When I started this blog about a year ago, I was looking for an outlet to share teaching ideas that can make teachers’ lives easier. At the time, I felt proficient in terms of social media. I was already obsessed with Twitter, had a personal Instagram, and was on Pinterest daily for inspiration and to find resources. It was only when I started this blog, however, that I came to realize that Instagram (yes, Instagram!) is basically a wonderland of teaching inspiration! I had never searched Instagram for teaching related stuff before, but as I’ve explored more and more, I’ve now become hooked!
As I said, I hadn’t previously viewed Instagram as a go-to place for teaching inspiration, but was oh-so-wrong. I wanted to write a post to share some of the popular hashtags I check out, and inspiring teachers I follow.
Hey y’all! Anyone have any big plans for NYE? I’m posting today to publish my goals for the blog in 2017. I’m so thankful for all of you and your support these last 6-7 months and really, truly, appreciate every view/comment/like/follow in terms of things related to this blog. I’m hoping that by posting my goals and putting them “out there”, it will help hold me accountable to following through! So, here we go…
My Goals for 2017
(in no particular order)
1. Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good
When I started this blog last summer, I had a lot more time on my hands than I do during the school year (obviously). Once the school year started, the blog was put on the back (very back) burner–not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I felt that I didn’t really have time to commit to it. I didn’t want to be doing the blog “half way” or be stressed out about it because that takes the fun out of it all!
I was so worried about making sure that my posts were perfect (great content, lengthy, useful to a large group, etc.) that it took me a long time to put together a post. Like a long time. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I would re-work it until I was 100% happy. Because of this habit, I stopped posting altogether and lost a lot of momentum. My goal for 2017 is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good and to just hit PUBLISH 🙂
2. Don’t Compare Myself to Other Blogs
Just like with anything in life, if you compare yourself to others too much then you lose a part of yourself (especially with teaching). I’m not going to worry about blog statistics so much and again just continue to post what I can, when I can. I just started not quite a year ago and took many months off…I won’t have a couple thousand IG followers like some other teaching blogs out there and THAT. IS. OKAY. As long as I enjoy what I’m doing, then I should keep doing it 🙂 The other stuff will come, and I won’t lose my authenticity along the way trying to do something/be something/post something that is not me.
3. Include More Content Geared Toward Specific Subject Areas
This is a BLOG FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS! This is not just a blog for ELA teachers! I have a lot of ELA related posts I’m planning to write, but I need to make sure that I include relevant info and engaging posts that pertain to the other subjects as well. And that leads me into my next goal…
4. Reach Out to Get Guest Contributors
I don’t think I could write a post about science resources/something science related if my life depended on it (well, that may be a bit dramatic, but you get the idea…). That is not in my wheelhouse at all and that is okay. So, in order to fulfill goal #3, I will have to reach out to people to be guest contributors on the blog (want to be one? email me!)! That idea is exciting to me in general because I started this blog to be a place to collaborate and share ideas, but it is necessary if I truly want this to be a blog for all middle school teachers! Again, want to be a guest contributor? EMAIL ME! 5. STICK TO A CONTENT CALENDAR (for the love of God!)
I have a lot of ideas with what I want to do as far as creating new content, posting on social media sites, sending out newsletters, etc. but time creeps up on me and I just do it all at once when I have time to just “put it out there”. This is absolutely not best practice so I am going to stick to a content calendar this year! I have Hootsuite and all of that jazz, but I just have to remember to cue it all up 🙂 I’m currently working on an easy system to put my ideas in one place to actually execute this plan!
Who knew when I started this blog that Instagram was (is?) a wonderland for teacher bloggers. I have a personal Instagram account, but really started to follow and explore teacher-bloggers/TPT authors on Instagram and it has been amazing! Not only have I gotten awesome ideas from other teachers by following people I wouldn’t have “met” otherwise, I have really done a lot of hashtag research to help me navigate all of the awesome info! I’ve also noticed that a significant portion of my blog and TPT traffic is coming from my Link In Profile account from my Instagram account so it cannot be ignored! I want to post 5x/week on Instagram in order to stay consistent, and continue to meet more inspiring teachers online! Sidenote: If you are not on Instagram for teaching stuff…you should be! It is much easier to navigate and less overwhelming than just randomly scrolling through Pinterest! (More on this topic soon!).
7. Post on Blog 2xMonth
Again, in thinking back to my 1st goal, I’m going to publish a lot more often and not worry about everything being perfect. I currently have 40+ blog post ideas in my “Drafts” and have already began creating the content calendar for it. I’m sure I will post a lot in spurts, and not so much when it gets busy, so I think that twice a month is definitely an attainable goal. 8. Twitter Chat 1x/Month
I know I just wrote about how I love Instagram but I LOVE Twitter. I love it to get news, keep up with friends, follow teaching stuff, etc. but I especially love it for the Twitter chats! My district currently has a chat on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (SHOUTOUT #JCPSchat) that I try to participate in, but I want to find another to begin participating in as well (anyone know of any great middle school chats?). Finding teacher friends who are equally engaged in this work and like to chat/write/collaborate about it is so inspiring to me and I always leave the chats I participate in feeling motivated. 9. Grow TPT Followers by 300
So, I really want to work on creating products for TPT in order to grow my follower count. TPT followers can lead to selling more products/helping more teachers & students/engaging with more middle school teachers so this goal is really important! It is out of my comfort zone to attach a number to this goal, but I preach to my students that our goals must be measurable so for the sake of accountability…Like blog post ideas, I have a list of 50+ things I want to create for TeachersPayTeachers but have just not had the time. Some of it I have already created for my own classroom, but I need to “polish” it, or make sure I have all of the correct rights in order to post it to sell. It is hard to grow my TPT followers with a small number of products in my store. I’m currently working on a plan to try to grow my TPT follower list. In my opinion, getting TPT followers is hard because teachers have to find your store first and THEN actually like something enough to click follow! 10. Grow Email Subscribers by 500
When I first started this blog, I felt like I was doing a good job of getting email subscribers. That progress dwindled, though, when I took a break from posting. Almost every time I have sent out a newsletter (I haven’t sent out many, but will improve because of GOAL #5!) I have either sold product(s), received an email, or gotten some return out of engaging the subscribers. That list is super important to me because they are going to end up being some of the most loyal people to this whole endeavor! (Want to subscribe? Click here 🙂 ) I think growing my list by 500 may be a lofty goal, but I’m hoping that if I really work hard from January 1, I’ll be able to do it!
What did I miss? Any teacher bloggers/TPT authors out there with advice? I’d love to hear from any/all of you in the comments below or on Instagram!