How To Prepare For A New Year Of Blogging

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Hello 2017, nice to meet you.

Please be good to me.

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I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Years celebration. I have eaten my entire body weight in food but that's ok, as I now have an extra layer of warmth for the winter months. Who said you can't always find a positive in every situation.

Going completely cliché here, but a new year to me is a fresh start, whether that means a new start for ourselves or the things we do. I always used to love the start of a new school year; fresh new uniform, new books, and a new fluffy pencil case. Seeing as I am no longer in education, my fresh start is at the beginning of the year with my blog. It doesn't matter about those posts that never got posted, or those goals that never got met, January is a completely new start with new goals and expectations.

SO HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A NEW YEAR?

ORGANISE YOUR WORKSPACE

I need a clean and organised workspace to be able to work, but I am using the terms 'clean' and 'organised' loosely. The quote "out of sight, out of mind", describes it well. My work surface is organised strategically with everything I need only an arms distance away, so I can be the most productive, but everything that is hidden away, well, that is a complete mess. I always end up with a pile of notes which now have no meanings and important things I've saved... so important I completely forgot about them until my clean out. Your workspace should help you feel inspired and motivated so when you're ready to work, you are not going to spend all your time looking for a pen to then realise you can't find your notebook. I like to use recycled candle pots to keep my pens and pencils organised. Everything you need daily should be kept close by.

Just remember, the more space you have, the bigger excuse you have to buy new stationary...

STOCK UP ON ESSENTIAL STATIONARY

I don't know why I've said 'essential', you're a blogger and a blogger must be organised, so buy it all. If we are talking about essentials though, a diary, notepad, and pens are a must. If we are talking about other pretty things essentials a range of pens in every colour possible, stickers, post its, a paper pad, and anything else that is aesthetically pleasing.

Great tips to preparing for a new blogging year with @helloaycan

ORGANISE YOUR COMPUTER

Just like your workspace, your computer should be organised too. I try and keep all my blogging files in one place; posts, analytics, graphics, archive, and designs. I literally went through over 1000 bad quality images I had taken, why I don't do this as I take them I don't know. Hopefully this will change, but I can't see that lasting long. Check for any duplicates, and make sure they're clearly labeled so you can find them easily. I'm sure we are all guilty of 'pic.jpg', 'pic1.jpg', 'pic123.jpg', 'PLEASEJUSTWORK.jpg'.

Ooooppppps!

Don't forget to clean out your emails and internet browsers too. I accumulated a lot of unwanted newsletters, and a whole load of bookmarks which I don't even need.

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CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS

This is something that should be done frequently throughout the year but it always seems to fall to the bottom of the list. It's scary to think that the things we've worked so hard on are protected but numbers and letters. This is why it's so imporant to change your passwords and make them super hard. Some tips I like to follow are:

  1. Make sure they are all different.
  2. Include numbers, letters, and both upper and low case.
  3. Don't include anything that can be found easily online, i.e your surname.
  4. Use longer phrases instead of a single word.
  5. If two-factor authentication is offered, use it.

Set a reminder on your phone in 3 months time to do this again.

SCHEDULE TWEETS

Once you write a post, after a few months, the post sadly seems to disappear and is replaced by our new posts. A great way to bring life back to your archived posts is to schedule the links on twitter. Monday mornings can be the best time for motivational posts, or if you have a list of your favourite books, that's great for a Sunday afternoon.

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ANALYTICS SHEET

If you want to see the progress your blog makes throughout the year, I would advice setting up an analytics sheet on a spreadsheet. You can track monthly or weekly to see how well or not so well you're doing. This can be about page views or referrals, to your social media following. If you haven't signed up to Google analytics then do that now! It's the best way to find out all the numbers you need. This can also help set up realistic goals each month.

PLAN YOUR YEARLY POSTS

Plan your yearly posts? I can hear the cries! I don't literally mean plan every single post you're going to do in 2017, I mean have a rough idea. Say you're going on holiday, you might want to do a packing post before you go away, and diary entries for when you're back. You might want to schedule some rough ideas for your birthday or your blogs birthday. If you blog about food or diy, you might want to start planning Easter posts or other yearly traditions. Valentine's, Easter, the seasons, Mothers/Fathers day, fireworks night; these happen every year and if they're something you want to blog about, start planning your ideas now.

THINK ABOUT PROPS

There is nothing worse then reaching February and wanting to make really cute heart-shaped cookies, only to realise that all the heart-shaped cookie cutters are sold out. Even worse, when the delivery is going to exceed Valentine's day. Planning ahead might sound crazy, but it will be fortunate in the long run. You obviously can't know everything you'll need but a few things will definitely come in handy. It may even help motivate you to write that post you probably wouldn't have if you didn't have that prop.

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SET GOALS

Goals are a very personal thing. To some it's motivation, to others it's a reflection of what they didn't do. I've read some really heartwarming posts by fellow bloggers talking about their 2017 goals and it is so encouraging. It's definitely going to be a great year for the blogging community. I on the other hand haven't written a post about my goals, not because they're a secret, but because I come up with a new small goal every week. Each week is a new beginning for me and something new I want to achieve.

2017 looks like a very positive and productive year for the entire blogging community. Let me know in the comments below your greatest blogging achievement from 2016, and a goal you've made for 2017.

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