Another Year Has Come and Gone…
Well, It’s officially 2019 and I’m both excited and a little sad to say goodbye to 2018.
The last part of the year was especially hard. To name a few of the most difficult…
1) We said goodbye to our foster kids, which just about killed me. 2) The pain in my neck spread to my arm, back and even caused problems with my head and vision. (I just realized I never actually posted about that.) And 3) My youngest went to live with her dad so I only see her on the weekends.
Some really great things happened during that time too, though…
1) I was able to interview my dad for StoryCorp. 2) I changed the name of the website and went self-hosted! and 3) I was blown away by the love my post received as the blog of the day via The Write Reads (go check them out!)
And with both the good and the bad of the entire past year now gone, it’s time to look forward to a new year and all it will bring with it!
Goodbye Jess Combs, Hello Combing Through the Pages!
So when I started blogging three years ago, it was a short-lived experience that revolved around me. It made sense for my blog to just be my name.
But I’m boring!
I quickly got tired of talking about myself and the Jess Combs blog died a quiet death.
One of the most exciting things about 2018 was combining the fun of blogging with my passion for reading and bookishness. Enter the name change and the birth of “Combing Through the Pages.”
Now that I have a new bookish name and it’s a new year, it’s time to start making some goals for 2019!
Blogging Goals for 2019
There’s a lot I want to do with Combing Through the Pages in 2019! Some of my goals are far-fetched dreaming, some are just practical things I should have been doing all along, and others are exciting ways to connect with other book lovers and bloggers.
Without further ado, I give you my goals list for 2019:
1. Catch Up on Review Posts!
My top priority for 2019 is to catch up on all the books I planned to have reviewed before the end of 2018. It’s no excuse, but with everything that happened from October-December, I got behind. There are some great books I’ve read that haven’t been written about yet, and a couple I didn’t get finished in 2018.
So my first goal is pretty simple… get caught up!
2. Finish Becoming “Combing Through the Pages”
So simply changing the site name from “Jess Combs” to “Combing Through the Pages” was pretty easy. But as I quickly learned, it takes a lot more than that to actually make the change!
A new logo, new about page, new headers, new social media banners, etc… There’s a lot that still has to be done to finish “re-branding.”
In a way, this one probably could go under catching up, but it’s a whole other beast to tackle and so it’s number 2 on my list!
Among the major things #2 requires, is settling on my logo. What do you guys think of the one I’m using currently? Do you have suggestions? I would absolutely LOVE any and all feedback on the site! I’m still learning so please leave your ideas, thoughts and opinions in the comments or send me a message through the Contact Me page!
3. Hit 1,000 WordPress and E-mail Subscribers
This is one of those far-fetched, if all my dreams came true goals.
I’m currently at 343 WordPress/E-mail followers. So I’d need 657 new people to subscribe to Combing Through the Pages before the end of the year. If I average 2 new followers a day, I’ll hit it, so even though it’s a “daydreaming” goal, I think it’s possible.
4. Spend 2+ Hours Every Week Supporting My Followers Blogs
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I want to be intentional in 2019 about supporting those who support me.
So my goal is to take at least 2 hours every week and just visit, comment and use affiliate links on my followers blogs. Those are all things I appreciate others doing for me, so I want to be sure to do the same for them!
5. Show More Love to Other Book Bloggers
The book blogging community, as a whole, is amazingly supportive!
When I started reviewing book, I was lucky enough to stumble across two incredible ways to get connected, find support, and discover other great blogs!
The first was the New Bloggers support group run by Evelina at Avalinahsbooks. Whether you’re new to the book blogging thing or you’ve been at it for a while, she’s an invaluable resource! If you’re a book blogger and haven’t already, you should go check it out right now!
Again, with everything going on, I haven’t been able to participate a whole lot this past month or so on the app and I’ve missed it terribly! So part of this goal is to make full use of the community Evelina has made and retweet, reblog, and support in any way I can my fellow book bloggers!
The second great resource for me was The Write Reads on Twitter. The Write Reads makes it super easy to support other book bloggers! Every day, a different blog post is featured as the blog of the day. Others visit and retweet the post.
I’ve discovered a lot of new bloggers, new books, and great posts through The Write Reads. There have been days when the only other blogger I’ve been able to visit was the blog of the day so I’m super thankful to be a part of it and want to keep it going through 2019!
6. Create and Stick To an Editorial Calendar!
I am great at scheduling months in advance for my family, but I am horrible at it for my blog!!!
I tried to use a calendar to come up with ideas and a schedule for last year, but when I actually used it, I never followed through.
So… my goal is to actually make use of an editorial calendar. This should keep me from needing to play catch up in 2019!
7. Post 5+ Times a Week
This one kinda goes with #6, but I decided to give it it’s own number.
One of the great things about planning out posts for a month, is that I know what’s coming up! So I can write posts in advance and schedule them to post!
I’ve been getting better about this, but I want to do even better in 2019! If I stick to it, I won’t have any problem making sure I’ve got posts Monday-Friday.
8. Host 3+ Giveaways in 2019
I think I entered almost every bookish giveaway I saw at the end of 2018!
While I wasn’t fortunate enough to win any of them, I loved the idea and am really excited to do some myself! So stay tuned as I’ll be giving away books and gift cards soon!
9. Post more about Fostering.
While this blog is mostly about books, I’m also a foster parent and I want to talk more about that.
Fostering isn’t easy and people aren’t always supportive. There are things that people don’t talk about and there are some things that are just down right funny. I want to bring it all out in the open – the good, the bad, the funny, and the sad. I’m hoping to connect more with other foster parents and other bloggers who blog about their experiences.
10. HAVE FUN!
My last goal is just to have fun. Sometimes, blogging can feel like a chore instead of a hobby. So in 2019, I want to just keep enjoying what I’m doing and sharing with all of you!
So I’m looking forward to having fun as we comb through the pages of life together!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!