Last month I made the biggest leap in my blogging journey so far and decided it was time for a rebrand. I spoke about how finding my true blog voice brought out the best writer in me back in July and this is what kicked me up the butt to make some changes – both exciting and scary ones.
The rebrand needed to be more than just moving over to self-hosted and redesigning my blog. I had become so overwhelmed with blogging that I fell flat each time I tried to create content; it was like I lost my sense of direction. I needed a fresh start.
So what did I do? I made a plan.
Re-evaluating My Goals for the Future
I sat down and wrote all the goals have mentally set myself for my blog. As someone who loves making lists this didn’t take much persuasion if any at all; that was the fun part. The real challenge was to merging them into something practical whilst still being motivating enough to work towards. I’m really happy with the final result and I feel as if I have given myself freedom to progress without the added pressure of having to achieve it all in one go.
- Spend 30+ minutes a day socialising on social media
- Get feedback from readers on what posts they enjoy
- Connect with the #ActuallyAutistic community regularly and share their content
- Engage more on Facebook
- Experiment with my Instagram theme
- Spend 1 hour each weekday on planning content for blog and social media
- Create a bi-weekly email newsletter and build the subscriber list
- Feature in a magazine and/or podcast to help raise acceptance for autistic people
- Develop my own photography style
Creating A Schedule That Works
Despite being in a regular routine with a job that I enjoy, I found it difficult at the start to make progress with my blog. I would either be too tired after work or too busy at the weekends. It got to the point where I had to be honest with myself and start making it work. Unfortunately I can’t blast out 3 posts a week; I just can’t. Not then, and not right now. Bloggers will say that consistency is important (which in fairness is true) but not for someone who deals with regular burnouts. Even if I only get 1 post published a week, I’m perfectly happy with that.
Now I spend my designated 1 hour before or after work to draft blog posts, then use the weekends to take the photos and finish writing the posts. Maybe this will change after time but for now it’s working well.
Changing The Way I Define Growth
Within the blogging community it comes across as if there is this pressure to reach certain milestones to be seen as successful. Or maybe that’s just the way I have taken it. Either way needing to hit x amount of followers on every platform for example doesn’t motivate me in the slightest. From now on I want to look at my analytics and feel like I’m taking something valuable from it. So I ask myself these questions:
- Which posts got the best engagement?
- Where are my readers finding me?
- How much has my following grown this month, and by what percentage?
Looking at my numbers this way makes me feel more in control, also I am a big old data nerd so it’s more fun too.
Getting Honest Feedback to Work On
Having another set of eyes look at your blog can be really helpful as they can give you a different perspective on your content and branding. Which is why I asked Jasmin to do just that! I had just moved over to WordPress and she had recently started her own blog coaching services so it seemed like the perfect time to reach out to her. We have met her at a few blog events before so she wasn’t a complete stranger and I knew that any suggestions from her would be valuable for myself and my blog.
I could tell that she took the time to learn about what I want to achieve and areas that I felt needed improving. She gave me loads of tips on how to take the next steps forward and suggested some additional reading so I still feel like she’s helping me even now. I would definitely recommend checking out her services if you feel your blog or business would benefit from some coaching – it really opened my eyes to how far I could go!
I have learned a lot in my three years of blogging and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, even if they are only small things. Now I know that I can make it work for me I can focus on all what I have planned – the fun starts now!
Photography by Kaye at Fordtography