Christmas holidays and the New Year’s Eve are a great time to look back at the past, and more importantly, look forward to the future. It’s a time to reflect on the changes you want to make and find the motivation to follow through.
A blog is a tool that really can help you have a more fulfilling year. These are 10 good reasons why starting a blog should be your New Year’s Resolution. Plus a good reason to give someone a blog as a Christmas gift.
Let’s get started.
How to stick to your blogging resolution
We all know the flaky nature of New Year’s Resolutions. We contemplate, choose, promise, but soon enough we forget to act on them. Consider these things to help you stick to your blogging resolution:
- Vision: Identify your dreams and aspirations for having a site. Are you doing this to have fun and become a better writer? Is this a way to be more creative in your everyday life? Do you dream of the site becoming popular and a source of income? All those are possible, but remember that dreams don’t work unless you do. Set goals and follow through to reach them.
- Topic: What are you passionate about? What do you love writing about? Think hard about the topics you have a lot to say about. Topics you find interesting and think other people will find interesting too. Is your site revolving around only one topic? Or do you want to write about different things? Get more inspiration here.
- Name: Give yourself some time to contemplate the name. Write the names down. Talk to some other people about them. Make sure that the name captures somewhat precisely the topic or topics you want to cover. Here are some ideas for choosing your blog’s name.
- Design: Decide on the design of your site. Do you know what it should look like? Do you want a minimalistic look, or a newspaper styled theme? Take a look around and get inspiration from other websites.
- Setup: Now this is the easy part. Finding the perfect name and topic might be challenging. Setting up your site is fairly easy. I suggest buying a domain name instead of starting on a free site. There’s a completely different sense of commitment when you have your own domain. Follow my 5-minute guide to get your blog started.
- Writing style: Decide on the style of writing. And make sure you always post quality content and not just filler content. Write at least the first two week’s articles in advance. Use your holidays to do so.
- Content schedule: Try to make a schedule for your content calendar. Figure out how much time the site will demand. Make it fit into your normal schedule with work, family and other activities. I would say you should post at least twice a week. Some advice on how you can find more time for your activities.
- Marketing: When you press publish on the first post you will have to spend time promoting that post. Make sure to identify other writers that post about your topic or similar topics. You can learn a lot from them and you can get your first readers by commenting on their sites.
- Social media: Create social media profiles to stay in touch with your visitors. Facebook and Twitter are the most important ones. If people like your site, they will automatically scan it for social media buttons. Get the most out of Facebook and Twitter and their ability to send you traffic.
- Have fun. You’re ready to start your adventure. Because you have a strong plan you will be able to stick to your resolution for more than just couple of weeks. Remember to have fun, to read, to learn and to create content about your passions.
All in all blogging is a great way to pass the time in a productive way. You learn something new, you get educated and improve yourself. You become more organized. You get better at time management. You become more independent and get more comfortable with marketing and networking. One thing is sure, it will change you.
A gift for my mom
In the holiday season it is prudent that we remember the things that are important. The holidays are about friends and family. It makes for a joyous holiday season.
Giving thoughtful gifts and not material ones often results in gifts that are never forgotten. Instead of buying a physical present, we now often gift to charity in the name of a loved one. Or even name a star after the person. Some of the best gifts that we have received are the ones that have cost little to no money.
We tend to cherish them more. We use our imaginations to make them more fantastic than their look or feel on the surface. We build depth and feeling into these treasures, which in turn, helps us remember who gave them to us.
If you’ve blogged for a while, you’ve probably already met some of the fulfilling aspects of this hobby. You get to write about that one thing that you really love. You get to share your views and hopefully inspire some people. You meet new friends. You get to practice the art of writing and you get smarter every day.
Blogging has the potential to change lives
Smarter because you research. Smarter because you write. Smarter because you as a blogger meet so many opinions, understandings and points of view. You may even get a new job. Why not give this chance and opportunity to someone you love as well?
If you know someone who loves to read and write, is passionate about a specific topic, or just in general is an inspiring person, gift him or her a blog. Blogging has the potential to change their life and they will be forever grateful! I decided to start a blog for my mom who is an avid googler, talented writer and a knowledgeable woman in general.
Since January 1st 2012 my mom has not missed a day in her blogging schedule. She has learned everything about online marketing. She has met incredible new friends. She has been happier and more fulfilled than ever.
While still working full-time, she manages a schedule of five posts a week. This proves to anyone that it can be done. You just need a little organization, hard work and lots of passion. Now we have one more thing in common and one more way to inspire and learn from each other.
How to give a blog as a gift
Giving a blog as a gift is done the same way as when you’re starting your own site. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. It’s used by most of the biggest sites. I recommend you to start there. Follow the process described earlier in the article, create the site and send the details to your loved one.
Just creating the site and sending over the details is not everything. Make sure to be there to guide your loved one in his or her first weeks of blogging. Although simple, this new world can be overwhelming so share some of the tricks you’ve learned.
- Offer emotional support. Let the person know when they’re doing a great job and motivate them to become the best blogger they can.
- Engage in the blog. Read and comment and support the work.
So, with all the craziness and stress that can be created with the holiday season, remember to take time for your friends and family.
Reasons why blogging should be your New Year’s Resolution
And to conclude the article here’s the list of reasons you really should be blogging in the new year:
- Great writing practice. It is all about writing. If you like writing, running a site will help you improve and become a better writer.
- Boosts your career prospects. Your blog is like a shop window. It’s where you showcase your talents and build your reputation. It can open doors to new opportunities and improve your career prospects. It can be considered an extended CV and can help you get a new job.
- Improves your finances. Your site can become a source of income. It can help pay your bills, improve your finances, get you out of debt and save money. See how to earn your first $500.
- Builds your network. You start a conversation and connect with other people. This builds you a network of potential friends and business partners.
- It is your creative outlet. Your site is a creative outlet for you to share your ideas and creativity. Whatever is on your mind. Whatever ideas you might have.
- Makes you read. Being in the industry makes you read a lot – you read other sites, read books, read comments. It opens your mind to new ideas and inspires you to do more.
- Gets eyeballs on your work. Blogging opens the doors to the world for you and gives you a wider audience. Whether you are an artist or just want to spread your ideas and influence. Blogging allows good work to get shared and be spread. It gives you constructive criticism and gets you noticed.
- It is your personal journal. It’s like keeping a journal of moments that you can look back at. Revive the awesome memories. See the progress you have made.
- Helps you help others. It is a form for volunteerism. You choose to spend your time creating content. This content can help, inspire, educate, and/or entertain many people.
- Allows you more time with family. It is usually done from home. It’s independent. It doesn’t go through corporations. It can also be done on the go thanks to the mobile and tablets. There is a new trend of bloggers being digital nomads. This allows you more time to spend on things that matter to you, such as your family and friends.
Happy blogging to you and your new blogging family!