This post may contain affiliate links. Making a purchase through one of these links helps to support this blog. Habit Changers was provided to me through Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own
I can’t complain about 2016. Sure, it’s had its not-so-great moments (it’s had its share of heartbreaking ones, too). But for the most part, I’m entirely grateful for the opportunities I’ve had over the course of this past year. I found myself fulfilling a couple of my dreams along the way, too. It felt so easy, so meant to be this year. Over the summer, Living La Vida Holoka got its first mention in a popular publication – a complete dream come true for me. The floating cooler DIY that I previously shared on Hello Nature made its way into the July issue of Redbook magazine. That was such a great moment in my career as a blogger.
Then, in late November, I had the opportunity to meet one of my ultimate idols. Martha Stewart was doing a book signing for her cookbook, Vegetables, and I didn’t hesitate to buy myself a ticket to meet her. I have been a fan of Martha Stewart since I was in high school! She is the reason why I’m a better cook (believe me, I haven’t always been this successful with recipes) and has inspired so many of my craft projects. That entire meet-in-greet is still a big blur for me, but it’s one that I will remember for a long time to come.
I also learned a lot more about blogging as a business. I started monetizing my blog in 2015. I dove headfirst into a lot of – what I thought were – easy ways to make money. Along with blogging, I opened up an Etsy shop, designed projects for Darby Smart, as well as a shop on Darby Smart. At the beginning of 2016, I reevaluated my business plan. It was then that I decided to close my shops and focus on blogging and designing. In the middle of this year, I ended my partnership with Darby Smart and decided to focus solely on blogging. In 2017, I hope to take the lessons I’ve learned and be a better blogger in the New Year!
Dot Com Yourself
If you haven’t already, become your own dot com. Find a reputable web host within your budget (ask your blogger friends for help) and get yourself set up with your own domain. Having your own website makes you feel official as a brand!
One of the changes I hope to make this year is finding a new web host. There were a few issues with my website that ended up being costly for me. So do your research, ask a blog friend about web hosting plans, and know what fits your budget.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Planners were super trendy this past year. I may have slacked off a bit when it came to my personal planner, but my blogging planner saw a lot of action! I have gotten great use of the Epic Blog Planner. I enjoyed its format so much that I ordered a new one for 2017.
Keep track of upcoming posts, your social media calendar, and sponsored content with a planner. Sit down and plan content on a weekly basis. You’ll thank yourself for it and you’ll keep your blogging efforts a lot more organized.
Stick to a Routine
So you’ve decided to become a full-time, work-from-home blogger! The biggest mistake you can make is not giving yourself a schedule. I’m guilty of this – especially around the holiday season when I’m overwhelmed and working overtime. Do yourself a favor and give yourself time off.
Just like a regular 9-5 job, I don’t work weekends. I used to and it completely destroyed my focus and stressed me out. Now, I enjoy weekends with my family and I’m ready to get to work again on Monday! I also try not to work nights, but sometimes I can’t avoid it. So I’ll work on my laptop in the living room when we’re hanging out, watching TV.
Keep Tabs on Everything
I have a notebook for everything! I have one for brainstorming blog ideas. I have one to keep track of strictly sponsored posts. There’s also a binder to keep track of blog expenses. Whether you’re keeping track of things on paper or electronically, it’ll make things much easier come tax time!
Being your own brand can be super stressful at times! Trust me. It’s important to remember why you started this journey in the first place. Be proud of your accomplishments. And if all else fails, pick up some uplifting reading material.
I started reading Habit Changers a week ago and I’ve continued to read it every night before bed. It’s a book to encourage positive business practices with simple, yet effective mantras. We all have bad days, but with some simple phrases, we can have a daily reminder that we’re doing our best. After all, practice makes perfect. Good luck in the New Year, bloggers!