It's Black Friday. That means a lot of different things to a lot of different people (maybe you're out shopping?), but for me, it's smack dab in the middle of my absolute busiest time of the year; holiday shopping & sales. Since I'm primarily a shopping blogger, this is my most important and lucrative time of the year, so this week, I have worked pretty much non-stop in an effort to make sure my readers have the latest information on all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday codes that matter to them.
I'm in the thick of it now, but come Monday at midnight, it'll all be over. Not exactly, but at least I'll be able to breathe. Once I catch my breath, this is the time when I find it easiest and most productive to look back on the past year, and set goals for the year ahead.
December can be a quieter time, and generally lends itself to reflection since I'm spending more time with family, and on the things outside of my blogs that really matter.
When you have time, take a few minutes to look at what you accomplished in 2013 and what more you want to do on your blog in 2014:
Did you start monetizing your blog?
If you wanted to, did you start selling advertisement or sponsored posts on your blog? Have you joined an affiliate program? Are you seeing success with monetization? why or why not? If you are, then you're on the right track; bump it up in 2013! If not, look at what you could be doing differently. Are you setting your rates at a competitive level? Are you using affiliate links effectively? Do you have an effective Media kit to send out to potential partners & advertisers?
Have you built community around your blog?
Are you starting to see consistent commenters on your posts? Are you noticing that you've built a small community around your niche (both on your blog, and off)? Are you responding to comments? Interacting with your readers? Are they doing what you want them to? Are you sending out an email newsletter yet? If yes, then keep it going – maybe make a goal to increase comments, or grow your community next year. If not, think of what you could be doing differently to attract more interaction on your blog.
How's your Social Media presence?
Do you have ways your readers can interact with you OFF your blog? Are you going where your readers are? If not, find your social media account of choice (twitter, facebook, google+, instagram, pinterest…) and become more active on it and encourage your readers to follow you there. You may find that going OFF your blog every so often increases interaction ON your blog!
Are you happy with your blog design?
What are some goals you'd like to achieve for your blog in 2014? How will you measure success next year?
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