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Last month, I somehow discovered a few different bloggers* doing “Monthly Goals” posts, and, well, you all know me: if other bloggers are doing it, you better believe I’ll get round to doing it too. I mean, I’ll maybe get round to it six months later, and do it in a really half-assed kinda way, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Nah, I jest: I just really liked the idea. I’ve talked before about being fairly goal-driven: I like setting myself targets and then trying to beat them, and so what if I sometimes get a little bit obsessive about it? Who are you to judge me for frantically marching on the spot at 11:59pm because I HAVE to hit my 10,000 steps target before midnight? Nothing wrong with that, nuh-uh! Anyway, I have a super-special ‘Goals’ notebook (By MiGoals, in case you’re wondering. I ordered it from Australia and everything. Well, we all know cute stationery is the key to successful living, don’t we?) to write down all my blog goals every month, but I thought I might start listing them here, too. Then I thought, “Why stop there? Why not list LIFE goals, too, then I’ll have even MORE things to feel bad about not doing? Why not indeed.

Here are my goals for October…

goals for October 2015

BLOG GOALS:

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THEME UPDATE:

I’ve been wanting to change my theme for a while now, but have held off because I’ve learned to my cost that changing a theme can have disastrous effects on traffic and revenue (so literally “to my cost” then…): there’s a whole lot more to consider than just “does it look nice?, which is a bit of a bummer, because ‘does it look nice?’ is my main criteria when it comes to blog themes. Unfortunately there’s no real way to know how a new theme will affect your stats until you try it: back in the summer we changed the template on The Fashion Police, and were forced to change it back again a couple of weeks later (I loved the way it looked, but it totally destroyed our revenue, for reasons that still aren’t clear to us…), so if the look of the site changes, and then changes back again, apologies in advance, and know that it annoys me even more than it annoys you. Even more than you could even believe to be possible, actually.

BUY A DECENT LIGHTING KIT

This is something I always said I’d never do, because it seemed like such a faff to have to set up different lighting every time I wanted to take a photo, but I’ve been really struggling with indoor photos, (they always turn out yellow, dark and blurry, no matter how much light I try to get into the room, and Photoshop can only do so much to fix them) and now that we’re heading into winter, it’s only going to get harder. I actually struggled with this even during the summer, because it was so often overcast, so I think that if I don’t want to spend the next few months complaining about how impossible it is to take photos, I need to bite the bullet and buy a lighting kit. I’ve been looking into this, and it’s actually not as expensive as I’d assumed it would be, so here’s hoping it works!

COMMENT MORE ON OTHER BLOGS

I don’t mean this one in a “to get people to click on my links” kinda way, obviously: I’m just really aware that I’ve slipped into the habit of reading blogs on my phone and never commenting on them, and I kind of hate myself for it.  I know all too well how crushing it is to post something and not get a response, and I really think that if you enjoy someone’s content, it’s nice to show them a bit of support every now and then (or they’ll think no one’s reading and give up): I can’t really expect people to do that for me if I don’t do it for them, though, so while I’m not setting myself any kind of target with this (i.e. I’m not going to force myself to post X number of comments per day or anything like that), and will only comment if I have something to say, I’m going to try to make more of an effort to support the bloggers I silently read every day, those poor, unsung heroes of the internet. Or something.

HIT 150,000 PAGEVIEWS FOR THE MONTH

I feel a bit stupid for including this one, because we all know bloggers are supposed to just work their butts off “for the love of it!” and not care if no one ever reads their words of wisdom, but you all know how I feel about that by now, right? I set specific traffic targets every month, and this month I’m aiming to reach 150,000 page views. That’s 10,000 more than my previous best month, so it’s possibly a bit ambitious, but October is traditionally the best month of the year for my blogs, and… I’ve just cursed it by saying that, haven’t I? GOD, why do I DO this to myself, seriously?!

(For everyone wondering why “the numbers” matter: when you blog for a living, the higher your “numbers”, the greater the likelihood of people wanting to work with you. So it’s not vanity, it’s, er, greed. Which is WAY better, obviously.)

(I’m joking: I obviously don’t think it’s greedy to want your business to be successful – I just sometimes feel like I have to pretend I think that so I don’t get judged by the “I blog for ME!” crowd. Which is stupid, really, because I ALSO blog “for me”: it’s just that “me” likes to be able to pay her mortgage every month, and also to buy shoes. And there’s really nothing wrong with that. Maybe one of my goals should be “stop apologising for wanting to be good at my job”?)

goals setting for bloggers

LIFE GOALS:

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GET UP EARLIER

I’m not a morning person (like, REALLY not a morning person), and one of the best things about being self-employed is that I don’t HAVE to be a morning person if I don’t want to. I’m not about to destroy one of the biggest benefits of working from home by forcing myself to get up at first light every morning or something (I mean, one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place was so I didn’t have to have a ‘normal’ job, so it would be pretty stupid of me to do my best to turn it into one. What’s next, forcing myself to start clocking in and out? Designated lunch breaks? A name tag?) but now that the days are getting shorter, I’d like to be able to get up a bit earlier, to make the most of what little daylight we do have. I’m fully expecting to fail at this one, but I’m going to hit it with my best shot anyway…

10,000 STEPS PER DAY

I’ve worn my Fitbit almost constantly since I got it (I take it off to shower, obviously, but… that’s about it, really), and I’m still finding it a really helpful way to motivate me to move more. I really fell off the wagon in the run-up to my holiday, though: I was so busy writing and scheduling posts that I barely had time to eat, let alone walk 5 miles per day (And for once, I REALLY didn’t have time: it wasn’t like the whole “convincing-myself-I-don’t-have-time-when-I-totally-DO-have-time” thing I normally do…), and it made me feel super-guilty to be basically sitting on my butt all day, so I’m aiming for 10,000 steps every day in October, no excuses. *frantically tries to think up excuses*

FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY BOOK: 

I got my book to just under 70,000 words just before I left for California: I HAD been aiming to have it done by then (well, the first draft, at least: I don’t think it’ll be totally done until draft 564 or something like that…) but the pressure to crank out all of those advance blog posts really did a number on me. It turns out that when you’ve been writing all day, the LAST thing you want to do in the evening is MOAR WRITING: who knew? (Er, I did, actually: that’s why there are so many unfinished drafts of books and other projects on my hard drive right now. I’m all, “I think I’ll try to write a bit more of my book now… OOH, NETFLIX!”) Anyway, I was pretty gutted to get so close and not manage to finish it, so I’m setting October 31st as my deadline, and will do everything I possibly can to get it done by then. Handily enough, we have a Halloween party to go to that night, so hopefully it’ll be a double celebration: first draft complete AND an opportunity to wear a totally over-the-top costume – win win!

  *     *     *

I WAS going to do ‘Style Goals’ and ‘Home Goals’ too, but then I got all caught up in that whole pageviews thing, and the next thing I know I’ve written 1,600 words, and I’m even annoying myself now. Maybe I should make the “blog goals” a separate post? Like, a kind of, ‘here’s what I tried this month and here’s what worked and what didn’t?’ kind of thing? Or maybe I should just stop talking now? Yes, I think I should stop talking now…

*I have no idea now who these bloggers were, or how I found them, or what my name is, or why I’m here, so if you think I’m copying you but not crediting you, I… well, I kind of AM, to be honest, but it’s just because I read so many of those posts that I basically forgot who started it. If it was you, feel free to leave your link! And even if it wasn’t you, still feel free to leave your link, because I’m nosey and I like reading about other people’s goals. (Unless you’re one of those people whose goal is to jump out of a plane, because that seems to be EVERYONE’S goal, and I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND. STOPIT WITH THE PLANE JUMPING, you crazy kids!)

 

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28 Comments
  • The Other Emma
    October 1, 2015

    Love this. I would love to see a Style and Home Goals post as well (mainly because I am epically nosey and love getting to find out more about what makes people tick) so yeah, a separate blog goals post would be great too.

    • Amber
      October 1, 2015

      Yeah, I think I’ll probably do that: I think I’d quite like to something a bit more in-depth, documenting what works and what doesn’t – might be a bit more helpful than just theoretical ideas on what *should* work! And, of course, that would also allow me to shoehorn in all the home and style stuff to the other post, too!

  • Rossi | Rossi Writes
    October 1, 2015

    I loved this blog post and wish you success with ticking off all your goals as the month flies past. It would be really great if you could share your insights about reaching such a high number of hits. I mean, I am still a new blogger and getting even to 1000 views per day sounds like science fiction, i.e. completely unachievable to me, so big kudos for actually making it happen five times over.

    Best wishes,

    Rossi

    • Amber
      October 1, 2015

      I think the main thing to remember with that is that I’ve been doing this for almost 9 years – unless you get really lucky, it takes a long, looooooong time to build up traffic, so if your blog is still new, my best advice is to forget about the numbers and just concentrate on creating great content!

  • Felicity
    October 1, 2015

    I love goal posts! It’s so neat to see what other people are striving for, and to be able to cheer them on for it.

    Maybe you could do the Blog Goals posts separately and tie them into your Blog Tips series? Like, “this is my blog goal, and this is what I’m going to try to achieve it” kinda deal? And in follow up posts analyze what works and what doesn’t?

    I’d do the same but it feels a little silly to do it when I’m still so small potatoes, you know?

    Anyway, I hope you keep us posted on the book!

    • Amber
      October 1, 2015

      I think I’ll do exactly that! And as for being small potatoes, there’s no such thing! I actually think it’s really interesting to see people’s progress, no matter what kind of stage they’re at- I LOVE reading those kind of posts, and as you say, I think actually analyzing what does and doesn’t work could be really helpful for people. You use different tactics at different stages of a blog’s growth, too, so I wouldn’t discount it at all 🙂

  • CiCi Marie
    October 1, 2015

    I beg you to share your lighting set-up once you’ve got it and made it work, because it’s something I keep toying with too but feel so ignorant about it I don’t know where to start. Let me learn from you, please let me learn from you! I set myself page view targets, but the problem is I’m quite out of control of how much content I can produce, because, full-time job. So I just end up upsetting myself – blogger fail 😀

    • Amber
      October 1, 2015

      I hate to admit it, but the lighting is having to be Terry’s department – it’s a lot more technical than I’d assumed, and I just don’t have the kind of brain that absorbs that kind of information easily: so embarrassing 🙁

  • Amy
    October 1, 2015

    Love this! Such a good idea to do Monthly Goals whether you blog about it or not because it will keep you on track for the month. I love ticking off lists!
    I just wrote a post called 31 Things to do Before I’m 31. It’s a VERY ambitious list but will hopefully encourage me to at least to SOME of the things on it! Amy x

    • Amber
      October 1, 2015

      I tried to comment on it, but it gave me an error message for some reason – GREAT post, though: I’m exhausted just from reading your list 😉

  • Jackie
    October 1, 2015

    Hi Amber,

    I would love if you could share with us what blogs you read. If it doesn’t violate blogging etiquette at least. It is how I found your blog, along with many others I love. Very similar to the “what I’m reading/watching post” just about blogs instead of books or shows. Thanks so much for what you do – I look forward to reading your post everyday!

  • Chiarina
    October 1, 2015

    I can totally help with taking your page views up 10000 views this month. I work with dangerous chemical substances, but ever since I became pregnant I was moved in the office… Which means I have a LOT of free time to faff around on the internet!
    Does that count ? 😛
    (which is incidentally how I came across your blog and have managed to read almost EVERY SINGLE POST ON IT over the last four months…)

  • Genevieve
    October 1, 2015

    October goals are so much more inspiring to me than New Years resolutions in the dead of winter. Also I would like to cast my vote for a few home decor posts. I love the ones you have posted in the past! 🙂

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes
    October 1, 2015

    I really enjoy reading “behind the scenes” posts. Thanks for sharing! I would also love reading about your style goals.

  • Sarah Rooftops
    October 1, 2015

    I don’t think there’s anything amazingly new and original about monthly goals – no need to credit anybody! But yours did entertain me an awful lot more than most.

    • Sarah Rooftops
      October 1, 2015

      Oh god, now I’m all, “Oh no, does she think I just called her unoriginal?” THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT!!!!

      • Sarah Rooftops
        October 1, 2015

        I could keep going down this sub-commenting “OH NO!” road for a while. Can we skip to the bit where everything’s rosy?

        • Amber
          October 1, 2015

          Awww, but I was enjoying the sub-commenting! It’s kinda like what the inside of my head sounds like 😉

  • Molly
    October 1, 2015

    I absolutely love the idea of monthly goals! I had a list of yearly ones but I know me and I need a bit more of a strict timeline. I can totally relate to the commenting on blogs goal! I’ve read several blogs for years and never left a comment…changing that now! Absolutely love your blog!

  • Sara
    October 1, 2015

    Interesting to read your plan to comment on blog posts so bloggers know people read and get inspired. So here is my first ever comment on a blog. Cute stationary is a must for any kind of list, the Goals notebook is SO nice.
    I will now go back to lurking in the background.
    Sara

  • Melissa
    October 1, 2015

    I started this morning deciding to set myself some goals to try and make me start functioning as a better person instead of watching life pass me by! So far they’re just written in my little journal app on my phone, but I may just publish them to keep myself on track.

    I think setting out realistic achievements is a great way of keeping focused – I mostly did this at work but I’ve started doing it in my “real life”, too.

  • Myra
    October 1, 2015

    You have daylight lamps, don’t you? You should try using these for lighting your indoor shoots. That will take out all the technical stuff out of flash kits, and they take up so much space. I was hoping to have a little studio, already painted white, but we have so much stuff I think it will need to become an office 🙁

    • Amber
      October 1, 2015

      No, we don’t have daylight lamps… We’ve looked into it and will definitely need softboxes of some kind for winter – we just don’t get enough light 🙁

  • Emma Cossey
    October 2, 2015

    I love goal posts, and doing them for myself, if for no other reason than it’s nice to look back and think ‘oh, I actually did get quite a bit done last month’

    Tip for the getting up early one – leave your phone/laptop/tablet in another room and get an alarm clock. Then when you wake up and have the MUST CHECK EMAIL/TWITTER/ASOS urge, you have to physically get up to do it.

  • Livia
    October 2, 2015

    Now that you mentioned your other blog I remembered that’s how I actually started reading Forever Amber in the first place. I used to work as a freelance shoe designer and I liked visiting blogs to stay up to date and yours was one of my favorites! Anyways, please come and comment on my website, I would love to hear some advice from you. Good luck on your book and looking forward to see your costume this year.

  • Donavan
    October 3, 2015

    I have been reading your blog for about a month, and not, I apologize commenting. But I laugh out loud…especially the post about Teddy/Terry. I have a red-haired daughter, and have sent her links to your posts. I love the full skirted vintage dresses, though now that I am in my 60’s, I go for the 40’s dressmaker suits. Keep setting goals; it makes a difference.

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