2010 Blogging Goals

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on December 31, 2009

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!)

Goals

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!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Josanne December 31, 2009 at 9:37 am

Much of your goals line up with my own goals-hubby and I are even working on a plan together! I know that family time is so important and is easily put on the back burner since there is so much to do on the web(especially with a website and social networking). I like how you’ve mapped out a structured plan, and my best wishes to you! I’ll be able to see your progress on Twitter, as I endeaver to do the same!

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Jennifer December 31, 2009 at 9:46 am

Could you please link to the post that Meredith did about better photos? You just linked to her home page.

Thanks!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom December 31, 2009 at 9:48 am

@Jennifer,

She just sent me an email with a few tips…using the “macro/tulip” setting on your camera, use only natural light/no flash, and take shots from different angles! That’s it!

I don’t think she has a post up. I’ll share some food photog posts that I have found helpful in the next few weeks!

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Tina December 31, 2009 at 10:15 am

These are great goals!, especially the technology aspect of it all!

On a side note, I’d love to see what you can do with the monthly Angel Food Ministries food packages! Just a thought! I bet there are many of us purchasing food through them, too!

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Susie's Homemade December 31, 2009 at 10:31 am

Sounds like a GREAT plan:-)

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Jen December 31, 2009 at 10:44 am

Erin,
Thanks for talking about your blogging hours. It takes time and dedication to create such a professional and awesome blog–congratulations on all of your success this past year. I needed the reminder that a great blog takes time–something I’m not always willing to give on my have fun “hobby” blog. And that we all have challenges balancing our time, work, and family–and we all have to make choices that are important to use. That’s my little ramble. . just wanting to say thanks!

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Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality December 31, 2009 at 10:58 am

Erin, big congrats on your success this year. Loved your goals & I can relate to many of them. I haven’t actually sat down & written out any goals, they are in my head. But, I’m very happy with where my blog is and you are SO right, it takes a lot of time and dedication to make a good blog. I too have problems with sitting in front of the puter too long and not getting other things accomplished. That sucking into blogosphere is probably the hardest thing to keep at bay! I need to work on Social Media and other things.

Looking forward to seeing you at Blissdom.

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Iva @ HorizontalYoYo December 31, 2009 at 11:01 am

I look forward to watching your photography grow and mature. I am very interested in photography, but am just out of the starting gate. Maybe I can learn something from you?

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Jennifer Y December 31, 2009 at 11:59 am

Your goals look great–looking forward to seeing what you have in store for 2010!

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Stephanie December 31, 2009 at 12:12 pm

If you were able to accomplish all that you’ve done by flying by the seat of your pants, I can’t wait to see what all you can do with some focus and direction!

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Hattie December 31, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I just found your blog not to long ago and I think it’s so great. With four boys I love the recipes you post and how fast/cheap they are. I can’t wait to see what your blog has in store for 2010. Hope your family has a Happy New Year!

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FinanceDad December 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Awesome specific goals. Happy New Year!

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Mama Laundry December 31, 2009 at 9:25 pm

I love the ‘realness’ (is that a word?!) of your goals and your honesty!

I just started my blog about 4 weeks ago, and flying by the seat of my pants is my current method. Not really working for me though – so I’ve got to come up with some concrete plans.

I appreciate your offering how much time you spend on the computer. As a new blogger, the learning curve is oh so steep! I’m having a hard time figuring out how much time I should be putting into this endeavor.

:)
-Lauren

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Karen January 1, 2010 at 12:59 am

Am curious to see the winners thus far of the cookbook. Don’t see a link to it yet. Hear’s hoping to a wonderful new year!!!!!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

@Karen,

I can’t add the link without messing up the form! It’s here…I will post the link in its own post next week after I select the last set of winners.

http://www.5dollardinners.com/5-dinner-mom-cookbook-giveaway-winners

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angie January 1, 2010 at 1:08 pm

sounds like great goals

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mandi @ it's come to this January 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

Came over from SavvyBlogging … look forward to meeting you there!!

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Melissa Multitasking Mama January 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Getting sucked into the blogosphere is something I can certainly relate to…I set a schedule for myself late last year and it has really served well. My family appreciates it and I find my time on the computer much more productive. Happy New Year!

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