Welcome back! I am happy to see that you want to keep taking steps toward creating a successful career and/or blog.
Since I like lists and more importantly I like crossing off the things that are done, let’s review what this series is all about:
Get to Work! – Part III: Creating a Plan
What kinds of things should you think about when creating a plan…
- Skills you want to learn – Every career requires you to have certain skills. Let’s say your goal is to be a graphic designer for a big magazine; one skill you might want to learn is how to use Adobe Illustrator. That is a specific skill to have that will get you to your goal of being a graphic designer. To do this successfully, write down the skills and then the steps to learn it. For example: I will practice using Adobe Illustrator 1 hour a day for a month. Then I will offer to design something for someone for free and use the feedback to better my skill.
- Bloggers:Some skills you might want to put in your “plan”: Using Pinterest for business; Using Twitter; Learning to take blog worthy photographs. If you have a food blog, learning how to take appealing pictures of food by reading online guides and even taking courses is an important skill to master.
- Places you want to go – Have you joined professional associations? Do you want to be a professional chef specializing in French Cuisine? This means you have some places to go that need to be added to your plan. If you have joined professional associations then you might want to attend conferences. This means time for travel and money for fees have to be built into your plan. Sometimes good planning can lead to grants and fee waivers but even if you end up paying, the connections you can make at meetings of professional associations are worth it. You can start out small and go to local meetings and conferences eventually building up to attending a national (or maybe even international) conference. If you want to specialize in French cooking and the place you want to go is France, you might have to save a little longer before you can plan that; but still put it in your plan. Start out taking French cooking classes or working in a French restaurant locally.
- Bloggers: There are local blog meet-ups; blogging conferences and workshops just for us! Do some research and put them in your plan. Sometimes they can be done virtually – but it is still somewhere you want to “go”! One example: The SITS Girls has Bloggy Boot Camp. Read about it here
- Projects you want to start – If you are a graphic designer then you might want to start building your portfolio. If you are a future chef, you could start writing down your recipes for a cookbook. Whatever your goal think of someone projects that are going to help you get there and add them to your plan.
- Bloggers: This is a good place for you to start thinking about starting your own linky parties; building your sidebar as a place for other bloggers to advertise; starting a blog series or anything that might make you a better blogger and bring others to your site more frequently.
- Projects you want to finish – When you first set out on this path, whatever it may be, you probably started some projects or had some ideas that aren’t quite complete. Your plan should include time to finish these projects or at least time to decide to scrap them.
- Bloggers: The same goes for you. I know that when I started blogging I had things I started that I never quite finished. I plan on going back (now that my plan is in place) and finishing them.
- Changes you want to make – After awhile you will need some built in reflection time. Review your plan and figure out what has worked and what hasn’t. It is OK to move on from ideas that had potential but never got you what you wanted. An important skill to have in life is to know what doesn’t work for you and learn how to let it go and move on. (Do I sound like a counselor or what?)
- Bloggers: It is so important to give yourself time to rethink and restructure your blog. Decide what things are working for your audience and run with it. Maybe you started a Linky party but it isn’t bringing you or the participants the traffic you thought; end it. It is OK. Remember, as long as you try it you haven’t failed. It is when you don’t take the risk at all that you haven’t succeeded.
- Fears you want to overcome – Not so hot on being a part of a group but dying to go to that conference? Start working on your networking skills and becoming more comfortable meeting people. There might be a ton of things that give you the sweats when you think about them but don’t let them get in your way! Build some time into your plan to start crushing those fears.
- Bloggers: Is there a topic that you want to write about but your not sure about the reaction? Or maybe you are afraid to take that leap and buy your domain name? Whatever it might be – build into your plan the time to do it. Figure out what you need to get you there and then overcome that fear and do it! As an example of overcoming a fear I want to share with you a post from a blog that I LOVE, the blogger who is a mom and student, shared her very personal story. A story that she was admittedly hesitant to put out there. Then read the comments at the end of the post; so much love for her and her story! Read it here- Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles
Are you ready to make a plan to get you to that ULTIMATE goal?! Remember always be specific with ideas and dates. Deadlines are motivating and being vague is not.