Well, one thing hasn’t changed in the last two years. It still takes me a few weeks to sit down and write down my blogging goals for the coming year. In 2014 I posted on February 10. In 2013 it was February 6. So I guess I’m heading in the right direction.
Of course first I need to take a look back at my goals for last year. There is no point in going forward without taking a look back. My 2014 blogging goals were:
1. Get a new look/theme for my blog. That was kind of a cheater goal, because by the time I wrote it, it was already done. I did it all myself, and it is still a work in progress, but for the most part I’m really happy with my theme and the look of my blog.
2. Create awesome content. I guess you’ll have to be the judge of that. I do try. I don’t
usually post just to post. I try to have something to say.
3. Make some money. Well, I made more in 2014 than the year before. While I love making money, I want to strike a balance between sponsored posts, advertising, and my own (see above) awesome content.
4. That camera thing. I call it that because for the last several years I’ve promised that I would take a photography class and get to know my DSL camera. Nope, I haven’t done it yet. Adding it to the 2015 goal list. Seriously, though, I always have my phone with me, so even if I finally take a class, I’ll still bet that most of my photos will be uploaded from my telephone.
Overall I am pleased with my blogging over the last year. That doesn’t mean I don’t have plans for the coming year though!
2015 Blogging Goals
Let’s start right off with the BHAG why don’t we? I want to rebrand and change my URL this year. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, but to be honest, it scares me. I’ve always been a DIY blogger, but this is a big step and I should probably get some help. So many things to think about!
Why do I want to change? When I started Live from La Quinta in 2009 (yes, my first post was almost exactly six years ago!), I had no idea what I was doing. I had a friend who had a blog and I thought it sounded like fun. I picked my name and URL pretty randomly. I wrote about my training, family, etc. And it was good.
Over the years, Live from La Quinta has evolved into more of a fitness and running blog, with a side of personal. I have a good following, but I think with a name that is more, I don’t know, fitness and running sounding, I can grow even more.
Because this has been on my mind for a while, I’ve become a collector of URLs. While I would love to rebrand under my own name, DebbieWoodruff.com is not available (dang, I should have been thinking of this years ago!). Since my focus wanders from time to time, all my collected URLs are a little random too. They are:
VeggieRunnerGirl.com. From my very vegan phase. I’m still very vegan, but I’m not sure I want my blog name to reflect it. Plus “girl.” Not sure about that one either.
DebWoodruff.com. No one really calls me Deb except a friend or two, but I do kind of like this one. But it still doesn’t have that running flair that I’m looking for.
I also purchased MediaFitCoach.com, during my social media blogger phase. While that is still in use on my WordPress.com blog, I haven’t done much with it. It does have the word coach in it though.
My most recent purchase is CoachDebbieRuns.com. I think I like this one the best, though if you ask me tomorrow I might change my mind.
What do you think? Any other ideas? Tell me in the comments and I’ll hurry over and buy it before anybody else can!
I’d like to make a few tweaks to my theme and overall look, timed to go with the rebrand. I love the Beautiful Pro Genesis theme, so I won’t be changing that out, but I want to create a new header, a logo, and generally clean it up. Sidebars can get messy over time, so it’s time to cull a few things out. I recently purchased Genesis Design Pallet Pro, which promises that I can make advanced theme edits without any coding knowledge. We’ll see. It’s guaranteed!
Blogging and Fitness Conferences. I want to go back to Blogfest this year, which includes the last two days of IDEAWorld. It was a great experience, especially meeting so many blogging friends, and I can’t wait to go back. I will also be attending the IHRSA Convention, as a member of the media, so I’m excited about that.
I want to post less often. I tend to get caught up in the “I need to post daily” maelstrom, but it’s just too difficult to post that often and still keep quality content. I want to cut back (as I pretty much have in the last few months) to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. That being said, I do like to put sponsored posts on Tuesday and/or Thursday, so that they don’t take away from my regular content. I don’t have that many sponsored posts, so that should work pretty well.
I want to be a better Blogging Friend. Believe it or not, blogging takes a lot of time. Between the writing itself, thinking out a plan for my posts, research if necessary, I can spend two or three hours (or more) on a post. Add a job to that, plus, you know, a personal life, time seems to always be at a premium. Unfortunately, the things that get left out are important, both as a human being, and as a blogger. I want to be better at responding to comments, on my blog and social media, reading other blogs and sharing and commenting there, and generally giving back to the bloggers and readers who support me.
Finally, I want to expand into more freelance writing. To do that I will have to step outside my comfort zone and really start to sell myself as a writer. It’s scary, but I know if I want to make a career (or a half career) out of writing, I need to do it.
That brings me to my word for the year. Many bloggers choose just one word, instead of a page full of goals, to express their intentions for the coming year. I’m doing both, because I like to write out my goals, and because the word I’m choosing is so appropriate to my 2015 blogging goals. My word is
Brave, because I’m not. Brave so that I can step outside my comfort zone and not be afraid to approach strangers, not fear the word “no.” Brave because that is how you grow. Brave because I need to fight my shyness and reserve with all that I have if I want to succeed with what I want to do.
Did you set goals or choose a word for the year? What URL do you think I should choose? Do you know a designer that I should hire to do this for me? Do you struggle to step outside of your comfort zone?