The world of blogging moves fast. From social media trends to SEO algorithm changes, bloggers have to keep up.
That’s why it’s smart to re-evaluate your blog at least once a year.
Take a look at where you’ve been, where you’d like to be and how you’re going to get there.
Don’t forget to take into account ever-changing factors in the blogging world, from website design to blog topic trends.
Start by considering these five New Year’s resolutions for your blog in 2017.
1. Get visual
More and more content marketers are moving from text-only content to visual content.
Convince and Convert predicts that businesses and bloggers will become more creative with their content in 2017. Not only do people love visual content, but search engines are becoming better at analyzing images and using them to determine what your site’s about.
For you, this means using more images, gifs and cinemagraphs on your blog and on social media.
This year, it’s also predicted that site owners will move away from the stock photo in favor of custom photography to stand out from the crowd. A great goal to start with is using custom photos for each blog post, with each one designed for social sharing.
Freelance writer Elna Cain’s blog is the perfect example of how to design images for social sharing. (Notice how the design is consistent with her branding, too!)
2. Start a video series
As long as you’re moving to a more visual blog, you might consider starting a scheduled video series. Video is hot.
According to the statistics:
- Facebook sees 8 billion video views per day.
- Compared to text and images combined, social video gets 1,200 percent more shares.
- Marketers who use video grow their revenue 49 percent faster than those who don’t.
- By 2018, 79 percent of all internet traffic will come from video.
Does that mean you have to swap your blog out for a vlog? Of course not.
But seeing as Google favors videos (since they own YouTube) and it can improve SEO, incorporating video into your blogging strategy can help grow your traffic and engagement.
If you don’t have one already, consider starting a YouTube channel and posting on relevant topics at least once a month. Another idea is to begin scheduling Facebook Live videos to engage your current fans.
3. Write more niche content
With a flood of online content hitting readers daily, it doesn’t pay to rehash old topics.
To get noticed, you have to dig deep and write to a niche audience.
We’ve all read generic posts on beating writer’s block, haven’t we? Instead of writing about “Top 10 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block,” dig into one technique or tool. Talk about how to use yoga to beat writer’s block or how to teach yourself to lucid dream so you can brainstorm in your sleep.
Here are some ideas to help you come up with niche-focused ideas:
- Look through lists you’ve written before. Recycle old ideas by focusing on a single list item.
- Write about how a specific tool, app or technique can help solve a certain problem.
- Tell true stories or highlight unique case studies.
- Write timely pieces focusing on current news, trends, or developments in your industry.
Be sure to keep a running list of ideas in Trello, on your phone or in a good old-fashioned notebook.
4. Improve engagement
Every blogger wants more followers, more comments, more newsletter subscribers, etc.
Increasing engagement should be an ongoing goal of yours to grow your blog and increase profit (assuming you monetize your blog or want to in the future).
The difference this year is that you’ll want to start measuring engagement if you aren’t doing so already. Things you can measure include:
- Social shares
- Social followers
- Newsletter subscribers
- Inbound links
This year, measure it! If you want more comments on your blog, take a look at how many you’re averaging per post. Consider how much you want to average, when you’d like to achieve that goal, and how you’ll get there. For example, you might include questions at the end of every post and make a point to respond to every comment personally.
Also think about how these smaller goals play into the overall goal of your blog. Are those comments turning people into leads and then into customers and boosting your profits?
5. Set a work schedule
As a blogger, it’s easy to get wrapped up in being online 24/7, but you have to take care of yourself as well as your blog. If you don’t, your blog will suffer.
Make it a point to set boundaries this year so you can achieve work-life balance.
That means setting a time that you’ll shut down your computer every night. It means taking a lunch break instead of eating in front of the computer. It means giving yourself permission to step away from the internet on the weekends and spend time with your family.
This year, outline a work schedule, whether you blog full-time or are a hobby blogger. This will keep you from burning out so you’re more productive when you’re blogging.
Remember when setting goals that they should be SMART: specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
It helps to write down your goals and share them with someone, whether it’s with a writing partner or your blog followers. Stay accountable by sharing your milestones and achievements with those same people.