Month: May 2018

How to Plan Your Blogging Goals 90 Days at a Time

How to Plan Your Blogging Goals 90 Days at a Time

planning blogging goals

Why plan your blogging goals?

You want to honor Christ in your blogging, right? You want your readers to come back again and again, too. Right again?

If your blog is more like an online journal and the people who read it are just friends and family, planning your goals is probably not necessary. But if you want to reach a larger audience and keep them coming back to read your blog, planning your blogging goals is a must.

Blogging can take over your life.

But it doesn’t have to. Like anything you do, planning is key to success. One of my favorite quotes comes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

“Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”

The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”

“I don’t know,” Alice answered.

“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

Planning your blogging goals helps you reach your destination.

However, in today’s world, things change at the speed of, well, technology. And to have a successful blog, you really need to keep up. It can be overwhelming.

That’s why I created this FREE 90-Day Blog Planning Tool!

Without planning, I feel:

  • Unprepared
  • Overcommitted
  • Less productive

plan your blogging goals

That’s why I plan 90 days at a time.

I don’t go into great detail in planning my blogging goals. A 90-day goal might be “grow traffic to 10,000 readers.” After that, planning posts that will interest my readers comes next.

Planning is not writing.

I want to know what I’m going to write about, but in the planning stage, I don’t actually write the post. That comes later.

Value-added content

Now that I have an editorial plan for the next 90 days, I’m going to think about what I can offer my readers that will align with the blog. A free checklist? A photo? Tips about how to accomplish something? I like to have a free resource available for download on lots of my posts. (Remember the movie Field of Dreams? “If  you build it, he will come” is true for blogging, too.)

Social media, too.

How will I get the word out? I utilize pins, posts and tweets to let people know what I’m doing and how they can benefit from it. So putting in when you plan to use social media is an integral part of the overall plan. Again, don’t create the pins, posts and tweets—plan them.


The final part of my planning involves listing tasks. If you are using my free planning tool, you have 13 weekly pages to list those tasks and schedule them in.


Scheduling your workload is freeing.

I take one day every three months to plan the next 90 days. Then I only have to look at my plan to know what I need to accomplish each week. It frees my mind up to concentrate on creating really great content that will draw people in and give them what they need.

After all, that’s what my blog is all about.

How about yours?

Go ahead! Download your FREE 90-Day Blog Goal Planning Tool!


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How to Find Free Photos Update

How to Find Free Photos Update

It’s still urgent.

A little over a year ago I created a post on finding free photos for your blog. It was an important process then, but I think it might be even more important now.

Pinterest has become the favorite darling among bloggers as a search engine, and we all know how pretty pins catch and hold our attention.

Not all created equal.

Unfortunately, a lot of us kind of just throw the photos we took with our phones, add some text, and think we’re done. And if you don’t want traffic, that might be true. (Confession: it’s the way I started this blog out.)

You need high-res, audience-friendly photos.

But hiring a photographer each time you need a new image is not only time consuming, it can cost a lot of money, too.

I remember when Jeff and I had our own advertising agency and spent days on end with professional photographers and models to create shots that told the story we wanted to tell. Nowadays, that’s all changed, and for the better!

You don’t have to pay for them.

There are a lot of photographers who love, love, love having their work out in public, and many of them will comp you a few for free. Sometimes they require a credit (and you should be glad to give it to them), sometimes not. Using freebies is a terrific way to build your brand without it costing an arm and a leg. Just be sure to credit when you have to and also when you have room but don’t have to.

I’ve made a free photos resource list for you when you sign up to receive it!

find free photos

Photographers (my daughter in law is one) have expertise that you pay for as well as for a nice shot. Being able to understand your readers’ minds is difficult, and you know your readers. Imagine being a photographer who doesn’t know them trying to come up with that perfect picture that will appeal to them. They invest a ton of money into becoming the good photographers they are, so don’t begrudge them their fee if you don’t want to credit them.

Since last year, I’ve discovered Canva!

Canva is a different kind of editor for photos, and one I use almost exclusively for my images. I have Photoshop and know how to use it well, but Canva is friendly, easy, and did I mention they have a boatload of free images for you to use? They do! (The image in this post was totally created from Canva’s free products!)

I have developed several templates for social media posts and other visual needs, and all I used was Canva. One thing that I really like is that when you enlarge a photo in Canva, it doesn’t lose quality. You can resize the photo to fit the need and know that it will look great every time.

Stock Photos

Canva has a huge assortment of stock images you can use for your own branding and wherever else you use visuals. They have over a million free and low cost photos, icons, and graphics that you can use to tell your story.

Just what you need.

Canva has a slew of tutorials to help you design engaging content for your blog, but they’ve also recently released resumé and e-book templates, too.  Small businesses can have nearly all their printing and online needs met, from pre-sized social media templates, to headers, marketing materials, advertisements, documents, letterhead and business cards, presentations… you get the picture.

Even printing.

Maybe you don’t own a top-of-the-line color printer and want your materials professionally printed. With Canva, you can do that with just the touch of a button. After you’ve designed your masterpiece, just send it to Canva to print and about 5 days later you’ll have beautiful, engaging printed materials that didn’t cost you an arm and a leg but present your business professionally.

Yes, I do use other free photo sites.

Yet, hands down, Canva has made it easier and more fruitful to produce the consistent quality I desire for my brand. But to see a great list of other free photo sites, just read my post from a year ago.

And here are four new resources that feature girly photos that make your ideas appeal to the women who read your blog.

(Btw, even though I am affiliate for some companies, none of the ones in this post have paid me a cent or given me free products to mention them. This is to benefit you, not me. So whether or not you purchase anything from any of them does not cause me to gain financially. I just wanted to share with you what I like and use myself.)

SC Stockshop

Styled Stock Society

Ivory Mix (this one offers a free course on how to use Canva)

Haute Stock

So how will you use your free photos?


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