A Storify board from the Texas Conference for Women: https://storify.com/TexasWomen/2014-texas-conference-for-women-highlights
A Storify board from the Blog Elevated Conference: https://storify.com/SandraSays/bloggging-income-tips-from-foodbloggerpro-for-blog
Image source: PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay
I know that I just posted that I don’t actually write out goals and resolutions any more. I’ve learned that for me, personally, I do better with themes to help direct my year. My blogging, however, needs something more than that. I’m not going to set a goal of how many visitors I want or what kind of increases I’m aspiring to, but there are a few things I’d like to accomplish in 2014.
Create a style guide. I keep having to remind myself whether I need to place something in quote marks or in italics, when to link to an outside source, and how to source images. For a lot of the decisions I fall back on the Associated Press Stylebook (I can’t get away from my training as a public relations professional). But I find that sometimes I’m making decisions based on what’s best for the readers, then trying to remember what I did last time. A written, compiled style guide for my blog writing is essential at this point.
Pay attention to the editorial calendar. This year I created an editorial calendar for the blogs and the mini-blogs. The problem is that I keep missing my own deadlines. Effective blogging, I’ve found, requires discipline. Others may be able to have a more casual approach and be successful; that’s not working for me. I’m too easily distracted, too quick to ignore the new updates.
Master analytics. I don’t want to live and die by the numbers, but I do want to be able to use Google Analytics better. There are new features and options that have been added over the past few years that I’m not using. There are features that would benefit me for PR campaigns as well as for social media and blogging.
Go mobile. This blog isn’t optimized for mobile devices. A few of the other sites on which I collaborate or administrate aren’t either. This is no longer an option. I must make improvements that will enable the sites for optimal viewing on multiple device types and sizes.
Add an email component. When readers opt themselves in, email newsletters are still an effective way to provide content and pull readers back to your site. Adding an email component to Hispanic Houston is one thing I think would benefit the site and the readers, so I’m adding this to my 2014 “to do” list.
Be visual. I am at heart a writer. The words are easy, the images aren’t. I’ve pushed myself to add a visual component to my writing. I need to continue this, and improve on the visuals provided. I also need to improve my presence on image-based networks, including Instagram.
Do you have blogging goals?
As I have every year, I’ve picked three words to help guide me in 2014. This is my third year choosing themes instead of resolutions or goals. I’ve been much happier with the results of this practice.
Last year’s words were: Reduce. Balance. Invest. And I did reduce some of the clutter in my life, in particular of the things that were distracting me mentally. I started including more time for fun, family, and friends (for Balance). I didn’t do as well in the Invest portion as I would have liked, but I did more than I had in previous years.
This year’s words: Comfort. Honesty. Growth.
COMFORT. I want to push myself out of my comfort levels and take more risks personally and professionally. I’ve just begun to do this and I’ve seen improvements in my “product.” I’m hoping to do more of this and to see its effects on my life.
HONESTY. I’m going to continue on the path of removing some of the filters that I’ve placed on my voice, my presence online and offline. Some of this is related to taking risks, but some of this is simply a desire to be more transparent.
GROWTH. In a follow-up to last year’s “Invest” I am going to make decisions to create growth in myself in all aspects of my life.
The idea is that all three of these words are going to move me in the direction I want. Wish me luck.
* * *
Every year I would pick resolutions and goals to help guide me in the upcoming year.
And every year I failed.
This year I picked three words, three themes for the year. I started this last year, copying the idea from other bloggers I read and follow. After years of making resolutions and abandoning them after a few months, I was ready to try something new. I hoped that this would prove to be a better influence in the long run.
I’m not going to lie… I did think that it wouldn’t make much of a difference. I thought that, ultimately, my “words” would off my radar after a few months, the same as my resolutions normally did.
I was wrong.
Last year’s words were: Simplify. Focus. Create. And somehow I managed to stay on track with these themes for most of the year.
This year’s three words are: Reduce. Balance. Invest.
REDUCE: This is exactly what it sounds like — I’m going to reduce the clutter in my life. And I do mean the things I have, the things I do, and the mental and emotional baggage I accumulate.
BALANCE: I am going to start including more time for fun, family, and friends. I need to start going out and actually doing things, living life, instead of reading about it. In addition, it’s hard to write about interesting things if you’re not doing interesting things.
INVEST: I am going to make an effort to invest time and money in myself. This includes the more formal personal and professional development and the more whimsical things that will feed my creativity and spirituality.
And I’m hoping that 2013 is a more productive and successful year.
* * *
UPDATE: I’ve started a Storify board with stories and resources for these themes. Hope you enjoy it.
The next Social Media Breakfast will be held on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 8:30am at Canopy Houston. The speakers will be the fabulous Karen Walrond and Kelsey Ruger:
To get attention and cut through the clutter, you have to become a visual storyteller. Posts that use visual elements like photos, video, and graphics consistently perform better than those that don’t. At the Social Media Breakfast of Houston (#SMBHOU) this month we will be exploring the different facets of visual storytelling. We will hear from some brilliant visual storytellers about how to develop visuals that work across multiple channels and how to develop materials that moves pass the pedestrian to a inspire the people who see it.
We will be sharing several examples of impactful visual media and will ask you to share some of the visuals that have caught YOUR attention.
Kelsey Ruger, Vice President, Design & Innovation at ChaiONE. With over a decade’s worth of experience in building web and interactive solutions, Kelsey brings a unique perspective that merges design, creativity, strategy, and digital solutions.
Karen Walrond is a well-known speaker, writer, blogger, and photographer. In addition to being lead blogger for BlogHer’s “Own Your Beauty” initiative, making appearances on both local and national media (such as PBS, Huffington Post, CNN.com, and The Oprah Winfrey Show), author of the award-winning Chookooloonks photoblog, Karen’s book “The Beauty of Different” has become a bestseller.
The Social Media Club Houston is hosting a fundraising event on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 6pm at Smash Burger on Buffalo Speedway. Seating is limited, so reserve your spot.
Spring Smashing Tweet-up #SMCHou
April 17th Tues 6-9
RSVP Required Limited Space
Celebrating Spring with our fellow colleagues in Houston, we will be treated to great food at SmashBurger.
We partnered with Smashburger to bring in Spring with good food, fun and companionship.
One of our goals is to raise money for SMCHouston Chapter so we can bring great speakers to teach us new and upcoming strategies.
We are asking for donations in no specific amount-we want you to tell us the value you want us to drive for you in 2012. Whether you choose to donate 10.00 25.00 100.00 is up to you!
We have given all our meetings for free since 2011 and we have a couple more great get togethers in planning for 2012.
Tell Us Your Desires
Tonight the leadership team will be all ears, learning how we can serve you the business community. So tell us what would you like to participate in for 2012?
- Do you want more hands on workshops?
- Do you want more panels discussing specific issues or industries?
- Do you want a full day workshop with speakers here, to save your confernece & travel dollars?
You get to custom make your solutions in 2012.