This past year has seen a great deal of growth and success for me personally and professionally. Normally, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but in looking at how this blog has moved forward….I need to change that habit, because Chicago is experiencing a renaissance in driving social good and social benefit. From key legislation being passed to new incubators, from non-profit successes to great initiatives, it is a good time for me to reevaluate the blog’s success….and more importantly, set some goals. So in that spirit, I am proposing some 2015 New Year’s resolutions for One Cause At A Time
Goal setting is always important in meeting resolutions, and I am going to adopt a SMART approach towards setting goals. No, that isn’t a typo – according to Wikipedia (and other sources), SMART goals usually have the following characteristics:
- Specific – What specific areas do I see a need for change or improvement
- Measurable – How I will know that I have progressed in my efforts
- Assignable – what will I need (and are there resources/people who can assist)
- Realistic – Are my expected outcomes achievable given available resources, and
- Time-related – is there a specific time frame for success
(Keep in mind – what follows are rough ideas about my goals; some of the details I may not divulge only because they require further work. But what follows are my off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts about the direction of this blog. Plus, it may make for more entertaining reading)
So my 2015 New Year’s resolutions for One Cause At A Time – in particular – are as follows:
- Double the number of unique readers/visitors within six months – thanks to Google Analytics, I know that the blog averages 190 users (readers) per month, with an average of 250 page views. In order to increase my blog’s traffic, it will mean stronger outreach and better writing…but having a specific goal for the blog also means that I avoid the usual cliche of “finding and speaking my voice”.
- Develop a monthly editorial calendar to maintain consistent blogging schedule: Although a once-a-week schedule is easiest and most appropriate for this blog, I haven’t been as diligent in maintaining that schedule; developing a monthly editorial calendar determining key topics per week will allow me to not only stay consistent, but avoid the dreaded “what-will-I-blog-about” syndrome that sometimes occurs;
- Maintain a consistent schedule of blogging once a week for three months beginning in January 2015: I try to update this blog every Wednesday, and if I schedule appropriately and set aside time, I believe that I can maintain a regular schedule of blogging to not only drive traffic, but to also keep current.
- Grow the blog’s Facebook page and reach 100 followers by May 2015 – admittedly, much of the blog’s current Facebook presence is minimal, mostly consisting of blog updates with the occasional side post; more consistent outreach and a potential Facebook ad/boosted post campaign will allow me to widen my audience. Speaking of which….
- Diversify the types and sources of blog content – I think we do a really good job of touching on a diverse range of topics focusing on technology and the social good in Chicago; I want to insure that we focus as much on smaller, community-based efforts as we do on higher level issues. In addition, Google Analytics shows that after Illinois, our next major sources of traffic come from California and Maryland….with our neighboring states (Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Iowa) in the distance; I would like to focus on more regional, interstate collaborations when possible…and finally
- Better advocate for local organizations without becoming another “PR Channel – thanks to past work with Amacom Books and NetGalley, the blog has provided resources for great literature. I have good, positive relationships within both the non-profit and social enterprise communities, and would like to serve as a hub of information. We already do this with series like “Meet Your Neighbor”, but I also want to insure that we maintain those positive relationships, but develop at least three new blogging relationships that allow us to share information without becoming a “mouthpiece”.
Now you’ll notice – many of the goals and resolutions don’t quite follow the SMART criteria….but that means that over the holiday, I’ll be working on refining and setting some benchmarks. (I have to do so for a variety of projects over the coming year). Professionally and personally, 2015 has been a success – some freelance assignments have come my way; I’ve been able to get involved in a variety of volunteer efforts, and I’m seeing myself moving into another phase of my career. As we gear into the holidays, it’s my hope that the coming year brings the best for everyone who reads this blog.
Plus, I got to discuss some key online resources while making resolutions for 2015…and will continue to focus on local efforts to use technology to drive social change.
Have any comments or questions? Please feel free to leave them below. In addition, my personal contact information can be found on the blog’s About page, so don’t hesitate if you need to reach out individually.
And as always, thanks for reading.
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