How are we almost two weeks into 2018 already? I feel like this year is going to go by in a flash just like 2017 did. This year I am determined to focus on my blog. I am fortunate enough to be at home with Benjamin still, so I have plenty of time to work on improving my writing and photography skills further this year.
Today I wanted to share with you 5 things I have done to kickstart my blog ready for 2018.
Set up a Blogging Station
Something I have wanted for awhile now is a proper place to work from at home. Until now, I have either worked at the dining room table, which is in the conservatory and thus fairly cold (although our Mill Heat heater has improved the situation a little), or in bed, which although very warm and comfy, isn’t incredibly practical.
Around a month or so ago I started window shopping for a desk, and after struggling to find what I was looking for, I instead looked at dressing tables and I finally came across one on Amazon.
It came with a mirror and a stool, and although not your traditional home work set-up, I like that it serves a dual purpose and, as it resides in our bedroom, it means I can be closer to Benjamin whilst he goes down for his nap – win, win!
It is important to set up an area in your home where you can write with minimal interruptions, where you can focus and really get to work on your writing. This doesn’t have to involve new furniture (I just really, really wanted it), but it probably does involve moving your laptop away from the sofa where getting sucked into a Friends binge session is a very real risk – damn you Netflix, but also thank you, thank you very much.
Stock up on Stationery
Most bloggers I know tend to love stationery. Even though we predominantly write on our phones, computers and laptops these days, there is something so nice about planning blog posts with a pen and paper. In addition to this, pretty stationery also doubles up as a blog prop – something I found recently when taking photos for Instagram.
I was recently sent some products from Mustard, and I love their range as it includes everything from sticky notes to page markers and coloured pencils.
I also love how quirky they are – their lucky cat eraser toppers add a little fun to my workspace, and I adore my cactus desktop organiser and unicorn paperclip holder – I’m such a child at heart!
Refresh Your Site
Whether it’s taking the leap to go self-hosted, or treating yourself to a new theme, the new year is the perfect time to give your blog a bit of a freshen up. I find that it also really motivates you to work harder on your content.
I recently got a new theme but I haven’t had a chance to really play around with it, so I am adding this to my to-do list for January.
I had never really considered hiring people to work on my blog before but having heard how incredible VAs (virtual assistants) can be, I would definitely look into hiring one if I had the money.
There are so many little jobs that can improve your blog but take time to do, like fixing broken links (I am too scared to even look, I’m sure there are thousands), and working on Pinterest.
I recently went self-hosted and took advantage of an offer a fellow blogger and web designer Zoe Corkhill was offering. Zoe managed everything with the switch to Siteground, and if I get stuck in the future I will be hiring her to help!
Plan Your Future Content
There is nothing more satisfying than knowing I have blog posts planned in advance. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing something off the cuff, but I also like to be prepared.
Sitting down to plan what I want to write about each month in advance, and scheduling posts also means I am able to take a break from time to time, whilst still producing content on the blog. I have done this a few times now, over Christmas, school holidays and during our trip to Santorini to get married and it works really well.
I find that I need to get in the zone when I’m scheduling a lot of posts in one go. If I get up for snacks or drinks I end up getting distracted and doing other things around the house.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been using my Infusing bottle and Sandwich bag from Mustard to have everything I need to hand and to ensure that once I get going, I am at my desk for the duration.
Do you have any other tips for kick-starting your blog in 2018?
This post includes products provided by Mustard, however all opinions and photos are my own.