8 Blog Areas to Focus on in the New Year
It’s a new year ~ the perfect time to set our sights on growing our blogging businesses. I’m showing you my 8 blog areas to focus on in the new year. In fact, these are the areas to concentrate on every year.
Bloggers know that there is so much to do, but we can’t do it all. If we try to do everything, we just might go crazy, spin around in circles, and pull our hair out.
Last year I focused on seven blog areas. This year, I’m tweaking them just a bit to get even more focused on the most important areas of blogging. And I’m adding an eighth focus area.
I once heard that blogging is like creating a magazine 1, 2, or 3 times a week. Bloggers have to be project creators, writers, editors, photographers, marketers, social media experts ~ well, the list goes on and on. That’s why it’s important to narrow all~the~things down.
Just what those focus areas are depends on you and your business. Everyone is at a different stage on this blogging journey. We all have different time constraints and family responsibilities. Some bloggers have full~time jobs.
We all also have different goals for our blogs. For some, it’s a wonderful way to share our passions. For others, it’s a way to make some extra money. For still others, blogging is a full~time job and income.
I’ll say right here and now: if you are not a blogger, just ship over this post. I’ll be back to home decor and DIY projects starting with the next series of posts.
Where are you on this blogging journey? I’m not new to blogging since Bluesky at Home is 4 1/2 years old. I feel like I’ve graduated from elementary school, made it through junior high, and now I can move on to high school.
This post contains affiliate links to resources I use and highly recommend. If you should order any product from this site, I may receive compensation, but you will not pay a penny more.
High school is where our education gets more serious. Time to buckle down. Yes, we want to have fun, but we also want to make good grades.
With that mindset, I first evaluated what I did in 2020. (Here are my 11 Blog Changes in 2020.) Those changes allowed me to narrow down the blog areas that I really needed to focus on in 2021. Concentrating on those seven areas gave me a big boost.
For this year, I’m keeping the same seven blog areas, but changing up the order based on the things that I learned in 2021. Toward the end of 2021, I started focusing on another area that will continue with more intention in 2022.
Hopefully, you will find this list helpful. Use what information you can and join me for a bigger and better 2022.
These blog areas to focus on are in order of importance ~ for me. You may put them in a different ordr and that’s O.K. The important thing is to use what works for you.
As you will see, Numbers 1 ~ 4 are focused on optimizing your blog and go hand in hand. Number 5 is about marketing. Number 6 is about monetization. Number 7 is also about marketing. Number 8 is Time Management.
8 BLOG AREAS TO FOCUS ON IN THE NEW YEAR
FOCUS AREA NUMBER ONE ~ CONTENT AND PROJECTS
I once heard that “content is king”. As a blogger, my main goal is to provide valuable, useful content for my readers. Content that helps you solve a problem. That means information and projects that you can use to make your home more enjoyable ~ hence, “celebrate the home you love”.
Here is a great article from Content Creators about content.
Creating valuable content will continue to be my main focus in the new year. I already have a list of projects that I feel certain you will love:
- home decor ideas
- DIY projects for home decor
- seasonal DIY projects
- holiday DIY projects
I’ll also include some recipe posts. Many of those continue to be some of my most popular posts over time.
Every week I share a blog tip on the Tuesday Turn About Link Party. Since they have been so popular, I’ll include some specific posts featuring blog tips that I know will be beneficial to my blogger readers.
I plan to add on a more consistent basis ~ maybe twice a month ~ topics related to blogging. (Like this one).
I feel a certain level of expertise in some areas which I would love to share. I’ve taken and continue to take courses that have benefitted me greatly. I would love to pass some of that expertise on to you.
As a teacher by degree and practice, I’m always drawn to sharing information that is helpful to others. If you have read my DIY project posts, you know that I’m a stey~by~step, process~oriented teacher. I hope to transfer that practice to sharing more B~to~B content.
If you have some projects and topics that you would like me to explore, please let me know in the comments.
FOCUS AREA NUMBER 2 ~ KEYWORD RESEARCH
I’ve learned in the past couple of years how important keyword research is in the blogging process. Every single post idea should begin with it.
Using keyword research takes some extra time, But, according to the experts, it’s a must. Using both Google and Pinterest, as well as some new tools, I’ll continue to put in the extra time in this focus area.
- I used a paid keyword search resource for several months but decided I could use my resources better elsewhere. For now, I’m using Ubersuggest from Neil Patel and Keywords Everywhere.
- Simple Pin Media offers extensive Pinterest keyword research information that I will continue to use.
- At the suggestion of Mike Futia of Stupid Simple SEO, I’m also making more use of good old Google. In fact, putting my keyword into Google is my first keyword research step for every post.
FOCUS AREA NUMBER 3 ~ SEO
Oh, my. Is SEO ever something we don’t need to jump into with both feet? It’s something we never conquer, but try to improve on with every post.
What steps will I take and recommend to you?
- In the fall of 2019, I signed up for Mike Futia’s Stupid Simple SEO course. I’m embarrassed to admit I started it but never finished. In the summer of 2021, I started the course again and this time got deep into the weeds with it. I can’t recommend it enough.
- I have the Yoast SEO plug~in on my site and it is invaluable for helping you stay on track with your on~page SEO. It’s well worth the $99 a year.
- Anything by Neil Patel.
- Like me, you probably have resources you don’t know you have. Ezoic (my ad network) and MailerLite (my email marketing provider), and others offer extensive information about SEO that I will continue to take advantage of.
FOCUS AREA NUMBER 4 ~ GOOGLE ANALYTICS
In the past year, I’ve gotten more comfortable with Google Analytics. It still isn’t as user~friendly as I wish it were. At least I don’t shake in my boots when I log into my account or Google Search Console now.
I have the MonsterInsights plug~in on my site, which is connected to my GA account. It acts as a filter for GA and pares down the information into understandable data. Unless you are a numbers/data junky, this plugin simplifies it all for you.
If you have other resources for Google Analytics, I would love for you to share in the comments.
FOCUS AREA NUMBER 5 ~ EMAIL MARKETING
This area moved up from Number 6 to Number 5 this year.
Why? Because other than Numbers 1 ~ 4 above, I’ve learned that nothing is more important to growing your business than email marketing. Period.
For me, it’s more important than Social Media which can go crazy or cancel your account without notice or explanation. Your blog and your email are the two things that you have control over it.
In May of 2020, I switched to MailerLite. I love the ease of design. It’s so easy to schedule newsletters and posts. If you are a subscriber, you are receiving this post as an email. You also receive my weekly newsletter with information and goodies (a blog tip, a recipe or resources).
I’ve learned from other top B~to~B content creators how important email is. I’m sticking with the experts.
In addition to great customer support, MailerLite has a HUGE library of video tutorials on everything related to email marketing. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. Watching these videos will again be on my planner every single week.
FOCUS AREA NUMBER 6 ~ MONETIZATION
This blog focus area is new to my list. When I started blogging, I had no idea that you could make money. The first few years, I didn’t even think about it.
2020 was the year that I got serious about monetization. My one goal was to make the blog self~sustaining ~ meaning it totally paid for itself. Thankfully, I reached that goal by the end of the year.
How? First, I joined Ezoic in September of 2020 and immediately started bringing in ad revenue. Wow! That was nice.
When I paid for my own ticket and expenses to Haven Conference 2021, I knew I had reached a goal. All through 2021, I paid for all my blog expenses out of my blog revenue. What a great feeling.
At the end of 2021, I reached my highest monthly ad revenue.
Also in 2021, I decided to get serious about affiliate marketing. I have been an Amazon Affiliate for a few years but didn’t spend much time on it.
Then, in the fall, I signed up for Debbie Gartner’s Journey to the Center of Amazon course. I couldn’t believe the wealth of information. I realized that I had been using Amazon completely wrong. In fact, the things I had been doing probably worked against me.
My Amazon numbers for October (the last one I have) were up a little bit from September. I fully anticipate with the new methods I’ve learned from Debbie that that number will continue to rise.
I also was accepted to LiketoKnowIt in November. I’m still learning how to navigate that affiliate program, but I’m enjoying the early stages. I love that I can offer readers other shopping opportunities.
The third area of monetization is to promote other resources and bloggers. As bloggers, we use so many resources for our business, from hosting to our email provider to tools and plugins. The list goes on and on.
I love to share the tools that I think are valuable. I also believe in promoting other content and course creators whose products I have found helpful to grow my blog. Most have affiliate programs and I am so happy to share those links with my blogger friends.
See My Favorite Resource Page for a few of these tools that I use, love, and highly recommend.
I’m excited about what 2022 will bring in this new focus area ~ after all, there isn’t anything wrong with making a little money for your efforts.
FOCUS AREA NUMBER 7 ~ PINTEREST
I love Pinterest. Like most of us, it’s our go~to resource for home decor ideas, DIY projects, and recipes. Like so many of you, Pinterest has been my biggest source of traffic since I started blogging.
Pinterest “dumped” my account in mid~February last year. The drop in page views, sessions, and ad revenue was devastating. It took until June to recover. That taught me a lesson.
Whereas for years I focused on Pinterest alone, I now focus equally as much on my SEO and pleasing Google. (see Numbers 3 and 4 above.)
Last summer, I discovered Amy LeBlanc’s Pinterest Scheduling Shortcuts Course. I’ve been using her method ever since. I credit it for helping me to grow back my Pinterest account better than before.
Pinterest still wants bloggers to provide the best content for its readers. Since that should be every blogger’s goal, we are on the same page.
Did you know that Pinterest offers tons of great information for bloggers? Check out Pinterest Business for great information straight from the source. The Pinterest Newsroom is also a good source.
I still use Tailwind for scheduling my PINS. I can’t imagine not using Tailwind for scheduling my posts to Pinterest and pinning other bloggers’ posts. Tailwind is part of my Focus Area Number 7.
FOCUS AREA NUMBER 8 ~ TIME MANAGEMENT
As the final blog area to focus on in the new year, time management is will continue to be on my list. I know I can be more efficient and productive. Who doesn’t want to free up time for family and friends, fun and frolicking?
Last year I signed for Trello and set up my boards and other information. To be honest, after a couple of months, I forgot about using it.
I tried using post~it notes on my dry erase board for a couple of months, but that didn’t work for me either.
This year, I purchased a digital Planner from Marie at Krafty Planner. I downloaded the planner, emailed it to Sweet Shark at his office. (He has a bigger and better printer than I do.) I took a stack of thicker paper to his office and printed it off. After a trip to Office Depot, in 10 minutes and $5.91 later, I had a nicely bound 2022 Planner.
I’ve decided that I’m an on~my~desk Planner kind of girl. I use my Planner for my general calendar, daily tasks and checklists, and Content Calendar. I recently started using Google Calendar for appointments and deadlines.
What will be my strategy to improve my time management?
- Use my 2022 planner to stick to daily tasks.
- Continue to use the calendar and alert on my phone for webinars and Zoom calls.
- As part of Cindy Bidar’s 6 Figure System bundle, there is a course called Practical Productivity for Online Entrepreneurs that I’m working my way through. So far (I’m on Lesson 6), there are very actionable tips and suggestions that I’m implementing.
Those are my 8 blog areas to focus on in the new year. Just explaining them to you helps me refocus.
You may notice that I didn’t mention Instagram or Facebook. I’ll continue to post to those platforms (I did start scheduling FB posts using the Business Suite App and it’s super easy.), but not as an area to concentrate on.
- Focus Area 1 ~ Content Creation
- Focus Area 2 ~ Keyword Research
- Focus Area 3 ~ SEO
- Focus Area 4 ~ Google Analytics
- Focus Area 5 ~ Email Marketing
- Focus Area 6 ~ Affiliate Marketing
- Focus Area 7 ~ Pinterest
- Focus Area 8 ~ Time Management
If you liked these 8 blog area focus ideas and want to keep the resources I included, be sure to PIN this post. Let’s all get started on our best 2022.
Jeres to a better and more prosperous 2022.
This was so helpful, Carol, thank you so much for sharing, and Happy New Year! Hugs, CoCo
I’m so glad, Coco. I’m working my way ~ slowly through my focus areas, but the year is young!
There’s some great advice in this post. I can see that you’re following good advice by starting your post with a number. I’m featuring you on the Little Cottage Link Party today.
Thank you, Kristie, for the feedback and for featuring the post on your link party. I’ll definitely check it out.
Great resources, Carol! Thank you for sharing!
Carol I really enjoyed this post. I too am working on so many of these for my blog as well. I am really curious about your ad network and would love to talk to you about that if you ever have time. Thanks for all for the details and resources.
Carol, thanks so much for sharing this post! I really need to get focused this year, and these are some great tips. My goal is to get accepted by Ezoic. Thanks for the inspiration! Also, you’re being featured this week at Celebrate Your Story! Link Party 🙂
Great focus areas Carol – I need to learn more about all those areas too. And I love the idea of special blogger tip posts. Your info is always so useful. Thanks for the tips!
Awesome topics to focus on this year Carol! I too am focusing on SEO for my blog and keyword research. I thought I would mention a helpful blogger -Eb at Productive Blogging is a huge resource for all things blogging. Thanks for sharing your goals and focus points!
Thanks for sharing your goals for this year. I clicked on a couple of links already and plan to come to this post to look at more.
Catherine, I hope that my information will help other bloggers. I think we are all here to support and encourage each other. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Carol, thanks so much for the helpful list!! There’s always something to do, isn’t there? Thanks for sharing!
Such great information! I pinned it to go through in more detail later. Thank you so much for sharing. XO- MaryJo
So glad that you found the post helpful, MaryJo. I’m working on more like this.
Great article with lots of actionable advice. I’ll be looking at a lot of these areas in 2022 and appreciate the resources you have provided.
Hope it was helpful, Janet. I’m working on more similar content.
Thanks so much for sharing this helpful information! I need all the help I can get! It can be overwhelming trying to do “all the things!” Here’s to a wonderful year! Donna
Lots of great blogger tips, Carol! I’m sure you’ll continue to do well in 2022! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen
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