2015 Blog Goals
Hey y'all!I write about two goal posts a year - one at the turn of the year and one at the beginning of the school year. I love setting goals for myself because I'm a major overachiever, and I love watching this blog grow.If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m a perfectionist. I have so much ambition and passion for what I do, so I want to be good at it. There are always ways to improve my blog, my writing, and my life. I’m thankful for what I have, but I’m always looking for ways that I can put in the effort to get to that next level.I’m thankful for how far I’ve come. I’ve pursued (and completed) most of my goals from 2014, with my blog becoming all the better for it.
2014 Blog Goals
I’ve had a big year. This year, I switched from wordpress.com to a self-hosted platform, implemented a blog design from a pair of stunning designers, and started two teen-based book clubs through local independent bookstores. In addition to that, I started working at one of those bookstores – giving me the bookseller perspective and a valuable experience at one of the coolest spots in Tampa. Writing-wise, I finished NaNoWriMo with a project that I’m passionate about, submitted poetry to Princeton University (!!!), and entered several nationwide writing competitions that I’d never had the courage to pursue before.I thought that junior year would restrict me from pursuing my ambitions outside of school; I thought the vigorous schoolwork, varsity sports, and club activities would keep me from my blog/business life but in any way, it just made me appreciate it even more. Math is hard, but I'm an English person at heart so this is my escape from asymptotes! It’s nearing the end of 2014 and y’all know what that means: it’s time for my annual reflection on Words Like Silver and the goals I’d like to pursue in 2015.Last year, these were my goals. How did I do?1. Schedule everything a month ahead.I was just okay on this one. I have the next month or so mapped on Google Calendar and I've been great about that, but I only manage to write my posts a week ahead. I like writing reviews when I'm fresh, and most of the books I read are already out, so I don't want to schedule them too far ahead. My favorite posts - Grind articles - have to be posted as I write them because they're about recent news in publishing. So, it's still a work in progress, but I've scheduled what I could. I keep my blog planned over a month in advance now, which is extremely valuable.2. Keep all the pages updated.I am so proud of myself for this one! Instead of sitting down and clumping together dozens of books to list on my Read in 2014 page, I listed them as I read them. I've made progress, y'all. And now I'm not dying at the end of the year to sort through my Twitter and figure out what I've read.3. Read more out-of-genre.This one was definitely a win! Despite my fears that I could eventually grow out of YA - hopefully never - I've been picking up more classics and adult reads to add to my repertoire. So great! They're a different feel, and I enjoy them a lot when I have the time. The bookstore that I work at - the Oxford Exchange - carries a lot of literary fiction and gorgeous classics editions, so I splurge quite a bit more than I should. Additionally, having well-read coworkers leads me to a lot of great "out-of-genre" reads.4. Have stronger interactions with publishers and other bloggers.I've been getting better about this one. Recently, I've been working a lot on lining up requests and scheduling for 2015, particularly spring titles, and I've already set up a few get-togethers for BookExpo America this year. Despite my persistent shyness, I love networking with other people in the industry! (Also, if you want to join my professional network, join me on LinkedIn.) I'm still working on blog commenting and keeping up to date with my favorite bloggers, but I'm enjoying this goal a lot!Overall, I felt really great about my 2014 blog goals. I feel like 2014 was one of the greatest growth years for my blog - the other being 2012 - and I'm happy with my progress. I met all my goals in one way or another and will continue to work towards them in the coming year. For now? This year's goals!
2015 Blog Goals
1. Effectively use social media to engage readers and cut down on personal posting.I want to get good at using social media. How can I effectively pitch a post to my viewers? What platforms should I cross-post on? How can I get the thoughtful balance between professional and personable?Social media is a valuable resource and one that I really should take advantage of in a productive way. I think I use it too much personally, which is why I want to reduce the quantity of my usage and increase the quality.Social media is one of my biggest rants. Even I have become way too dependent on the instant gratification of getting a few hundred likes, or posting about how great my life is, even when it's not. Honestly? I could be so much more productive in the time that I spend scrolling. Even in the past month, switching platforms and cutting down has made me a much happier person.But I will continue to use it for my blog. A few of methods will include switching my personal photos to my Vsco (where likes don't exist - it's just for the thrill of photos) to make sure that I'm not posting FOR likes, then cleaning out my Instagram to make it more book-focused. Additionally, my sister recently gave me her old camera so I'm going to try and improve my photo aesthetic.2. Mix up mediums and master editing tools to make the blog cleaner.I recently hinted at a surprise that has to do with this - another movement that I hope will continue to expand Words Like Silver's reach and continue to challenge myself. I am so excited for this! It's brand new territory. I'm a words person, not an editing person but I really want to get good at whatever I choose to do. (That's a huge part of my personality.)Aside from that whole challenge, I'm also getting a lot more into photography. My twin sister Hannah is into photography (and very good at it) but I'm not. Even then, it's different because I take pictures of objects and books rather than people, which is more of her specialty.Working at the Oxford Exchange makes me a lot more conscious of aesthetic. Over there, people take the coolest pictures - a real compilation of creative types. I'm a lot more focused on design and arrangement than I was before, with a streamlined focus on how that can be tied into business ventures.If you've seen my gift guide post, that was my first real photo-editing challenge. I'm anal about symmetry and neatness in edits, so it was a definite challenge to get the books lined up properly. I want to do more like that! I want to do more with photo and video.3. Prepare - professionally and personally - for BookExpo America 2015.I'm officially registered to go to BookExpo America this year and could not be happier about it. When I went in 2012, my main goal was just...surviving? I wanted to meet people, NOT be a nervous wreck, and get the books that I wanted.This year, I have a different set of goals for BEA - which will definitely become a separate post closer to May. I'm nervous, but my overarching goal is to just feel prepared and ready to go.4. Post more often - but still have valuable content.This year, I posted about three times a week. I'll try to do every other day but with junior year, a few posts slipped through the cracks. I definitely want to try and post every day this year. Who knows whether or not that'll happen, but since I've started doing Waiting on Wednesday and other memes, hopefully I can start segueing towards that. My reviews hover around 1000 words and my Grind posts are really long, but aside from that, I'm hoping it'll be doable. If I don't have a good idea for a post, I won't post though. It's just something to look forward to doing, and a way to motivate myself.