Gosh, this is a post I’ve sort of dreaded to write. Reviewing my 10 blogging goals for 2017 (which were made at the end of 2016) is a bit frightening. It’s a come to J___ moment. I instinctively knew without looking at statistics that several of those goals weren’t reached. It should be a bummer, right? But, I actually felt that 2017 was a really good year.
Why? Because the biggest changes and accomplishments in 2017 weren’t even on my list of goals for the blog. Has that happened to you? You accomplish something you didn’t even know you are going to try. I can’t tell you how many times, I have completed a major task that I didn’t know I was going to start. I have started the day in one direction (get up, brush teeth, get dressed, go to my office) and an hour (or 2) later, I have totally reorganized the bathroom drawers or cleaned out my closet or moved some accessories around or rearranged the kitchen drawers (happened this year on New Year’s Day).
Was I upset that I lost an hour or 2 in the office? No way, friends. I could look at my newly organized closet, drawers, cabinets or living room and feel an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. I’ve mentioned #randomactsofdiy on my Instagram feed. This is a #randonactsofaccomplishment. And that’s what happened in my blogging world. It wasn’t reviewing my 10 blogging goals for 2017 that gave me satisfaction. It was the #randomactsofaccomplishment. The accomplishments I didn’t anticipate made the difference in 2017. Those accomplishments also made me realize that I needed to totally change my approach to goal setting in 2018. And I’ll share all that in a later post.
Reviewing My 10 Blogging Goals for 2017
Remember when we were told that goals (losing 10 pounds, quit smoking (thank goodness I never had to do that), give up Coke (Dr. Pepper, for me), bread or pasta, didn’t count unless you wrote them down and told someone else? Well, I wrote them down (blog post) and shared them to the world (hit Publish). Now I have to put on my big girl blogger pants and suck it up and be honest about reviewing my 10 blogging goals for 2017.
Here’s the Review of My 10 Blogging Goals for 2017
The actual results are in red (as a former English teacher, I still have an affinity for the red pen.).
1. As I mentioned in my reflections post, I met my 2016 page views goal in August. For 2017, my goal is to double my year end number for 2016. Well, guess what? I think I did it. I say think, because I don’t know for sure. In September when I changed the domain and name of the blog (which will go down as the biggest #randonactofaccomplishment), my numbers for January to September 17th disappeared into blog lala land. I didn’t realize it until a week after the domain change when I decided to check my Page Views for the first time. I didn’t think to write down the Page View number before the switch. But I do know what my Page View number is for September 18th to December 31. And if I extrapolate (big word there) for the entire year, my Page Views for 2017 almost tripled 2016. So I’m going to give this goal a thumbs up!
2. Pinterest ~ I love this search engine and I plan to triple my 2016 engagement and followers. Follow me, anyone? This one didn’t happen, but that’s O.K. You know why? Because I learned so much about Pinterest in 2017. I still don’t have a huge following (to be honest, it’s small), but I’m learning weekly how to improve my account (I’ll show you how I’m doing this.). This one gets a thumbs down.
3. Instagram ~ I finally learned how to use this image social media platform in 2016. I love the photography, the engagement with others and seeing what other bloggers are doing. I plan to quadruple my followers in 2017. I realized in 2017 that I loved Instagram. It wasn’t until at least July that I realized I didn’t know how to use it properly. Since July, I’ve been focusing on hashtags and engagement and it’s paying off in more ways than I thought. In spite of my plodding and lack of real understanding, I almost quadrupled my followers. Less than 100 short. So if you’ll allow me, I’m going to give this one a thumbs up.
4. Photography ~ I signed up for Beth Bryan’s Lightroom Course, The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Lightroom. I started the course over the holidays and absolutely love Beth’s instruction. I can’t recommend it enough. My goal in January is to finish the course and switch from PicMonkey (which I love) to Lightroom. You can check out Beth’s course and purchase it right here. Definitely a thumbs up here. I finished Beth’s course in early February and started using Lightroom. It takes awhile to get the hang of it, but like anything, the more you use it, the more you understand the benefits. I still use Picmonkey for graphics and text overlays. In December I completed another photography course that compliments Beth’s course so well. I’ll share that information later. Another thumbs up.
5. E~mail Marketing ~ I love the engagement with my subscribers every Friday with extra recipes and cooking information. My goal for 2017 is to double my number of 2016 subscribers. I’m still debating the switch to ConvertKit. Again, I was a little short on this goal. I didn’t make the switch to ConvertKit, but I did upgrade to a paid MailChimp account which gives me more flexibility. I was well on my way to meeting the goal of doubling when I started using the RSS feed option in October. I have had an uptick in unsubscribes since then. So I’m debating whether to nix that or just chalk it up to a cleansing process and keep the RSS feed. I’d love your input on this one. But the goal gets a thumbs down.
6. Work with a Brand ~ I’ll be working with Amy Howard at Home in 2017 and can’t wait to use her products and write about the results. And I will continue the relationship I started in 2016 with HomeRight since I love their products. I’ve had a great relationship with Amy Howard at Home this year, using her products, which I love, and posting about them. I did a few more projects with HomeRight; they are wonderful to work with. So thumbs up.
7. I’ll definitely be back at Haven in 2017. My biggest goal there is to meet many of the bloggers that I have met and worked with on 2016 blog hops. Lots of hugs to give. Haven is the best way to learn a huge amount of blogger information in a short time. I can’t say enough about Haven 2017. It was the best of the 3 I’ve attended for a variety of reasons, primarily the engagement with other bloggers. This is when the decision to change the name of the blog and domain was made. I attended classes that really changed the direction of where I was heading. Two thumbs up.
7. Here’s the big one ~ start making videos. I put this on my list for 2016 and it didn’t happen. I’ve made cooking videos before and I loved doing it, but a professional was doing the filming and editing. It’s the technology that has me hesitating. So, you all out there, hold me accountable and keep asking where are the videos? Yes to videos. I made 2 early in the year for the blog and near the end of December made one for my Facebook page as well as the blog. That’s only 3, but this goal gets a thumbs up too.
9. Publish an E-Book ~ also a goal for 2016 that didn’t happen, but that’s O.K. So many other good things did. I’ve several ideas and I’ll just have to pick one. Because of my culinary background and over 12 years of teaching cooking classes, it will definitely have a food subject. Maybe some help, friends? If you could learn one cooking skill, what would it be? Nope, nada, big fat goose egg. Didn’t happen. I think I’m way over thinking this one. Thumbs down.
10. Grow Your Inspired Design Link Party ~ Holly, Diane and I understand the value of hosting and love the fabulous way it introduces us to other bloggers, but it’s alot of work, so we may be looking for others to join us as hostesses in 2017. (Hint, hint.) This goal for 2017 took a big turn in February. Holly and Diane decided to pull back on their blogging and we put Your Inspired Design Link Party to bed. A few weeks later we decided to turn it into an Instagram Party. I love doing it for meeting other folks, but whether we continue is still up in the air. As it turned out, I joined another established link party group in May with 11 other bloggers. Joining the Happiness is Homemade group has been a wonderful experience. So I’m going to give this one half a thumbs up ~ different link party, but growing.
After reviewing my blogging goals for 2017, I had 6 1/2 thumbs ups and 3 1/2 thumbs down. That’s a 65% success rate. Not great, but not bad. I’m focusing on the really good changes and improvements that happened. As I said in the beginning, reviewing my 10 blogging goals has revealed that I need to change the way I set goals. I hope my evaluation will help you in reviewing your goals for the last year. I’ll soon share my plan for 2018 ~ and the word goal isn’t anywhere to be found.