New Month, New Goals, New Vision – Hopefully

Before we get to the nitty-gritty, since I know not all of my regular readers are going to have time for this right now, I have another article up on Fantasy-Faction! It’s just a review, but His Fair Assassin is a FABULOUS book series, so you should go check it out.

Now, onto the real post…

I’ve been waiting for a round of Blogging 201 (hosted by WordPress) to come around that wasn’t coinciding with other well-established major plans. Like NaNoWriMo, and building the chicken coop, and, well, recovering from those things PLUS the holidays.

The end of 2014/beginning of 2015 was hectic, y’all.

But it’s time to move on and be productive again, here on the blog as well as in ‘real life’. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, though, it is that I’m much more productive if I have a concrete plan. This is part of why my novel-writing goes so much better if I have an outline.

So, the first assignment for Blogging 201 is to set three goals. (You can see the assignment post here.)

Also, I will confess here that I have done none of the rounds of Blogging 101, because I’ve essentially done everything that is assigned for those rounds in the last 4-ish years that I’ve been blogging consistently.

Here. Have Scrabble tiles. Because Scrabble.
Here. Have Scrabble tiles. Because Scrabble.

There are two questions given to ponder when figuring out those three goals mentioned above – “Why do you blog?” and “If your blog exceeded your wildest dreams, what would that look like?”

And I had to stop and think for… a while.

Honestly, a lot of days, I don’t know why I blog. I mean, I started blogging way-back-when post-high-school. With Xanga. And Livejournal. I’m old enough to have even had MySpace, you guys. For real. I remember when you had to have a .edu email address to join Facebook.

Back then, I blogged to keep up with friends. These days, I blog because I’m a writer.

Because ‘they say’ that to make it anywhere in the writing industry – especially if you’re even considering self-publishing and want to make actual money at it – you must have an online presence. An active online presence.

I don’t know about you, but one of the fastest things that can kill my inspiration is being told that I have to do something, and how I have to do it. I’m a creative person. Personally, I need structure, but I need flexible structure. If that makes sense.

Blogging because ‘they say’ I need to, as I have been doing for the past few years, has been mentally exhausting.

And yet, I enjoy the fruits of blogging. I’ve met some amazing, wonderful people the past few years that I would have never met otherwise. And for a while, when things were hard last year, and the thought of giving up blogging was a legitimate option for reducing stress in my life, some of the people I know here were the only reason I kept on.

So my ‘why I blog’ has changed over the past couple of years. I’m tired of doing things because ‘they say’ I need to. Now, I’m blogging for me (or at least attempting to), and sometimes because I’m trying to convince myself that my words have worth.

If my blog were to surpass my wildest dreams… I’m honestly not sure what it would look like. My INTJ personality loves checking my stats page. I’d love to see MORE numbers there, but I’m not discontent with how things are now, either. Traffic fades away about two days after I make a post, but it jumps quite a bit on the days I do make a post, which tells me that people are interested in what I have to say, even if they don’t always comment.

I guess my idea of ‘overwhelming success’ here would be… for all of my readers to comment. Not even on every post, but on at least some posts. That would be really cool. But my best idea for making that happen is emailing every single one of my readers and pleading (blackmailing?) them to JUST COMMENT ON SOMETHING. I don’t think that will really be effective, though.

So. My more realistic three goals are:

  1. Get 2-5 non-time-sensitive posts written and in the queue for when I don’t have time to post. Because garden season is rapidly approaching.
  2. Blog more about things I’m passionate about, even if it’s scary for me to open up that much, and even if it’s sometimes more controversial (but still respectful).
  3. Foster a better relationship with my readers, with the end goal of more interaction on my blog, and me knowing my readers better.

If you have any suggestions for achieving those goals, please let me know!

Recent Comments

    • Rebekah Loper
      February 3, 2015 - 4:45 pm · Reply

      I want more conversations with people on my blog, but I think sometimes my introvert-ism comes across in my posts a little too well, and I give people the ‘don’t bother me’ vibe. Or I’m just really boring. Either of those is possible. 😀

  • heylookawriterfellow
    February 3, 2015 - 9:57 am · Reply

    I started blogging in late 2011 because I had a book coming out the following year and my friends kept harassing me about “marketing platforms” and such.

    But I continue to blog for the reasons you cite: It’s flexible structure, which is wonderful for a writer. I’ve also been amazed by how many marvelous people I have met in the blogosphere (you being one, of course). I could never dream of giving up the blog now; it’s just too much fun.

  • jeanmariebauhaus
    February 3, 2015 - 10:26 am · Reply

    I’ve been blogging since Blogger was the only blog engine out there, when “social media” consisted of message boards and forums and IRC. For a while I had a decent-sized audience, but then I started following “expert” advice and blogging the way you’re “supposed to” and broke out into niche blogs for my various pursuits. All that did was make me feel burned out and stretched too thin, and I lost almost my entire audience. Last year I finally threw out the rule book and put everything back in one blog where I write about the things that interest me, and slowly but surely my audience is starting to build back up.

  • Laura Weymouth
    February 3, 2015 - 3:01 pm · Reply

    If you write about your passions, people will enjoy reading what you have to say. Enthusiasm is attractive and impossible to counterfeit 🙂 You already do a good job of fostering relationships with your readers, at least to my way of thinking. You’re personable and make sure to respond to comments, which are both important!

  • Heidi Dawn Medina
    February 3, 2015 - 4:52 pm · Reply

    Great goals. I like the idea of getting the post written ahead and scheduled. I have been trying to get myself organized enough to do that for about a year now and still seem to be not getting there because of getting busy with other things. You also seem to connect just well with readers. I completely understand the part about blogging for you, not for what everyone else wants. 🙂

  • jazzfeathers
    February 4, 2015 - 10:35 am · Reply

    Good goal. Similar to mine.
    I especially relate to the: I wish more followers would post. Sometimes if feels liek your writing to the void. But in fact people are posting or liking and that means they are really following and liking what they read. That’s nice, no?

    I started blogging because – as you and others have said – it is expected from an author. I had actually been putting it off for a very long time, because I’ve always thought I don’t have anything intersting to say. But when I started… I’ll just say I’m loving it. Not because I’m building a platform, but becuase I’m meeting so many fantastic people. Really, I didn’t expect the blogosphere to be this welcoming.

    I’m also trying to get more organised… sometimes I suceed, sometimes I don’t… oh, well… 🙂

  • S.B. Roberts
    February 4, 2015 - 2:52 pm · Reply

    What a great idea to set some goals to help you blog and refocus on why you do it. 🙂 Definitely blog about what you’re passionate about. After all, you never know what random post could end up capturing readers’ interest. 🙂

What do you think?

About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.