September Blog Evaluation & October Goals

September blog evaluation October goals

It’s October now so it’s time for an update on what I’ve been doing with my blog. Yay, right? I’m writing these posts to document my progress as well as give other new bloggers an inside look at how one blogger is progressing. Hopefully, my efforts will provide some insight or inspiration.

**Note: I wrote this post up at the beginning of the month, but I’m just now getting around to posting it, so bear with me! I suppose that makes me really behind on my goals this month!

Theme change

If you’ve been here before, you may have noticed the theme changed. I’m still not 100% sold on it, but it’s good for now. I’ve had a hard time finding something that I liked AND would work well with square images.

I probably should have grabbed a screenshot of the old layout, but I totally forgot. Sorry!

I’ve also reorganized my categories. Everything was such a mess before. I plan on doing a separate post on how I realized this and how you can organize your own blog if you’re feeling cluttered. I think that will be really useful as a lifestyle blogger, especially if you’re just starting out.

Graphics

I spent most of September working on social media and graphics. So far my graphics have evolved through a few styles. I think I’ve finally settled on the 4th style, which you can see on this post and the last few. Only time will tell. I’m just happy I’m finally building an identity for my blog.

Opening up shop

I’ve had so much fun playing with different styles. I have a ton of potential templates and it seems like a waste to let them just sit on my hard drive. As such, I’ve decided to open up a small shop with a few designs.

**Another note: I applied for a Creative Market store last week and I’m in! I’m excited to get set up there.

Free templates just for you

I’m still working on getting the paid templates up, for but now you can grab a FREE pack of themed templates here, just for signing up to my email list.

Templates are easy to use JPGs. Each design includes 4 sizes for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can use them in Photoshop, Illustrator, or Canva. Anything that can open and edit a JPG. All you need to do is add your text!

60 free social media background graphics

I’ll be offering up more free templates and PSDs in the future, along with tutorials on how to use them with Photoshop, Canva, Desygner, and possibly some other programs. Just sign up for my email list, and you’ll be all set to receive the template files and updates for other free graphics and tutorials.

I also made this rainbow kit you can grab just by sharing a tweet or Facebook post. Click here to download them!

Free rainbow social media backgrounds

Social media and blog traffic

Speaking of social shares, I’ve been trying to really hustle it in my social media accounts. I managed to grow my Instagram to 1,000 followers in just two weeks (wow!) and my Twitter is currently over 500.

I’m finding Twitter to be great for blog traffic and meeting other bloggers. I think it’s definitely a good investment for new bloggers. It’s driving most of my blog traffic so far, even if it’s just 10 people. I’ve gotten a few hits from Instagram as well. I find that impressive since you can only have the one link in your profile.

October Goals

My goals for October are pretty simple. I’m not putting numbers to anything yet since I still don’t have much traction. But that’s what I’d like to get; some traction.

I have about 70 drafts that I need to get posted, so that’s going to be my priority along with getting more graphic templates uploaded and up for sale. It’d be great to make some sales too!

I’d like to get back on track with why I created this blog, as mentioned in my previous post. I won’t go into details since I did there, but I want to mention it here so it’s officially on my goal list.

So, basically, here’s the official goal list:

  1. Post more
  2. Build traffic
  3. Build my email list
  4. Continue building my social media pages
  5. Get my graphics store up and running

September Evaluation

Let’s take a look at my September goals now. Here’s the list from my last goals post:

  1. Produce more content
  2. Create a free gift for email list subscribers
  3. Up my social media game
  4. Promote my blog

I’m happy to say I did, in fact, do all these things! Technically, I didn’t really finish a few of them until October, but I started in September so I’m gonna call it a win.

For September, I give myself a B because I’d wanted to join link parties and get my Facebook and Google+ up and running properly, but I didn’t. I joined 1 link party only. I have joined more Facebook groups, though. I’ve even been a little bit active in a couple. NEED TO WORK ON THAT.

September Blog Goals & August Goal Evaluation

Blog Goals - September 2016

Hi, everyone! It’s a brand new month, or rather it has been for like 5 days now. I want to start out each month with a list of all my goals for that month in regards to my blog. Hopefully, it will keep me accountable if I write down what I’m going to do. Even more so if I have an online record of me saying I am definitely going to do these things. Thanks for keeping me accountable, my currently non-existant but future audience!

August Blog Goal Evaluation

So before I get into my goals for the next month, I want to review my goals from August. Did I live up to these goals? I would like to think so. August’s goals were super simple because I was just starting out. My main goal was to have the website up with a good theme. Starting a new blog is exciting, but I know I need a good foundation. I feel like I learned a lot and now I’m ready to get serious in September.

Here are the things I set out to do in August:

  1. Pick a unique name
  2. Set up blog
  3. Create social media graphics
  4. Create a posting schedule
  5. Post something every day
  6. Create a Polyvore outfit every day

Out of all of those things, I got about half of them finished. Social media graphics took longer than expected but are done. While I didn’t post something every day, I was able to at least come up with about 50 ideas for posts. I consider that a win because at least now I know what I’m going to be working on.

I definitely didn’t keep up my Polyvore goal but that’s something I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stick to anyway. Maybe once I’ve finished the whole setup process. Right now, I’ve been spending so much time making graphic templates, researching marketing strategies, writing posts, and a bunch of other one-time things. Plus, I’ve still got to work my day job. Once I have everything exactly how I want it and have a good workflow going, I’ll have more time.

While I felt like I got a lot done, and really I guess I did, I only actually completed 50% of my August goals. I’m going to say I got about 75% done. I didn’t fully complete my graphics or meet my posting quotas, but I did manage some effort. I know for a fact that I was constantly working or researching during the whole month. So I think that’s a solid C+ for the August evaluation. I’ll work harder to do better in September!


September Blog Goals

On to my goals for this month now!

  1. Produce more content
  2. Create a free gift for email list subscribers
  3. Up my social media game
  4. Promote my blog

1. Produce more content

My main focus this month will be content. It’s the most important thing to me right now. Traffic is important, yes, but keeping people on my blog means I need quality content.

I have a schedule all set up and a ridiculous amount of drafts waiting. Because I’m still such a new blog, I might disregard the schedule a bit just to make sure I have stuff here for people to look at. At this point, the main goal of my schedule is to do at least one post that’s on topic. After that, I can post whatever else I want as well.

I need to actually finish some posts, though. The main thing that was been holding me back was my social media graphics. Up until two days, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. I created about 5 or 6 designs before I made something that felt right for Wonderland Loft. Which really, that brings me right into my next goal.

2. Create a free gift for email list subscribers

I need something more than just my lovely writing to get people on my email list. I’ve been toying around with a few ideas in my head. I could do a worksheet of my blog writing process. I already have a checklist I made for myself in Trello that would convert well to a planner document. I haven’t made a document or worksheet since my senior year of high school. Maybe we did one in one of my college classes, too. I don’t remember. But I think it would be a fun experience.

The other idea is to do up a graphic kit. I had a lot of fun designing my Pinterest template. It feels like a waste to let the other perfectly good designs I did just sit on my hard drive. Plus they were really fun to make. I can see this becoming some sort of “gateway drug” into a seedy blog graphic underworld. Or maybe just a potential business endeavor. Either way, I’ve already got one foot through the door. I’ve never really been much of a physical planner/binder-having-person. I usually prefer digital planners, but all this blog work has made me want one.

3. Up my social media game

Now that I have a graphic template, I can finally finish up some post drafts. I have quite a few posts that were done, but I needed the promotional graphics for. Now that I have something I’m happy with, I feel like I can promote these posts on social media properly. I know it’s important to establish a certain look for my blog early on. I’ve got templates for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram graphics. Time to get social!

I also want to participate in Facebook and Google+ blogger groups. I’ve joined a couple, but it’s so scary! Sure, I plan on treating this blog more like a business than my old blogs. It’s still my art, though. Sharing your art is always scary. Everyone I’ve seen talking in the groups has been very supportive with other bloggers and their questions, so at least the people aren’t scary. Knowing that makes the idea of speaking up a little bit less stressful.

4. Promote my blog

This is probably the hardest part. I’m not really sure where to start here. My social media efforts will help a lot I hope, but here are two things I’m going to be actively working.

Join at least 1 Pinterest group board

My first priority here is going to be to get into a few group boards on Pinterest. Two weeks ago, I tried to contact a few people but I never heard back from any of them. That’s why I say at least one. At this point, I’ll be glad if I can get into that. I have a few more people to contact from groups I found on my own, but I also googled up some suggestions from other bloggers.

Join a link party

A link party is basically a linking get together for bloggers, pinners, whoever. Someone hosts the main list of links gathered from readers on their blog. I want to do this at least once! I’d also really love to host one. I hope by next year I will have enough traffic to be able to start my own. I’ll be using a website called LinkyTools to find open link parties to join.

Good luck in September!

My goals might seem simple, but they feel a bit ambitious to me. I’m really going to put myself out there because I want to succeed. Running a successful blog has been a dream of mine for a long time but I always felt I couldn’t do it for whatever reason (read: excuse). I’m really glad I’m doing this now, even if I probably should have a lot sooner. Better late than never, right?

What are your goals for the month? Have you set any yet? If you haven’t, there’s still time. Good luck in your endeavors!


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Blog Goals - September 2016