Last year was a learning year for me. I launched Blog Me Lovely in June and I had a lot of trial and error, some health and motivation issues on my end, and just got overwhelmed with how much I had to do. But it was the first year that I actually made some money from doing what I love – blogging and graphic design.
I finally decided that my little space of the internet wasn’t just a blog but a business and I began to treat it as such. That mindset shift made such a HUGE difference for me. I am not just a blogger, but a business owner.
With that in mind, I have a lot planned for this year.
So today I am sharing 17 things I’m doing for my business in 2017.
1. Enrolled in Be True, Brand You by Kimra Luna
So I told myself that I was not going to buy any more courses. That I was a course hoarder and already had plenty of unfinished (some not even started) courses. Well, that completely went out the window on Cyber Monday when I saw a promo video for this course.
I will admit that I had heard the name Kimra Luna before but I wasn’t actually familiar with her. I loved her authenticity and the fact that she was totally herself with her piercings and blue hair. The testimonials are what sold me.
I have just finished the first of 16 weeks, and I am already so happy with my decision. This is a course that I am actually going to take from start to finish and implement along the way. Kimra has it set up with such actionable content that you don’t have to second guess how to apply what you learn.
2. Revamp my services and Work with Me page
You may have noticed that my Work with Me page is currently under construction. That is because I have decided to change my offerings! I will be offering:
- Graphic Design Packages – hourly packages where I will design social media graphics, blog graphics, Facebook ads, social media covers, worksheets, ebooks, etc.
- Website Maintenance Packages – hourly packages where I will install a new theme, make sure your site and plugins are up to date, reformat blog posts, make minor HTML/CSS changes, etc.
- Blog Mentorship – blog audits, brand audits, 1-on-1 mentoring, etc.
I am very excited about this new direction of encompassing all of my passions.
3. Make my business legal
At the end of 2016, I spoke with a lawyer to figure out the steps I need to take to make sure I am doing everything legally. I have a list of the forms, licenses, and next steps that I need to do for my state and county.
4. Schedule a brand photo shoot
So this is technically some of the homework for Be True, Brand You. Lucky for me, I have a photographer for a best friend. Once I create a brand board for some inspiration and choose my outfits, I will be working with her to pick a date and location. I am very excited to be getting professional photos done for my website.
5. Create at least one course
This has been on my list for a while and I have been brainstorming some ideas. It will most likely be design related and possible be tool specific. I have not decided yet, so if you have any feedback I would greatly appreciate it!
6. Focus more on affiliate marketing (where it makes sense)
My blog is my business and I am looking to support myself with it. If I only offer services, I am totally not scalable since I only have so many hours in the day. That is where courses (like I mentioned above) and affiliate marketing come in.
I only plan to use affiliate links for products and tools I have personally used and would recommend. For example, I have finally finished my resources page which features a few affiliate links.
7. Spending time everyday networking with fellow bloggers and creative entrepreneurs
I saw the biggest shift in my business when I spent more time on community. It is amazing to find like-minded people who totally understand where you are coming from.
I will be more present in Facebook groups and more consciously reaching out to my peers. I would love to do some joint venture webinars, guest post swaps, etc. when the time is right.
8. Start my own Facebook group
Sometime this year I will be launching a Facebook group called The Lovely Entrepreneur Society. I am so very excited about this venture.
I plan on this being a community group where we can gather to discuss ideas, connect with our peers, create lasting friendships and help one another move their business forward.
9. Create digital products
I love 1-on-1 design work but I also know that I could help more people if I had a digital shop with premade templates, icons, clip art, etc.
This may also include checklists, digital planners, and worksheets. But who knows, I am still in the planning stages.
10. Create physical products
I am very excited about this one. I have a few stores on Society6 currently (The Creative Deer, Lindsey Aleson Photography, and Code Design House) but I plan to elaborate and make some blogging/business related products.
I would love to have prints, mugs, travel mugs, notepads, physical planners, etc.
11. Make email marketing a priority
This is a struggle of mine but I am going to conquer my fear and focus on email marketing this year.
This will be great for my list because the content will be more targeted toward them and their interests. I will also be able to provide more value to my most loyal readers.
12. Create multiple opt-ins to grow my email list
I have a section in Asana with content upgrade ideas. I am excited to start working on them and getting them out to you! Be sure to let me know what your struggles are and what content you would love to see!
13. Experiment with Facebook ads
When I launch my course and even before that while I am trying to grow my list, I am going to start experimenting with Facebook ads. I don’t have a huge budget, but it is a skill that I really want to learn and I know can be very beneficial!
14. Create a consistent blogging schedule
I have been pretty good about posting every Tuesday for the past month or so. To be honest, I would like to increase that to twice a week and have more of a topic schedule set. I am going to work through my Blog Content Strategy Workbook while I try and plan this. I might also adjust my categories a bit. We shall see!
15. Be proactive with bookkeeping and tax preparation
Since I started making money in 2016 I need to record on my taxes. I was not prepared at all. I ended up spending about 7 hours on December 30th going through all of my bank statements and matching expenses to email receipts, categorizing them and recording my income. I am all set for tax time (I think). Luckily, I had a pretty easy year. I don’t expect it to be that easy this year.
So I want to make sure that I keep up with my books at the end of every month. I will most likely pay someone to do my taxes next year and I want to make sure I have everything in place and organized to cut down on that expense.
16. Take more time off for me
I want my business to grow this year. I want it to grow to support myself. But I need to make sure that I take time out for myself and my well-being. Running yourself to the ground trying to build your business is not for me. I actually wrote about why I am not a fan of the word hustle last year.
I am not opposed to hard work and know it will be more than necessary, but I am not going to make myself sick trying to get things done. A great book about the importance of self-care and taking a step back is Thrive by Arianna Huffington*.
17. Relaunch and rebrand my lifestyle blog!
I am so excited about this one. I think I am finally ready to let the name Peace Love Sequins go but I am not ready to stop blogging in general. I really miss my lifestyle blog where I can post fashion, beauty and home decor round ups, and just fun things in general without having to fit into a perfect box.
So keep an eye out for Lately Lindsey which will be launching in a few months!
What are you doing for your blog and business in 2017?