A new year means new goals! After an ambitious year of goal setting in 2017, I’m starting fresh with a new set of goals for 2018.
Reach five figure monthly blog page views.
I know there’s probably a lot of goal setting advice out there discouraging people from setting the exact same goal two years in a row after not accomplishing it the previous year. But I’m pushing ahead with the same goal for 2018 anyway. I’m starting to see the effects of publishing and promoting evergreen content for a year+ now and am optimistic about hitting the goal this year. I’m in this blog for the long haul and really want to have a crack at significant affiliate link earnings, competitive advertising network revenue, sponsored post opportunities, etc. 10K is pretty small potatoes in the blogging world today, but you have to start somewhere.
I shared my 2017 blog page view breakdown by month in my 2017 page views summary post. My December page views were 5,238 views, which averages to 169 views per day. To achieve 10,000 monthly views, I need to increase my average to 322 daily views, which is nearly double. It sounds overwhelming when you think about doubling that number, but it means increasing daily views by about 12 views. As long as I keep pulling ahead a little bit each month, I’ll make it.
There are two primary ways I’m hoping to achieve this goal.
- Publish posts weekly with two evergreen posts per month. My publishing schedule is much less ambitious this year. Ideally, I’d like to publish at least one evergreen post per week, but that’s not realistic at this point in my life. And I don’t want to start out the year overwhelmed or burned out. I’m starting with two per month and playing it by ear from there. I’ll still be publishing more personal content weekly/bi-weekly as well.
- Maintain consistent social media sharing, particularly for high traffic and seasonal posts. Like most bloggers, the majority of my traffic comes from a select number of high traffic posts and a handful of ever rotating seasonal/holiday content. Sharing these posts regularly is key for steady traffic. I set up a strong social sharing routine in 2017. I just need to maintain it and make any necessary adjustments as I go to keep it going strong.
Reach 4,000 Pinterest followers.
After reaching my 2017 Pinterest followers goal of 2,000 followers several months early, I’m pushing ahead to reach 4,000 followers by the end of 2018. I started 2018 with 2,337 Pinterest followers. To reach 4,000 followers, I need to gain 138 new followers monthly or 4-5 followers daily. It’s a big step up from my goal of gaining 70 new followers monthly or 2-3 followers daily in 2017. But I’m confident I’ll keep seeing steady growth the way I did for the entirety of 2017.
There are a few key strategies I’m using to achieve this goal.
- Scheduling content from other bloggers via Boardbooster and Tailwind. I use both Boardbooster and Tailwind to schedule Pinterest content from other bloggers. I try to stay at least 3 weeks, ideally one month, ahead on Pinterest scheduling. I collect these pins through my Pinterest home page feed, favorite accounts I follow, and occasional searches.
- Scheduling my own blog content via Tailwind. Following Amber’s advice in her Pintessential Planning Course, I created a social media spreadsheet for my evergreen blog content social shares. The spreadsheet helps me track my most recent shares, so I keep sharing my posts all year round or keep hitting peek periods (i.e. the four weeks before Valentine’s Day for holiday posts).
- Managing my photography group board. I did not create my photography tips and tutorials group board with the intention of helping me grow my followers number. But it definitely played a role in my growth for 2017. At this point, I’m getting new daily followers and new weekly requests from potential contributors without much work of my own beyond weekly scheduling and periodic promotion on Facebook and Twitter. I will be continuing these efforts and making any adjustments as needed throughout the year.
I talk more about all of these strategies in my 2017 Pinterest followers summary post.
Publish one article per week on Constant Content.
Since Tommy was born, I have received a lot of unsolicited advice about whether or not I should be working, how much I should be working, etc. To be clear, I am not writing full-time in any capacity these days, either for this blog or for freelance clients. I do not have any plans to scale back to full-time in the foreseeable future. However, I love keeping part-time projects for my own personal sanity, sense of purpose, etc. Having a limited amount of extremely flexible work is perfect for me at this point.
I have talked about Constant Content before. It’s a platform I’ve contributed to off and on for the past three years or so. I’ve never maintained a consistent publishing schedule there but would like to now. So I’m setting a goal to keep myself accountable. In the past, publishing on Constant Content has led to other work, and it may as I get back to publishing there again. It may not, too, which is okay.
Paint and decorate nursery #2.
My single house goal for 2018 is to get our second kid’s bedroom painted and decorated, ideally in the first half of the year. I am still planning to finish up a few of my 2017 house project priorities and work on a couple of other things around the house. When I do finish up the nursery, I may talk more about these other priorities. Regardless, I won’t be taking on nearly as much with the house as I have the past few years.
I haven’t discussed on the blog that we’ll be re-entering the waiting pool with our adoption agency for baby #2 in July 2018. Tommy’s adoption happened very quickly. If we hadn’t done a lot of work on his nursery ahead of time, we would have been scrambling just to finish the basics. He would still have a nursery that’s not painted or decorated. It’s entirely possible that if we’re able to adopt another child, the adoption process will go very quickly again. So we want to be ready. Working on the nursery during months of more waiting and uncertainty also helps with my sanity.
We’ve already picked out and purchased paint, and I’ve already purchased a number of decor items. I’ll be sharing more about my plans for and progress with nursery #2 over the coming months.
Finish editing my Europe photos, and keep up on current photo editing.
In 2017, I cleared out a ton of backlogged photos from 2015 and 2016. I ended 2017 with minimal backlog from the past year, of course, minus the Europe trip. I did not ever plan on finishing out my Europe photos by the end of the year, with or without kids. But I want to get it done this year. I have 2,620 trip photos, which means I need to get through about 220 photos each month. I intend to write a blog post for each major destination as I get through those pictures and put together a trip photo book when I’m all finished.
In addition to the Europe photo editing, I want to be intentional about keeping up with my new editing throughout the year. I did well in 2017 and would like to end this year in a similar position.
Read 36 books.
I’m sure after reading two lengthy posts about reading, some of you may not want to hear any more about my reading goals or progress right now. I promise that this is going to be the last time I talk about reading for a bit. I’ve kept my reading goal conservative this year because I’m not trying to set any records, beating my totals from previous years. And I don’t want to read short books or books I don’t really want to read just to bump up my total. Based on my totals from the past two years, I think I’ll exceed 36 titles. But the goal is simply to maintain a minimum three book per month pace.
Also, my sub reading goal for 2018 is to re-read a handful of my favorite books. I will be counting re-reads toward the total for the year. After reading over 100 titles in 2016 and 2017 combined, I’ve knocked off a ton of titles that have been on my “to-read” list forever. While I’ll always have a “to-read” list, I’m not feeling such a pressing need to keep checking off titles. There are a number of books I read ages ago that I want to re-read and a handful of audio books I’ve listened to the past couple of years that I want to read.
My re-read list includes, but is not limited to: the entire Harry Potter series, State of Fear by Michael Crichton, and basically everything by Emily Giffin, at the very least, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Where We Belong. I also want to read my two favorite audio books from 2016: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I may add more books to my re-read list at some point, but the current list will keep me going through most, if not all, of this year.
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