With 2017 just around the corner I have been evaluating the blog and planning where I want to take it. It took me a long time to really get into writing again; it used to be a huge passion of mine when I was younger. I found myself at a cross roads in my life about 9 years ago and I had a choice to make; Medicine or Journalism. I chose to train as a nurse and whilst I don’t regret that decision it hasn’t exactly panned out how I expected. Perhaps that is why I have finally embraced the blogging journey more this year. Although I started it in 2015 I had no confidence left in my writing style or my voice. I had spend so many years writing evidenced based essays, dulling my own opinions that weren’t supported by medical evidence I found it hard to write about a simple opinion. I have many opinions and I base most of them on experience and knowledge that I have gained in my lifetime. I am happy to admit that they are just my opinions and do not make me right, but may also not make me wrong. In nursing and medical teachings you cannot have an opinion or take action without ramifications if what you do or say doesn’t have recent scientific evidence to back it up. This is what keeps patients safe but it is also what squashed my writing passion. 2016 has been about getting that passion back and rediscovering my ‘voice’.
2017 is going to be about pushing my own writing boundaries and seeing where it takes me. 2017 is about being bold and being daring.
Well my blogging goals for 2017 are making me feel uncomfortable. I am already doubting if I will be able to achieve the sort of things I want. I believe success is subjective. I already feel like my blog is successful because I have achieved what I initially wanted. I hoped to find my confidence again, in both my writing and myself. I have done that. I wanted to explore my passion for baking in a blogging form. I have done that. I wanted to find a little piece of myself that made me feel more than just a mum. I have done that. My stats and numbers may not be huge, sometimes that bothers me but ultimately I know that doesn’t matter and that isn’t why I started blogging in the first place.
With that said part of my goals are increasing my social media followers. I finally feel ready to shout my blog from the rooftops. I am proud about most of my writing and I have begun to realise that some of my best work are the posts that make me the most nervous to push the ‘publish’ button.
First up I want to increase my Instagram following. This is my favourite platform by far; I love the variety of photos you can find. Flat lays, interiors, children; crisp white tones to slightly blurred or colourful images. My biggest sense of community comes from Instagram and I have virtually met some amazing women on there who I feel I have genuinely come to know without ever having met face to face. We exchanges messages regularly and they are always there for support if I need it. You all know who you are!
I have been reading various blogs and have found some really useful advise on hashtags which help increase followers and the whole community feel. One of the best blog posts is by Katy from Hot Pink Wellingtons about hashtags for parent bloggers read it here. Talya from Motherhood: The Real Deal also has a very helpful post on hashtags.
I recently took the plunge and started a Facebook page for the blog. I have been putting it off as I really don’t understand Facebook as well as I do Instagram and Twitter. I still don’t really understand how to increase your followers but I am more comfortable with that. Fran from Whinge Whinge Wine has written a post about it that explains it is really hard but just persevere… Well I will! I’m sure in time followers will come but for now I am enjoying the support offered by lots of blogging groups and another way of connecting with new bloggers.
Now for the big goal…. The one making me the most nervous… Vlogging! I want to give it a go but am at a total loss of where to start. I have been toying with the idea for a long time but am really struggling with the confidence to take the plunge. Helen at Just Saying Mum is a huge part of my inspiration to just get on with it. She has written a beautiful post on her vlogging decision and I can relate to so much that she says. I found a few helpful posts from some of my favourite vloggers on hints and tips of getting started. Rebecca from Mrs Meldrum has written a great post on her vlogging equipment. Although some of what she uses seems pretty advanced for a beginner I can see the use of it all in the long run. Alex from Bump to Baby has written a really helpful beginners guide, which includes things like ‘Don’t hate your voice.’ This is a huge thing for me, which may seem like a silly thing for someone who wants to start vlogging. I have found Alex’s advice incredibly helpful and I can relate to a lot that she has said about getting started with vlogging.
I am not exactly sure when I will plunge into the vlogging world but I feel it needs to be sooner rather than later or I risk never doing it.
The final thing I am going to do in 2017 is physically put myself out there a bit more, into the blogging community. I want to attend a couple of blogger events and seminars. First up is the Lucky Things Meet Up at the end of January. Sunita from Lucky Things Blog has arranged a bloggers meet up (her second one) which aims to inspire and connect like-minded people. I am really excited to be going but also a little nervous to be meeting so many new people all at once. This is hugely out of my comfort zone as I usually stick to groups of two or three people at once. I look forward to meeting everyone going but please be patient with me if I seem a little quite; I’m not being rude, just a little shy.
Does anyone else have any plans for 2017? The year is long and I would love some more suggestions of goals and ambitions.