Monday, February 1, 2016

Blogging With Intention - Making Progress


Last month, I joined my friend, Kirsten, from Sweet Tea, LLC and some other lovely ladies to share our goals for this year, so we can hold each other accountable.  The first Monday of each month, we will be sharing posts about our successes and failures, so we can encourage each other to accomplish our goals for 2016.  If you missed my first post, you can read it HERE.  This month I will be sharing how things went for January and set a plan for what I want to accomplish during the month of February. 



In order to be successful at anything, you have to start with the right tools.  For me, my number one must-have is a planner, so I can write stuff down.  The older I get, the harder it is for me to remember things!  I was lucky enough to score a 2016 Choices Notebook Planner from a Blab Kirsten had with Kimberly Montgomery from Fifty Jewels.  This planner is way cooler than my old fashioned DayTimer.  In addition to the calendar pages, it also has Gratitude pages, Goal Setting areas, Check-in areas, and spaces for note taking (BONUS: it fits in my purse!)  This is the only book I need to keep my whole life (personal, work, and blog) organized.
My Choices Notebook Planner

Now that I have a place to write my daily and weekly goals down, how did I do?  I made good progress on my blogging goals from January: 

  • Consistently posted two new blog posts each week
  • Joined at least one link up every weekday
  • Worked on organizing my Pinterest boards (still a work in progress)
  • Set up Buffer to schedule twitter postings daily
  • Updated my "About Me" page to include more personal and fun tidbits about me, so go check it out!  
  • Hosted my first successful blog giveaway with my friend from The Mixed Bag, which definitely helped boost my page views.  
  • My friend Amanda at ALB Designs helped me update the look of my website and set up MailChimp, resulting in a more professional look.

New blog look!
I have been more intentional with my time and have been setting aside time each week to focus on growing my blog readership, since I am just starting out.  One thing I am doing besides joining link up parties is reaching out to companies to ask for collaboration posts. This was awkward and scary to me at first because it is out of my comfort zone, but the worst they could say was "No".  I did get a few No's and Not right now's and a lot of no response at all, which is expected for a blogger of my size.  But an amazing thing happened, I got a "Yes" from a local beauty company who has agreed to do a collaboration with me!  I also was invited to join the Family Christian Bloggers Facebook page and was approved to write a sponsored post for them in February.  My lesson learned is: "If you keep knocking, someone will eventually answer!"

I plan on continuing to rock it in February, so here are my goals I want to accomplish during the month:
  • Design a custom watermark for my blog photos and update current pictures.
  • Continue organizing and updating my Pinterest boards
  • Work on content for a monthly newsletter to have it ready to send out my first edition in March
  • Work on promoting my new Facebook page by posting relevant content consistently
  • Link up to at least 7 parties each week in order to interact with more bloggers
  • Continue to apply for sponsored posts/collaborations
I hope you will join me with setting your own goals for 2016!  Feel free to link up with me at Sweet Tea, LLC if you are a fellow blogger who needs some encouragement in achieving your goals!

24 comments:

  1. Yes!! I've gotten so many No's, but it's so lovely when you get a YES. Just shows that you just never know! :) I also rely so much on my planner now that you will see further now how important it is (if you don't already) I loved this post! I love to see your reflection :) I haven't joined any link parties, but perhaps that should be a goal of mine!!

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    1. Yes, girl! I am so glad you encouraged me to do it because its awesome when you get a YES! I have always loved using planners ever since high school, but now even more, because it helps me schedule all my blog tasks. I like the link parties because its a way of getting my blog out there and I get to find awesome new blogs to follow!

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  2. Wow, Mary, I am so impressed! You are doing all of the right things, my dear, keep it up!! And congrats on your "YES!" :) Have a great week.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your encouraging words! Hope you have a great week too!

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  3. I love that you set these goals and take accountability for them. I have blogging goals for the year, but you just made me realize that I should break them down to monthly goals. Thank you!
    Rachael
    http://www.threadsforthomasblog.com

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    1. Thanks for reading, Rachael! I think breaking down large goals into smaller ones helps me to keep from getting so overwhelmed. Good luck with your monthly goals!

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  4. You're doing so well! I love what you say about asking for collaboration. This is something I've been so afraid to do as a smaller blogger. I think you may have just encouraged me to go for it! Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! Yes, one of my blogging friends encouraged me to do it and it has been a great experience so far and a way to get your blog out there especially if you are new! Good luck!

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  5. Sounds like a great set of goals! Looking forward to watching your blog grow!

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement! You continue to be an inspiration and great resource for me.

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  6. Almost 3 years in and I still need to work on organizing blog posts with a planner. Good thing you are starting off on the right foot!

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    1. I have always used a planner, so it is second nature. It keeps me from getting too overwhelmed (sometimes!) Thanks for reading and commenting!!

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  7. Well done, Mary! You have already done so well with your blog and there's so much more to come :) So proud of you and excited about your goals & plans, love!
    xox N.
    http://www.mielandmint.com/

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement! You do not know how much it means to have validation from other bloggers who are more experienced! XOX

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  8. I just posted my blogging goals and we have a linkup with other bloggers to hold ourselves accountable too. I hope you stop by and add your link. We also have a weekly Small Victories Sunday Linkup you can join, it's a great way to build community and network. We have a few common goals. I need to work on my newsletter for a reading challenge we host and cleanup my Pinterest boards too!

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    1. Thanks for reading! I will definitely come over and check out your link. The more encouragement, the better!

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  9. Thanks for sharing Mary! As a very new blogger myself I definitely need to break down my goals/to do list into more bite size pieces. I often make myself crazy by looking too much at the "big picture"

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    1. Thank you for commenting! It does help to have bite sized pieces, although I still get overwhelmed with my to-do list at times. I just have to keep telling myself...Baby Steps....

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  10. You're awesome, Mary! I'm also a new blogger, but I haven't worked up the courage to start seeking out sponsors. I'm so impressed, and I love your goals!

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    1. Thank you for your comment! I was nervous at first, but the worst they can say is "no". Start with a smaller brand and one you already are familiar with...that makes it easier. Good Luck!

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  11. Great job on your January goals! I love your February plans and just liked your Facebook page! Good luck on it all. It can be so overwhelming, but it looks like you have a great plan!

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement. It can all be a little overwhelming at times, but I try to remember I don't need to excel in all areas right off the bat!

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  12. Kirsten is AMAZING!! I really need to write down my goals, I have been taking note of my stats each week but there are areas I do want to improve this year. One of my goals was to start a link up party and when the opportunity came knocking on my door to join three other amazing bloggers, I jumped at the chance. Week 2 and I am loving it! I am meeting so many more amazing bloggers, like you! Thank you for the inspiration Mary. Going to write my goals this weekend. Thanks for linking up at Friday Favourites.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting! I am so glad I "met" you and am looking forward to your linky party inspiration each week!

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