Angean - Past, Present & Future
As the year comes to a close, I’m taking this time to congratulate myself for actually starting my blog, Angean, critique what I’ve done, and improve & set goals for 2016!
I had thought about starting a blog for many moons, but never had the time to do it because working at a bakery means working crazy hours - at least at the one I worked for.
However, once I had had enough and up and quit (yay!), I had some time off and decided that if I didn’t start my blog now, I probably never would. I had the name “Angean” picked out, had already thought about my niche, some posts, and how I wanted the blog to look. I also looked at a lot of other blogs for inspiration and read a bunch of tutorials.
I still had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I started though, but I was proud of myself for at least getting something out there. I published a few posts, mainly of past things that I had done, but didn’t advertise them at all. My idea at the beginning was that I wanted to build up a good amount of posts before I shared my blog on a bunch of social media channels. I wanted people to be able to get a good idea of what my blog was about before ruling it out. I also wanted to create a variety of posts in my main 3 categories so that they would all represent my vision for the blog. I started with some macaron review from Mon K, La Bamboche and La Boheme, along with various watercolour projects and started my TBT Travel series.
As time went on, I started sharing them on instagram and pinterest a little bit, but never on facebook.
At this point, my photography was pretty decent, but there was definitely room for improvement. Also, we lived in a basement at the time, so the lighting was never great, and I wasn’t too good with Photoshop at that time.
I also wasn’t posting regularly at that time. I hadn’t looked into best days to post, or tried to make a schedule for myself, which still made the blog seem like it was just something that I did when I had extra time, and not something that I made time for.
This went on for about 3 months, until I started to really hate my current job and decided that I needed to work harder on turning my blog into a job.
Then, I had a breakthrough.
I became 100% sure that I wanted to blog full time. It may sound inconsequential, but I have never been someone who knew what they wanted to do from the get go. I felt like I had FINALLY figured out what I was going to do with my life. I learned from various previous jobs that I should be my own boss, and this seemed like the perfect way to do it. I felt like I could Martha Stewart the shit out of my blog and turn it into my job.
I did a bit more research and found out how I could customize the menu’s on my blog, get a follow button and link to my Instagram and Facebook accounts in the sidebar. I was pretty happy with how my blog was looking at that point.
By this time, it was October and I decided that I had enough posts to start advertising my blog on Facebook. So I shared it and got a few hundred views for the next couple days. It was at this point, that I also figured out a posting schedule, and used my calendar on my laptop to schedule what I would post each day. This also helped me to make sure that I was varying the topics of each of my posts, and not posting too many food or DIY related posts in a row.
I also chatted with a girl who I used to go to Ryerson with who has a blog of her own. She introduced me to a few Facebook groups for bloggers where I could share things and engage with other bloggers. It ended up being a huge help, and I still engage with the groups daily! I’ve also joined a pinterest group as well that has been beneficial.
Currently, I’m still trying to keep with my posting schedule, but sometimes only manage two posts per week. I’ve definitely done a lot more research into when to schedule posts though, and found that for myself, the best days are Monday, Thursday and Saturday. I also try to plan ahead a lot more and use all the time that I have at night to work on posts or engage with other bloggers.
I pay more attention to my social media channels as well, and now I always share my blog posts on my facebook page, whatever group thread is going on for Facebook, my instagram, Stumbleupon and Pinterest. Sometimes I share to Linked in or Google + as well. Currently, I’m doing this all manually, which is a bit time consuming.
As part of the Facebook groups that I engage in, there were blog reviews that were done, and I look a lot away from mine. My photos were not where I wanted them to be, so I watched more tutorials for Photoshop and started using that software for all of my photos. I also looked into editing my photos with actions, and still have a bit more work to do with those, but I think I’m definitely heading in a much better direction. I know all of my travel posts have definitely benefited from my learning the tools on Photoshop. Check out the before & afters below to see for yourself!
I also started a “To Do” list on my Gmail and have it broken up into categories such as; sewing, DIY, painting, blog to do’s, and food. It really helps me to keep on top of things and if I ever feel bored (which is rare these days) I just look at my list and chances are, I will find something that I can do.
I’m in the process of trying to create a more curated Instagram, which I’m finding rather difficult. Some days I want to post something with a lot of contrast, but other days I want something that’s light and airy. It’s hard to find a good balance, but it’s something that I’m working towards! You can check it out here to see my progress.
I just started curating my Pinterest recently by trying to find cover photos that all look similar and pins that better reflect my style overall. I’ve had a bit more success with Pinterest, but it’s still a work in progress. One thing I do love about my Pinterest is how organized my 50+ boards are. The food categories are especially well broken down and it makes it super easy for me to find any recipe that I need. You can check that our here.
Lastly, I read all the time that Pinterest drives massive traffic to a lot of peoples blogs, so I’ve tried to join as many group boards as I can to help with that. I also changed over to Pinterest for businesses, but haven’t really gotten a chance to look into it too much yet.
Plain and simple, my number 1 goal for 2016 is to monetize my blog. In order to do that, I have to switch over to self-hosted wordpress.org. Over the Christmas break, I’m going to be pouring all my time into doing that, so my fingers are crossed that all comes out well!
Straight from my to-do list, here are some of my other goals for 2016:
- Optimize your SEO
- Open Etsy shop to sell digital prints
- Install custom theme
- Install ads in my sidebar
- Make a list of companies to work with for Sponsored posts
- Set up mailing list
- Continue to work on better styling / editing for photos
- Quit current job by July
I’m hoping to be able to do a lot of this in early 2016 and then be able to see the benefits for the rest of the year and beyond! Quitting my current job by July is would be a huge milestone for me. Even if I have to do something else part time, that would definitely be a step in the right direction.
Let me know what you think of my goals for angean! If there is anything else that you think should be on that list, I’d love to hear your feedback!