2017 was the year that I finally saw myself as a blogger. That probably sounds a little odd to hear (read?), so let me explain a bit. Bear with me guys, this post has been a long time going.
After rebranding to Space on Third earlier in the year, I really started to see how blogging could fit into my life long term. I’ve always loved blogging, and I’ve never really had the desire to stop blogging, but this year put a lot into perspective. This year I could see myself becoming a blogger first, where I’d always been a student or full-timer who also had a blog.
I’ve used the skills and things I’ve learned through blogging more and more this year, at my full time job and in other side hustle ventures. I’ve taught workshops, spoken at conference and been on the radar of brands that a year ago I never would have thought even considered me.
It’s been incredibly encouraging and opened me up to new pathways that I didn’t think were there (or was too afraid to even consider).
A lot of this is because of all of who. I don’t think I’ll ever really be able to express how grateful for you guys. Thanks for reading along, leaving comments, sending thoughtful emails and DM’s and inspiring me to create more and more each and every day. I appreciate it more than you could ever know and so much has been made possible because you all have stuck it out with me.
As many blogging highs as I had this year (and there were many), I was also very frustrated as a creator this year.
You’ve heard time and time again that blogging has changed and continues to change, pretty rapidly. A lot of those changes are much more evident on small or mid-sized blogs, like this one. The decline in comments, the need to produce more for significantly less return, battling ever changing algorithms all at times got me down. I questioned whether anyone was really reading, if my content was helpful and useful and I was much less inspired to blog (as evident by missing days or weeks of posts).
It seemed like I was constantly going against the grain and even though I knew the space I was trying to create, I couldn’t get there while holding up every other pillar. Instagram was crushing me. I couldn’t stop checking my analytics and questioning everything I posted. I was driving myself insane, so I stepped back and and got refocused. And I cam up with my one and only blogging goal for 2018.
In 2018, I am focusing 100% on growing platforms that belong to me.
It seems too simple, doesn’t it? Almost too obvious.
Fellow bloggers and creatives, think about it. Instagram changes its algorithm to something more awful every single day. Facebook is nearly 100% pay to play. I’ve heard similar laments from YouTubers. Twitter is great for conversations, but requires so much effort to see a return. Snapchat is fighting to find it’s place and secure its spot in the game.
And any of these platforms have the right to change, shift or reprioritize whenever and however they want, at any given moment.
I’ve spent hours trying to make the Instagram algorithm work or grow my following on Twitter, which is okay. But if I’m going to grow the blog the way I want to, I need to focus the vast majority of my time, efforts and energy on the blog and let the rest trickle down to other platforms.
Because the only place guaranteed never to shadowban my content, delete my views or keep me from my readers is this space right here –spaceonthird.com
So I’ll be pouring everything into new posts, fresh content with strong visuals and my weekly emails to you all.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be active on social! I love connecting with you all there. But the blog and the newsletter will come first, always.
So what does that mean in terms of new content and the blog at large? All good things!
I’ve spent the past few days analyzing the feedback I got from this year’s reader survey, which was all really great stuff. I won’t bore you with all of the stats, but here are some highlights that have helped me map out next year’s content:
- Most of you are either bloggers, freelancers or aspiring to be one of the two, which is awesome!
- Sunday Morning Coffee came in as everyone’s favorite content, as it has since I started running the column. I love seeing this because those weekly coffee dates are truly my favorite things.
- Other top post categories were wellness/lifestyle, reading wrap ups and book reviews, and organization/productivity tips.
- Everyone asked for more behind the scenes content, more on my day to day routines and life tips.
- I asked what you guys struggled with and almost everyone said developing routines, getting organized and project management (I hear ya!)
So I’ve taken all of this in and made some key decisions for next year. One of them being that I want to produce more content in this space. I’ve said and felt that for a while, but I’m now making progress on having that be a reality. My plan is to get to 5-6 posts per week within the first half of the year, and then evaluate and kick it up to 7-9 posts per week!
Mixing in longer form content (like this posts) with shorter behind the scenes peeks and video content. I redid my entire content map (more on that later) which is a tool I use to figure out my core topics and plan out my content. So I have a lot that I want to cover, and I can’t wait to get working and fill this space with helpful, useful and fun content for you guys.
You all have been great about sending your post ideas and content requests along, so feel free to keep them coming!
I think I’ve ranted enough in this post, so I’ll wrap things up.
I’m finally feeling motivated and refocused as a creator. I’ve never been more clear about what I’m trying to create in the long term. I’m so grateful for all of you, and hope that all of the new content to come helps us to grow an even stronger sense of community in this space.
If you’re a blogger, what are some of your goals for 2018? Where are you focusing the bulk of your time and energy? Let’s talk work and plans in the comments!