More Than Resolutions: Take Your Blog to the Next Level

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31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010: Take Your Blog to the Next Level

Join us all month for 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010!

Do you have a blog? Is it just a fun way to stay in touch with friends and family, or do you have high hopes for your blog? Today we’re looking at how you can get organized to meet your blogging goals in 2010. Toni from The Happy Housewife is sharing a list of reasons you may want to invest more in your blog this year as well as some great tips for taking your blog to the next level!

I don’t claim to be an expert blogger, but I’ve learned a few things over the last year, and I wanted to share some tips for making your blogging goals a reality this year:

1. Write down your mission and goals.

Darren from Problogger has talked more than once about the importance of writing down a mission statement and concrete goals. Knowing why you blog and what you hope to accomplish will get you to your goals a lot faster than blogging aimlessly without any real direction. As with any goal, write down what you hope to accomplish to make your goals more tangible and give you something concrete to work toward. Make goals that stretch and inspire you so that you’re continually reaching for the next level. For example, my goal here at Organizing Your Way is to reach 5,000 subscribers by the end of January. I’ll admit it’s a lofty goal, and it may not be possible, but working towards that goal is giving me the energy and motivation to make it through this 31 Days series!

2. Create an editorial calendar.

If you’re a memoirist, creating an editorial calendar in the traditional sense may not be possible. Obviously you don’t know what funny/poignant/heartbreaking thing is going to happen next week that you may want to blog about. However, you can still sketch out a basic idea of the types of things you want to post about and which days you plan to post.

For niche and how-to sites (like Organizing Your Way!), having a calendar of the post topics you plan to cover gives you a jump start on planning your posts and generally results in better content because you’ve had time to think through the topic from different angles before you actually sit down to write. Set aside focused brainstorming sessions to think through post ideas, and carry a notebook with you to capture any that come to you when you’re away from the computer so that you always have a list of ideas ready to go.

3. Make a commitment.

If you want to take your blog to the next level, you have to commit to actually posting. Sure, we all go through dry periods where we may not post as often, but if it lasts too long, you will lose readers and you certainly won’t be gaining many new ones. There are exceptions to this, of course, but for the most part your readers will want to be able to count on a certain number of posts from you each week, so commit to posting and stick to it!

4. Invest time in your blog.

Although the posts are obviously the backbone of any good blog, posting is not enough by itself. To really take your blog to the next level, you’ll need to invest time tweaking the layout of your blog, learning about SEO, improving your writing and networking with other bloggers, among other things. Although you never want your posts to suffer because of your investment in these other areas, it’s important to set aside some time each week to work on them as well.

5. Realize that blogging is fluid and ever-changing.

Finally, one of the greatest things about blogging is that it is always changing. Not only does blogging continue to evolve as a whole, but your blog is literally always changing as today’s posts move off the front page and into the archives.  Don’t be afraid to try something new along the way! Sure, it might flop, but as long as you’re being sincere and true to yourself, a flop will just become a learning experience and soon be forgotten. Be creative, watch for new trends and try to stay at the forefront rather than always running to catch up!

Are you a blogger? What is your mission statement for 2010? Tell us about your blog and your goals in the comments!

The 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010 series is sponsored by Get Organized Wizard. The Design Your Life e-program is a comprehensive self-improvement program that delivers ongoing structure, motivation and accountability for taking action.