Blogging Goals – Make & Achieve Your Goals!

Blogging Goals – Make & Achieve Your Goals!

The freshness of the new year is starting to wear off now that I seem to be able to remember to put 2016 on all my paperwork. While I am still feeling good about my resolutions and blogging goals for the new year, I’m not feeling the fire to accomplish my goals quite as intensely as I was around the 1st.

I often see bloggers (including myself) starting strong in the new year and then petering out as the year gets going. It is natural after all, but I am trying my best to not let that happen again this year by setting achievable focused goals.

I published the 2016 Free Printable Blog Planner earlier this month and have just now started working out exactly how I want to put MY personal blog planner together using the sheets. In putting my book together I’ve decided to take some of the sheets that I use often and explain how I use them here on the blog.

Tips for Creating and Keeping your 2016 Blogging Goals

How to make achievable blogging goals:

 

Do I want 100,000 page views this month? Yes, of course. Is it really feasible when I’m currently averaging around 20,000 in a month? No, probably not. I am pretty sure the biggest downfall of New Year’s Resolutions is that often we set unachievable dreams as our goals for a year. Then, when things don’t really start to pan out as quickly as they need to so that we hit that dream, well, we give up. Do I want to be debt free? YES, that is the dream. Is it possible this year? Not unless I won the lottery, and well, that didn’t happen. Is it possible that I pay off a few credit cards so that I am well on my way to living the dream? Absolutely. When taking the time to sit down and write out my goals I do the following steps to help make sure that they are achievable:

  1. Write down the dream: Where do I want my goals to eventually lead? I want those 100,000 page views in a month. I want to be debt free. I want to lose 50 pounds. Whatever your dream is, write it down and get that out of the way.
  2. Go through the steps (goals) that need to happen in order to achieve that dream: I then think about the steps that need to happen in order for me to achieve that dream. For my page views it may be writing regular content and becoming more consistent with my postings. Steps may include guest posting or being featured on blogs that I admire. Whatever those steps are, I write them down in detail and in order in which they need to happen. Those steps then become my goals.
  3. Prioritize the steps. In writing out the steps I try to write them down in the order that they need to happen in order for me to reach my goal. However, sometimes, a lot of items could help me reach my goal and there is no discernible order so I need to prioritize those steps. In prioritizing the steps I think about which items are easiest to achieve and which will garner the best outcome. 
  4. Plan my course of action: Finally, I make my plans. What do I need to do in order to have consistent blog posts that will eventually help me reach the dream of 100,000 page views? I need to have a content calendar that I can follow and post on planned days. I then need to schedule out those posts on my calendar and get working on writing. Setting small, manageable goals such as a workable content calendar with weekly deadlines will go a long way in helping me achieve the steps that lead to me realizing my dream.

 

Creating and Keeping Blogging Goals - A Well Crafted Party

Ways to KEEP your blogging goals:

 

What is the use of setting blogging goals and spending time assessing and planning out your dreams if you aren’t going to work at achieving them? Sure, blogging can be a lot like dieting and while you know what is good for you it is easy sometimes to let things go at times. Heck, life can simply get in the way (see my entire last year with the pregnancy and birth of my second child). A few ways I help myself KEEP my goals throughout the year:

  1. Make small, manageable goals: As I said above, I like to take my dreams and really break them down into small steps that lead me to where I want to eventually end up. These smaller steps help make big dreams seem doable. When I achieve each of those smaller steps I have reason to celebrate and faith that I will eventually hit that goal. If I were to simply say, “I will hit 100,000 page views in a month this year” then each month that I don’t hit that goal would knock me further down in my faith in reaching that goal. However, if I say that I am going to consistently post two days a week for three months and then hit that goal I will see progress and feel more confident that I will eventually get to those 100,000 page views.
  2. Set deadlines: Maybe it is because I was trained as a journalist, but deadlines motivate me like nothing else. I set deadlines to reach certain goals in my calendar with reminders that email me at certain intervals before the deadline so that I don’t forget. I will also put up checklists on the wall (washi tape is an awesome way to post goal sheets for a reminder until a goal is hit!)

Blogging Resolutions

One of my favorite pages from the 2016 Free Printable Blog Planner is the Blogging Resolutions page. It has area for 5 big goals or “dreams” that you have for your blog, space to break those dreams into steps, and a place to mark a deadline for the goal. There is also a short description of how to make a S.M.A.R.T goal. Sign up for my newsletter to access your free printable blog planner including the blogging resolutions page as well as access to all of the subscriber only printables and posts.

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What are your blogging goals for 2016? Comment below! 

Free Printable Blog Planner 2016 Edition

Free Printable Blog Planner 2016 Edition

Have you made your goals for 2016 yet? I know that some of you had because before the New Year came around I had several requests for the 2016 free printable blog planner— bloggers ready to get started making their 2016 goals happen! So, I finished up the updates and sent them out to A Well Crafted Newsletter subscribers on January 1. So, I guess I got my very first goal of the year checked off the list. Woohoo!

So, with no further ado… the 2016 Free Printable Blog Planner is ready for download! Read on to see what is included and to sign up for your free printable. If you are already a subscriber, search your email for the Free Printable Blog Planner.

Build Your Ideal Blogging Planner

First, this is a “build your own” style of planner. The reason I chose this style of planner is because one does not fit all in the blogging world. Some bloggers blog multiple times a month, others blog once a week. Some bloggers are hobby bloggers and don’t need pages of financial planning while others use their blogs as a business and welcome a little financial organization. The pages included in this planner all coordinate with one another. Pick and choose which pages will make the perfect planner for you. If you are just looking for one quick download then I also have a planner built into a PDF that is a fairly complete and general planner. You just need to download and print!

Free Printable Blog Planner from A Well Crafted Party

There are over 41 different planning worksheets to help you build your ideal planner, including:

Blog Brainstorming Worksheets:

  • Blog Resolutions
  • Focus Your Blog Worksheet
  • Post Brainstorming Worksheet
  • Year of Ideas Worksheet

Organization Tools:

  • Affiliate Program Tracker
  • Finance Tracker
  • Pitch Minder
  • Project Budget Worksheet
  • Sponsor Tracker
  • Collaboration Tracker
  • Stylesheet Worksheet
  • Password Tracker
  • Analytics Tracker
  • Social Media Platform Tracker NEW!
  • Monthly Income Report NEW!
  • Post Maintenance Worksheet NEW!
  • Weekly Blog Maintenance Worksheet NEW!
  • Monthly Blog Maintenance Worksheet NEW!
  • Year in Review Worksheet NEW!

Calendar Planners:

(Note: I keep all my planners without dates listed on them so that they can be used at anytime. I always hated it when I had some bad months and didn’t use a dated planner and then had to simply throw it out when I hit a new year!)

  • Month at a Glance Planner  (List)
  • Monthly Blog Post Planner (Calendar View)
  • Weekly Blog Planner (7 Days)
  • Three Posts Weekly Planner (3 Days)
  • Three Posts Daily Planner (For those over-achievers out there or large blogs out there)
  • Single Post Planner
  • Social Media Planner NEW!

Covers:

(Last year’s version of covers had some typos! YUK. I’ve revised the covers.)

  • 2016 Blog Planner Cover
  • Plan the Work, Work the Plan
  • Money, Money, Money
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016
  • October 2016
  • November 2016
  • December 2016

Free Printable Blog Planner 2016 Edition

What’s new?

Each year I go through and modify pages from the previous years and adding new pages as I see fit. I fixed some mistakes on the 2015 edition and made a couple of the sheets more user-friendly. In addition, I added in several new worksheets, including:

  • Monthly Income Report — I find monthly income reports SO inspiring. This past few months I’ve been tracking my own monthly income and find these worksheets incredibly helpful.
  • Post Maintenance Worksheet— Earlier this year my newsletter subscribers received a file with my Blog Maintenance Worksheets. I edited the version to coordinate with the blog planner and have included it in this year’s planning downloads. These worksheets are perfect for using over and over again by slipping into a binder sleeve and using a dry erase pen.
  • Weekly Blog Maintenance Worksheet— Earlier this year my newsletter subscribers received a file with my Blog Maintenance Worksheets. I edited the version to coordinate with the blog planner and have included it in this year’s planning downloads. These worksheets are perfect for using over and over again by slipping into a binder sleeve and using a dry erase pen.
  • Monthly Blog Maintenance Worksheet— Earlier this year my newsletter subscribers received a file with my Blog Maintenance Worksheets. I edited the version to coordinate with the blog planner and have included it in this year’s planning downloads. These worksheets are perfect for using over and over again by slipping into a binder sleeve and using a dry erase pen.
  • Year in Review Worksheet— This new worksheet is a great way to reflect over the past  year and will help you in planning out your next year. I’d print one to fill out for 2015 and one to put at the end of your binder for next year!
  • Social Media Tracker— Keep all your social media information in one convenient place with this Social Media Tracker.
  • Social Media Planner— This is another one that I released earlier in the year, but not with the 2015 planner. Track your social media goals and make a loose plan for your social media postings.

Want to access your free printable blog planner downloads? Subscribe to the Well Crafted Newsletter below:

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Thank you for reading!

Tips for Attending a Networking Event and WOWing the Room

Tips for Attending a Networking Event and WOWing the Room

Yesterday I shared tips on how to throw a great networking event, but what most people want to know is how to really wow at networking events. How do you make yourself stand out amongst the other people in attendance at a networking event? How can you move the shy inner person aside and share the inner rockstar with the room? Or for people like me, how do you decrease the anxiety enough to not come off as a hyperventilating, sweaty palmed super-fan when meeting someone for the first time?

After hosting many networking events with my networking group Portland Bloggers, and attending even more, I’ve come up with a few tips that help me get through a networking event fairly unscathed and with a lot of great connections.

(Big thanks to Portland-local event, food and family photographer Aubrie LeGault for taking these amazing photos!)

Networking works

Before I get to the tips though, let me say that networking REALLY works. You’ve heard the saying before, “It’s all about who you know!” While I don’t believe that is what it is all about, I do believe that there is something to it. You don’t have to know the most powerful player in town to find a connection that will lead you to your next career, opportunity or best friend. I’ve seen several people (including myself) create careers and land jobs or amazing opportunities from taking the time to network with others. It isn’t just about meeting another person either, it is about showing what you can do once you have the opportunity, but making the opportunity to show what you’ve got arrive is all in the networking.

Wow the room with these tips for networking event - A Well Crafted Party

Tips for Attending a Networking Event that Make the Room Say WOW

Okay, so you believe me that networking works. You’ve seen it happen or see where it might work for you. You are ready to take the next step and meet someone that you can really show what you’ve got, but how do you make that opportunity arrive? How do you make the most out of a networking event? Simply follow these easy tips and see all the connections you make!

Networking Tip 1: Pick your networking events with purpose.

There is no point going to a networking event that doesn’t meet your needs in some way or another. Go to an event with the people you want to connect with or with people that can help you meet the people you want to connect with at some point. Thinking about your purpose and the type of people you want to connect with prior to choosing your networking events will help you narrow down your options and utilize your time and efforts in the best way possible.

What does that mean? It means that if you are a blogger looking to connect with brands you want to look for networking events that will put you directly with brands or with other bloggers in a similar niche with brand development in a place that you want your blog to be at. If you are wanting to collaborate on projects or learn from other bloggers then go to an event that puts you with bloggers who may want to do the same thing. Networking with people in an industry that you want to work is great for job connections!

The bloggers that attended the recent Portland Bloggers’ event got the opportunity to meet other bloggers from a variety of niches and sizes. They were able to ask specific questions about monetizing, photography, design, marketing, content creation and more. It was a great event for bloggers looking to connect with collaboration partners as well as learn more about their craft. Personally, I found out about two new ad networks that I later looked into and signed up for!

How do you find your purpose? Decide what you want to accomplish with the networking event by examining your goals and the types of people you want to meet to help you get closer to your goals. For instance: I have a goal to finish my ebook and launch it in September. My last networking events I specifically went with a purpose in mind to connect and get to know bloggers who I feel would be great people to send my ebook to prior to launch to get feedback and possibly help promote. My purpose was to connect and get to know local influencers in a way that would let me know if they’d be the right person to help me reach my goal. In addition, my purpose was to help other bloggers reach their goals. Networking is not a one way street after all!

Bring business cards that stand out to wow the crowd at your next networking event - A Well Crafted Party

Networking Tip 2: Bring business cards that stand out.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many networking events that I’ve attended where people do not have business cards. I can’t even count the times that I’ve made this mistake myself! They are printing, I forgot them, I didn’t have enough on me… I’ve got all the excuses covered. If you really want to wow a room you need to have business cards that stand out. At the end of an event the people that talked to you probably talked to at least five other people with which they exchanged cards. Your card needs to stand out and make your memorable.

At our last event one of the attendees, Yvonne from Dress this Nest & King Cream, brought little individual ice creams to hand out to guests as they left. Do you think anyone forgot her business cards that day? Nope!

And, no, I don’t suggest you figure out a way to bring ice cream to everyone at an event. But, I am suggesting you take time to have business cards that speaks about you in a way that people will remember that it was YOU that gave it to them. My business cards use the same color scheme and photos that are on my blog.

Wow the room with these tips for networking event - A Well Crafted Party

Networking Tip 3: Think of yourself as a brand.

This tip goes for anyone who attends a networking event—not just bloggers. Thinking of yourself and what you have to offer as a brand and presenting yourself in a professional, unique way (as brands have to do) will set you apart from the crowd.

Three things you should know about your “brand” to help you make the most of networking:

  • Know what you have to offer each person that you meet. What is your brand’s value?
  • Know who you help with your offerings—your readers, customers, potential employers.
  • How do you provide this value in a unique way?

READ: Five tips for presenting your brand in a party situation & free printable!

Prepare to talk about yourself at a networking event - Networking Tips from A Well Crafted Party

Networking Tip 4: Prepare to talk about yourself.

At a networking event you will have to talk about yourself at one point or another. You will need to talk about yourself in a way that is authentic, concise and interesting. This trait comes to some people naturally. If so, kudos for you!

However, if you are like me and instead end up a rambling machine that doesn’t ever come to the point and ends up talking about themselves WAY too much or giving a little too much information then you’ll want to take care to not skip this step and PREPARE.

Thinking of yourself like a brand helps with this step a lot. Take the time to answer the above three questions, write them down, and practice talking about them with specific examples.

Networking isn't about you, but it will help you reach your goals. Networking Tips via A Well Crafted Party

Networking Tip 5: Know that it isn’t about you. No really, it isn’t.

So, yes, you will need to talk about yourself at a networking event. And, yes, you’ll basically be selling your “brand” to people you meet with the hopes of meeting YOUR purpose. However, it still isn’t about you.

If you go to a networking event and only talk about yourself (a sin I’ve done on many occasions because I get so nervous that all I can do is babble about what I know) then you’ll leave with no real connections and not one ounce closer to your goals.

However, if you go with the purpose of getting to know OTHERS and how the value that you offer can be beneficial to those people then you will come out of the networking event a total networking rockstar. You will find connections with people that can help you meet your purpose all the while helping them reach their goals.

Networking Tip 6: Take notes as soon as the event is over.

This may seem incredibly nerdy, but I promise that if you do this then you will not regret it. I learned this at a recent marketing symposium from a Washington based marketing team called Delphis Creative. The owner of the marketing business suggested that as soon as you get out of every meeting with someone you connect with take the time to take notes on what you talked about, notes about the person and your thoughts about the connection. Take a little time as soon as an event is over (or heck, even on a bathroom break!) to write a few notes about who you met and what you’ve learned.

One cool way to keep track of all of these is to create Evernote notebooks for each event you go to, take a snap shot of the business cards you receive, and write your notes about the person saved with that card. Then, as you develop your relationship you can add to that note. You can also create some cross referencing with tags as you think of ways that you can provide value to that person, or ways they might be able to help you reach your goals.

Don't forget to connect with people AFTER your networking event is over! Networking tips from A Well Crafted Party

Networking Tip 7: Connect after the event.

Networking events do not end when the door closes and the last glass of wine has been dumped and racked for cleaning. Now days the events can go on and on with the addition of social networking. Take your notebook and purposefully connect with those people with whom you met and started a connection. Connect over social media or email. Just connect.

Did I leave any tips out? What have you learned from your own networking successes and failures? Comment below!


Thank you to the sponsors of the Portland Bloggers Speed Networking Event:

A big, big thank you goes out to all the awesome sponsors that helped make the recent Portland Bloggers’ networking event possible. I appreciate the support of local Portland bloggers and hope that you do too! Please check out the websites of these awesome supporters of Portland blogs and connect with them online:

Host: Passionfruit | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Photographer: Aubrie LeGault Photography | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Bagels: Bowery Bagels | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Coffee: Black Rock Coffee Bar | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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