My 5 (Unconventional) Blogging Goals for 2017

I’ve decided to make some goals for 2017, and without wishing to sound like a Buzzfeed headline, they may surprise you. Whilst writing my 2016 review post, I had quite a few realisations hit me. They formed themselves into blogging goals of sorts, so I thought I’d share them here. Seeing as this is my blog, and all. Whether you’re a new reader or an old one, I hope this explains a bit more about who I am and how I blog.

I decided to write myself some rather unconventional blogging goals for 2017. Do you agree with any of them?

1. Connect more meaningfully with my readers and fellow bloggers

Over the past week I’ve met up with two lovely blogger friends, and it was awesome. It’s slightly strange at first to meet people who you feel you know quite well yet have never met before, but it’s one of my very favourite things when blog friends become IRL friends. This year I want to do more of that, to find better ways of connecting with readers who aren’t bloggers themselves, and to collaborate more with my fellow bloggers. So if that sounds like something you’d be interested in, please get in touch.

2. Be truthful above all else

I’m not here to sell you a dream. We all know what life is really like, and to pretend otherwise can become toxic very easily. I use this space primarily to remember what’s going on in my life, both at home and whilst travelling. What’s the use in remembering something artificially constructed?

If I go somewhere and have a bad time, or it falls short of my expectations in some way, I want to let you all know that so you can avoid having a similar experience. If I’m having a miserable time, I want to let you all know so you can send me chocolate (joking… sort of). Which reminds me, I still need to write my honest post about Santorini…

Super omnia veritas. Here's to truthful blogging. Click To Tweet

And tying into this:

3. Remain #notsponsored

I know monetising your blog can be done without losing readers, integrity, or the will to live – but it’s not easy. And frankly, I don’t have the time or the skill to do it properly, so I’m stepping out of the ring altogether. This is my hobby, and I want to keep it fun. 2016 really educated me to the ‘dark side’ of blogging, and I’m steering far clear of it until such a point as I can make it work for me both ethically and creatively. Therefore, I don’t currently accept any money, freebies or benefits in kind for any trips, links or products I write about and I want it to stay that way for 2017. You won’t see any ‘guest posts’ from companies, or other thinly disguised marketing material. I may include the odd Amazon affiliate link from time to time (on products I actually have, bought with my own money, and genuinely recommend) but honestly they’re not the type of posts I do very often.

4. Disengage from the social media nonsense

I’ve barely opened Instagram since September. Once my favourite app, I got totally disencouraged by all the follow/unfollow shenanigans and 1001 articles telling me what I should be doing with my Instagram now or you’ve totally failed. Ditto, how to Rule Twitter, how to be a Pinterest Queen, ad infinitum/ad nauseum. It’s very easy to get sidetracked by these things and start counting followers and likes, and then comes the comparison trap and the focusing on stats not relationships. Back up to number one there – I am here to connect with people, not graphs. This year, I still want to ‘do’ social media, but on my terms. Therefore, I’m removing that annoying Facebook popup from my pages and I solemnly vow not to put in any other annoying popups in its place. If you want to like my page on Facebook, that’s cool, the link will be on the right hand side where it’s always been. If not, that’s cool too. I’d rather you just be my friend.

Seriously… who wouldn’t want to be friends with this?!?

5. Write more betterer

This one is absolutely key for me. Looking back over my posts from 2016, I really noticed a progression in my style of writing and how I was sharing my travel experiences. However, I also noticed that what I thought I wrote and what actually ended up on the internet were often totally different! So, that was a surprise.

This year, I want to really focus on my writing. I want my posts to incorporate a good story, so that anyone can enjoy it; to incorporate some helpful tips, for my fellow travellers; and to reflect me and my personality, so you know you’re reading one of my posts and not A. N. Othertravelblogger.

I know it’s not easy to incorporate all these into every post, and I expect I’ll fail, but I know it can be done. And that’s what I’ll aim for.

So, there you have my slightly unconventional blogging goals for 2017. What do you think? Am I being totally naive?

-Rachel

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46 Comments

  1. 11th January 2017 / 09:37

    these are great goals! and no, you’re not naive but it’s hard to write really well and to incorporate your personality, advice, humor, etc..,

  2. 11th January 2017 / 11:32

    Looking forward to this 🙂 And LOL to #4, I just created blog-specific twitter and instagram, and after, what…8 days??… I’m already almost sick of it! Sick of the fakes, bots, and game playing, not the gorgeous photos and connection. But it’s defo hard to separate!

  3. 11th January 2017 / 13:16

    Oh yes the constant follow/unfollow on insta is tiring. It’s still my favourite social media but I have periods where I really don’t enjoy it much and just upload my pic and leave, instead of engaging and scrolling and commenting with people. There’s no harm dabbling in trying to increase numbers but if it turns into an obsession it’s probably not the wisest thing to continue with!

    These sound like really good goals – you always come across as honest in your posts so I think you’ve covered the truthful one already! 🙂

    Hope you are having a great week 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  4. 11th January 2017 / 13:18

    Completely agree with all of these, especially #4. Social media has taken over everyone’s lives and I’m so tired of it and having my phone on me all the time. I’ve gotten rid of half of my accounts, which means I can no longer apply for certain blogging programs. That’s fine with me, and I feel so much more connected to real life now!

  5. 11th January 2017 / 15:11

    I dont even know HOW to do affiliated links &I’ve been posting Amazon posts for the longest time. Shows you how much I’m interested in monetizing my blog.

  6. 11th January 2017 / 15:12

    I love these goals, and I don’t think they are naive at all!! Honestly, I think they are refreshing… and above all… honest because they are how YOU truly feel. 🙂

  7. 11th January 2017 / 16:52

    What? Your blogging goal isn’t to get more clicks and subscribers? Honestly this is so refreshing and it’s to the point now where it is far and few between. This Instagram follow unfollow crap is so annoying. Everyone is literally obsessed with clicks and follows. I seek real people not brands these days. Anyway, great goals! I like your style.

  8. 11th January 2017 / 16:56

    haha love it! Best of luck in all of these, and know I’ll keep reading and supporting your blog because I think it’s great 🙂

  9. 11th January 2017 / 19:50

    I love all of your unconventional goals for the upcoming year! One of my favorite things about blogging has been meeting people that you already feel like you know through the internet IRL, and like you said, I hope to continue those relationships in the future. I also love that you want to keep your blog a hobby and not get sucked up into the blog monetization. I’ve done a couple of sponsored posts, but I’ve also had people reach out to me for products that I would never have used in the first place. It doesn’t make sense to blog about them, and like you said it makes you almost feel like you lose your credibility with your readers. I hope that 2017 is the best year for your blog!

  10. Jen
    11th January 2017 / 20:52

    I absolutely love these goals, these are actually things that I may add to my list as well! Thanks for sharing, friend! 🙂

  11. 12th January 2017 / 03:15

    I love these goals! I wish I could meet more blog friends in person but that opportunity hasn’t happened yet. I’m totally done with the social media crap, too. I don’t really have time to take 100 pictures of a coffee cup and come up with a ton of different hashtags. I just want to write, enjoy other bloggers, and connect with my readers. I would love to do some kind of collaboration!

  12. 12th January 2017 / 04:39

    These goals are AWESOME and so real! I also really hate the shenanigans involved with trying to increase social media followers, blog comments etc…. I have a personal and a blog Instagram, and I actually find my blog Instagram a bit boring and end up ignoring it most of the time because it doesn’t seem to show my personality that much.

    One thing I struggle with in my blogging though is sharing much about what’s not working in my life (work) because my blog is something that could be easily found by colleagues (Okinawa is not a big place!) and my work situation is the one thing that gets me down here…. I’m hoping I can start to share more about that in the future though.

  13. 12th January 2017 / 06:02

    Love the commitment to no popups. Nothing is more annoying to me on the internet. I’ve had an absolutely-no-guest-posts policy on my blog since the beginnings, and it’s well worth it to me! It’s called The Random Writings OF RACHEL after all. 😉 You’re right, sponsored posts can be done well…I do them occasionally and always strive to be at my creative best when I do so, but non-sponsored posts are typically more fun, anyways. I like your blogging goals, and if, in your adventures, you stop by Penang, Malaysia, hit me up. I’ve literally had a blogger stay at my house for a few days before so I may be a bit unconventional myself.

  14. 12th January 2017 / 14:05

    writing is a big focus for me too this year. i really love my work when i put a bit more effort in and actually don’t write about bullshit haha. so, cheers to more of that this year. yay for a fun 2017!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  15. 12th January 2017 / 19:54

    I love them ALL Rachel and I’m with you all the way!
    We’ve had so many chats over cake discussing the pitfalls of blogging over the past year and it’s thanks to you that I got myself out of the blogging rabbit hole that your husband talked about – I’ve deleted twitter from my phone and feel so much better for doing so, once again we had a chat about the need for social media in blogging which you don’t need for blogging! I only read blogs where there are no sponsored or comp’d posts as just don’t appreciate the tone that they give off at times.
    Looking forward to reading your Santorini post – it’s a real marmite destination, I’m an inbetweener, it’s pretty but has no soul.
    Am always looking forward to reading your next post xx

  16. 12th January 2017 / 20:41

    Ooh I love this, I want to keep my blog as a hobby too and a way to connect with other bloggers/readers but often feel a bit of pressure to do it in a certain way, increase social media etc. I agree that it’s hard to come across as genuine with sponsored posts, lots of people do it wonderfully but I just don’t think it’s for me. I’ve done a couple of reviews but it always feels really strange! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

  17. 12th January 2017 / 21:31

    Good goals! You are great at connecting – it’s the side of blogging I enjoy too! The social media thing especially IG drives me potty!

    Hopefully we can meet IRL this year in Australia!

  18. 12th January 2017 / 22:22

    Love these goals Rachel! Firstly please publish that Santorini post….it’s still on my 2017 bucket list so would love to hear your honest opinion. So intrigued by the ‘dark side’ of blogging but I must say I can’t stand the whole follow/no-follow thing on social especially instagram…it drives me nutty! I love your writing style so long may it continue 🙂 – it’s definitely something I hope to better as time goes one xx

  19. 13th January 2017 / 09:37

    I have an item in my “50 Before 50” list (I think it’s the only “bucket list” I’ve ever had) to meet a blogger in real life. SO, #1 goal for you coincides with a goal of mine. And, you’re moving to where I live. How convenient is that?!
    I think all of the other ones you list are absolutely perfect for you. And, hey, you can always adjust and change as needed.

  20. 13th January 2017 / 09:59

    These are great goals Rachel, and 4 out 5 of these are my goals too. Honestly, I wouldn’t be opposed to sponsorship opportunities at this point (because let’s face it, I’m figuring out life solo now and need to live), but only if I truly feel like it fits with my style and blog. I also wish I could write better. Sometimes I feel like what I wrote before in my first 1.5 years of blogging was SO much better. But now it’s hard to write creatively now that I write for a living too. And I love making blogging friends and I would love to meet more in person. And also I really wish more non-blogging readers would say hi too (but I suspect they’re too shy to do so!).

  21. 13th January 2017 / 21:32

    All awesome goals! And I feel the same way about monetising. I’m sure there’s a way to do it but there are so many blogs out there that look kind of tacky because of the ads. I don’t have the patience or the know-how to do it properly so I think it’s best to leave it until I do. Best of luck with your 2017 goals!

  22. 13th January 2017 / 21:54

    Your blogging goals sound perfect! I’m with you on the instagram malarkey. I just post what I post and if anyone follows me, yay. I’m not into the liking 104023402034 posts to get mega amounts of followers or liking/unliking people to trick them into following me. It’s dishonest and I mean… doesn’t anyone really have that many extra hours in the day to do that?

    I think you’re going to rock 2017, girl!

  23. 13th January 2017 / 22:07

    Great goals. There is a big difference between writing a blog for the love of writing and connecting as opposed to running a business which requires proof of reach to engage sponsorship. Those things get blurred so often and the latter is no measure of success for the former.

  24. 14th January 2017 / 01:58

    Oh, I love this list. It’s much like mine. Especially numbers 3 and 4. Oddly, they e prompted me to make sure I’m following you on Facebook! Genuine connection is so much more interesting to me than the business model of blogging.

  25. 14th January 2017 / 04:30

    I think this is a great list and completely not naive. I think blogging solely as a business is only for a few. Cheers to just being yourself and doing whatever feels good. 🙂

  26. 14th January 2017 / 22:50

    Love this Rachel. I don’t want to monetise my blog either by doing sponsored post and thinly veiled advertisement for people to buy crap. I’m thinking of developing an eCourse in photography basics that i could sell and perhaps really help people but i refuse to sully my blog with commercial bullshit. Good on you for saying so. Also that Instagram bullshit – I’ve got blog post idea that I think is going to piss off a few people but C’est la vie. 🙂

  27. 14th January 2017 / 22:51

    Oh and if you ever some to Sydney let me know 🙂

  28. 15th January 2017 / 07:05

    I think your blogging goals are authentic and that is what makes great stories. Travel real and tell it how it is sounds great.

  29. 15th January 2017 / 08:19

    Good on you. I have not read your blog before. However I hear you on going down your own path. Looking forward to see what else pops up in your writing!

  30. 15th January 2017 / 18:19

    Great post once again Rachel. Some very very good resolutions in there. Keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll all be here reading! Especially about your new adventures.

  31. 15th January 2017 / 23:36

    It’s wonderful when you’ve found the type of blogging that suits you. I’m qualitative by training, so my interest has never been in what my stats are on any of my blogs!

  32. 16th January 2017 / 10:37

    Great goals – I especially love numbers 3 and 4. I think trying to make money from my blog isn’t just difficult, it just isn’t fun. I hblog because it makes me happy and you can’t put a price on that! I might be able to help you with number 1, we should totally meet up when you’re Sydney side 🙂

  33. 16th January 2017 / 13:19

    I LOVE this post so much!! These are great, refreshing goals and they go back to the reason that I think most of us starting blogging in the first place, as a hobby! Totally with you on the whole follow/unfollow Insta game; I also don’t understand the point in gaining lots of followers if it’s all based on a fake game.
    Sp happy we got to meet (again!) xx

  34. 16th January 2017 / 21:41

    I’m a new reader and I have to say that I really enjoyed this post! It’s nice to hear someone aiming to be truthful, rather than *goals*. I’m looking forward to reading your stuff (:

    elleyro.com

  35. 17th January 2017 / 01:18

    First time reader and I think your list is great! I love meeting other bloggers and need to do that more. And I really like your last point about doing social media on your terms, authenticity gets you more likes and readers in the end anyway doesn’t it (or thats how I run my race)

  36. 17th January 2017 / 14:52

    These sound like great goals Rachel!
    I love number one especially! Meeting up with you in London and another youtuber in Berlin were highlights of my trip to Europe – such a fun but also strange experience! It’s pretty cool that through the internet it’s possible to meet up with people who live so far away but have similar interests that I wouldn’t normally be able to talk about with my usual group of friends!
    I also totally agree about that social media craziness too. I still love instagram but the number of times people follow/unfollow etc is just getting a bit old now! I just try to post what I like and have fun with it and not get bogged down by numbers or comparison!

    xx

  37. 17th January 2017 / 19:56

    ugh the dreaded social media game. I feel the same way. The follow/unfollow is not something I am a fan of. I love how you want to keep your space genuine. you’re readers will be able to tell and they will 100% appreciate it!

  38. 18th January 2017 / 02:44

    I think these are very admirable blogging tips! I think now that blogging is a legitimate source of income for most people, it’s what a lot of bloggers aim to do, but I love an old-school blog which is written just (and only) for the love of it.

  39. 18th January 2017 / 02:58

    Love your blogging goals! Right now I’m blogging less and am going easy with social media. I hope to writer betterer, too 🙂

  40. 18th January 2017 / 12:59

    I love these goals! The social media game is so annoying. I’ve decided not to worry about it, either and just be me. People can either take it or leave it, that’s up to them, but I refuse to play the game. I haven’t opened my blog up to sponsored posts, either. I occasionally write posts with affiliate links and I might be open for occasional sponsored posts, but, like you, I would rather my blog be about connections. I love the idea of meeting other bloggers in person, it hasn’t happened yet but I hope it will sometime in the future.

  41. 21st January 2017 / 03:33

    Rachel, I applaude your genuin truthfulness and love your blog for exactly that reason. Your humor is also priceless! I couldn’t agree more about social media nonsense, it is upsetting and discouraging to say the least. I think connecting with your readers is the best thing any blogger can do, I’ve met so many wonderful bloggers out there and hope to do the same this year, including you. 🙂

  42. 23rd January 2017 / 19:35

    It’s not naive at all! I just wish I could pop over to London to fulfill #1 before you head over to the opposite side of the world. 🙂

  43. 7th February 2017 / 07:00

    These are amazing goals and no, you’re not being naive at all. In fact, by setting these goals you’re being more genuine and honest! I especially love goals #1 and #4. Thanks for sharing this, Rachel!

  44. 2nd June 2017 / 00:29

    New to your blog and intrigued by your 2016 dark side of blogging comment. What happened? I was much more invested in the blogging community 2012-2015 but with our move in 2016 kind of fell out of wak and blogging.

    I like your goals, well done.

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