When I left mainstream media in 2012, I decided I needed new skills to take back to the workplace one day, so I committed 20 hours a week (and a not insignificant student loan) to studying graphic design and I completely ignored the skills I was acquiring through blogging. Even when an income and creative opportunities started coming in from this blog, I still thought it was an indulgence to invest my time in it and I ploughed on with studying.
And then I had an epiphany.
I told someone recently that this year I was going to "go pro" with my blogging and they asked what that meant. To me it means I will treat it like a business. I can see some of you shuddering at the thought of this, but I sincerely believe this change will be for the better.
Going pro is going to mean many things, but mostly it will mean better quality content, better planned posts and collaborations that benefit everyone. It will mean I can spend time doing the creative stuff I love without feeling it is an extravagance. It will not mean this blog becomes a dumping ground for impersonal content and advertising. I would hate that as much as you.
My sister Jane has agreed to work with me on some projects. She's already collaborated on a couple of posts and is a great stylist and photographer (she took the photo of me in this post)
So here is some of what I plan to do this year...
* In the next few days I will be moving to a redesigned self-hosted Wordpress blog.
* I will be producing more video content.
* There will be more food and craft tutorials, some video based, some photographic
* I will be writing a business plan and setting targets
* I will introduce an editorial calendar to allow me to plan posts
* I will read, comment on and promote other blogs
* Each month I will concentrate on one social media channel or aspect of blogging and dedicate time to learning about it and sharing that information with you, for January this will be Facebook.
* I will share my progress 'Going Pro' with you in a monthly summary on this blog and more regularly over on Facebook and on a dedicated Pinterest board. Please join me there.
Are you intrigued? I hope you are. There will be stuff to be learned for all of us this year and I promise to share it.