A new year.
You can almost smell the promise and hope on the wind that blows in off the Irish Sea. Gusts blast us as we inch our way along the cliff top, stopping every few minutes to take more photos and to exclaim about how perfect the light is – shafts of sunlight pouring through huge, angry looking purple clouds that hang low and menacing over the ragged, pounding sea. Despite our perch, high above the waves, we can still hear the fury of the churning maelstrom below and taste the salt spray on our lips. The wind sends gigantic breakers rolling towards the shore, where they crash and shatter and smash and pour over the rocks, which have been there for millennia, unbeaten and unbroken by tide, time or wind.
Simple, really. I need to pick one and purchase it. Whilst the web address for my blog may change, the blog will keep the same name – How The Mind Wanders… – as I’d like to keep my blog open to a variety of topics that I may wish to write about if travel is not inspiring me at any given stage.
Learn how to build my own website (or get help to build my own website). Gain a better understanding of the mechanics behind running a website.
I am undecided yet whether I’d like to pay someone to build a website for me, get someone to teach me how to build my own website, or just learn by watching online tutorials and muddling along until I’ve got something I’m happy with. However, you can expect changes to my blog this year – the layout and theme will change, but the content will remain the same, of course.
Practise, practise, practise my photography skills.
I want my blog to contain beautiful pictures as well as beautiful words and wonderful stories. So I need to up my photography game and keep honing my skills so that I can build up a photo gallery I am truly proud of.
Read more blogs to continue being inspired and gain valuable insights into the industry.
This one should be easy. I already have seven blogs that I follow religiously, for various different reasons, and many others that I read occasionally or if I remember. I am, however, always open to finding new blogs (be they travel-related or not). I think it’s important to read different people’s writing styles and find out which you like the best. Chances are, if I enjoy one blog in particular, I am likely to write more like that person, and I can gain inspiration from them and improve my creativity.
Attend a TBEX blogging conference to learn more about the industry and meet like-minded people and fellow bloggers.
There are three TBEX conferences in 2016 – one in Minnesota, USA; one in Stockholm, Sweden; and one in Manila, the Philippines. I personally would really like to attend the one that is being held in Stockholm, so watch this space! I’ve wanted to go to one of these conferences since I started taking blogging more seriously and I realised conferences about travel blogging existed!! 2016 is definitely going to be the year that I make it happen.
Travel more (so that I have something to write about!).
That’s a given, really. I have travel plans throughout the first six months on 2016, with a trip to whichever TBEX conference I end up attending also in the pipeline. More travel is likely to follow after July. Nothing is booked yet, so for the time being I’ll keep quiet until I’m ready to let you all know where I’m going! Needless to say, it’s exciting and I can’t wait.
Maintain the loyal and steady readership of my blog and hopefully increase the traffic to my social media pages and to the new website once it is up and running.
I will continue to tell the stories of my travels as creatively and as well as I know how, and I hope to maintain the faithful readership that my blog already enjoys. However, once I launch my new website later this year, I also hope to increase traffic to my blog and grow my readership. I would also like to gain more followers on my social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – where I promote my blog fairly regularly.
Ultimately, I want to enjoy my blog as much in 2016 as I did in 2015. I am extremely proud of my blog and of how it has progressed in 2015. It has become something I am deeply passionate about and it really excites me.