If someone told me this day one year ago what all was going to take place in 2009, I would have laughed. Hysterically. Because seriously, I would never have dreamed all that has happened in the last 365 days.
For much of this adventure, I’ll admit, I have been flying by the seat of my pants. Yes, there has been a method to my madness. But for the most part, I’ve been flying along…taking things as they come!
It’s time for me to come up with a structured plan, write some goals, and stop flying by the seat of my pants.
(Well, I’ll probably keep flying…but at least I’ll know which direction I’m going!)
1. Community – Not long ago, I added a new feature in the comments sections of each post. If you wish to reply to a comment left by another reader, the other reader will receive an email notification that you have replied to their original comment. It’s a fantastic way to talk with other readers and get to know each other better. I love watching these reader interactions, and jumping in every now and again, too. I also like this feature because I can answer reader questions publicly in the comments so others can see the responses and benefit from them as well. My hope is that you all will get to know each other, as we talk and discuss money saving tips, tricks, successes and failures! Sorta like an informal forum!
2. Content – Create fun, short and memorable content. Set up and follow a content schedule that includes meal planning posts, 3 new recipe posts/week, latest printable coupons posts, shopping posts and the $5 Dinner Challenge post each Monday. Include 1 “vlog” a month and 2 “how to” posts a month.
3. Social Media Footprint – To help others find out about $5 Dinners and to encourage and inspire more people on their money saving journeys! I’m hoping to quadruple my Facebook Fans, Twitamigos and subscribers by the end of the year!
4. Photography – Half way through 2009, Meredith shared some tips to make my photographs better. And they worked. And you noticed. I’m planning on taking the photography on the site to the next level. For Christmas I got a new fancy schmancy lens for my camera, as well as some lights that improve the look of the photographs! My goal is to make the food in the photographs jump off the screen…to make you want to take a bite through your computer!!!
5. Special Projects – I have a few special projects I am working on…including cookbook promotion and publicity, SavvyBlogging and some others (that I’ll let you in on when it’s “time”!). My goal is to carve out a little time each week to complete these projects!
6. Ministry Focus – Although $5 Dinners is now an official business and I make money from advertising on the site, I’m really in this for YOU! I began the site as a ministry to share what I’ve learned about saving money at the grocery store with you. My focus will always be on YOU. Helping YOU learn and inspiring YOU to save more of your hard earned money!!!
7. Balance – If someone were to come and knock out one of the balls that I’m juggling, it would take WEEKS for me to recover. It has been a FINE balancing act. Between the website, the cookbook and my family, just about every minute of my day is accounted for! It is SO easy to get sucked into the computer and the blogosphere. While it’s important to be connected to the $5 Dinners community, it’s also important to maintain online time and family time!
Mitch Joel says it best in his new book, Six Pixels of Separation (which I HIGHLY recommend to all current and future bloggers and online entreprenuers!)…paraphrased, “are you allowing technology to control you or are you controlling the technology.” I will NOT be controlled by the technology. I will control it!
When I was hanging out with Crystal and Amy in Kansas just before Christmas, Crystal shared the concept of parental controls with us. Genius! I plan to set up the parental controls on our computer so that I am only allowed online for a set number of hours each day. My plan is to have “computer time” set for 1 hour each morning, 2 hours during the afternoon, and 1 hour after the kids are in bed. Plus some extra work time on Saturdays.
I’m hoping this will force me to FOCUS on the tasks at hand and not get sidetracked and “sucked in” to the blogosphere! Being diligent and disciplined while on the computer will help me accomplish these goals!!!
Can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store!!!
Happy New Year!!!!!!
If you’ve got blogging goals posted, be sure to share them over at Savvy Blogging on Monday!