Friday 21 December 2018

How To Overhaul Your Blog For The New Year (And My Goals For 2019)

How To Overhaul Your Blog For The New Year (And My Goals For 2019)

A few weeks ago, I gave you a brief explanation as to why I was absent from my blog through much of November, and I mentioned that I might go into more detail about the reflecting I'd been doing, the blog overhaul I'm currently in the midst of, and my goals for 2019. So here goes!

To be honest, I often shy away from being vocal about my goals, both on here and in real life, because I hate the thought of putting something out there and then not delivering on it. However, it has become clear to me this year that I need to commit more to this blog if I want to see better results from it, and actually coming out and stating that, making myself accountable, is a necessary first step. 

I take my blog very seriously, but I don't think that has always been evident in my content output. Sometimes this has been for good reason - I have other work commitments that take up my time and energy - but sometimes it's because I feel trapped in a vicious cycle. My blog isn't bringing me sufficient reward to justify the time, energy and money I would like to invest in it, yet without that investment I am never going to see the reward. Other times, I am let down by my own perfectionism. I can spend hours and hours trying to make a post "good enough", and as a result I simply don't put out enough content to see any sort of meaningful growth.

Outfit With Topshop Orson Jeans

As you can see, I've taken a long, hard look at myself! And with the new year on the horizon, I've taken some steps to get motivated, and find some direction to help me kick start my 2019 goals. I always find it inspiring when other bloggers share this kind of thing, so I hope this is helpful for some of you too.

How I Got Motivated

1. I Took A Step Back

I've always been a little bit wary of taking breaks from blogging. For someone like me who struggles with consistency at the best of times, I know only too well that absence usually results in a dip in following and/or traffic. If you're already feeling disheartened, this can be dangerous, and I've seen a few people take breaks for the purpose of gaining perspective on blogging, only to end up taking more breaks, and longer breaks, and eventually give up altogether. That said, sometimes taking a step back really is the only way to gain that perspective, and after four years of being constantly caught up in a blogging bubble, it was necessary for me at this point.

This year, I felt as though I was putting more of myself into my online space than ever before, yet I was producing less content, and my growth had slowed down as a result. Instead of beating myself up about it, I realised that I needed to take a short break so I could figure out why. This helped me to see that a lot of my troubles stemmed from starting my YouTube channel last December. Adjusting to creating content for two platforms instead of one (never mind the increasing demands of Instagram), proved harder than I thought it would be. Additionally, for the first half of the year I was struggling to edit videos on an ancient laptop that wasn't up to the task, which held me back a lot. I already knew all this, but it was only by taking a step back that I was able to see clearly just how much it had affected my content this year.

Outfit with white ankle boots

Progress isn't always a perfect upward curve, and when you're working really hard on something that means a lot to you, that can be difficult to accept. The little break I had in November helped me to see the bigger picture, and I realised that the dip, while frustrating, had been necessary in order for me to start finding my feet on YouTube.

2. I Educated Myself 

I am always researching blogging and YouTube and doing everything I can to improve, and this year, two resources in particular stand out from the crowd as they really helped me to look at things from a different angle. One was Hayley Hall's blogging e-course. I've met Hayley a few times and have a lot of respect for her. As someone who has achieved real blogging success through years of hard work, I was sure that her course would be a wise investment, and it was. It really made me think differently about the fundamentals of blogging and the way I approach content creation, and has given me quite a few ideas to take with me into 2019.

The second resource was this post about Instagram by Maria J Blogs. Written by some one who has seen successful growth on the platform in recent months (yes, apparently it's still possible!) this is well worth a read for anyone who feels disheartened by the daily follow/unfollow game. To summarise, Maria essentially explains that she doesn't bother trying to beat the algorithm or spending hours of her day engaging with other people's accounts. Yet her Instagram is growing. Why? Because she devotes her time instead to creating beautiful content.

Outfit with burgundy jumper

This really made me sit up and think. I can spend inordinate amounts of time on the platform, desperately trying to get my photos seen and cursing the algorithm when all I get in return for my efforts is a new bunch of people unfollowing me, but maybe it's not the algorithm. Maybe my content just isn't good enough. By that, I don't mean to say that my photos are bad, necessarily, but perhaps the problem is that I am just not giving people a good enough reason to follow me. In any case, the article has really made me look at Instagram in a new way. In the new year, I will be spending more time thinking about my content and less about whether I have liked and commented on enough random accounts to gain a new follower or two.

3. I Updated My Blog Template

This one is slightly more superficial, but just as new gym clothes can make you feel excited about working out, a fresh new look can do wonders for blog motivation! I had felt that my old template was looking dated for a while, so I opted for a new one from Pipdig. I still have a little bit of tweaking to do with it, but on the whole I think it makes my existing content look better already, and I can't wait to start creating more posts to show it off in the new year.

High street jeans and jumper

My Goals For 2019

1. Be More Consistent

This has always been my biggest struggle. In an ideal world, I would love to publish two blog posts and one video every single week. That isn't even a lot, but for me, it seems like a huge challenge. This year, I have averaged about one blog post per week and one video every fortnight, so I have a long way to go. All I can say is that I am going to do my best!

2. Find My Blog Identity

I have been working on this since I took Hayley's course, and if you take a look at my updated About page, you will hopefully see a little more clearly where I'm going with this. I have always had an idea in my head of who I am as a blogger, but I feel like it needs to be more evident in my content. What I'm hoping for is that having that focus will help to make content creation easier for me, and that at the same time, it will attract more of an audience, because it should also help me to achieve my third and most important goal...

3. Add Value

To return to what I was saying about Instagram, fundamentally I think that the reason my online presence in general is not growing as much as I would like is because I am not offering enough value to my readers/followers. Because I live in a constant state of panic that it's already been too long since my last post, I rush content far too often, and don't always think about what my readers are going to get from it. My number one aim for 2019 is to produce content that people actually find useful, and hopefully, that will make them want to come back for more.

outfit with Topshop Mission ankle boots

Shop The Look

To conclude, I'm not saying that any of this is going to provide the magic answer to growth and success, and I'm definitely not saying that it's going to be easy to achieve. But I do think I've identified my main areas of weakness and I'm going to do my very best to work on them in the year to come. Fingers crossed it will bring some results!

I would love to know if you have any plans or goals for your blog/YouTube/Instagram in 2019? Do let me know in the comments.

Kate x

Some links may be affiliate links. All opinions, as always, are my own.


  1. Great post, Kate! I find your posts valuable already so I'm intrigued by the changes you may make! xx

  2. Thank you for sharing!! I hope you complete all of your goals next year!!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

  3. For me 2018 was the year that I tried to treat my blog like a business and hopefully see growth on it that would saitsfy me. Now I have a whole post on that topic coming up, but quite frankly: I failed.
    So for 2019 my resolution is to treat it as more of a hobby, as it seems that blogging for (a little) money is not on the cards for me.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

  4. I totally get where you are coming from! This year I feel like I've finally stepped up my game and begun to understand who I am as a blogger. Bring on 2019!

    The Crown Wings | UK Travel & Lifestyle Blog

  5. This one is a good read! I want to make a change in my blog as well like changing the template. I also feel the same thing about putting much effort in thinking and posting the content for the blog. Anyway, I love the outfit girl!


  6. I have a problem with consistency as well!! I love your tips Kate, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and a blessed New Year <3

    Serene XO

  7. Being a better and more consistent blogger has always been a struggle of mine. I've been blogging for over 15 years, and I've changed a lot. Thank you for sharing. <3

  8. This is such an informative read dear! Thanks for sharing.
    Jessica |

  9. Thank you for sharing how you are managing it! And I love your look with the amazing sweater!
    Merry Christmas!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  10. You've listed some great point here Kate, I'll be doing my blog overhaul in a few days from now probably! You look fabulous here by the way; look at that tiny waist!

    Merry Christmas darling!! x

  11. I took some time off blogging and all throughout that time I was thinking about how much I wanted to get back into it! This is one of my main goals for 2019! I love the tips about the ecourse and the Instagram tips- I'm going to check them out now!
    Chloe X

  12. Best of luck to you while accomplishing your goals in the new year! Happy Holidays! :)

  13. Great post. Very real and honest.
    I can definitely relate to some of your goals.. :)
    All the best with them!


  14. We too are planning our blog goals for 2019 starting with a new blog layout!
    Fingers crossed you will be able to accomplish all your goals Kate :D


  15. This is amazing! Looking forward to read your posts this 2019 :)

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

  16. I haven't been on my blog in 2018 much. Hopefully I can change that this year and grow my blog :)

  17. I love your blog thanks for sharing these links Happy new year and may all your dreams come true xoxo Cris

  18. Loved reading this post, Kate. I took a big step back from blogging this year to focus on my health, but I missed posting and writing on a regular basis so much. I'm excited to get back to working on my blog on daily basis, simply because it's something that brings me so much joy. Sometimes taking a little break is all you need. Wishing you best of luck with all your goals and plans in 2019!

    Paula | Thirteen Thoughts


Blogger Template Created by pipdig