I’m not a big fan of the whole New Year’s resolution tradition but I feel like setting measurable, achievable goals here on The Mad Reviewer is actually a productive exercise. So I’m going to do it yet again this year.
1. Migrate over to WordPress.org.
Yes, this is the year I finally transition from a free blog to a paid blog where I have more control over my content and WordPress won’t arbitrarily take down my site again. It will mean becoming a lot more tech-savvy but I think I can handle that if I keep up some regular maintenance. I’ve already purchased a domain name and a hosting package with Bluehost so I’m just about ready to get moving. But don’t worry! I’m going to migrate all of my followers over to my new address and I’ll put a link redirect here under the old domain name so you guys have plenty of time to switch over if you so wish. I’m hoping to fully switch over by my 4th blog anniversary on January 13th.
2. Get a total of 1,500 followers.
Last year my goal of 2,000 followers was a little too ambitious so this year I’m aiming for 1,500 in total after I migrate over to WordPress.org. I’m currently sitting at 1,300 and I’ll be posting much more regularly so this should not be too terribly difficult. I just need to get back on the self-promotion bandwagon again.
3. Write more in-depth analysis articles.
After I write that Jon Snow article I’ve been promising for months, something I want to work on in 2016 is writing more in-depth articles about specific books or series. I’d love to do a better analysis of the similarities between the entire Hunger Games trilogy and the Roman Empire. Or try to compare some of the events in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Series to their various historical inspirations, particularly the Wars of the Roses. I love history and I absolutely love books so this is the best of both worlds.
You know what? Instead of five goals this year I’m going to keep it down to a manageable 3 goals. Of course I’m going to strive to post every day and clear my review backlog but those are things I should be doing anyway. My official goals are a little something more to strive for and will require going a little above what I consider regular blog maintenance. And still, I think they’re achievable.
So what are your blogging goals for 2016? What do you think of these goals?
Yesterday I looked back at my 2014 blogging goals post and was happy to discover that I actually achieved most of what I set out to do. In part due to luck, but also due to hard work and the fact that I set realistic, measurable goals. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about goals is that they have to be measurable so you can plan toward them or you’ll never actually get things done.
So here are the things I want to achieve in 2015:
1. Reach 2,000 followers.
I started the year with 1,156 followers so I don’t see this as an unreasonable goal. Once I get my posting back to a consistent pace I’ll of course attract more people (and get fewer unfollows) but I’d also like to dabble in social media a little more. Maybe start a Pinterest or Instragram account; I still refuse to use Facebook. Being more active on social media can’t hurt, that’s for sure.
2. Get back to posting every day.
I fell short on the ‘post every day’ motto that I lived by for nearly two years and I think it’s time to get back on that. It’s not a difficult thing; I’m still reading just as many books as I used to but I got lazy about reviewing them. There’s really no excuse for this and so my goal for 2015 is to post something every day and not just have huge blank spaces on my calendar where I keep track of posts. I’m not going to do reviews on the weekend just to make my goal but I will do more discussion posts, Lazy Sunday posts and keep on doing more articles. Hopefully that greater variety will motivate me a little more.
3. Hit the 750 reviews mark.
Right now I have written and published 595 reviews over the nearly 3 years of my blog being active. By the time January 13 (my blog anniversary) rolls around I should hit 600, which means that I’ve averaged 200 books read and reviewed for three years now. I’m hoping to keep that streak up but I also realize that I’m going to be way busier this year than I usually am in my personal life. So I think 150 books reviewed in one year is a reasonable goal.
4. Write more and a better variety of articles.
I’ve already started on this resolution with my Forgotten Figures series, but I’d also like to take things up a notch. I want to publish a variety of articles on topics like blogging advice, the challenges of being a book reviewer, industry news and such. Heck, maybe I’ll sneak in a Game of Thrones article or two in time for Season 5 so I can get a monster spike in my statistics just like last year. Who knows? All I know is that my goal is to write at least one well-researched article per month, preferably two.
5. Clear my review requests and open up submissions again.
I’m actually doing pretty well on this one so far, having reviewed four of the 14 books I said I would from my last round of submissions. I think this is in part because I’ve been pickier about what I’ll accept. I really only accept requests that I really think I will like so it hasn’t really been hard to motivate myself to make time to read the submissions. So my goal this year is to read and review those last ten books and open up limited submissions once again. I can’t say yes to everyone, so I will dependably say yes to a few people.
Well, these are my blogging goals for 2015 and I hope to look back in January 2016 and say “I achieved all 5 of my goals”. None of these are unreasonable so I think with the right amount of motivation and effort I can actually do all of them barring any unforeseen catastrophic events in my life.
But what I want to know now is this: What are some of your blogging goals for 2015 (yes, you are more than welcome to link to your posts!)? What do you think of my goals?
I’m a little late on the blogging goals band wagon, seeing as most bloggers posted their goals early this month, but better late than never. One advantage of posting later is that I’ve had time to reflect on other peoples’ blogging goals and to see if I want to adopt some of them. So what exactly are my blogging goals this year?
1. Reach 1,000 followers. (WordPress and email combined.)
I started out the year with 633 followers and at the time of writing this post I have 687 followers. In 2013 I acquired 455 new followers so I’ll just have to stay on pace with my average of about a follower per day. So why do I want 1,000 followers? Why not 900 or some other high number?
Well, the answer is that on NetGalley most of the large publishers like Penguin are only accepting review requests from blogs with 1,000+ followers. Some of my favourite books are published through Penguin, so by reaching the 1,000 follower milestone I’ll be able to request them. It’s not guaranteed that I’ll be accepted, but with my really high reviews to requests accepted ratio it’s not going to hurt my chances.
2. Publish one well-researched article per month.
I’m not talking about my rants here. I’m talking about articles like The Portrayal of Cleopatra in Historical Fiction. In other words, articles that take a little more research and a little more thought than rants do. Besides, rants are spur-of-the-moment sorts of things and I rarely schedule them more than a couple of days ahead of time. I want my research-intensive articles to be a little more thorough and I want to schedule them a couple of weeks in advance to give me more time to reflect on them as well as make corrections.
3. Reach 650 reviews total.
Right now I’ve written 464 reviews, meaning I’ll have to read and review 186 more books, short stories and novellas this year. That means I’ll be writing a little over 16 reviews per month, which is doable for me. It’s about 4 reviews per week for the rest of the year, which is also quite doable. I read a lot and review pretty much everything I read. Besides, I like hitting big milestones like this.
I figure that if I reach my goal of 650 here in 2014 I can hit 800 in 2015 and (if I’m still around the blogosphere) reach 900 in 2016 and 1000 in 2017. My review production is going to slow down in 2016 and 2017 due to general life stuff but I’m hoping to at least hit 1,000 reviews in total for The Mad Reviewer. I don’t want to quit anytime soon, so I don’t have any plans for shutting down my blog for a long time yet.
4. Control my review requests!
I will clear my waiting list. No ifs, ands or buts. There is no excuse for me to still have the books authors requested I review on my list here in 2014. After I clear all of the pending requests, I will be initiating an open submission call for no more than a month, close down requests until I clear them again and then doing the same thing. This will be far more manageable and I’ll also have a new form for authors to fill out so I can weed out those books that really don’t interest me.
These are my blogging goals for 2014. What are some of yours? What do you think of mine?