I shared my look back at 2016 earlier this week, and now after reviewing all that, I am looking ahead! To start, one of the biggest conflicts I’m experiencing with blogging and crafting is the blurring between building a business and having a hobby. I’ve often called Swoodson Says a wobby – work/hobby – in that I enjoy it, but not all of it, and make some decisions that are to build a business and some decisions that are just because I want to. The more knowledge I have about blogging and promoting and monetizing, the more tension there is between how I choose to spend my time.
In an ideal world, I would have enough free time to sew all of the clothes and handmade gifts that I enjoy making in addition to all of the craft and sew tutorials that I know will earn me money on Swoodson Says. That unfortunately does not happen, and I’m trying to examine more closely how to make those choices. I also often find myself “working” on posts while watching TV with my husband (also working) – and being half as efficient at both things. I want to be relaxing watching TV AND getting something done. Of course, I’m halfway doing both things. I am not sure how I will address that in 2017 – I’m thinking about setting aside a few nights to strictly work on my computer and some to just hang out (ok, fine, watch TV and embroider maybe, I can’t just SIT there!) instead of trying to blend the two.
Random flashback photo to break up all this text – when I won a sew along way back in the day and was so excited!
I’m slowly getting more thoughtful about meshing the two or making what I want to do, work for me. I love sewing books and was excited in 2015 to review one every month (check them out here). I wrote thorough reviews and sewed a project from each one, it was a time intensive project, and was not popular with my readers, not popular on social media, and earned me next to nothing in income. The next big project I tried, Try Something New Every Month has never been particularly popular on social media but it has gone over well with my readers and connected me with great online friends and earned a few bucks here and there off affiliate links. While I don’t have any master plan for a big project in 2017 that will not only make me happy creatively, interest my readers, light up social media, and make me a ton of money, I’d like to think the natural evolution of all of this is that I’m figuring out how to hopefully fill all of those pots a little better, at the same time.
With all that being said, going forth into 2017 I am focusing more energy on building the business side of this blog. We’ve made some goals and changes in our family plans (big one: we want to get back to traveling, like we did before kids!) that will inevitably cut my free work/hobby time shorter and require more income. I’m already trying to reframe my Christmas gift giving expectations, that not everything has to be handmade by ME to be handmade.
Without further ado, my goals for 2017! You’ll notice they are all business. In the past, I’ve had a lot of unfinished projects and things I wanted to try, and I’ve honestly wrapped up almost all of those and don’t feel like I even need to list the 2 or 3 that I am planning on finishing in 2017.
-Be earning $1000 a month by the end of 2017
-Have at least 2 new products/patterns for sale in 2017
-I’d like my monthly traffic to be at 90k a month on average by the end of 2017 – I picked this number following that I had a 74% growth rate for this year, which projected out to about 88k by the end of this year ( for anyone wondering, my accountant husband told me to calculate this by figuring: [(this year divided by last year) multiplied by this year]) and I added some on for an extra reach!
-hit 10k on Pinterest
-hit 5k on Instagram
-Set up an auto responder to welcome people to my newsletter when I hit 2k subscribers on Mailchimp and have automation services
-Set up a lead magnet to grow my newsletter by June 2017
-Figure out what I’m doing with Craftsy (have a few random free patterns up, haven’t emailed any of those folks who downloaded them in a while)
-go through all old posts and clean up, add in new relevant links, make sure affiliate links are do not follow, update pinterest pictures
-be more intentional with IG posts, – posting DSLR photos more infrequently vs. regular iphone shots that aren’t as nice
-set up more collaborations – both with other bloggers and sponsored posts with fabric shops
Keep it up goals
-Continue my regular re-pinning and promotion of old content (organized quarterly)
-Continue weekly newsletters & at least once a week blog posts
-Post a minimum of 1 roundup post per month
You’re probably thinking, doesn’t this lady know she needs to break down her goals and make them all measurable, and all that. YES, I do. But I like going old school paper & pencil, drawing maps and all that, for that aspect and it wouldn’t be easy to share/read.
I don’t want to give the impression that this is going to become some cookie-cutter, ads everywhere, buy my everything blog. It’s not! I am so grateful that I have people who want to read my random making and trying, and help hold me accountable for actually doing things. So often, someone comments or responds with a link to something cool or inspires me to try something else, and I love it.
More newsletter subscribers and blogging friends sent me positive vibes/emails/messages when I was recovering from my recent umbilical hernia surgery than “real life” family/friends! I so enjoy”knowing” you all and having a spot to connect, even if I’m not prone to writing as much very often. I hope you’ll stick around to see what 2017 brings – thanks for reading, as always, it is so much more fun to publish a post knowing more than just my Mom and Google spam bots will read it, like when I first started (and yet, I found myself including a FAQ page at the very beginning, which makes me laugh to this day. No one was frequently reading a word I wrote, let alone asking me questions, haha!!).
Do you have any 2017 goals for crafting, creating, sewing, blogging, living?? Shout them out!