Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

April 22, 2019

10 Things I Need To Do For My Blog (+ Things I'm Glad I Have Done!)

     I can't believe that come September, I will have been blogging for seven years! (I also can't believe I'll be halfway through my 20s in September, but that's another discussion.) My strategy and goals with blogging have definitely changed a lot since I published my first outfit post as a college freshman- which is good! But as I'm starting to reflect on the years so far in preparation for year seven, I'm starting to make a list of things that I really should be doing for my blog or as a blogger. I'm writing all of these publicly on my blog to 1) hold myself accountable to actually do them this spring and summer (if I publish goals on the blog I'm a lot more likely to do them!), 2) to give you an inside look at all the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into running a successful blog if you're not a blogger yourself, and 3) if you are a fellow blogger, I'd love to hear in the comments if you've done any of these things and they worked for your blog.

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     1. Set up a call with rewardStyle's Influencer Support: I've been a member of rewardStyle for over three years, and each year I tell myself I need to email Influencer Support about doing this, I then forget or talk myself out of it! While focusing on selling stuff via on Instagram will never be my main purpose as a blogger, I know that I could probably be better optimizing affiliate links on my actual blog, so I'd love to hear more directly from the pros!

     2. FINALLY learn how to use Tailwind for Pinterest: Ugh still can't believe I haven't done this. I used to be a big fan of BoardBooster, and I definitely saw increases in blog page views from using that. Unfortunately, BoardBooster wasn't an official Pinterest approved website, so it shut down I believe last summer. A lot of my blogger friends have had great success with Tailwind- I tried to use it once but found it too confusing. I NEED to sit down sometime for a couple hours and read tutorials about it in-depth, then get going with it!

     3. Set aside a day each week to schedule blog content to Twitter using Buffer: Buffer is a great social media scheduling tool- I love using it for Twitter! I'm just not always great at remembering to do this. I need to set aside one day of the week (Mondays? Fridays?) to schedule out blog content related tweets for the several days so that I don't fall behind.

     4. Preschedule more content to my blog's Facebook page, and begin sharing other bloggers' content:
My friend Nicole from What Nicole Wore is so great about always re-sharing other bloggers' content on her social media! I am not super active on my blog's Facebook page other than sharing my own new blog posts, so I want to challenge myself starting this spring to share other bloggers' posts on there too. I think it'll be a win-win! (More engagement for my own page plus promoting other bloggers!)

     5. Watch one Youtube video per week about DSLR photography, and one per week about photography editing: I haven't really talked about this much on the blog yet, but starting in January 2019 I started focusing heavily on doing my own blog photography with my DSLR camera (having friends shoot for me) instead of regularly working with photographers. I'm not ruling out blog photographers altogether as I do love the quality professional pictures, but it won't be a frequent thing going forward. Anyways, I really need to teach myself more about photography and editing! I know Youtube is a great resource- if you have any favorite channels for these topics let me know in the comments!

     6. Change my address on my EIN (after moving in September): A few years ago, I filled out the online forms to get an EIN number for my blog for taxes, so that I wouldn't have to use my SSN for payment for a certain campaign. When I moved to Vermont, I never figured out how to change the address on my EIN since I wasn't an LLC, and kind of forgot about it and went back to using my SSN. I'm moving again in September- and plan to be in that apartment for the rest of my time in Cville (which I feel like will be years!), so in the fall I am planning to finally change the address on the EIN and start using that again.

     7. Complete the Be Your Own CFO online course: I went to my first blogging conference in 2016, and one of the seminar speakers was Amy Northard, who specializes in accounting for creative industries. She wrote an online course all about small business accounting and taxes called Be Your Own CFO, and everyone at the conference got course access for free! I never finished it, and I really want to this year, as I remember loving the few lessons I did complete.

     8. Begin using free accounting software: Actually just got this last week- whoo hoo! Now I need to fully learn how to use it. In the past, I've always used Paypal's invoices for blog campaigns that aren't paid directly through networks. While those are great, I wanted access to invoices that can be a little more detailed and organized (and not require Paypal as the only payment method).

     9. Download and begin using a mileage tracking app: Something I have never been good about is tracking mileage for blog related driving! I have a few travel blogging opportunities coming up, and want to make sure I can properly keep track of the mileage needed, without having to guestimate after the fact using Google Maps.

    10. Reach out to blogger friends to guest post for my vacation this summer: I'm going home to Maine for a week for a summer vacation later this year, and I plan to take the full week off from the blog! I am planning to ask some of my favorite bloggers to guest post in my absence, as I don't want to leave y'all without content for a full week!


     1. Posting on the blog M-Th consistently: So incredibly proud of myself for continuing to knock out four full length blog posts most weeks of the year! It honestly makes me sad how many "bloggers" these days only focus on their Instagram feed, and update their actual websites once a month or less. I love writing, and to me blog posts are the heart and soul of blogging. Iff I blogged full time you can bet there would be a new blog post six-seven days a week, but since I do work full time I'm extremely proud of myself for still making time for four posts a week!

    2. Setting daily Instagram time limits: Last year for Lent, I didn't go on Instagram on the weekends. Part of that has stuck- and during the daytime on Sundays I try to stay off of it! This year for Lent, I wanted to do something Instagram related again, so I set time limits for using the app with my iPhone (love this feature!). This has been so great for my mental health and beating the comparison game that I'm definitely not turning these off now that Lent has passed.

    3. Using an editorial calendar system that works for me: For a few years now, I've been using iCal as my blog's editorial calendar, and it works great for me! I love how easily it syncs between my phone and laptop, and how I can set reminders for myself to do certain things! I tried using a paper planner for blog things for a year in college, and I would never remember to update it. iCal works perfectly for me so that's what I'm going to continue using!

    4. Finding a perfect balance of community > competition: I think I do a pretty good job of this! I love supporting other bloggers and I try my best not to be competitive with other girls, only with myself! One big way that I practice community > competition is by recommending other bloggers when opportunities aren't a fit for me. Maybe a brand reaches out to collaborate that isn't something I use or would use, or for when I get geographic specific opportunities in a place I'm not able to get to (it's been two years since I moved from Charlotte and I still get invited to blogger events there!). I love to forward opportunities onto other blogger friends of mine if they would be a better fit for things.

    5. Balancing blogging and being a morning radio host: My day job is not only tough and time consuming, but begins while most of the world is still sleeping! That's tough enough as is- so every time that I beat myself up inside over something about blogging- I think about giving myself grace for the fact that I am able to (successfully?) balance both, and work both of my dream jobs!

    If you're also a blogger- have you done any of these things for your blog? What's worked and what hasn't? Let me know in the comments!


    God Bless,

    xoxo Annaliese


  1. I love your goals and I know with 100% certainty you will accomplish them- you're the most driven person i know!

  2. Thank you for writing this post! It really helped me start to brainstorm and goalset for my blog as well! I need to get better at batch writing too!

  3. That is so amazing you’ve been blogging almost 7 years. Okay this post was great because I need to do all of this. I need to setup a Reward Style call too. I keep putting it off, also Tail Wind has been on my list for years. You’re doing such an amazing job. I am so impressed with your consistency. I need to be better about planning ahead. I am hoping to get a lot done this weekend.

  4. What excellent goals!! I know I have slacked on several of those things too. You should be so proud about what you have accomplished! (Love that top BTW!)

  5. I need to make a list like this for my blog!


  6. Wow, this gave me so much insight. Getting an EIN definitely helped me the most - I also need to post about affiliate linking. This has been on my radar for SO long, yet seems so tedious! PS - Love the style of your blog & yours as well :)

  7. These are great goals to have for your blog. I definitely have a few goals for my own.

  8. Great goals! So agree about Tailwind! I've tried it and was confused so it only lasted less than a day. I don't think I'll go to Tailwind, but you never know.

  9. These are such great goals! Thank you for the shoutout too; scheduling tweets can be be tedious but hasn't been bad once I get in the routine of setting a day to put down my M-F. Lately I've been playing around with posting to FB in real time but scheduling is DEF easier.
    You should be so proud of your consistency with blogging; it's not an easy task but you always stick to your schedule!

    Nicole | What Nicole Wore

  10. I am feeling SO caught out with this post as I need to do so many of these things too! 😂 Tailwind is constantly on my mind; I get pretty good views on my Pinterest, but not many of them turn into blog traffic, which needs to change. I also go through phases where I'm AWESOME with Buffer, and then I forget about it for months, and I can really notice a difference in my traffic when I'm not using it!

  11. For me, I blog on days that I don't have a full schedule (weekends, Monday, and Weds) as I have a full time job. I need invest in Tailwind. And thanks for letting me know about Buffer because I am trying to space out my Tweets.

  12. Love these goals! I have been blogging for 4 years and need to work on my SEO and get Tailwind.

  13. awesome goals. tailwind is amazing for sharing content


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