Coming into 2018 is coming into my third year of blogging seriously — as seriously as I get, anyway. I’ve always been a writer and I’m more than a little obsessed with social media, so it only makes logical sense for me to bring this hobby with me into the new year. But as with every skill or pastime, there’s room for improvement — plenty of room actually, in my case. I want 2018 to be the year I finally crack a big part of this blogging malarkey, not with numbers but with enjoyment and quality and being able to present it to people and say, Yes, this is mine, I created this and I’m ruddy proud of it.
Here’s my plan of action!
Make a conscious effort to be more active within the blogging community.
I’m not the most active person within the blogging community and it’s something that bothers me slightly. Not just because it helps to grow numbers — I mean, that would be great — but because I want to be more involved. I’m lucky to have a handful of ladies that I’ve connected with, like Robyn, Paige and Amy; their support (and yes, friendship) is always so welcome and in return, seeing them hit their own milestones makes me feel a bit like a proud parent. More of that feeling can only be a good thing.
When I first started blogging, one thing I really loved was the different communities, particularly on Twitter — Twitter chats, RT accounts, and general support networks that had carved a space out for themselves under the umbrella term of Blogging Community. I made much more of an effort to be involved with it all than I do now, before general life and laziness got in the way. I have also (and it feels quite sad for me to say this) lost a lot of my interest in reading other people’s blogs — scrolling through Twitter and seeing bufflink after bufflink of self-promos gets exhausting and overwhelming, so I just switch off. It’s a double-edged sword, really, but one that I can definitely get around.
Despite the shitty algorithm, I find Instagram a much better (not necessarily more effective, but more palatable) platform for promoting my blog and discovering others’. I like that it’s basically a sin to post the same picture twice, whereas on Twitter, it’s not unheard of for people to promote the same blog post ten times throughout the day. So in theory, it makes a lot more sense to me that if someone’s Instagram post grabs my attention, I’ll like it, comment, visit the blog and have a read. I’m just not really doing that very much at the moment.
Therefore I’m going to set myself little mini goals that I can easily achieve:
- Five Instagram comments a day
- Five blog comments a day
- One Twitter chat a week (and hopefully I can get my love for Twitter back where it was!)
Develop more of a ‘brand’.
When I look at the different bloggers that inspire me, one thing they all have in common is that they know who they are and what they’re passionate about, which really shows in their writing. They have set topics that they write about regularly, and you can see something elsewhere and think, Ooh, so-and-so would like that!
That’s what I’m aspiring to achieve with Not Capulet. Last year, I took definite steps in the direction of doing this: going self-hosted, deciding on a logo. I just don’t think it stands out as much as it could just yet — at the expense of sounding a bit, well, bitchy, I think it blends into the background with a lot of other similar ‘typical’ blogs out there.
I need to do a lot more solid planning with what Not Capulet is all about. What am I passionate about? What do I like writing about? ~*~who am i?!?~*~
A big part of this involves brands and collaborations. It’s always so exciting to be approached by brands, but I’ve made mistakes in the past. One thing I think I need to bear in mind is that not every collaboration will be suitable for my little internet space. It’s hard and feels stupid to turn down offers from brands, but it’s also dishonest to promote a company or product that you hadn’t even heard of, never mind considered, before they included you in their email blast.
I also need to stick to a schedule and stop being so bloody lazy. It’s so easy to make excuses as to why I haven’t posted; I’m tired, it’s dark so I can’t get any photos taken, I’ve been at work all day, I’d rather be doing something else. If I keep making excuses, I just won’t post at all and then I’d have some serious balls calling myself a blogger. I have no idea how many people read this blog regularly (hi mum!), but if I want to have any readers at all, they need to know what they can expect from me and when. Last year I got into a routine of posting twice a week, Mondays and Fridays, and that seemed to work quite nicely. Just bloody well do it, Juliet, for goodness sake.
Work on my blog photography.
Quite often, people will post pictures on Twitter showing how much their photography has improved, with captions like I can’t believe how bad I used to be!!! Looking at their Before photos is always a bit of a kick because I’d love for my photography to be that “bad” — but then, as ever, I don’t put enough effort in, with my tired little iPhone camera and same old props and crinkled background and too-warm light. To be honest, I know a lot of what I’m doing wrong; I’m just not fixing it. Are we noticing a pattern yet, guys?
There’s also the subject of what I’m actually taking pictures with: my phone. It’s not a terrible piece of equipment, but I guess there’s only a certain standard you can reach with it, especially as my phone is crying out for an upgrade already at only one year old. I’ve been thinking of investing in a decent camera for a while now anyway — I used to love my handheld digital camera and would always be taking pictures with friends and family — so why not incorporate my blogging needs into this purchase? I’ve got an idea of which one I want to get, and the price isn’t reeeeeally an issue — I just need to bite the bullet.