Keeping up with a blog is much like any other goal you’d like to see succeed …it’s a lot of work. This blog is not where I’d love for it to be in terms of content, but frankly, working in a hospital development office from 9 to 5 (and sometimes much later) isn’t the most conducive environment for gaining blog inspiration. Not to mention, getting home at 5:30, fixing dinner, catching up with Brandon about our day, then having some “me” time, doesn’t leave many moments to sit in front of the computer to create original content. I’m sure many of you can relate. I can’t imagine if I had to throw a baby into this mix (kudos, mommas!). Or if I wasn’t able to hit the gym on my lunch break …that extra hour of free time after work is so precious.
In an ideal world, I would run a small business out of my home and really devote myself to blogging. I’d have time in the day to indulge in inspiring articles and pictorials. My blog would include outfit photos set in very picturesque locations. I’d film makeup tutorials and divulge myself a bit more. I’d really reach out to the blogging community through networking and attending blogging conferences. I would create my own personal brand and truly thrive in it.
The reality is that there are far more things on my plate than Style Me Swanky. However, this blog is still a high priority of mine. I do spend a large portion of my free time keeping you updated, but it doesn’t ever seem to be enough for my own satisfaction. I’m constantly wanting to share more …to share uniquely …to share better.
I struggle with the balance of hobby vs. business in relation to this blog. Is this a second job or is it just a hobby? To be honest, I don’t really know how to define that. There’s a constant pressure to post every day, but sometimes, when the content is just not there, I don’t force it and skip that day. I actually probably don’t do this as often as I should. I am learning to manage my expectations and am trying to plant the idea that “quality is greater than quantity” firmly into my brain.
I’m a big list maker, so I’ve jotted down a few things to help me have a clearer vision of where I want this blog to be. If you’re a blogger, you might find this helpful in developing your own blog and contriving your own goals!
// Be very clear on the content I want to feature. SMS is a lifestyle blog with posts about fashion, beauty, and home interiors. There may be a few posts sprinkled in there about other topics, but my content should stay directly within those parameters.
// Become good friends with bookmarking. I’m really going to work on taking note of inspiring articles I happen across, beautiful photos to use on the blog, etc. There are so many times when I see something beautiful and completely bypass it on the blog because I didn’t bookmark it anywhere. Maybe I’ll keep a running journal of blog ideas because often, writing things down breeds creativity and helps me think of more ideas.
// Be original. I rely on Pinterest far too much for inspiring photos. I really want to dig deeper and come up with unique content that isn’t already floating everywhere on social media. On the same regard, I feel like I personally have a lot of great tips and tricks/opinions about beauty and fashion related subjects …I need to start sharing them.
// Schedule posts further in advance. Why do I not do this already? I’m constantly working on Tuesday’s post on Monday, Wednesday’s post on Tuesday, and so on. I’m going to work on posts further in advance to reduce the time crunch the day before. This will also give me an opportunity to evaluate posts before they go up and decide if there is a way to make it better.
// Become more design savvy. I purchased the Adobe Creative Cloud a few months ago and barely know how to use it. If I can just learn some basics, that would be a huge help for the formatting of my posts. There are a ton of free Adobe tutorials out there in blog land… I need to actually pay attention to them.
// Be consistent. I’ve decided to create a few columns that will be on repeat. Look out for a few series like “lust list,” where I talk about my weekly obsessions, “wear it,” where I post outfit suggestions, “weekly roundup,” where I list worthy links, “product spotlight,” where I review a specific product, and more posts like this one… “real talk,” where I just write from the heart. All of my posts should fall under the very specific categories that I have listed on the right sidebar. This should make your reading experience easier as my subjects will be clearly defined.
// Become more present on social media. Enough said.
So, there are a few goals I’ve set for myself. Ultimately, I want to bring you a better blog reading experience and no, it will not happen over night. I think it’s important, as with anything you set your mind to, to revisit your goals and really evaluate your successes and failures. This blog is a work in progress and, although it sounds corny, you all are what makes it worth it. So thanks for reading! (especially this post… phew, it’s a long one!)
What actions are you working on to become a better blogger?
(photos via Glitter Guide/Catherine Sheppard)