Last year in January, I had no expectations. I had no idea what this blog would be. I just wanted to keep doing it because I knew it was good for me (I was going through a major depression at the time). This year is different. I've put a lot of hard work into this blog. I realized I really enjoy blogging, and it's given me a sense of purpose that I don't always get from my PhD work. I've also started a small business that came out of this blog - okay, not a profitable business, but a business nonetheless.
When it comes to my blogging goals for this year, I've thought about the kind of blog I want to have, and the quality of the work that I want to produce. I'm reluctant to make goals like "I want x number of followers on Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr etc." What if I don't achieve those goals? There's always the fear that people will stop following or reading your blog, at least with me there is. Which is why I don't want my happiness to be tied to numbers. I'm going to try to focus on the quality of my work and the quality of my interactions with people.
So enough of my babbling, here's my goals in no particular order...
More Nail Art
Based on the comments in my current giveaway, many of you want to see more nail art and tutorials. And I'm listening!! I actually want the same thing as well. It doesn't mean that I'm going to quit swatching, but instead nail art will take a more prominent role than it did last year.
- Continue to participate in the Digit-al Dozen challenges. I really love working with this group and the encouragement that comes with it. This is a super supportive group of ladies and I'm fortunate to be a part of it. Not to mention that taking on a theme for five days really forces you to think outside the box!
- Do the 31 Day Challenge again. I'm hoping Lindsey from Wondrously Polished will do this with me again. I had a lot of fun last time. So let's all put some pressure on Lindsey, okay!? ;)
- Try to incorporate nail art into my reviews. I really admire bloggers like Chalkboard Nails and Manicurator who do nail art for some of their reviews. Or I could do swatches + nail art like I did with my recent China Glaze review. However, I realize that this may be more time consuming so...
- I may consider taking on less PR samples than I did last year. Kinda sad I know. But I really don't like the pressure of long swatching sessions and feeling like I'm always behind on the reviews I've promised. I know that many of you want to see swatches, and I still want to post them, but I'm going to have to find a new way to approach it.
- I want to make this blog into a resource for nail art. That means doing a range of nail art looks, everything from easy, intermediate, to advanced techniques. I want to make nail art that is unique and creative, but also work that can be replicated by others.
I struggled a lot with tutorials last year, even though, oddly, I like posting them. I find videos are very time consuming - I mess up and I have to retake the video multiple times. So this will be the year that I feel more comfortable doing tutorials.
- I'm going to aim to do 2-3 tutorials per month. They can be either photo or video tutorials; I'd like to do tutorials for both easier and more challenging nail art.
- I want to take better photographs for my photo tutorials. I believe this may be an issue with lighting, but right now I really struggle with getting clear photographs for my tutorials.
- Do more video tutorials. Since this is something I find really difficult, the only way to get better is to do more video tutorials. I'm aiming for one a month, and likely they will be very, very short at first. Is there such thing as micro-tutorials? :P
I'm talking about my own organization, but also the way my blog is laid out. I've got some bad habits to break and some good habits to make, so this will be a challenging one.
- Set up a dedicated page for the Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp and nail art tutorials. This is a really easy one, but all this information needs to be put together. Each one will have their own page on this blog.
- Make some sort of resource page for nail art. Going back to what I said earlier about making this blog a resource for nail art, I feel that there should be a page or some sort of starting point for new blog visitors. Or maybe a database? I'm a bit foggy on this one so I'll have to figure it out.
- Respond to comments and emails in a timely manner. Interaction is important to me, and I want you to know that I appreciate your comments even if I don't always respond. I don't know if people check back to see if I've responded, and I'm loathe to install Disqus or some other similar commenting system, but it's important to me that I respond to people in a timely manner.
- No more last minute, middle of the night posting. Disregard the fact that it's after midnight as I write this. I want to have 1-2 posts scheduled at the beginning of the week, and have all my posts photographed on the weekend for the upcoming week.
- Have a small reserve of manis for when I get busy, sick, or lazy. This might be stretching it, but a girl can dream can't she?!
Photos and Design
I'm also thinking about how I can make this blog look more professional. I do have an interest in photography and web design, so I want to learn more in these areas.
- Improve the quality of my photographs. This is an ongoing thing - the more photos you take the more they improve. But I want to experiment with different kinds of backdrops (like patterns or fabric), props, jewelry, and advanced editing techniques.
- Learn the basics of web design. I want to learn to make better photos, collages, and graphics for this blog.
Wear My Collection
I mentioned in my roundup post of my top polishes of 2013 that I didn't get to wear a lot of the polishes I bought for myself, which is unfortunate since they are some of my favourite polishes! I'm hoping to address that this year.
- Start a weekly or bi-weekly series featuring a polish (or polishes) from my collection. I'm thinking a once-a-week or once-every-two-weeks post where I take some of my older untrieds and use them as the basis for nail art. I find when you start with a specific polish (or polishes), then try to create a look around them, it can make for some interesting results.
In November, my sister and I launched our own indie polish line - Renaissance Cosmetics. Athough this is not directly blog related, there is some overlap. I can't really go into detail about specific goals, but I do have one major goal for the year.
- Make Renaissance Cosmetics into a profitable business. Right now it is more of an expensive hobby - it's very fulfilling, but it drains a lot of money from my wallet. So I'd like for us to recoup what we put into it plus turn a small profit. I'm not hoping for anything big. So we'll be looking for ways to set ourselves apart from other indie makers.
This may look like a lot of goals, maybe even too much. I realize that I may not achieve all of them, but even if I achieve a half or a third I'll still be happy!
So what do you think about my goals? Any in particular that you are looking forward to? What are your goals for 2014?