Post by Robbi Hess
Before we go any further, go up to the headline and cross out the word “resolutions” and add in “intentions.” I don’t believe in resolutions. I think the very word sets your up for failure because of the emotional pressure and weight it carries. Individuals set resolutions at the first of the year only to see many of them fall by the wayside before January is over — it’s disheartening and self-defeating.
Instead, the title should be “Blogging Intentions For 2016: Pet Blogger.” Why did I use “resolutions?” Frankly, it’s a more searchable title at this time of the year. Now on to our 2016 blogging intentions:
Get an editorial calendar set up. For the love of Pete, please do this! You may not be too fond of me during the setting up of your calendar, but you will thank me later when your blogging moves along more smoothly and you are more organized and productive. Believe me on this one. Try Trello — it is great, and free and if you want an online way to organize your ed cal, check it out. If you’re old school, use a paper calendar or a spread sheet. Whatever floats your boat, just get the editorial calendar ready and use it faithfully.
Let your uniqueness show. You don’t have to be like “every other blogger.” If you have a unique take on life, let that shine. If you have a snarky sense of humor, use it. If you are detail oriented and follow steps to the nth degree, share that with your readers. Those who read your blog posts do so because of the content you share and because you are you.
Write great content. That should be a given, but it’s nice to revisit the basics when you’re setting your blogging intentions. What is “great content”? That varies depending on your blogging niche. Whatever your niche, find content that your readers want to read and deliver it to them. Evergreen content is great, but remember to share new, exciting content as well.
Determine how many times a week you will blog and stick to it. Announce to your readers, “In 2016 I will be posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” or whatever schedule you choose. This will hold you accountable to your intention and will also let your faithful readers know when they can expect great new content from you.
Know your competition. If you haven’t taken the time to see who is blogging in the same niche you are, you are doing yourself a disservice. You should know who is blogging about what you blog about, how they are different, how you are similar and then determine what makes you unique. Deliver on your uniqueness to keep your readers reading.
Be social. Chances are, if you’re blogging, you are on social media. If you’re only on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn to share your content, you’re not being social you are being salesy and no one wants that in their news feed every day. Offer tips, hints, insights. Be a go-to resource in your niche. Post funny animal pictures. Comment on the pages of those who follow you. Reply to those who comment on your posts. Remember, it’s not called “social media” for nothing. This also means you should be replying to comments readers make on your blog posts.
Learn something new. Take a class to improve your writing skills. Learn how to better manage your time. Attend an industry specific conference like BlogPaws 2016. Just because you’re a successful blogger or are following your passion or are making enough money to keep your dog in fancy clothing, that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. You need to stay current and remain relevant and as bloggers that should include lifelong learning to keep our skills fresh.
Start a newsletter… but only if you have something to say. If you want to grow your audience or if you have a product or service to sell, sending a newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with your readers and followers. Remember, though, your newsletter should not be a continual barrage of “buy me, buy me” messages. Make the content relevant and welcome.
What are your 2016 blogging intentions?
(Photo Shutterstock: Cat with 2016)