This is the first blog post I’m writing this year, and I can’t think of better topic than deciding some of the new year resolutions for ShoutMeLoud and for myself. Over the time I realise, it’s always a great idea to write down what do you want to do in coming days or near future, and most of them will become true. I do a lot of such write up on my personal blog (denharsh.com), and over the time I have seen most of them becoming true. One of the Shouter have already shared a detailed post on New year resolutions for a blogger, and that will give you enough adrenaline rush to write down one such new year resolution post for your blog. On my personal blog, I have already shared a detailed recap of year 2013, and now let’s look forward to an amazing unseen new year.
My Blogging Resolutions for ShoutMeLoud:
The best thing about professional blogging is, it’s not work for me and it’s closely inter-related to my personal life. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad, as many experts suggest to maintain a difference between professional and personal front, but I think of this as otherwise. I believe, it’s better to live what you say and what you write, and more over if you are making money doing something which you enjoy doing, it’s the best career choice for anyone. So if you are in the mid-way of making big career-choice, I highly recommend you to use the best combination of your heart and mind, and pick the industry where you will enjoy working the most. Now, let me put down some of my visions and thoughts for expanding ShoutMeLoud, and you will get an idea about what you can expect from ShoutMeLoud in this year.
Re-Branding and New design:
Giving a new look and design is one of my top priority task for ShoutMeLoud. I already started working on requirement and stuff, and I will be starting with re-design of one of my other blog, and after testing and implementation, I will re-iterate and improvise the design for ShoutMeLoud. This time, I’m going for flat UI design, Responsive skin and all essential design-elements for a blog in 2014. I will be using Thesis 2 as base WordPress theme. I will be doing a detailed post for blog-design requirement for 2014 in coming days, for now all I could say is; You will be seeing a complete re-branded ShoutMeLoud which is solely focused on readability and great user-experience.
More Blogging seminars and workshops:
Last year, I gave two different workshop on Blogging and it was an amazing learning experience. Thanks to these two workshops, now I’m all set to go for another one, and I will be starting this year workshop by speaking at WordCamp Baroda. Soon after that, I will start working on topic based webinars and Google hangouts, to provide more values to our reader. More over, if things will work out as planned, I will be organising a full-day workshop on blogging in New-delhi, before end of this year.
Re-editing old posts:
In last 5 year of blogging experience, I have learned that evergreen content are much better for longer run, and that’s one reason you will notice most of the posts which I publish here have a longer life-span (Typically 1 year minimum). I spend a lot of time re-editing the old blog posts, and keeping them fresh. One simple reason is, a reader can land on any blog post, and an outdated post will be a big turn-off. Last year, I behave edited almost 20% of old posts, and this year I will be working on updating rest of them in the first quarter of this year. If you are new to re-cycling of old content, here is one post which you should definitely read:
Expanding the team:
Last year I shared my journey from Solopreneurship to Entrepreneurship, and around mind of last-year, I decided to move to an office, but later on dropped the plan. I realised, it’s better to have a team of 2-5 members in-house, and rest of them can work remotely. After all, Entrepreneurship era is all about more freedom, and making work more enjoyable. Till now, I have hired one full-time Shouter ( Sharat from New-Delhi), and one regular Author (Srikanth) based in Mumbai. This year, I have plan to start hiring more talents and young guns, and will be starting with video-editor, niche expert writers and so on. The idea is to hire few but really smart people, who can handle a team of 5-10 remotely. This way, ShoutDreams (Parent company of ShoutMeLoud), will keep expanding and also once I believe we are ready to move into our own office-space, we will have our own space. Till then, my in-house team will work from my home based office.
Launching blogging course for Entry and Inter-mediate level blogger:
Over the years I have helped many new and upcoming bloggers with their blogging queries, and this year I will be taking it to next level by offering a complete course on it. This is the one reason I have stopped taking any new students for blogging coaching, and right now focusing on creating content for the course. This will be a membership level course, and will cover all the aspect of blogging that one needs to know to kickstart his career. I have set a deadline of Feb end for myself, and rest of the surprises about this, I will save for later.
I will also be expanding my monetisation technique, and will be launching niche eBooks for users. Right now, my most of the time is dedicated to working on course-material, so I expect eBooks to start by Mid of the year.
Improving the structure of blog network:
I’m sure you know the feeling of saying “I own X no. of blogs”, but I find it dis-appointing for myself at times; As, In the past 5 years, I have added over 9+ blogs in my blog network, and right now only few of them are very active. I’m alright with experimental blog like Cydiaguide not being updated on regular interval, but few other blogs need more attention and timely-updated. This is one reason, I worked more on setting up more systematic system, and this year with the help of more virtual-asisstants, I will be making sure that all blogs will stay up-to-date. In last 2 months, I have worked a lot to define the process in the company, as this will help any new-joinee to quickly become accustomed with our process and system. The only challenge which I face is lack of experience, but it’s always fun to learn, try and improvise.
This year I will be focusing a lot on video-content and other content types (Slides, Infographics). Last year, I experimented with Infographic with my post on professional-bloggers from India, and the result was astonishing. I will also be focusing on improving the quality of end-product (Content, Videos), and to make them more visually appealing. I’m already experimenting with my writing style, and trying new blog post format and styling to give better reading-experience.
This is one of the most requested feature from all the Shouters, and good news is ShoutMeLoud forum is almost mid-way, and I’m waiting for theme-design, and will officially launch it for you and for others. I have moved away from vBulletin and now using Xenforo forum software for running our forum. You can read about XenForo forum installation over here.
And Resolution for my personal-front
So all the above was for my blog-network, and here are some of personal new-year resolutions which I have set for myself.
Healthy body and healthy mind:
In past 18 months, I have changed many of my habits to improve my productivity and get most out of me. Changing many of these habits helped me to save atleast 2 hours of my day, and this year I’m highly determined to work on my overall health, and this meant I will become a day-person and will be going Gym regularly. Along with this, Yoga/Meditation will be part of my daily-life. I’m already using Headspace app which is an awesome free app for quick daily meditation (Available for all major web and mobile platform), and looking forward to do a course on Art-of-living. If you have done Art-of-living course, I would love to hear your review and feedback about the same.
- Also see: 10 habits of highly successful people
Travel India and around the globe:
I also intend to travel new places in India, and outside India. I will be focusing on adventure sports and visiting new places. I still have to work on making a list of places I want to see, and once that is final, I will start travelling. I’m more inclined to travel Solo this year, as I want to start seeing world from my-eyes first.
Having my own pet:
Living alone comes with it’s own share of pros and cons, and I have been longing from long-time to get a pet of mine. I will be getting a dog, and most probably a Labrador Retrieve or a Pug. I’m based in Delhi, and if you have one who is about to deliver puppies, you can let me know. :)
Work on improving my skills:
This year I’m keeping small-small amount of time everyday (15-20 minutes) to enhance existing skills and acquire new once. I wish to learn new languages and improve my inter-personal skills. This is obviously an on-going process, but this year I will be putting conscious effort to work on them.
These are just few of many resolutions and plans I have for 2014, and only time will tell the fate of these resolutions. Don’t forget to check out 2013 year in review post for last year monthly round-up. For now, do let me know in about your major new-year resolution, and don’t forget to write one such post on your blog, and let your readers know about how you dream about your future. In case if you are not a person who makes resolutions here is one quote for you:
This is a perfect time of the year to start a fresh… No new year resolutions and no promises…. Think about how you want to see yourself next year at the same time and plan your way towards it.