I first started this blog last December to keep my brain active whilst on maternity leave. I knew that I would miss writing whilst taking a year off from my career in PR, and I wanted something ‘for me’ whilst spending my days singing along to Mr Maker and wondering if Mr Tumble actually has shares in Cbeebies (could he be on any more programmes??)
But I really had no idea how much I would come to love this little space – my little space – and how completely obsessed I would become with it! My blog very quickly became my new favourite hobby, and any spare time I have to myself is spent writing and discovering new posts. I’ve always been quite creative but I also get bored very easily, so sticking to new hobbies has always been something I’ve struggled with. But blogging really does have it all – writing, reading, designing, photographing, dare I say it – I even enjoy the challenge of coding (until it goes wrong!) There is always something new to learn and I love discovering new plugins, apps and updates and learning some new hack every day.
Most of all I love the blogging community which is so supportive and I’ve been really inspired reading about other people’s life experiences – every day I read a new post or discover an amazing blog that inspires me or teaches me something new. Each blog is so different and so personal and I never get bored of discovering new bloggers.
So, with all this love I have, I figure it’s time to take my blog to the next level and I’ve been pondering what it is that I really want to get out of my blogging efforts.
1. Get better at social
This is very un-blogger like of me, but I admit I’ve always looked at social media as a ‘necessary evil’ and I’ve been pretty rubbish at keeping on top of it in the past.
Even though I’ve had my Twitter account for the past six years, I’ve only really ‘got it’ since I started blogging. I love browsing my feed and always use it to discover new posts, but I must get better at engaging with others through it.
I’ve also struggled with my Facebook page, preferring to use my personal account so far to promote my posts. Family and friends are always so supportive but I always feel as though I’m spamming them! So I’m going to concentrate more on building and growing my dedicated blog Facebook page.
I’m quite a visual person so Pinterest and Instagram come more naturally to me, but I do need to use them more as a blogging tool – rather than for just admiring pretty images!
2. Do more of what I love
When I first started this blog I knew that I wanted to write about my journey as a first-time mum, along with some general lifestyle topics that are relevant to me. I love writing about my parenting journey and never run out of things to discuss on the topic, but I also want to write more about interiors so will be focusing on our home projects – of which we always have many underway!
I also want to write more about the West Midlands – I love where we live and I want to use my blog as a way to explore more of what Birmingham and the wider region has to offer.
I’m not always comfortable with posting numerous photos of Taylor on the blog, so I never wanted her to be the sole focus and I’m happy with the balance of parenting/lifestyle that I’ve maintained so far.
3. Approach brands I want to work with
When I started blogging it certainly wasn’t to make money or ‘get freebies’ (which, by the way, are never ever free and are every bit earned), but I’ve really enjoyed working with the brands that have approached me so far and its something I would like to do more of in the future.
So I’m planning to start approaching those brands that I really want to work with directly – why wait for them to find me? PRs are always on the look out for decent bloggers to collaborate with for their clients and I don’t think that bloggers are taking full advantage of the opportunities that are out there for them. I would love to make a decent income from my blog one day.
4. Take better photographs
I’m a complete sucker for a pretty photograph – give me light, artistic imagery and I will be there, pawing over your posts. I’m a little obsessed with getting the right look for my blog and I know that I need to improve my photography in order to get it to where I’d be happy. I even have an DSLR camera under our bed that I haven’t got out since our honeymoon (the one I bought when I planned to take up photography)…I love the camera on my Galaxy Note 4, but do feel that it’s time to join the ‘proper bloggers’ and learn how to use a ‘proper camera’.
5. Spend more time writing (and less time faffing!)
At the moment I’m publishing twice a week which is working quite well for me. I would like to publish more often, but I really am such a faffer! I can easily see away a whole evening simply by re-sizing my header (only to change it back), trying a new colour palette or trying to understand why I can’t install a new plugin that I really really (don’t) need! I know that this time could be much better spent writing and reading posts and I really need to just stop it already. I’m happy with the look of my blog now so I’m hoping I’ll be able to dedicate more time to writing.
Are you currently trying to take your blog to the next level? What are your goals?