There’s Something About A New Year ✨
Happy 2019, friends! I hope the first day of the new year feels as refreshing to you as it does to me (although maybe the second day will actually feel more refreshing 😉🥂🎉), and that you have chosen a few or many great memories and lessons from 2018 to carry forward with you. I always enjoy laying out resolutions or goals at the beginning of the year, although I try to be general with what I want to accomplish so to leave room for alterations and adaptations. I got more serious with my blog in 2018, and I hope to build on that in the new year. Below I’ve identified a few things I want to improve upon, change, and/or add to my blog in 2019, as well as offered up some unsolicited blogging advice, so if you’re interested in those things, just keep reading.
A brief look back.
Stats and Engagement
If you have been reading my blog since I started it in the Fall of 2014, you know that my blog has been constantly changing – in big and small ways. If you have only recently been reading my blog, you may be surprised that it’s four years old. Or maybe you’re not, who knows. Anyway, it has morphed from sort of a travel/lifestyle blog to a random writing blog to a scarcely updated blog to a fleshed out book blog. I’ve only been really paying attention to my stats for the past year/year and half or so, and this is what they look like:
In 2016, my total views for the year was 800.
In 2017, that number shot up to 4,320.
And in 2018, my total page views exceeded 10,000. I am thrilled to have reached that milestone, which, honestly, I had been anticipating throughout the latter half of 2018. I am happy about reaching over 10,000 views because as my blog evolves over the years, I sometimes wonder if my blog is pointless, as anyone who has ever felt doubt can surely understand. However, 2017 was really the first year I decided my blog would be almost entirely dedicated to books, and I really threw myself into bookish content in 2018. So basically, thinking my blog is pointless is being too hard on myself – I may have started blogging over four years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I got it to a place I’m happy about.
This goes for my Instagram, too. I recently reached 400 followers, and I’ve gotten into a good groove with taking pictures, commenting and conversing with other people and bloggers on that platform. This is not to say I’m not grateful for Twitter conversations, interactions, and sharing, but I’ve always felt pretty confident about my presence there – in other words, it has always been easier to put myself “out there” on Twitter, for whatever reason.
So if you have also doubted your blogger self (or other selves) this year, but still have a lot of interest and passion for writing your ideas and thoughts down on the internet, or in doing whatever you’re setting your mind to, I urge you to keep going. Development can happen quickly, but it can also take you longer than you might expect to gain your footing and be comfortable.
Additionally, I’m sharing my blog stats (and my excitement about their improvement), because I want to emphasize what they represent and reinforce on the world wide web:
ENGAGEMENT. COMMENTING. TALKING TO PEOPLE. SHARING.
The difference between my blog habits in 2016 and now? I made blog hopping a hobby. I comment on posts I find interesting. I interact with other bloggers, authors, and people on social media. I join in with hashtags, weekly memes (every so often), and tags. I’ve joined Facebook blogging groups and supported bloggers talking about books and a variety of other topics (and gained support in return). I know I’m not adding anything new by saying these things, but I think they are worth repeating. If you are blogging to put yourself out into the world, and to discover writers, travelers, and others who share your interests, care about your stats and growth. But care about what they really are: a reflection of how you and your content are engaging the blogging community, the book community, the knitting community, the travel community, etc. Care about the connections you’re making, the interactions you’re having on a daily basis. Prioritize comments, tweets, direct messages. Care about what generates that number. When you form connections with other people, you’ll wonder about their next posts, how they’re rebounding from a reading slump, when they’re getting back from that cross-country trip so you can look at pictures of a place you’ve never been; when you think about stats in this way, blogging is much more fulfilling.
So hello and thank you to everyone I crossed paths with in 2018. I gained followers on Twitter and Instagram, connected with people on Goodreads, and even joined a book club group on Facebook. I’m so glad I found individuals who want to talk about books, writing, Maine, personal habits, and all things blogging. Thank you to everyone who offered me advice, included me in conversations and bookish challenges, answered my polls and surveys, reached out to request book reviews, reached out to discuss book reviews, and so on and so forth. I really never thought I would feel so passionately about blogging, but it is thanks to you that I’ve found a hobby that I continue to love.
Now, what’s in store for There’s Something About KM in 2019?
Guest Posts and Collaboration
In 2019, I am opening up my From My Bookshelf feature to guest posts, and want to take advantage of any additional collaborative opportunities. I’m in a comfortable spot with my monthly content, so I’m ready to take on special features and additional projects. If you think you would be interested in sharing a few titles From Your Bookshelf, learn more about the series here.
If you are looking for collaborators or need someone to participate in a project, drop me a line or comment below and share your idea(s) with me!
If you have been reading my monthly Reading Challenge Wrap-Ups, you know that back in July I decided to extend my current challenge into this year and beyond. I decided this because A) I was unrealistic with setting the initial goal in the first place, and B) I’ve found I prefer a much more loosely structured Reading Challenge. So I will continue to try and read all the books on my bookshelves, and who knows, maybe I’ll complete it this year. I am not planning on buying any books in the near future, because I have some things I want to save my money for and I have way too many unread books on my shelves already. Plus, I have access to a couple of great libraries that will satisfy me when I don’t feel like picking from my own collection. And not to mention those unread ARCs and books for reviews…
Planning and Organization
To be more specific: I want to set a posting schedule. Not only is that one of the Blogging Best Practices, but having a loosely based posting structure only adds more stress to my life and makes me a lazy blogger. And I know one of the big reasons I don’t have a set posting schedule is because I’m not strict with my day-to-day time management. I’ve finally accepted that, and so now I’m ready to move forward. Planning out my days hour by hour (even on weekends when I’m not working) doesn’t sound fun to me, but I know it’s something I need to do to help me feel less anxious about projects and events. So this isn’t a blog-only goal, but if I succeed it will have a positive effect on my blogging habits.
For now, that is all. I hope you are looking forward to the new year, and I would love to hear about any goals, plans, books you’re reading, or things you’re looking forward to or taking on in 2019. And if you just found my blog today, have been following me all year, or have followed me since the beginning, thank you one hundred times over for being here. Happy New Year!