The new year seems like the perfect time to reflect on where this blog is currently and where I’d like it to go. I’ve had this urge to reevaluate the past and plan for the future, especially since this blog will be officially a year old in a few months. A relevant question on ProBlogger finally pushed me to do it.
When it came to this blog, even though there’s been some surprisingly good results I’ve had in the past year, there seems to be quite few areas in need of improvement. To move forward, I need to define my goals for 2010 and plan for future growth.
What Were The Biggest Challenges of 2009?
There is no doubt that finding time to write, manage and market the blog has been the single most biggest challenge. Freelancing while raising three young children is a monstrous challenge in itself. Add a blog to that mix and you are strapped for time 24/7.
So the main obstacle that’s holding me back from reaching new levels with my blog is?
- lack of time (I’m already squeezing 28 hours into 24-hour day) combined with
- poor time management (loosing focus is easy when your work requires being on the internet)
- balance between parenting, freelancing, blogging and promotion
The solution: better time management. How often do you find yourself scanning “inspirational” materials, reading irrelevant blogs, chatting on Twitter? How often are you creating to-do lists only to loose focus seconds after turning computer on.
The resolution for 2010? Start the day by handling the single most important task of the day before doing anything else. Skip checking email (which can shift focus instantly), don’t get on the internet unless you must. Focus on the one thing you are set out to do and do it first!
What Are Some of The Goals For 2010?
My single most important goal for the upcoming year is to create more quality articles building authority and readership. Pretty simple agenda. How do I do that?
Creating Regular Quality Posts
I’d like to add new material often enough to keep readers interested and coming back, without sacrificing post quality. In the blogosphere, post consistency and regularity are crucial. Readers don’t like to be surprised. Once they read a great article, they will expect another great one when they check your blog again in a few days. Disappoint them and you’ll lose their attention. Also, if they expect a new article on Monday, you better give them one on Monday. Otherwise, you will not be taken seriously. You will loose their trust and undermine your authority you worked so hard on building.
Focusing On A Niche
This one I struggle with a lot. My blog covers many areas, from design to marketing, blogging, social media and freelancing. I’m still figuring out what area I’d like to focus on. The big question is what niche would be the most satisfying to commit to in the long term.
Focusing is a must have for many reasons. When you have a blog that’s focused on a single niche area you are simplifying lots of things for yourself:
- gaining authority
- generating targeted traffic
- building narrower but more loyal audience
- increasing reader engagement
My goal for 2010 is to focus on one area I can dominate instead of being just another blogger who writes good material on a variety of topics.
When I first started with this WordPress blog I’ve put together a very simple design. I figured that prettifying the design could always wait so instead I focused on creating quality posts. Well, the time has come to re-design:
- To create a truly unique website – after all, this is a blog run by a designer (who neglects her own stuff, busy building websites for others)
- To make this blog stand out from the crowd – in the already overcrowded blogosphere
- To grab reader’s attention and make them go “wow, what else can this chick do?”
- To grow beyond “just another WordPress blog” brand and into my own
Besides, I’ll take any excuse to exercise my creativity, it’s what I love to do.
I’d love to hear from you.
- As a reader, what else do you think needs improvement here?
- As a blogger, what are your biggest challenges going forward into the new year?
- As a small business owner, do you blog and what’s the most difficult part about it?