I hope you're 2015 is off to a happy, productive, fun start!
So far, I've completely revamped my personal blog Adventuroo and started a healthy eating challenge (details on Adventuroo). But I also wanted to reflect on 2014 from a blogging perspective. So I'm sharing what I learned in the hopes you'll learn something too.
I Don't Have Enough Time to Do the Things I KNOW Would Grow This Blog Even More
Isn't that how we all feel? We read books, take courses, devour articles at how to do more and to do better… but we simply don't have enough time. This revelation isn't a new one for me, but it hit me harder in 2014.
For example, I know I should post more often on social media. But I simply run out of time or I go in spurts of posting a decent amount, then a little. I try to look at this as a season of life. With my part-time job and my littlest one still in pre-school, I know time is short for now. Trying to embrace what I CAN do instead of what I can't.
It's Easy to Get Off-Track When Planning Content
Speaking of lack of time, even as the creator of a freaking content planning course, I sometimes go through spurts of the planning blahs. This is especially true when I'm working on a big project like launching a new course. But none of us are perfect, so if you get off track from time to time, acknowledge it then move on. And start planning again!
Instagram Is More Important than Ever to Brands
With Facebook reach in the crapper for most brands, more and more brands are turning to Instagram to get seen. In addition to their own profiles, brands are also working with Instagram influencers. Did you know there are some IG influencers with over 100k followers but only a small blog… or NO blog? Brands are partnering with them (and others) to build awareness of their product or service.
According to Sprinklr (a tool I use in my day job), “Instagram sees far higher engagement rates than other platforms — 58 times higher than Twitter and 120 times higher than Facebook.” And if you want to read about influencers, this post about Instagram users earning an income will blow you away (just know 99% of us aren't to that level)!
This doesn't mean you need 100k followers STAT. It DOES mean you should think of it more than a place to just post your personal pictures.
I'm (Still) Slow at Writing Blog Posts
Gah, I've always been a slow writer. Still am. Part of it is I write often times at night in front of the TV. In 2015, I'm going to try to do less of that. More early morning writing instead. *yawn*
Sometimes You Have to Say No… Even When It's Really Uncomfortable
I had to say no to a lot in 2014. Sometimes because it wasn't the right opportunity. Sometimes because I just didn't have the time. Or sometimes because the opportunity was right, but just came at the WRONG time.
I love the Brené Brown quote: “Choose discomfort over resentment.” It always feels icky to say no because we want to please people, but I just don't want to regret it down the road.
Choosing Nothing Is Worse than Choosing Something Imperfect
I'm making a pretty big change soon here on Blog Clarity. A good one. No, a GREAT one. It's a change I've been wanting to make for well over a year, but could never find a software solution that fit my needs. I've finally settled on one that's completely amazing, but that fits about 90% of my very specific needs.
I've come to the conclusion that it's sort of like deciding to have a baby. You can keep saying “We should wait until we have more money” or “we should wait until we do x, y, and z,” but the truth is there's no PERFECT time to have a baby. You just have to let the everything fall into place.
That's what I decided to do with this too. I will work around the imperfect stuff.
Sponsored Posts Work Here (but I'm keeping it very limited)
While I used to do sponsored posts and reviews on my personal blog, I never did them here on Blog Clarity. That is, until November when I published the post 5 Ways to Increase Your Online Presence. I thought long and hard before accepting that sponsored post request, and I'm so glad I said yes!
Not only did I enjoy writing it, it's one of my top posts of 2014! I followed up in December with another post Smart Gifts for Bloggers. Both have done well.
I plan to do sponsored content, but plan to keep it to no more than one per month MAX. If I ever end up publishing more than twice a week, I'll reevaluate, but for now, that's my sweet spot.
Blog Posts Perform Better on Pinterest with Pictures, not Plain Graphics
I learned this little tidbit from Anna, who teaches our Pinning Perfect course. And wow has it made a difference.
Look at my before and after for one of my most popular posts ever:
I mean the one on the left is just ick anyway, but compared to the one on the right? No question which one I'd rather click.
What's one thing you learned about blogging last year?
P.S. If a 2015 goal of yours is to work with more brands, you need a media kit! Use it both to proactively pitch your dream brand list and to respond to brands who reach out to you. It'll seriously impress. If you need some help, I offer a media kit e-course where I walk you through creating a media kit from start to finish, plus give you a full critique in the end! Spaces in class are limited so grab your spot!
(Photo by sjlocke)
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the assistant manager of Brand Engagement (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!