Five Years and Forward
I was planning out my content calendar the other day when I stopped and said WAIT…it’s October? Didn’t I start this blog in September? Did I miss writing a 5-year blogging post??
Yes, yes I did.
I’ve officially been blogging for 5 years (plus a month and a half), which is crazy. I’ve never lost my passion for it — burnout, yes, but that’s later — which tells me that it’s something that I should continue to put my energy and passion into to continue growing it to be the best it can be. I took a look back at my previous year’s posts (linked at the end of this one) and wanted to try and find something new to say, so I want to talk about what changes I am making and ways that I plan to continue growing this corner of the internet without losing my mind. 🙂
1. Getting help
I learned this lesson a few years ago when I hired my first professional photographer. I wanted plenty of photos that I could use in blog posts without having to resort to the overused creative commons images that can be seen on many different places on the internet. Alex was the first person who helped me with this and I still stand by using a photographer to get professional images to use.
This past year and going forward, I outsourced some of the tasks that I just didn’t want to do. I knew I could do them, but I also knew I couldn’t do them as well as someone else and that my energy was better suited at creating and writing content. I hired a VA to take over my Pinterest and Tailwind accounts, which was really beneficial.
Once I got an actual camera, I needed to know how to use Lightroom for editing, so I took Rachel’s course — Lightroom Magic — and it taught me a TON. As a sidenote, she just relaunched it with a bunch of updates, and I’d HIGHLY recommend this for anyone who is starting out with editing photography.
The biggest piece of help I’ve gotten so far is from Nicole, a magical blogging business coach who has helped tons of people and friends I know here in the blogging sphere. Not only did she do a great job teaching me about Facebook ads, but I recently started a business intensive group with her and several other bloggers that I know will pay off. This is the first year that I’ve slowed down a little due to what I can only assume is the beginning of burnout, and this group is exactly what I need to kick start me back into gear. I’ll let you know how it goes, but right now I’m feeling energized again.
2. Being more proactive
I go through spurts of motivation where I will email, pitch, call, whatever different brands and companies about getting more work. Then I’ll tire myself out and just not. That’s where I’ve been for a couple months, just sitting and taking on work as it comes to me. It’s nice that that even happens, but if people are coming to me, then I know that I can certainly go to them in the other direction to work on increasing my income.
I have a master spreadsheet of all my contacts (I highly suggest doing this), which makes it even easier to reach out, but I’ve fallen out of the habit. One of my main goals going forward is to reach out to that list several times a month.
Ever since Neil got me Erin’s Inside Job tanks two years ago for Christmas, I’ve toyed around with the idea of selling at least those on this site. It’s still in the back of my mind, but I’d appreciate any feedback you may have about them (or any products). What would you be interested in buying? Tanks? Mugs? Candles? Pictures of Donut? 🙂 Let me know and I may move that project up my list!
4. Getting organized
Many of my issues stem back to a lack of organization, or spurts of organization I should say. Content planning is HUGE, and something I’ve only started doing this past year. Granted, I’ve always has a master list of topic ideas, but really sitting down and planning posts out for a month or a quarter was never really something that I had done. I would sit down the day before, pick a topic, and write. This was all fine unless I wanted to do a recipe or something that required foresight and planning.
My plan going forward is to effectively plan content far ahead because it REALLY saves time and brainpower. The posts I’m able to bring to you are more substantial and professional (although we all love a random brain dump here and there). It’s a win-win for both of us. I’m considering making myself accountable to someone because if I’m having an off day I will easily tell myself it’s ok to nap instead of write ideas down. Accountability is huge for me and something that I think will really help me going forward.
I’ve really appreciated having all of you around and really value what you have to say, so make sure to leave a comment if you’re looking for more (or less) of something. What do you love? What do you not? As much as this space helps me, I know it helps some of you as well and I want to make sure to continue that.
Thanks so much for reading friends. Here is a look back at my previous years if you’re interested: