As another year passes, I am within a week of the 3 year mark since I started Spaghetti Traveller. So much has changed since the moment the blog went live. In actuality, I started the blog around 3 years and 4 months ago, but the first 4 months were planning and making the site appear in a respectable manner. Back then, I was so inexperienced, confused and excited, all in equal measure.
So much has changed, since then, from the style and layout of websites, the focus on mobile over desktop, the content strategy and self advertisement, as well as the search landscape. I have had to constantly adapt to an ever saturated market, while always trying to offer something interesting to read. I have regularly focused on informational pieces, as I figure only my close relatives and friends would be truly interested in my ramblings. You will therefore find most of my posts are tips for people considering visiting a particular destination.
My 2016 Targets
I strongly believe in setting targets (I set new ones every single week), so as to remain focused on the tasks at hand and to help prioritise tasks. It is so easy to get side tracked by the latest social platform, but sometimes you have to ask yourself if you are utilising your time properly and whether this will benefit you in the long run. I have therefore set overall year plans at the start of the last 4 years, which I want to include below:
- Reach 30,000 followers on Twitter – I only just reached 20,000 29 days ago, however I want to set an ambitious target, as this will help push myself to stay motivated and focused.
- Visit at least 3 countries – with 2015 being such a quiet year, it means I will start 2016 with some money in the bank account. I want to visit 5 countries next year, but I will set a minimum of 3
- 5 Newspaper Mentions – I have been mentioned in the Guardian and the Daily Mail over the past 12 months, as well as many other publications, but I want to step this up and start becoming a recognised figure in the industry
- Speak at a conference – I used to do a fair amount of public speaking, but I cut back and I think my confidence has disappeared a bit. I want to get back on it and achieve something truly amazing this year.
- I want to reach a minimum of 3,000 followers on both Pinterest and Instagram. I haven’t focused enough on these platforms, yet the potential is huge, so I don’t want to ignore them anymore.
- Become an affiliate expert – Beyond the world of travel blogging, I also work in digital marketing. I have set my eyes on building my client a complete affiliate network, however this is a completely new ground, therefore I want to see a complete transformation throughout the next 12 months
- Meet a girl and settle down – Cheesy one that I HOPE nobody honestly reads, but I have been in on-and-off relationships for the past 3 years and do miss being in a proper one. I’m going to push myself to go on dates when possible and not make excuses.
- Traffic transformation – My site received a ridiculous amount of traffic in 2014, however around September time I saw a dip, which I didn’t manage to rectify till around 13 months later. I want to bring myself back to the levels of the past. It won’t be easy, as the landscape has changed and there are many more competitors, however I am completely capable of achieving this.
- Hoop Marketing – I have setup a marketing blog, on the aim of being a vlogger, however everytime I sit down to record a video, I back out. I think it is about time I manned up and made those videos!
- Hoop Conference – I originally made Hoop Marketing to be a conference held in Brighton on a quarterly basis, but there has been no movement in the past 3 months. 2016 will be the year it starts
- Saxophone – During 2013/14 I was playing the saxophone quite a bit, but then I stopped all the way up till the end of 2015. I haven’t properly started yet, but I want to get back in the pattern of playing at least once a week and hopefully finding myself a teacher.
- Lecture – I have been given the opportunity to lecture at Brighton University and I want to jump at this chance as I feel it will give me the confidence to push myself much further.
- Gym – I have been addicted to the gym for years, but just like everything else, it is meaningless without targets. I want to deadlift 200kg once, squat 150kg once and bench press 40kg dumbbells 5 times. Beyond this, I just want to stay committed and consistent.
- Win an award – Whether it be for my blog or at work, or simply in general, it is a very rewarding feeling. I won best newcomer at Eventa this year, which was incredibly humbling and made my month! I’ve never won an award for my blog, so this is a fair aim I think.
Well, here we go, it all starts here!