January 4, 2017

2017 Blogging Resolutions + New Year's Introductions

I've never been into New Year's resolutions. I keep a list of 101 goals in 1001 days, and I like to keep track of goals that I didn't know I had (if something big or noteworthy happens, I add it to the bottom of my 101 in 1001!), but I don't set yearly intentions. My mantra of the year? "Inspire growth and grow inspiration." My hope for 2017 is that everything that I do— personally, professionally, or otherwise— is rooted in the desire to grow in some way. In the process, I hope to cultivate a mindset that looks to the smallest detail for inspiration.

Since 2017 is the first year I'm kicking off with a blog, I made some brand-specific goals for 2017. I thought I'd share those today, along with— in light of last month's business launch and November's rebrand—  an introduction of sorts. The "Meet Alexa" page is pretty reflective of who I am on paper, but I've compiled five, more in-depth "facts" about me.

  1. I still buy, and listen to, CDs, and I've been to 15 concerts since September of 2013. If I was still living in New York, this number would be even higher.
  2. My biggest pet peeves are dishonesty and disrespect. I can't stand it when people lie for no reason or are outright mean to other people.
  3. I'm weirdly obsessive when it comes to my car. There is absolutely no eating in it, ever, and it needs to be regularly washed. Nearly two years later, it still smells of new car and leather. I refer to Claus (yes, I named it) as "the child I'll never have."
  4. I'm an INTJ, which means that I'm an extroverted introvert. I can be outgoing when I need to be, but I generally prefer to keep to myself and observe (or completely tune out everything going on around me). This also means that I avoid talking about my feelings and opening up to others. INTJs  are known for their ability to be both creative and logical and are especially rare, making up less than 2% of the population; female INTJs are even rarer, making up less than 1%. This probably explains why I'm so weird :)
  5. I know lots of random animal facts.  More than one of my friends has commented on this, actually. I'm going to attribute this "skill" to my childhood. As a kid, I regularly went to the zoo, toted this pack of fish flashcards to restaurants, and watched plenty of Animal Planet (the Crocodile Hunter was my favorite).

And now for my resolutions:

+ Comment on more blog posts.

I tend to read/share a post and forget to leave a comment. Or, if I'm on mobile, it's not convenient to leave a comment, so I don't. I really want to get better about this.

+ Work on my creation-to-promotion ratio.

I've read that you should be putting 20% of your time into content creation and 80% of your time into content promotion. I am pretty terrible at promoting my stuff. Every new post is published directly to Bloglovin' and gets two promotional tweets, and if its "pinnable," I'll add it to a group board, but once all that happens, it's usually on to the next post for me. I'll occasionally tweet out a link to an older post that did well, but so much of my content gets lost in the shuffle (no pun intended) because I don't know which posts to promote, when to promote them, and how to promote them. I really want to come up with a strategy that works for me.

+ Increase my daily page views. 

This figure is very low, most likely for the reason above: I'm not so good at promoting my content. Once I find a strategy that works for me, I'm sure my pageviews will go up.

+ Integrate SEO into my brand.

At one time, I had a basic working knowledge of SEO, but I'm not sure how sharp those skills are now. I know keyword optimization can be really easy with plug-ins like Yoast, but because I'm not hosted on WordPress, I'm going to need to do more research. Once I do get rolling with SEO, I'll be asking myself why I didn't work on it sooner.

+ Rebrand old pinnable images/add Pinterest hover button.

Oof. So many old images to rebrand. So many old, bad images to rebrand. I didn't realize until recently that my blog theme does not include the code that automatically places Pinterest hover buttons on my images. There is a Pinterest share button at the bottom of each post, but I definitely need to get a hover button up and hovering.

+ Revamp my Pinterest account to better accommodate LS.

I switched to a business account last month, but with the exception of a few boards, most of my pins go straight to my baking or (one of) my home décor boards. I know there's a lot of potential for traffic via this platform, so I really want to work on that.

+ Refine my hashtag usage.

I've heard that using too many hashtags can cause your account to be flagged as spam by Instagram, but I've been using 30 hashtags (the maximum) for months. Even though I post them in a comment and not in my caption, I don't like how it looks and feel that I could be user fewer, and better, more relevant tags. This post links to an amazing cheat sheet that I'll most definitely be referencing.

+ Grow my business network online.

I want to expand my social network to include more professional writers and creative entrepreneurs; there are a few in my network now, but there's definitely room for growth. In 2017, I hope to get my freelance business off the ground and start growing a client base. I can't promote my business the same way that I promote my blog; scheduling a hashtagged Tweet to my latest post is an easy way to drive reader traffic, but driving client traffic is another thing entirely. I'm pretty sure that Hootsuite is not the solution when it comes to promoting my freelance services. I have no idea how am unsure where to start/go about this because I don't want to shove it at my followers, but at the same time, I, of course, want to grow as a creative entrepreneur. Will definitely be researching posts on this.

+ Continue to define my spot in the blogging world.

There seem to be two main viewpoints in the blogosphere: 1) you can't be a general lifestyle blogger because you need a niche and 2) you don't need a niche— blog about whatever you want. I guess my mindset falls somewhere in the middle. I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a lifestyle blogger, especially now that I've rebranded and figured out my focus and what I do and do not want to blog about, but maybe I am. I guess that's open to interpretation. Either way, I really want to round out Life, Shuffled and my personal brand this year by putting out the content that I like to read most: posts on music; career (and some college) life; blogging and social media; inspiration for daily life; and, of course, writing.

+ Create a media kit. 

This is a huge undertaking that I'm weary of. I'm not entirely sure when to do this because I feel like I need to grow my pageviews and readership before attempting any kind of brand deal. By the end of the year, I'll definitely have a media kit put together, but I'm not yet sure what I want my turnaround time to be.

Drop me a comment! What's one fact about you and one of your blog/biz resolutions?


  1. I love your resolutions!! Definitely going to incorporate some of these into my blogging ones :)

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

    1. Thanks, Kendal! Best of luck with blogging in 2017 :)

  2. Hi Alexa! This year, I want to comment on more blogs and spend more time promoting, too. I'm also terrible at promoting my own posts, but I use a plugin to periodically tweet out old posts, so that's helped a lot. Commenting is so important, too, because that's a big part of how we build a blogging community. Good luck in achieving these goals!

    1. Thanks, Aly! May I ask what plug-in you use (assuming you see this reply haha)? If it's not just for Wordpress (all the good ones seem to be...), I'd love to check it out! I agree that building a community through commenting is so important, and this might be at the top of my list as far as blogging improvements go. Best of luck this year!

  3. I love your resolutions! I'm also trying to comment on more blog posts this year as well, because while I love reading them, I don't always take the time to leave a thoughtful comment! I'm like you and if I happen to read on mobile, I don't always take the time to come back later and comment because it wasn't convenient. Good luck with achieving your goals!

  4. Agree and resonate with all of these resolutions so much!! I'm terrible at posting on any social media for my blog, so I'm definitely going to try and keep up with that in the next year.

    xoxo, Veronica

    1. Social media is a huge part of blogging— to be quite honest, it sometimes gets to be a little too much haha. Once you find a balance that works for you, it's pretty fun, though. Best of luck, Veronica!


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