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A 6-Step New Year Blog Check In For Better Blogging Next Year [Ep. 63]

By Jessie Festa. This episode on doing an end-of-year blog check in contains affiliate links to trusted partners I think you’ll love!

It’s December, which means it’s time for a New Year blog check in!

In this episode, I’ll be sharing 6 things you can do now to see more blogging success in the new year – while also creating more joy and ease in your business and overcoming any blogger’s block you may be experiencing.

Best of all, these action steps are non-technical and many are quick and simple to implement.

On that note, let’s dive into the episode.

New Year Blog Check In For Better Blogging Next year [Podcast Episode Audio]

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New Year Blog Check In [Episode Transcript]

Can you believe it’s already December? It really seems like this year flew by. I know personally this is the time of year that everything I did – and also everything I didn’t do – really hits me, for better or for worse.

But, the thing is, whether you’re feeling amazing about how the year went or you’re seeing some very necessary room for improvement, it can be a good thing. This is all information you can use to regroup and restrategize for the new year.

Speaking of the new year, December is also a great time to check in with yourself. Because while you should absolutely take some much needed time off this month to spend with family and friends, there are a few practices I also suggest making time for that can help you see success in January and beyond.

But first, I want to direct your attention to the show notes, where I’ve shared a link to my free where I’ve linked my free Travel Blogger Resource Library.

Inside you’ll snag access to 45+ resources from cheat sheets to workbooks to workshops to video tutorials that can help truly turn your blog into a profitable business – including a workbook specifically meant to pair with this episode as well as a workshop on setting goals for the new year.

I’m all about implementation and I really want to make sure you don’t just listen to the episode and forget about it, but that you actually use what I share to make your blogging life easier.

Feel free to even pause this episode to go grab those resources.

You back? Then let’s kick things off with:

1) Check in with your blogging goals

To do this, ask yourself:

  • Did you meet your goals?
    • If not, what needs to change so that you do in the new year?
  • Have your goals changed at all?
    • If so, how can you adapt your strategies to be in-line with these new goals?

Take a deep look at what you’re doing — including what is working and what isn’t. This way, you can nix time-wasting tasks and put more energy into tactics that actually help you grow.

This is also a great time to vision cast for the new year. You likely have many smaller goals, but what are your core goals as a blogger?

For instance, maybe one of your big blogging goals is to get your blog into Mediavine so that you can grow your passive income. What needs to happen this quarter, the next quarter, and then the following quarter to make that happen? Do you have a strategy for updating old content and creating SEO-optimized posts?

Also, are there other goals tied to this that you can start getting set up for? For example, if you’re working towards building a passive income business by growing your organic traffic, you might also start setting up a solid affiliate marketing strategy and consider creative ways to promote your affiliate links.

2) Pinpoint new blogging skills to learn

It can be easy to say “Well I’d love to work with brands, but I’m bad at social media and have no idea how to grow on Instagram” or “I wish I could grow a YouTube channel but I’m lousy at video” and then put those goals aside.

The thing is, most bloggers didn’t start their websites understanding SEO, list building, affiliate marketing, and travel blog monetization.

Instead, they took the time to learn the skills necessary to be a successful blogger. And you should too.

Here is a little storytime to drive this point home:

After hearing that being able to take professional quality travel photos could help bloggers earn more income for brand partnerships, one of my Travel Blog Prosperity members was feeling frustrated as she didn’t have experience with a camera.

But, she knew she wanted to pursue this revenue stream – so instead of giving up, she enrolled in a photography course. Today, one of her biggest income drivers is going on press trips and selling her photos back to the brands she works with!

So, what new skills will you learn in the new year that can help you more easily grow, monetize, and reach your goals?

Once you answer that question, make sure to actually schedule time into your workflow for this necessary education!

3) Create more joy & ease in your blogging business

Be honest:

What do you love about your workflow? What do you hate?

Instead of anxiously or exhaustedly pushing through your work, restructure your workflow so that you enjoy it more.

First of all, I recommend starting your day doing something you love — like yoga, playing with a pet, going for a walk outside. A mindful morning routine full of enjoyable tasks can help you move into the day feeling more joyful, which can shine through in the work you put out into the world.

I mean, we’ve all read blog posts that seem like they were rushed through, as well as engaging articles where you can really feel the writer’s energy. Your mood while creating content really matters.

Creating more joy and ease could also mean things like:

-Determining what times of day are best for which tasks. Personally, I’m most creative in the morning, so I save admin tasks for the afternoon when I’m more sluggish.

-Making tasks you dislike more fun. There is a creator named Sagan Morrow who is an Anti-Hustle Productivity Strategist. Well, Sagan taught a really great productivity course inside my Travel Blog Prosperity membership. One genius tip she shared was connecting tasks you dislike with activities you enjoy – such as listening to a podcast you love while editing photos.

By the way, if you’d like access to Sagan’s course, as well as 80+ other blogging courses and workshops, just send me an email to jessie @ jessieonajourney (dot) com and I’ll create a coupon for you to get your first month of Travel Blog Prosperity for just $9 to try out. Just note that this offer is for new members only.

Getting back to the episode, you might also spend time:

-Outsourcing tasks you hate. Just make sure you understand a strategy before outsourcing it so that you can still monitor if it’s effective. For instance, if you don’t have a clue how SEO works, you may easily hire someone who also has no clue; but, you won’t realize this until you’ve wasted a ton of money.

Additionally, it’s wise to fully try a strategy yourself before deciding you hate it or that someone else would be a better fit for it.

-Restructuring your schedule to plan for personal time. Are you someone that works until after the sun has gone down? Are you engaging on TikTok or posting on Pinterest under the table while at dinner with friends? Do you feel like you’re a travel blogger who somehow never has time for a vacation?

I’ve totally been there, though I find one simple but powerful fix is physically scheduling personal time into your days, weeks, and months. As in, write it, in pen, on a calendar or physically schedule it in your digital planner.

4) Delete, combine & automate blogging tasks

Also consider where you can delete, combine, or automate tasks to save time, manage your energy, and grow your blog faster.

For instance, you might stop doing tasks that aren’t helping grow or that aren’t applicable anymore if your goals have changed.

When it comes to combining tasks, you might pull the best bits of wisdom from your long-form content, like blog posts and podcast episodes, and repurpose them into social media shares instead of starting from scratch every time. Personally, this is one of my favorite ways to create a more streamlined blogging workflow.

In terms of automation, placing new email subscribers into an automated nurture funnel or setting up a sales funnel, such as a tripwrite funnel, are a few ideas.

5) Schedule a community event for January

December is a great time to fill out your content calendar for the new year — especially January.

January is a month when people tend to take action, as they want to better themselves, so it’s a smart time to host at least one community event that both helps your community while increasing your income.

For instance, you might host a free challenge that helps your community have a transformation, and that also ends with a pitch to your product or that recommends affiliate products within the daily lessons.

You might even design the challenge to focus on an affiliate partner. For instance, those who sign up for my Free 5-Day List Building Challenge get a free trial of ConvertKit through my affiliate link, as well as other goodies and bonuses.

Even if you’re not ready to monetize your blog yet, hosting a free challenge or other community event can be a great way to grow your email list and nurture your audience.

6) Celebrate wins

Pop the Champagne and toast to your accomplishments – on paper, so that you can really see all that you’ve done in this past year.

This is actually something we do inside of my Travel Blog Prosperity membership community every Friday, as I think it’s important to feel into that positive energy regularly – so that you can let it propel you forward.

  • What milestones did you reach?
  • In what ways did your blog grow?
  • Did you achieve anything unexpected?
  • What are some new lessons, skills, or strategies you learned?

Hint: Don’t forget to sip to the small stuff, too, as these smaller wins are what often lead to the big breakthroughs!

Oh, and one more pro tip:

If you don’t have a “Screenshots Of Awesomeness” folder yet, I suggest making one. This is a place where you can screenshot and save your wins throughout the year to look back on when you need a boost.

Personally, I put everything in here from positive product reviews to emails from readers saying I helped them plan the perfect trip to screenshots of huge accounts resharing my content on social media.

Alright, now I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you feel inspired and empowered to end your year with some powerful practices that can help you get set up for success come January.

Keep in mind, this list of new year activities for bloggers is in no way exhaustive. In fact, I’d love to hear how you close out your year on social media using the hashtag #TPTBPodcast.

Also, don’t forget to grab access to the free travel blogging resource library. There are a ton of resources in there on growing your community and increasing your blogging profits.

And of course, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes sharing these bite-sized strategies for bloggers who want to turn their blogs into profitable full-time businesses.

Happy blogging!

Improve Your Blog With These Helpful Past Episodes:

How To Grow Your Email List For Free As A Blogger

Your Ultimate Guide To Twitter For Bloggers

Grow Your Blog Fast: 12 Quick Wins For More Traffic & Income

Best Travel Blogging Courses For Taking Your Blog Full-Time (Free & Paid)

How One Woman Quit Her Job To Blog Full Time

How To Get Blog Followers, Build An Audience & Grow Your Blogging Business

How To Monetize Your Blog From Day One

10 Clever Strategies For Monetizing A Blog

How To Create A Travel Blog Business Plan


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What would you add to this guide to doing a New Year blog check-in?