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.
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:
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:
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.
I made this special for my newsletter subscribers! They get it first as a thank you for following along with A Well Crafted Party! Do you want to get to the goodies first too? Then sign up today! You’ll receive a link for a free set of printable blog planner pages AND not-too-often newsletters with free printables EVERYTIME.
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This handy little tool is to be used as a supplement to the Free Printable Blog Planner released earlier this year. This is a place for you to track all your pitches that you’ve sent to companies—whether they resulted in sponsorship or not! Click on an image below to download the printable that coordinates best with your chosen blog planner!
Margaret Jacobsen from Margaret Jacobsen Photography took part of the attendees outside on the streets of Portland for hands on practice and to share her tips on fashion photography. It was a great opportunity for bloggers wanting to learn more about photographing people and people with products. I learned a lot in such a short time and have seen my photography improve quite a bit. Here are some of the tips I found useful:
Let your model KNOW what you want from them. This is especially important if you are working with someone who isn’t used to be in front of the camera. The light glaring off of your subject in an unflattering way? Tell them (or show them) to move. Want to see a different pose or expression… tell them!
This tip was difficult for me…. for about ten seconds. I have no problem being bossy—especially after having been given permission! it made all the difference in how I take photos of other people though. I’m a lot more vocal so that I am able to make sure limbs are where I want them in my shot.
Now, Margaret made this sound much more eloquent and put together than my little subject line. But, in blogging, we are often taking photos of product whether it be sponsored items, review items, or DIY items that we created. Just taking product photos with a white background can get sort of boring. Use people in your shots to really feature the product in a flattering light. This is especially handy when featuring accessories like the awesome ones we borrowed from Favery.com.
Man, I’m bad at this one. I’m trying to be in front of the camera more… but, it isn’t easy for me unless I am taking 100 selfies and picking through them. Margaret suggested practicing being a model—whether it is in front of the camera or just a mirror. Put yourself in the same situation as your model may be in so that you can feel what they may be feeling, but also to figure out ways that you might have them pose!
Photography Tips: See more photos from the Photography Event and Learn the Tips that the panel of photographers shared at the event.
About the sponsors: Favery set out a variety of jewelry pieces that bloggers were able to use as props while they learned about how to improve their people photography. Elli created small vignettes utilizing their printed products for bloggers to practice their close up photography. Florals are the work of Swoon Floral Design and chairs are from Classic Vintage Rentals.
About the photographers: Linnea Paulina and Aubrie LeGault taught bloggers tips for photographing still life, close-up shots. This session was built for bloggers who often photographed food, DIY projects, or vignettes. Margaret Jacobsen took a group of bloggers outside to work on people photography, learning how to focus on details, step out of their comfort zone, and be more bossy to get the shot that they want.