10 Ways for Bloggers to Gear Up for the New Year

Time to take stock and set your blog goals for 2013

2012 was huge for me as a blogger, but I’m not satisfied.  2013 will be a year to really ramp up my career.  As I sift through the ideas of what I’m going to do, I thought I’d share my own personal list of items I’d like to square away in the first week of January.

  1. Review all my blogger and affiliate programs.
    You’ve probably joined more of these than you think, and you’re wondering how to thin them out. Give enough time (say, 3 months) to see what kind of return you get from them and if they make offers that TRULY fit your blog and audience – or any offers at all.  This may require some soul searching – you may not want to leave any, but what is the point of a great blogger program if it doesn’t speak to your readers?  Plus, you don’t want too many of those required badges clogging up your site, do you?
  2. Trim down Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
    I’m never on LinkedIn and I’m ALWAYS stunned when I get an email from a group.  It’s only fair that I leave them, don’t you think?  There are also groups on Facebook that I don’t really participate in.  This is the same like the first one – any social groups you are part of but neglect participating in, exit!
  3. Market my Pinterest boards.
    The best repin I got since joining was from Generation Rescue, which made ME do the happy dance.  But I haven’t really built my traffic here since I first joined, so I need to look into building traffic AND into once in a blue moon repinning my own stuff – which I never do!  How is your Pinterest page fairing?
  4. Better care and feeding of the Facebook fan page.
    My fan page HAS grown – and even though I generate fans through contests, they don’t seem to leave.  The other happy news is that a lot more people are seeing my posts – about a quarter of my fans, without me promoting them.  But I need to be more focused and consistent on the info I share there, to cultivate really valuable links for my readers.
  5. Get more involved on Twitter.
    I honestly love Twitter, but I’ve walked away because it is a huge time suck. That said, it’s been really fun and I’m a Twitter Party Pro.  I’ve never used Twitter the way the social media experts tell you to, and I’m wondering if that’s good or bad since I’ve gotten good feedback when I do use it. Where Twitter has worked for me is making connections and building new friendships, believe it or not, and I do truly miss it.  Time to schedule this regularly, which brings me to…
  6. Schedule your calendar.
    I really need to use my Outlook calendar to schedule regular daily times for networking, writing, pitching, researching, editing, and training/business reading, as well as regular visits to each group I participate in on a weekly or daily basis.  That’ll require me to stay engaged and sort out the ones I don’t care to stay engaged with (see #2).  This will also require figuring out which times of day I’m good with what – networking, interviewing, writing, editing – for peak performance and interest at the best times.  You should do the same.  Leave the drudgery tasks for when your energy is mid-level.  High energy for stuff you like to do that requires a lot of creativity (a new article for example), and lower energy times for sorting emails and networking.
  7. Plan blog posts at least one month out.
    I use the editorial calendar plugin but I don’t stick to the commitment!  I need to set up a list of blog post topics, and then get them written 1 or 2 night beforehand. I’m also probably going to be blogging less and more spread out, and guest blogging more. That’s the dream anyway, because guest blogging brings traffic.  I recommend you do the same – start getting out there and blogging for bigger and better blogs than yours.
  8. Schedule timing of launches.
    I have two new blogs and redesign of Mom-Blog, plus I’m considering relaunching my blog design business.  I’d love to do all on January 1, but that’s not wise nor possible. I need to think on spreading them out and making sure I have resources for enough topics for all three as time moves on.  I also need to recruit writers and use the people who enjoy working with me now.
  9. Create paper media kit.
    Yep, don’t have one yet. I know, bad form.  I also need a one sheet, and I need to perfect my existing media kit. And make this blog more pro, using those tips like a better footer bar (see #8), and expanded use of my email.   How about you?  Have a media kit, online and on paper?  If not, get started.  Here is an article from that great team at The SITS Girls:How to create a knock out media kit for your blog.”
  10. Take some great end-of-year advice, like this: “Are you ready to kick butt in 2013?
    Great article, do you have any to share?

What are your 2013 blogging goals?  Set up a list of your priorities and get working on them come next week!  It’s not too late.  This list only took me a few minutes, but that’s because it’s been burning a hole in my mind for weeks.

Share your year end blogging goals and any articles that are bringing you a better year in blogging!
Hoping all your blogging dreams come true in  2013!

Stella & Dot Sale

Comments

  1. says

    Fantastic list! I think we have some goals in common. I particularly want to focus more on social media – Facebook in particular, although I have to find a balance that works.

    • Gina B says

      Facebook IS tricky! That blurring line between business and social makes it very difficult at times. Not to mention all the miscommunication! Good luck Kim.

  2. says

    I can’t recommend having your site scheduled out for 30 days enough. I do this (I’m currently scheduled out through mid February) and it allows me to spend more time on social networking and to take breaks when I need it. It takes a lot of pressure off.

    I trimmed down my Linkedin and Facebook groups this week and I’m now having fun with Google+ communities; I’ve learned my lesson and I’m sticking to only a few communities.

    I also trimmed down my affiliate accounts. It’s been interesting seeing which ones get the clicks/sales and which ones don’t.

    Have a lovely New Year!

    • Gina B says

      I think you mean you DO recommend scheduling? I have to try it. Kind of tricky, also do I blog every day or not? I think not, I think more effective is getting your quality posts out there. Some thing else to experiment with!

      You have a happy new year too.

  3. says

    Love this post! Big thank you. I have also bookmarked it as 2013 for me is the year to “build the blog” as it is so new.

    Thank you again – and have a successful and fulfilling 2013!

    Jeanine

  4. says

    Awesome information and advice. I am so grateful for bloggers like you that take the time to help us newbies out!!! I need to do ALOT of those things you talked about in your list. Thanks so much for the help!

    • Gina B says

      So happy to help, Chris! And if you have questions or topics you’d like me to cover, I’m always looking for new content. Thanks!

  5. says

    I will just be happy when I can keep up with posting! :)
    My blog is the least popular in the world I am sure. I only have 2 followers.
    But I would love to see it grow a little bit.

  6. says

    Awesome advice, it sounds like you’ve hit all the hot spots needed for a well organized blog. I hope I can be as organized as you! Will look at the media kit blog. Looks like something I need to do.

  7. says

    Such awesome tips!! I have been blogging for almost a year now, but just got serious about it in August when I became self-hosted.
    This is great info and looking into the editorial plugin and media kit asap!

  8. says

    My only real goal is to actually work harder on my posts. Most time I just rush through it all to get the memories in writing, and don’t really put in the necessary effort to write in a way that I love.

    • Gina B says

      A very good goal! I’ve written some stuff about that, but check out CopyBlogger for lots of good blog writing tips.

  9. says

    What a great list! I’ve written down my blogging goals for 2013 but I had totally forgotten about a media kit. This is definitely something that I need to work on. Thanks for the reminder! =)

  10. says

    Awesome list!! I’m really admiring it right now. I need to make a similar list soon and I’ll be sure to come back here and use some of your great ideas and advise!

  11. says

    Exactly what I needed to read today. I told myself I wouldn’t really make any resolutions this year per se, but there are always things I’d love to work on regarding my blog and post frequency. This is a really great list of things I will bookmark and return to throughout the year. THANK YOU!

    • Gina B says

      Don’t think of them as resolutions, Charlotte, just think of them as goals. Less pressure :)

  12. says

    Great list! I need to make better use of Pinterest, because I’m not getting traffic from it at all. Developing a Pinterest strategy is one of my goals for this year.

  13. says

    All great advice, thanks. I want to make a concious effort to blog more frequently so this all helps. I want to know how you get to do guest blogs, do you have to be invited and is it best to target those you want to be invited on to.

  14. says

    Great suggestions! I am attempting to schedule posts out already, but need to work on going some blog affiliate work going. You certainly added a few things to my list of things to do.

  15. Gina B says

    @Julie, I’m beginning to many affiliates hurts your blog, too.

    @Deana, thanks! So sorry I made your to-do list longer :(

    @Buhle, thank you.

  16. says

    Love your list! I am excited to gear up for 2013. 2012 was good, but with the momentum I had at the end of the year, I am hoping to keep everything in a strong forward motion!

    I wish I shared your love of Twitter. It is on my “to do” list. I need to be there and learn to work that system a bit more. Pinterest on the other hand, I love and I get a ton of traffic from there.

    Planning my day a little better and blogging days before instead of the day of are on my list as well.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Gina B says

      Angie, I think you should pick the things you like. These are all tools. I was never into Instagram, and the week after I downloaded it, I heard about their copyright policy. I’m thankful I never used it, although I do have to pass on some blog opps. Use what you like!

  17. says

    YES! These are great. I had a short list of things I needed to change, but this list really helps push me even more. I agree that letting go of some things, groups, affiliates etc… is better for everyone. Sometimes all of the emails and logins just bog me down. Thank you!

    • Gina B says

      I started easy, by unsubscribing my political and cause emails…which is far more than I realized! Also, they don’t LIKE to unsub you and some actually don’t! UGH. Then I got rid of deals, except for Childrens place and Kohls and Groupon. Let that inspire you to let go the groups and groups!

  18. says

    I will be using Pinterest more in 2013. I’m committed to a weekly blogging schedule this year and I have to stick to it. In order to keep me accountable I committed to write once a month for two other affiliates. I narrowed my niche and gotten some good year-end feed back to help me focus on particular topics. I’m looking forward to the challenge. Great tips, thanks for sharing Gina!

  19. says

    This is a really good list! My best traffic is from my personal Facebook page, so I would like to build up my blog Facebook page as well. Twitter, quite honestly, overwhelms me most of the time. I see potential in Pinterest, so I’m definitely going to focus on building a plan for that one.

    • Gina B says

      Twitter I put on a long time out, lol! But I’ve crept back slowly. I think it’s better to go there with a purpose (like a twitter party or meeting someone) on a regular basis rather than just be on all day. Good luck with your FB page and Pinterest!

  20. says

    I truly appreciate everything you’ve covered in this post. The one thing I monitored in Dec was which blogs had referrels to my site. I did not understand the significance of this until reading your post. TIme to clean house.

    Blessings~

  21. says

    I’m definitely a newbie because some of the things you are paring back on, I haven’t even started. Maybe it will make me more selective when I do start. Thanks for the post. I might blog about this tomorrow.

    • Gina B says

      Then you may have an advantage, Sheila! Actually, I’m more of a “jump in & try, then regroup” personality but if you can sort good from bad, and get feedback before leaping in, all the better.

  22. says

    you’ve covered so much of what i want to achieve this year with my blog. for instant i want to connect more with good blogger and good readers, thus more twittering…

    write quality content, write and pitch to better bloggers out there. read good blogs.

    • Gina B says

      An excellent task list, now create specific goals from them (for example, “read 2 blogs every day”) and track your progress. Good luck!

  23. says

    Great suggestions! You hit everything on my to-do list for my blog! I definitely need to get more involved on twitter, something that I’m slowly learning. I love the part on guest blogging, because what you said about bringing in traffic is SO true!

  24. says

    I enjoyed reading your resolutions. I’m a newbie blogger so I can’t adopt most of your ideas. But I do like the one about outlook and scheduling. I’m so guilty of letting some things like twitter and facebook become a time drain. I need to spread myself around a bit more to cover all the bases I want (and need) to. Thanks for your great advice!

    • Gina B says

      Thanks Kate! A word about scheduling in Outlook: do a little at a time. If you schedule every hour of the workday, you might be overwhelmed by popups as you get into the swing of things, and give up on it altogether! Been there :) Good luck, I hope your blog grows in 2013!

  25. says

    Wonderful ideas! This is a great template to follow because I definitely want to take my blog network to the next level. It’s one thing to know what to do, but execution is key! I really have to buckle down and focus :)

  26. says

    #4 Better care and feeding of Facebook Fan page, sounds a lot like Dr. Laura’s Proper care and feeding of a husband (or marriage). I am a fan of hers.
    And maybe I’m off base here….

    *ahem* anyway, I am rejoining blogging. I have let it slip away, haven’t paid nearly enough attention to it. So, I feel as if I am starting over. These tips will help.

    Thanks.

    • Gina B says

      Hm, heard of Dr. Laura in passing but never read her. I’m all for better care & feeding of your marriage though :)

      You can start over. I took a hiatus after 6 years of blogging due to personal issues in 2008, and AFTER that is when my career as a blogger started!