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Keeping it a Hobby

"My blogging goals for this year are..." That is the question for Finish The Sentence Friday Blog Hop on Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic. I have thought about this for quite a few days. Well actually before the FTSF Hop took a holiday break. My first thought for a goal was to be more dedicated. It was soon decided that wouldn't be the goal for the new year. Dedication takes time and so much more time that I really do not have. Over the last year, I have spent WAY too much time on the computer. I consider myself a small blogger, I don't have ads, do lots of parties, giveaways or even have sponsors. That way works for me and it keeps from making me crazy. I did try it for a while and it proved to be more than I wanted. When I started blogging, I did it as a hobby. People actually reading my blog was a far thought from my mind. I really had no idea what blogging was all about and how much dedication it takes. However, in the last year, I feel like I have gotten a handle on blogging and what I want out of it. So it makes it easier for me now to decide what I wanted for this upcoming year.

Pretty simple. That was my idea when I originally jumped into blogging. I have complicated the whole process for myself. I have stressed way too many times and tried to be more than what I am comfortable with at times. I wanted to express my thoughts and creativity with others. It was created as a 'me' thing to relax and do for enjoyment. I take breaks here and there because life happens. I blog in real life...for me, that means that I am blogging within the week or day of a published post. Yes, one reason is that I just don't have that much content and the other is me being a procrastinator. As my kids get older, it really seems like there is more to do and I get less done. I have spent way too much time with blog related things...hobbies are supposed to be fun and enjoyable. 

My kids were home for a week and a half and yes, I felt like a crazy person every day they were home. However, I love them so very much and spending so much time with them made me realize that I need to do more with them. I have been doing so many other things and it should be with them. By keeping it a hobby, it brings it back to the basics and gives me more time to focus on better quality in my posts that I want to express and share most. It gives me more family time and time to do the things I really need to be doing. 

o My original intent was list and series posts. Those are the ones that I am most fond of. I get impatient and post many projects individually when I could work them into a list. This will be something you will see more of this upcoming year. 

o I won't lie....I LOVE traffic from Pinterest. Seeing Pinterest within the top 3 of my traffic sources makes my heart happy. A sense of accomplishment, even though it is small, it is so very exciting for me.

o I am interested in the series posts and hope to get my foot in the door on that one this year. Additionally, a longer term goal would be to invite others to do it with me. 

*Future-orientated fear- My biggest fear and lack of the 'go-getter' spirit in blogging is the fate of nothing happening. No linkers, readers, comments. I avoided doing linky parties and it took me a while to do my own link up for the fear of no one coming to link up and hop around. What a surprise, I hosted, co-hosted and linked. I gained so many new friends and opportunities. It has been a great experience. Jump out there for sure. 

o I do not want to force posts. I want them to be authentic and what I am truly up to. So for now, my schedule will dictate the number of posts I can get out. I hope that more posts will be the case, but I won't sweat it. 

o Developing friendships by commenting and connecting- I have a list of other blogs that I really enjoy reading and connecting with. I go through phases of being able to comment on all of their posts and other times I run out of time. I don't know how some people do it. I do make an effort to comment on other blogs, but often times it is once or twice a week in a long stream of back to back blog visits and comments. I feel like it helps me write a more personal comment.  Once upon a time in my time blogging, I spent a large amount of time linking up and visiting other blogs, but it really made me feel like I was living on the computer. With doing blog content, editing photos and regular life it just eats up so much time. I am really realizing that commenting and visiting other blogs is really the only way to actually develop a close relationship with other bloggers. A bloggers writing is something personal and comes from within, which is the best way to connect on a more personal level. 

Personal Blog Connections- When I originally started blogging, I had the plans of doing post only articles and my blog not being a personal blog at all. It took a really long time to include personal details and personal photos, especially of my children. How can others get to know you and enjoy your content if they have no way to relate to you on any level if you say nothing about yourself or your life? They can't. 

Blogging groups- I moved through a few different larger "blogging groups" before I ended up where I am right now. I couldn't figure out where I wanted to be, needed to be or where I felt like I fit best. I really feel like these semi-private blogging groups exist.  I now enjoy a mix of connections within different groups. Some are crafting, creating, baking, sweets, organizing, personal and family. It was all in finding where I felt most inspired. 

My want of the year: To further grow the connections with the bloggers in whom I already interact with and enjoy their blogs. Also, to keep on growing my blogging network. Blogging has been a blessing for me. It has given me a little bit of me back. It helped me jump off that comfort level cliff and dive into brand new experiences. 

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