Okay, time for the first challenge! Today, the Blogging 201 requirement is to set three long-term goals for my blog and (if daring) to post the goals publicly. I can do that.
The post starts of by offering two thinking questions: Why do I blog, and what do I want this blog to be? Okay ….
Why do you blog? To gain notoriety? To secure a book contract? To self-publish your work? To establish yourself as a leader in your field? To gain followers? Traffic? To connect with others? To work through and clarify your own thoughts?
This is a good question. I started this blog because I needed a safe place to say things out loud, to share my experience with others, and to connect with the trans community. But I don’t really need the blog for that anymore. Do I want notoriety? I suppose. Do I want a book contract? I’d love that. I guess I still blog because I still think that I have worthwhile things to say about the trans experience and about life in general. I also blog because I love to write and I want to write for a living.
If your blog exceeded your wildest dreams, what would that look like? Would you have a different design? How many followers would you have? How much traffic? What sort of community would participate? What discussions would take place? How often would you post?
A different design, definitely. Part of my frustration the past few months has been settling on a look for the site. More followers? Yes please! A blog ‘community’? I would love to inspire such a thing. Really, I envision this blog being a place where I post interesting things everyday, where people engage and discuss those things I post, and where I make sufficient money blogging to quit my day job. I’m not too modest to say it: I want to be a voice that people listen to, that people want to hear more from.
Looking at those desires stated plain, I can easily see where I have been falling short in recent months. I have been focusing on the wrong things. Who cares about how pretty my theme is if no one is interested in what I have to write? Who cares what font I’m using if I’m not getting enough eyeballs on the work to appreciate it? Why worry about the window dressing if I’m not putting words on the page? So here are my goals:
1. Post three times a week between November 1 and January 31. I have been averaging 8 posts a month since July — that’s less than two posts a week, as there are some 5 week months in there. I aim to change that. Three posts a week is what I need to be producing. Of course, that means finding something to write about three times a week, but isn’t that why I’m doing this in the first place? As a last-ditch reach, I can always head over to The Daily Post and do whatever the day’s challenge is.
- Sub-goal 1a.I will be creating an Editorial Calendar for those three months because … well, I probably should.
- Sub-goal 1b. I will create one “weekly feature” to fill one of those days. Because … well, I probably should.
2. Double my Unique Daily Visitors (UDV) by January 31. Over the past three months I have averaged about 500 unique-per-day visitors per month; if I exclude July and run what I’m averaging so far for October, that goes up to about 520 [July was the month I switched servers, so it’s a bit off]. That’s 17 people a day, which is abysmal to me, especially since it could be the SAME 17 people each day. I want to double that. Actually, more than double, but I will settle for doubling the UDV in three months. Getting 17 more people to read won’t be that hard, will it? [She said sarcastically.]
3. Spend one hour each week reading the creative output of fellow trans creators online, and commenting on their work, from November 1st until January 31st. I like the idea of having one less self-centric goal, and this one shouldn’t be too hard for me since I browse a lot of blogs anyway. It not only serves as an inspiration boost, but commenting is a well-known way of networking and drawing new eyes.
As you can see, I’m using January 31 as my target date for all three goals. I think a three month window is a good one; it gives me time to work but also puts the deadline reasonably close, to motivate. Also, it gives me a month beyond Christmas (Christmas is a slow time for blogging). And away I go!