What I've Learned By Hitting (and Missing) My Blogging Goals: January In Review - The Kim Six Fix

What I've Learned By Hitting (and Missing) My Blogging Goals: January In Review

January was a whirlwind month for me.  I am going to do a round up of all my projects at the end of this post.. so if you are looking for projects, feel free to scroll on down.  But first I wanted to take a little time to write about some things that have been weighing on me lately.

Earlier in the year, I set out some goals for myself (both for the blog and personally) and I wanted to use this time to reflect on how well things are going and if I need to make changes.  I found that looking back on what I set out for myself not even 30 days ago has really opened my eyes to things I like and don't like about my blog and how it is influencing both my personal and online life. 

First, on the blogging side:
  1. Find my voice
Ironically this post is actually in response to this exact goal.  Normally I would never have written this out for you to read.  I always have focused on PROJECTS PROJECTS PROJECTS (since hey.. this isn't Dr. Phil) but since my new goal is to be more real, I decided to share my feelings with you.

The blog community is changing, and not 100% for the better (in my opinion.) I feel like there is a lot of great chatter out there, but unfortunately, it is all getting eaten up by the fast frenzy that is social media and Pinterest.  It is starting to feel like you are only as good as you latest and greatest project.  You can have a post go viral, and have thousands of views, and dozens of new facebook fans.. Your instagram account may blow up.. but in a flash it is over.  Everyone moves on to the next great project.. and you are left feeling (I don't know a better word): used. 

And I will admit, I am just as guilty of it as anyone else.  I have hundreds of blogs in my reader.  I get notified of at least 100-150 new posts EVERY.DAY.  And of course I don't read them all.. I skim the titles, maybe join a linky party or two, stop by a couple which catch my eye, pin a few projects, mark the rest as read.. and move on.

And it seems like a lot of blogs are going that way.  With readers picking out the highlights, and not really developing a 'relationship' with bloggers like we would have before.  Jennifer at Rambling Rennovater said it best in her epic ode to blogging:
There is a lot of noise in my life that detracts from the joy of blogging. Each new person I follow on Twitter or Instagram, each blog that I add to my reader, deflects my attention from what is already there. We live in a society where more is better. Where more subscribers makes you a more successful blogger and more Facebook fans makes you more influential.

But we know the numbers are not the whole truth - even if the social media marketers and brand sponsors try to convince us otherwise.
That is why I think a post like this is important even though it is never going to make it to Pinterest. (Heck, it probably will barely get read), but it shows you the 'real' me.  I am more than just my projects.. My blog can't be boiled down to one pretty picture on a Pinterest board.  There is someone behind it, who struggles to keep a good balance.  

I often find myself falling into the trap of spending more time promoting my content, than actually working on my content.. and often that is to the detriment of my family.  In the struggle to make myself heard, I am spending time away from the things I should be focusing on.

Heather Lynne from Raising Memories really struck a nerve with me when she re-focused her blog and re-prioritized her blogging career. She wanted to limit the amount of time she was spending on her blog vs. spending with her family... and I definitely understand that. Ultimately, Heather Lynne didn't feel successful, and decided to completely step away from her blog for the month of February.  (A move I completely understand and respect. I applaud her for doing it, since it is quite courageous to do so.)  She took drastic action in hopes of getting a dramatic result and I truly hope that it works for her and she can come back to find the right balance.

I have begun to find that my blog is defining me.  I look at the world though the lens of my blog.. "Wow! That would be a great project for the blog" or "This recipe is really good, I wonder if I should blog about it.."  I see something cool and immediately take a photo for instagram, or tweet about it.  People are now immediately associating me with my blog.  My friends and family are constantly giving me ideas, and I love to share my successes with them.

But when is it all too much?  When do you start losing who you are and start being nothing but "that blogger"? That is a hard line to define sometimes, which is why I am in awe of Heather Lynne and  her ability to pull the plug and step away.  I feel like if I did that, I would be missing an actual piece of myself.  But I do think I need to work on my moderation.  I know like I am constantly saying that (and have been since 2010) but I still haven't gotten a handle on it.

Which leads me to:
2. Get more organized with my social media
Notice I didn't say "Spend more time on social media"? Since that is definitely NOT the goal.  I want to work smarter not harder.  I won't lie.. I want my blog to be successful, so I will have to play the 'social media game', but I have to always remember that my job is not social media.. my job is BLOGGING.  

Ironically, I do think I have been doing much better with this goal this month.  I am engaging with a lot of people (especially on Facebook.)  The problem with the book of face, is how it screens out what people see.  So although I love being myself over there and sharing things with everyone, it is still hard to get to 'know' everybody like I wish I could. 
I have been having a little more fun on Instagram, and of course twitter (which comes in fits and spurts) and I am finally dipping my toes into the waters of Google+.   I also have been much better about using Pinterest more consistently.  
All of this 'promotion' must be working because I had more pageviews in the month of January than I have ever had (since moving to my thekimsixfix.com URL.) 

I want to tell you that I am using some social media scheduling apps to make this a lot easier on myself.  I do go through and manually check all my notifications so if you do respond or ask me a question, send me a PM or email I will eventually get back to you.  But understand how I am not always immediately available, even if it seems like I'm tweeting, posting or pinning!

3. Attend Haven and BlogHer 2014
As of now, this is still the plan. I have my tickets for BlogHer.. and am trying to plan my trip to Atlanta for Haven, but there is no big rush.. yet.

4. Introduce Flashback Fridays
I hope you all are enjoying this series. I have been having a blast looking through my old photos when I'm preparing the new posts. I find pictures like this, which melt my heart and remind me of how fast the time is going.  
E: Dec 2009
J: Nov 2009
Baby J: Jun 2013
It brings up the same sentiment that I talked about earlier.  And can be summarized best with a quote from my favorite 1980s bad boy: 

Those kids are barely recognizable now.  They have grown up so fast.  I want to make sure I am enjoying them in every stage, since one day it will all be over.
5. Reply to comments.. really
 Okay.. I admit I have sucked at this goal.  Sorry.  Mark that as something to do in February, with all the time I am going to save by organizing my social media better. 
On the home improvent project front, I had 5 projects goals for 2014:
1. Master Bedroom Complete Overhaul
2. Sewing Studio Complete Overhaul
3. Finish Stairway Makeover
  4. Update the Girls' Bedroom
5. Update ALL the brass hardware in the house
Honestly,  I haven't even THOUGHT about any of them.  So, in that sense, so far I have totally failed at those resolutions.  But in January these are the things I *did* accomplish:

Food/Cooking Projects:

Home Dec Projects:

Flashback Friday Projects:

Gift/Party Ideas:

I also have a multitude of Valentine's Day Projects, but I will do a quick round up of them closer to the big day!
What I've Learned By Hitting (and Missing) My Blogging Goals: January In Review Reviewed by TheKimSix Fix on 9:00 AM Rating: 5 January was a whirlwind month for me.  I am going to do a round up of all my projects at the end of ...