And another year begins. With the dawn of a new day we feel the pressure to overhaul our lives, take up a gym membership and refuse another glass of Pinot – but realistically those intense and unrealistic expectations will fall foul as soon as we hit February. I’m never one for resolutions, but the transition from one year to the next provides an excellent opportunity to reflect and establish objectives we really want to work towards. For me, the next twelve months provide an opportunity to carve out a forward-thinking space that I’ll be excited about for years to come; 2016 will no doubt be an incredible year, but how can we all ensure that happens as efficiently and enjoyably as possible? I’ve pinpointed five achievable blogging resolutions for the next twelve months that we can all embrace for a happier future; there’s no point in promising to commit to things that will fall by the wayside because they’re not realistic. Will you be joining me in committing to keeping them?
1. Write About Passionate Subjects
I adore a new lipstick as much as the next woman, but the topics I really get passionate about are the somewhat controversial or unexpected. I’m one of a very select few that feels comfortable writing about the unglamorous side of beauty (covering everything from smear tests and tampons to hair loss and mental health,) so I’m not going to stop tackling these subjects. If anything, I intend on delving deeper into this side of beauty and well-being in 2016 – and encourage you to do the same. Covering a new launch or purchase may provide a temporary burst of excitement, but the topics that really engage an audience are the ones we can all relate to; they’re the topics that remain relevant a month, year or decade in the future and can actually help someone else feel better about themselves. That’s something I can get on board with.
2. Embrace New Forms Of Social Media
Without a doubt 2015 was the year of Periscope, the live streaming service that revolutionised the way we interact with influencers and brands. (Not on board with it yet? Read my post as to why you should be here.) Although I was somewhat skeptical initially, having spent a few months testing and having fun with the network it’s clear to say I’m addicted – so much so that I’ve even been quoted in magazines about its potential and championed as ‘one to watch’. The key to success is to be an early adopter and embrace new forms of technology as quickly as possible; I’m definitely paying the price now for not getting on the Instagram bandwagon until the last minute and it’s not a mistake I’ll be making again. Over the next twelve months I’m going to be continually searching for new forms of social media and embracing them as much as possible – because you never know what’s going to be the ‘next big thing’ and how it could help your blog in the future.
3. Remember The Community
One of the best things about blogging is the community that develops around it. I’ve connected with so many like-minded individuals over the last five years that I’d never have done otherwise, which makes the experience all the more special. However, it’s often easy to forget we’re all part of a community when we’re sitting alone on our sofas writing or spending a rainy Sunday afternoon taking photos. This year I want to embrace the community so much more than I have before, taking part in more Twitter chats and being part of more meet-ups, as well as helping to champion up-and-coming sites; the success of my 30 Plus Collective proves how much thirst there is for a sense of community (we all like to feel part of something,) so this is definitely a priority for me moving forward.
4. De-Clutter & Dump Irrelevant Networks
Feeling overwhelmed is a common occurrence when you’re a blogger. We have a hundred different tasks to manage at any one time: social media to update, photos to take, emails to answer and so much more besides. It’s easy to feel like you’re trying to keep afloat amongst a sea of never ending to-do lists, so taking a little time to de-clutter our lives and dumping irrelevant networks has never been more important. I’ve spent a huge amount of time trying to grow networks that don’t offer me much benefit in return, so in 2016 I vow to only run with those few that really provide added value. We shouldn’t be afraid to admit that Facebook isn’t working for us, that Pinterest is too time consuming, or that we just can’t find a niche on YouTube; investing our time wisely and removing any excess baggage from our daily routine will only benefit us in the long term.
5. Take Time To Switch Off
I learned the hard way that it’s essential to take time out and switch off from the stresses and strains of blogging. It may seem like an easy life, but a job that never ends can be somewhat overwhelming; there’s no feeling of satisfaction at a project end date, or annual performance review to let you know how you’re getting on. Everything is on you as an individual and it’s easy to get bogged down in the details – which is where switching off can really make a difference. The festive break was a great opportunity for me personally to take a step back and go on hiatus for a week, refreshing my passion and reminding me why I do what I do. I’ve made a concerted effort to keep my blog a Monday-to-Friday operation only, while at the weekends I try to keep my phone in my bag so I’m not connected 24/7. It keeps me focused, ensures I have enough ‘me time’ and maximises my efficiency when I’m actually working. Here’s to the next twelve months being as much ‘on’ as ‘off’ – balance is the key to success and happiness!
What are your blogging resolutions for 2016? Will you be adopting any of these five over the next twelve months, or were you able to successfully commit to any in 2015?
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