Last month I was at Bloggy Boot Camp and I heard Tiffany Romero speak about how bloggers should know what their end game is. What goal are you working toward?
Then Brittany posted about something similar and it really hit home for me in a way that was different than I expected.
I always have arbitrary goals in my head about this blog, like I’d like to get 3,000 Facebook fans this year or pass 1,000 Twitter followers or more sponsored content to bring in extra income for our family.
But I realized something, you guys.
The endgame? I’m there. This year. I’m here. Right now. At the finish line. And I did it without thousands of followers and tons of sponsors.
You guys brought me here and I didn’t even realize I was on the journey because I never voiced my goals out loud until they were laid at my feet. (“Laid at my feet”=After I worked my buns off.)
When Tiffany asked us, “What do you want your blog to do for you?” I thought…..
-I want a network. A “tribe.” To find my people.
-I want my blog to lead to professional writing gigs that pay me real money.
-I want to be a published author. In hold-it-in-your-hands print books.
-I want to get some sponsored content to earn money and free stuff
-I want to be featured on The Huffington Post
-I want to meet some of my online friends in real life.
When I reflected on the things I wanted my blog to do for me I realized I had already done them all this year. Seriously, check. check. check. check… YOU took me there because you read the stories, bought the book, joined the Facebook page, or commented on the article.
I can’t lie, I’d still like to surpass the 3,000 followers mark. I’m not sure why I have that number in my head. I guess because it feels like a big enough number to be taken seriously, but small enough that my blog could still be a pretty intimate community. But I realized that I don’t NEED those numbers to reach my goals.
I don’t want to miss the forest while I’m focusing on trees like social media growth and SEO.
However, I do realize that there is power in the written word and putting your goals out into the universe, so here are my updated blog goals for 2013:
1. Develop MY voice. And put it out there, no apologies. I think I have found it (my writer’s voice, that is), but I don’t always have the courage in my convictions that I should. I have held back or deleted several posts because I thought they would be too isolating, too “Jesus-y,” too whatever OR not enough. Not funny enough, not strong enough, not developed enough… I don’t want “I can’t post that, it will turn off brands who are looking at me.” or “That’s going to lose me at least 50 Facebook fans” to be thoughts that are keeping me from telling my story. I look at my writing as a spiritual gift and I feel like it is disobedient not to post things that are on my heart. Yet I hold them back anyway. And that’s really not fair, especially if you were one of the people who needed to read those words. What if God knew that was what you needed to hear that particular day and I just refused to share it with you? If those posts were supposed to be a gift to you that I filtered for selfish reasons, then I’m sorry. I’m going to try not to do that anymore.
2. Speak. In public. Which is both terrifying and exciting. I love and miss teaching kids, but speaking to adults and peers is often overwhelming to me. I have been invited to be part of a local author’s week at our library next month, which will be my first speaking engagement as a professional writer. I feel like I should put quotes around “professional writer,” which brings me to my next point…
3. Stop downplaying my own professionalism. Dammit. (See. I’m very professional, obviously.) But, seriously, I signed 3 book contracts this year, I’m freelancing for a local magazine on the regular, and I miraculously landed on HuffPo last month. There are paychecks in our bank account every month because of my writing. (Not big ones, but still.) I think can call myself a real writer now. It’s time to stop answering the “What do you do?” question with, “Oh, me? Nothing. I’m just a mom. Well, I do have this blog, but you’ve probably never heard of it…”
I’m going to be replacing that answer with, “I’m a writer.” Period. Stop. No clarifications like, “but you probably haven’t read my stuff.” Or “but I’m not signed with a major publisher or anything.” No looking at the ground or nervous hand gestures. P.S. If you ARE “just a mom” it’s time for you to stop answering that question that way too. Look them in the eye, square your shoulders and say, “I’m a mom.” with a great big self-assured smile and stop right there. Because you’re pretty darn good at what you do and apparently so am I. And we need to own it. (On that note, please ignore the typos that I’m sure are all over this post. Don’t worry, my mom will point them out to me later.)
What’s your endgame? It doesn’t have to be blog related. I know you have goals. Please feel free to share them in the comments.