6 goals for the Whole Milk Club in 2018
Aagh, even writing the title gave me a shiver. Must remind self that am writing worthwhile goals to progress the blog, and they are in no way "New Year's Resolutions" despite being written and accounted for in January.
So basically, we thought we might jump on the blogger wagon and dedicate a post to our "goals for 2018". It has occurred to us over the festive period that if we want to move forward with the blog, we need to introduce a bit of structure. When the whole thing started, our day jobs were less stressful, and we had lots of time to get the blog off to a running start with fairly frequent posting, despite the lack of any direction or planning.
When our work days are long, and especially during the winter, when the hours of daylight and energy either side of them are short, we're thinking a little foresight and planning would really benefit us. At least, that's the general consensus amongst other, more successful blogs. Who are we to argue?
Without further ado, here's what we want to focus on in 2018.
1. Make more of the "Club" thing
It took weeks for us to settle on a name for the blog. Eventually, the Whole Milk Club was chosen for 2 reasons: firstly 'Whole Milk' perfectly illustrated the gratifying, nourishing, un-skimmed "ethos", but secondly, the idea of a 'Club' thrilled us. If the blog worked out and we didn't lazily drop it within a matter of months, the brand name would give us scope to eventually make it more than just the 2 of us, babbling in to the great internet void. We want this for it now. We want you in our club.
We've just finished re-designing the blog for this purpose. The new layout is much better for browsing and searching content, and we've created more opportunities for readers to sign up to our newsletter.
2. Grow our newsletter
This one follows directly from goal 1. Up until now, our newsletter has been an auto-generated RSS feed. MailChimp has a function that enables you to hook up your blog RSS, and if anything new has appeared during the the week (or month—whatever frequency you choose), it will plug it in to your desired template and send it out in a collated e-mail on your desired day and time.
We don't really feel this format is working for us any longer. It's impersonal, and other than acting as a nudge to followers that there is new content on the blog, it doesn't really achieve a lot. We want to start curating our newsletters with valuable content, not only from our own blog, but other links and things that we think our audience will like.
If you have any ideas as what you'd like to see in this newsletter, please fire them at us in the comments below. Better still, if you're not already a club member, join us here. The first edition of this reinvented newsletter went out yesterday—don't miss the next one.
3. Write more recipes
As readers of food blogs, our favourite content is always the original recipes. We've only really posted a handful so far, and as we often cook from scratch a lot, there's no real excuse here! Granted, from week to week we more often than not cook from recipes within our ever-growing library of cookbooks, but at the weekends it would be great if we could better document our own creations and share them with you all. Just skimming through our Instagram feed highlights plenty of material that could feature on the blog.
We thought a little perk for our newsletter subscribers could be exclusive recipe downloadables. Would you be in to that?
4. Broaden our horizons
That goal sounds too obtuse to be useful, but I guess what we mean by it, is that we want to write more about a lot of things. That isn't to say we want to go off piste or anything, but we think there's plenty more to write about than whether or not a restaurant or product is any good. We also haven't been sharing our travel very well. Last Summer we took an incredible road trip to Greece, but because our Instagram feed up until now has been exclusively food, we felt it was "off-brand" to post pictures of ourselves or landscapes, and so only shared these on Instastories. We want to break away from a purely food-based feed, and catch up on these blog posts that never materialised. (Working on one right now!)
5. Learn our camera(s)
My background is as a designer/illustrator, and I studied photography once a week for 2 years when I was 16 (okay—that was a long time ago, now), so it is my biggest gripe when we find ourselves fumbling with our multiple cameras, and eventually sacking it all off and using the iPhone.
Don't get me wrong—the iPhone is great. Shortly I'll be upgrading to the 8 plus, which will be better still than the 6 we currently use, but when we bother to take the time to use one of our Nikon cameras, the difference is so obvious! We just haven't been making time to practice, and as naturally impatient people, we've been taking the easy route rather than learning the settings that work for us on our far superior kit.
If you're interested, I might do a post on our current make-shift set up and cameras. It will be cool to have a record of this for when we occasionally upgrade (and improve!).
As a side note, I also want to get more consistent with our editing, so our 'portfolio' looks more harmonious.
6. Establish a routine
Life just gets in the way. We can't even stick to the bloody meal plan on the fridge. Our day to day happens more or less on the hoof, and we just do our best to gather all the bits in to keep things running smoothly. I thank the powers that be that I have Mark because at least I know there will always be dinner. Even when he goes away, he's thought ahead to make my meal times as painless as possible.
But to be reliable bloggers, we need to start scheduling in the man hours and planning ahead. This one is key to all the above, really.
How do the rest of you manage your time? We'd love to hear your goals for this year, and any tips you have for implementing any of ours.