose sight of the larger strategy. Finding a focus helps to narrow the vision, shorten the list and makes accomplishing those giant blogging feats ten times easier.
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Here’s my simple recipe for stepping back and focusing on the goals that really matter when it comes to the blog (or anything else, really)…
Know the ultimate goal.
That’s not to say you need to have a five or ten year plan established, but having a general idea of where you’d like to take your venture is a great help. Always be reaching, always be working –but know what you’re reaching and working to achieve.
It’s totally normal if you find that, down the road, your ultimate goal changes. So don’t feel that once you start working towards something, you can only do that thing.
Map out some first steps.
Once you have an idea of where you’re going, you should start planning how you’d like to get here. All of those smaller, stepping stone goals usually pop up when exploring routes to your main goal.
Say your ultimate goal is to launch a consulting business that allows you to help artists and creatives. You want to use your blog to connect with your audience and advertise your service. Well, how are you going to get yourself and your platform to that goal? Maybe you create a strong Instagram filled with visuals that draw artists to your blog. Or you pitch yourself to other bloggers and share guests blogs to expand your reach.
Stop, check then do.
Once you know what you’re working towards, everything else becomes a system of stopping, checking and then deciding to do. When a new opportunity comes your way –something which will require your mindfulness, time and focus, you should
– Stop, and think before saying yes or no.
– Check, with what you know your ultimate goals to be. Will this opportunity act as a stepping stone or a distraction? (Just because it isn’t a stepping stone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, but it creates something to think about).
– Do, take action. Yes, no or maybe later (there’s nothing wrong with putting something aside to focus on your bigger goals).
When I know what I’m working towards, and spend time focusing on that rather than trying to divide my time amongst everything that hits my desk (or inbox), I’m ten times more productive and get so much more done.