What I want to get out of my blog in 2015

Friends, I've been having a blogging crisis lately. I've had this blog for nearly two years and have a good idea of what I want to transform this blog into, but I never really wrote down any specific steps to take or published them here. I know many of you have blogs too, so I thought this could be a great way to start a conversation and share what my goals were about the blog for this year.

Be less of a pro and more of a person. I tend to focus on posting helpful articles, but I've started to think that my personality gets lost sometimes. My favorite blogs are those whose authors I connect with and admire, and I don't quite think that I'm offering the same with Mascara Warrior. Blogging is an interesting medium for me because you can tap into the perspectives of people throughout the world, especially on topics that you don't know much about. I got a little more introspective with my last blog post, which seemed to be received really well, so I'd like to keep that up. I want to get back to being real and relatable instead of an advice machine.

Develop my blogging identity further. I tend to write things that I could benefit from reading, but to others it may seem like my posts are a flight of ideas. I want to be able to focus in on what I can offer to my readers in order to be a helpful resource and source of inspiration. One of my favorite bloggers, Jen from Jennypurr, is currently writing a series called Getting Specific With Your Blog, which I've found to be really helpful. If you're in the same boat as I am, her most recent post, Who do you want to create for?, is especially on point.

Update my categories and archives. Once I firm up my blogging identity a little more, I want to create an easy way for other people to navigate through my older posts by category. It's currently a little clumsy and outdated.

Maintain a regular publishing schedule. I tried to keep up with publishing three times a week last month, but I had trouble keeping up with it and noticed that my post quality had declined. I was much happier with my content when published twice a week, so I'm going back to that (and so that you can keep me accountable, there will be a new post every Tuesday and Thursday here on the blog!).

Be ahead of the game. When I think about posts ahead of time and take the time to brainstorm, draft, and edit them, they always turn out better than if I quickly type something out for the sake of publishing on schedule. In the coming year, I want to be able to have at least two posts written in advance at all times. (Bonus points if they're completely finished, proofread, and scheduled to post ahead of time.)

Switch to self-hosting. Blogger was a great option for when I started, but now I find it restrictive and lackluster. Additionally, Wordpress has so many plugins to offer that it's almost foolish to do most of the work manually (like I am now). When my domain expires in a few months, I want to start fresh with self-hosted wordpress so that I can increase my productivity and have more control over my web space.

Use fewer stock photos. They're a great resource, but a lot of the blogs I've been reading lately use the same ones. It's time for something different (like the graphic above!).

Consider sponsorships. Not company-sponsored posts or product reviews, mind you. The kind of content that I've started writing doesn't work well with that, and the idea of being compensated for a post or receiving items for free doesn't fit in with my blog anymore. Instead, I would like to gain exposure by sponsoring other blogs because it supports individuals directly (which I am all about) and can yield a genuine readership. I would ultimately like to offer the same on my blog, but it's not the right time yet for that. Maybe one day.

Connect more. I started this blog to talk about things that interested me and to connect with similar-minded individuals. I've been doing an okay job at reaching out to other bloggers, but I want to do an even better job this year. Blogging friends are great friends, right?

Go above and beyond. I've been toying with the idea of putting together an ebook, so I want to be able to take that idea further this year and to get the ball rolling. It should be a really rewarding experience!

As you can tell, these are some pretty specific goals for the coming year. I am determined to follow through with most if not all of them! I am also looking forward to sharing my progress with with you all several months from now.

Now it's your turn. What are your blogging goals for 2015?

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