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Blogging: branding and growth
I have been officially blogging since June 2015, when I published my first blog post. At that time, it was just a hobby I wanted to try and see if I enjoyed it. So I took the free blogging route instead of putting money into something I wasn’t sure about. Well it’s nearly a year later and my blogging has gone through some changes. I’ve found that I am really enjoying my little free hobby…
I have made upgrades including new themes and changing from a fully hosted wordpress.com site to this current self hosted wordpress.org site. I am continuing to navigate the self hosted world and learning as I go. My free hobby, is no longer free, this comes with switching to the self hosted site. Many asked me why I wanted to change, pretty much it comes with more options and freedom of blogging. Also, IF (that’s a big IF) my blog actually becomes successful there is a chance of making money with Fun Happiness and Life. I realize that there are a ton of blogs out in the world and to make money at this hobby may not be feasible. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. I would like to at least make back the money that I put into this hobby.
I’ve trialed a few different formats and types of blog posts including week long themes (DIY skin care and Homemade Chinese take out), weekly themed posts (Therapy Thursday), and then just a variety of posts about crafts, holidays and home life without a consistent theme. Generally all my posts relate to my world of being a mom, wife, and homemaker to two small boys one with Down Syndrome and one with severe Food Allergies.
I felt like I was sort of floundering without a real plan for blogging, and if you know me you know I love a plan (with flexibility). I decided instead of continuing in that vein I decided to sign up for a Blogging U class to hone the skills and get me focused on growing my blog. My first assignment is to set goals for my blog so here you go!
day 1: set three goals for your blog
Goal 1: I will increase my followers by 50% by August of this year. Now that sounds like a huge undertaking, but I don’t have that many followers as of now (approximately 50) so to increase it to about 100 I think is doable. Hopefully with the commitment I am making and the following goals with help with improving the site to make it more popular.
Goal 2: I will set a time for blogging tasks and stick with the schedule through August 2016 to be able to have a good balance between family, work and blogging. I’m choosing August so that I have a good jumping off spot for when my boys head back to school. Currently they are both in school (4K and Early Childhood) for 3 hours on my two days off. That gives me a little window of time that is children free to focus on a post or a project. Summer is just around the corner, so I am going to have to work in blog time without interrupting family time. I also like to keep up with house work (we have two asthmatics in our home so dusting/vacuuming/cleaning really can’t be put off). I am not a fan of using the TV/computer/iPad for distraction for the kids while I get stuff done. I like to be involved with them, but also set aside time for me. This may be my most difficult of the goals to stick with, but I think with a consistent time I will be able to accomplish the other goals.
Goal 3: I will post 3 weekly themed posts through August 2016. I find that I tend to post about 3 different themes and would like to focus this so that it is a reliable resource and helps me to brand my blog. The themes will be as follows:
MAKE IT MONDAY: This one is for me exclusively. I like to make things around my house. I am a Pinterest addict and love trying crafty, homemade projects. I always have an ongoing list of items in my head that I love to throw together.
TASTY TUESDAY: I have recently added a plugin for recipes into my blog and have posted some yummy items. I enjoy baking, cooking and creating in the kitchen recipes that are allergen free for my son, D-Man, and my family. I like to use fresh ingredients from my garden or make something that is usually bought, like Bisquick, and make it from scratch.
THERAPY THURSDAY: This touches on two of my passions my son, Big-C, who has Down Syndrome and how we focus on his development in every day tasks to work therapy homework into a busy schedule. I am also an occupational therapist in my professional life and have insight concerning specific techniques that may help other children increase their skills.
I am looking forward to following through with these goals and revamping as needed if they are not working out.