Blog Tip Thursday: Thoughts from a Newbie Blogger: 2013 Goal Setting

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Every week, we share one of our favorite ‘how-to’ posts about blogging, social media, and the community we LOVE to love. Our desire is you consider HLB a resource in your efforts to blog BETTER – we want to be stronger bloggers ourselves, and we see the desire for stronger posts and cleaner designs. We understand wanting to know the BEST plug-ins, aps, programs, and resources to keep your site in tip top shape. And nothing makes us nerd-out more than getting super meta about all things blog-world. We’re not experts, we’re simply bloggers ourselves – sharing our own experiences, tips and tricks of the trade each Thursday with a BTT post. We welcome your questions, your suggestions for future topics, and your ‘how-to’ post recommendations at healthylivingblogs@gmail.com!


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Thoughts from a Newbie Blogger: 2013 Goal Setting

By: Kerry Martens of The Adventures of Z & K

January is a time of resolutions and goal setting. With a mere six months of blogging under my belt I still have so much to learn. I took some time and jotted down a list of different areas that I’d like to further develop or improve upon in the coming year.

I now present to you my 2013 goals and ways to turn ideas into reality:

Customized Blog Design

The first thing I notice when I click to a blog is the overall design. What grab my attention are the color scheme, fonts, header and logo, as well as overall ease of navigation.

When I first started blogging last summer I wasn’t really sure how much time and effort I would be putting into it. Because of this I used the standard WordPress template, added a picture for the header and went on my way. However I now find myself itching for the chance to completely make my page “my own.”

This year I’d like to customize.

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  • WordPress Custom: For $30 a year you get full control over your blog and can alter the colors, fonts, and overall look.
  • DIY Custom Header: Step by step guide for making your own header using PicMonkey.
  • Maryn’s Blog Designs: Fellow HLB member Maryn offers cost-effective blog customizations that include logos, banners and social network buttons. There are many other bloggers who offer similar services for cheap so it definitely could be worth checking out.

Improve Photography

It wasn’t until I started blogging that I realized food photography is a “thing.” Admittedly it was an area I knew nothing about. Since then I’ve read numerous posts on tips and tricks for making the most of your subject, light, and camera. I’m cursed with a very poorly lit kitchen and especially in winter months find it extremely difficult to get a picture of food that is even remotely attractive.

This year I’d like to focus on improving my skills and figure out my camera (a Nikon D3000) beyond the auto settings.

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Here are some great resources:

Post Writing: Quality over Quantity

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy posting my weekly workout recaps or sharing a new fun recipe I’ve tried. However I have an ever growing list of ideas (currently on a computer-side sticky note) of “bigger picture” topics. They are ideas that may take a bit more planning and time to accomplish, but often become the ones that I’m most proud of.

This year I’d like to invest more time into planning out thoughtful, quality posts.

  • Blog planning printable: I love organizing and I love lists. This will be great to help keep me on track.
  • Staying inspired: Tips for keeping the post ideas coming no matter how long you’ve been blogging.

Stop Lurking and Start Commenting!

I have numerous blogs that I read on a daily basis, some I’ve been following for years. Yet commenting is not something I regularly do.

This year I’d like to start commenting and sharing my thoughts on my favorite blogs.

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If something I read really resonates with me, I should let the blogger know! If I made the recipe and loved it, I should let the blogger know! If they propose a question and want feedback, I should share my thoughts!

I know how excited I get to receive comments so why not return the favor? If nothing else commenting is a great way to foster relations and build support within the blogging community.

Attend/Host a Blogger meet up

I’ve found the healthy living community to be a great group of motivated, talented, supportive people.

This year I’d like to meet fellow bloggers!

Thanks to Healthy Living Blog’s database listing members by location, I was able to meet up with fellow Baltimore blogger, Jenny from Love Eat Run. We had never met but instantly had so much in common (Baltimore, running, even wedding planning!).

I’d love to take this a step further and get to know even more bloggers by attending or even hosting a meet-up of my own. A dinner out? A fitness activity? The possibilities are endless!

That being said, if you are a blogger in the Maryland/Virginia/DC area and would be interested in participating, let me know!

With so many goals and only twelve months to accomplish them, I’d better get busy!

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