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As I am writing this post, we are about to wind down another year on the calendar. At the end of each year, there are a few steps that I like to take. The week between Christmas and New Years is a great time to reflect, think, pause, organize and plan. In just a moment, I want to share with you some practical goals that you can set for the next 12 months as it relates to blogging. Before I do, here are the steps that I like to take before the New Year:
- Reflect on 10 memorable moments of the past year (and write them down)
- Think about any lessons you learned (could be mistakes you do not want to repeat)
- Pause and enjoy the relationships in your life
- Organize any areas that have become cluttered in your life
- Plan for the path you want to take in the next 12 months
I want to specifically share with you some of my thoughts on planning and taking your blog to the next level in the next 12 months. If you have not figured out by now, blogging takes a lot of hard work. I often compare it to a duck on the water. A duck above the water seems to glide with ease, but under water they are working extremely hard. Blogging is much the same way.
If you have every tried to publish a blog post every single day, then you know what I am talking about. Although it is hard work, I have never been more fulfilled in what I do. There is nothing like sharing your passion and seeing it influence, help and impact others.
How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level
I am going to share with you 5 ways that I plan to take my blogging to the next level in the next 12 months. This is not a comprehensive list by any stretch of the imagination. Also, you very well may have other ways to apply it.
Stretch Yourself in a Specific Way
If you published 100 posts in the past 12 months, what do you need to do to go for 200 in the next 12 months? I have often discovered that I place ceilings on my potential. In order to break through that glass ceiling you need to push yourself beyond your current limitations. Start your own “writing challenge” and see how many words you can write in the next 30 days. Do something that stretches you.
Learn a New Skill
As I have often said, the best bloggers are “learners” at heart. They love to read, experiment, grow and discover. You should always be learning. Is there a skill related to blogging that you wished that you had? Maybe it is time to learn it. You can always come join us and learn the blogging fundamentals over at Blogging Your Passion University
Chase Your Winners
Have you taken a moment to reflect on what is working on your blog? A great place to start is Google Analytics. Take some time to evaluate where your traffic is coming from and put more effort there. For example, your “referred” traffic is a great place to start. Be sure to expand out 12 months so that you have plenty of data.
When I recently did this for my coaching blog, my top “referring traffic” was Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook (in that order). Of course, this does not count “search engine traffic.” I have laid out a plan to put more attention with Linkedin over the next 12 months.
Automate and Outsource Something New
Let me be clear, I did not get into blogging to create a job for myself. While I do work many hours, I want the freedom of choice. I just spent my lunch hour before writing this post playing Nerf Basketball with my 7 year old son. While I did not win, I still enjoyed my freedom to play with him.
As a Blogger, you should constantly be asking yourself if there is better way to do what you do. Is there a system to implement? A way to automate what you are doing? Tasks that you can outsource to others? For example, if you are technically challenged, post your project on either Scriptlance, ODesk or Elance and get someone else to do it.
I am currently looking to hire 3 writers to contribute career related articles for me on one of my blogs. I still plan on writing quite a bit, but this will help me better reach my goals.
Start or Create Something New on Your Blog
Is there a small step in a new direction that you can take with your blog? Most bloggers get bogged down in the perfectionist syndrome. They do not want to dabble, test or experiment. I want to challenge you to do something new in the next 12 months. Here are a few ideas:
- Start a mailing list
- Write an ebook
- Develop a product
- Host a webinar
- Record some video
- Start guest posting
Those are just a few examples. Pick one and start something new. I hope this article has your wheels spinning. Chose a few areas above, write a plan, and get to work!