Welcome back, guys! I gotta say – it felt good to take the last two weeks off. I’m pretty proud of myself for not opening my laptop for seven whole days. Last week, I opened it up a bit to get a few last-minute things crossed off my list so we could start strong this week and it feels so good to be back 100%. Everyone needs a little time off to refresh and set some new goals and that’s exactly what I did.
Every year, I like to think about the successes from the past few months, the challenges, the things I did well and the things I could have improved. Right before the holidays, I started jotting down some goals. I like to keep these short and to the point. I’m all for a SMART Goal, too – especially when it comes to my personal growth but for 2020 Lauren Elyce Goals, these are the three at the top of my list and the ones I plan on printing out and putting at my desk. Shall we dive in?
My 2020 Blogging Goals
No. 1 Utilize My Brand Guidelines
Exactly one year ago today, I shared a peek inside the branding guidelines I created for my blog + brand Lauren Elyce. For me, I created these guidelines to help provide direction to all things Lauren Elyce – from blog posts, campaigns, Instagram captions and everything in between. To be honest, I used them mostly to direct and create my IG Stories and every now and then for imagery for my blog posts and IG posts. My plan for 2020 is to reference them more often.
I gave them a little update before the holidays including more guidance around storytelling and my tone & voice as well as some new color codes that I’ve been drawn to from a visual branding perspective. I printed out my branding guidelines, saved them to my phone and have them on my desktop so I can easily pull them up whenever I’m feeling stuck.
Why? I think it’s so important for every brand, blogger or not, to have a sense of what makes them unique and what makes them stand out. For me, having my vision for how I want to showcase my brand to others helps me stay on track when I’m telling a story or trying to sell a product. It helps me connect with you on a deeper level and it helps me communicate my vision and my point of view to brand partners!
Ever since creating my very first set of brand guidelines a few years ago, Megan and I decided to start offering them to our blogging clients. Whether you’re just starting out or trying to figure out a consistent approach to bringing your blog to life, we’ve got your back! Complete with everything from a mood board to colors, fonts, logo design, messaging and everything in between, let us help you identify your brand in the new year.
No. 2 Put More of a Focus on Storytelling
Truth be told, I feel like this has always been on my list. Sometimes I knock it out of the park and sometimes I just don’t feel like writing anything. In 2019, I put such a huge effort on the creative/imagery side of things and while I am so happy with the direction I’m heading in I realized that I spent all of my time on the photos and by the time I had to sit down to write, I was mentally exhausted.
I want every single thing you guys read on here and on my IG to be something you can relate to, connect with, find helpful or be inspired by. That doesn’t mean every post or caption has to be a million words but my goal is to work on creating better stories that are interesting, engaging, helpful and empowering. I even wrote out these words on a post-it note and stuck it to my laptop. I’ll also try my hardest to avoid typos – starting tomorrow because I’m 99.9% there are a ton in this post lol
No. 3 Be More Consistent with Pitching/Business Development
In a perfect world, I’d never have to “pitch” for paid opportunities. Some months are more lucrative than others but at the end of the day, I know for a fact I could be putting in more of an effort to secure paid gigs. My goal for 2020 is to consistently put in the work to research potential brand partners, send thoughtful pitches weekly (or maybe I should aim for bi-weekly to start) and to conduct regular follow-ups to previous brand partners.
Aside from pitching, there are a few other areas I need to strengthen like applying for more campaigns, signing up for more blogger networks and putting a little more energy into affiliate marketing. Affiliates/commission has never been a huge part of my income and maybe it never will be but I’m going to give it a shot in 2020 and see what happens!
Not really sure where to start? Megan and I offer a ton of great services at Adorn to help bloggers like us strategize around money-making opportunities and boss moves! Our instant downloads (like the ones below) make it super easy to create your own strategy and include a few tips for making the most out monetizing your business. We also created a really easy to customize media kit and rate sheet template and also offer fully customized templates if that’s more your speed.