In 2016, I focused more on my blog than I ever have before. It has been so much fun to watch my blog grow! My visitor count has increased. So have my Twitter followers! I even have a Facebook page for the blog now! It’s definitely been an exciting year for me, so I wanted to share with you some of the best blogging decisions I made that helped my blog to improve and grow.
Purchased a Theme
Last year when I wrote my goals for 2016, I said that I wanted to code my own theme. This was ambitious I knew, but I always loved coding, and I took pride in creating my own layouts for my website. But my skills are so behind! And I knew my blog needed an updated look, so I decided to purchase a theme.
And when I found Duplicity at Nose Graze I knew it was perfect! I loved the colors and the clean minimal look! The Duplicity Theme is definitely one of the best purchases I’ve ever made for my blog, and certainly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for the blog. It has given my blog a more modern and professional look, and I love it!
Joined Blog Boss Babe
Helene of Helene in Between is one of my favorite bloggers! So when I found out that she had started her own online community at Blog Boss Babe, I had to join! She offers so much valuable information inside Blog Boss Babe, and I’ve learned a lot.
Joined Facebook Groups
One of the things I love best about Blog Boss Babe is it’s Facebook group, and because I found it so helpful I started seeking out other Facebook groups for bloggers.
Facebook groups are a great way to connect with other bloggers and promote your blog! They also offer an opportunity to ask questions about blogging! I’ve received some great advice on questions I’ve asked and learned a lot from reading the replies to other member’s questions. And I’ve even been able to help other bloggers out by answering their questions!
My favorite group by far is Women Winning Online! I joined it on a whim, and it is the most welcoming and helpful group I belong to.
Started Scheduling Social Media
I resisted the advice that almost all blogger’s give which is to schedule your social media! I thought it was better to live Tweet and Pin! I was so wrong!
What finally convinced me to give Scheduling a try was a free course from Alyssa Barnes. Because of her course, I signed up for a free trial of Buffer and I haven’t looked back since!
Now that I’m scheduling on Buffer, I am more consistent in promoting my new posts. JetPack does the initial publishing of a new post, but then I use Buffer to tweet that post two more times that day, and few more times over the course of the week!
I also use Buffer to schedule Tweets of my older posts and posts from other bloggers. I’ve definitely seen my traffic go up because of this, and my engagement and followers on Twitter have increased as well!
Gave up on photography
Like I mentioned above, I always took pride in creating my own layouts for my website. I also liked to create my own graphics for my website too! So that made me think that I needed to take my own photos for my blog! It was one reason that I put off using pictures for my blog so long. I wanted to use my own photography, not stock photography.
But I have very little interest in photography! Sure I like to take pictures for Instagram or Facebook, but that’s about it. So I started using stock photos, and that was fine for a while. But when I purchased my new theme and made my header, I felt like the stock photos looked out of place on my blog.
So I decided to start using illustrations instead! While this is still an experimentation to find my exact style, I love it! This is more me than stock photos ever were!
Decided on a blogging schedule
Going into 2016, my goal was to get to a point where I could post 5 or 6 times a week. It didn’t take long though for me to realize that there was no way I could do that. I work 48 hours a week! Sure I have three days off every week, but I have to fit my life into those three days because on a 12 hour work day you have no life!
So I decided to post three times a week! And it has been the perfect schedule for me. I’ve been able to blog consistently for months now.
Took breaks when I needed to
While 2016 has been one of my most consistent blogging years that doesn’t mean that I didn’t take breaks when I needed to. Recently I took a break in November, and just ran some old posts so that my blog didn’t suffer.
But there were also times when I just didn’t post for a week. Sometimes that is necessary. It’s important to listen to your body when it’s telling you to slow down otherwise you run the risk of burning out.
Gave up on Niche
Everyone says that you need a niche to have a successful blog. Everyone! But I don’t agree! I realized that if you’re a personal blogger like me, focusing on a niche can be a waste of time. I saw growth for my blog this year by making the decisions that I listed above. Networking and posting consistently especially helped me more than finding a niche ever could.
Now, what about you? What are some the best blogging decisions that you made in 2016? Let me know in the comments!