So I have to admit that while I'm writing this post for the majority of you who requested it, I'm also writing it to help myself get my plans down on paper. I am a planner in every aspect of my life, but for some reason when it comes to the blog, I always seem to find myself in 'make-things-up-as-I-go' mode. One of my biggest career goals for 2018 is to have a more strict focus on content planning and the key word that keeps playing over and over in my head is relevance.
We're living in an age consumed by all-things social media, and focus has somewhat shifted away from the traditional blog. That being said, I absolutely love having my blog and feel like it offers so much more than what you see in a single Instagram post. This year, I hope to bring in some new topics and different types of posts that are relevant enough to make you want to take a step away from social media, and enjoy reading.
A lot happened in 2017, both with P&P and in my personal life. My readership grew by over 1,500%, my social media accounts grew by almost 40k and I added some features and brand deals to my resume that I'm incredibly proud of, like LaurenConrad.com, Old Navy, LOFT, Nordstrom and Kate Spade. Personally, I reached the one year mark in my new career in marketing and graphic design, started my own business, and turned 30.
As for what 2018 has in store, I don't have any major plans in the books, but I do plan to make some tweaks and bringing some fresh, new and inspiring content to P&P. I feel so incredibly lucky to have the support of all of you, who inspire me every day. I sometimes feel like I don't say it enough - but please know - I am so thankful to have you guys on my side. Here's what you can expect next year...
Style is and will always be the heart of my brand, and what I love sharing most. When I first started my Instagram, I made the decision to dedicate the majority of what I share on my page to my outfits. I have always received positive feedback from my style-centric theme, but one thing that never fails to surprise me is how many of you prefer iPhone photos to professional, curated ones. I think I've come to understand that not everyone gets a glimmer in their eye when they see a beautiful aesthetic and instead, want to see everyday, attainable fashion. I will always stand by my decision to keep my feed curated, but definitely plan to share more of what I have learned that you guys love!
Many of you engage less with sponsored posts. I would love for your input on why! I plan to continue to work with my favorite brands and hope to add some exciting collabs to my resume over the course of the year (after all they are what give me the ability to do what I love!). That being said, my promise to you guys is that I will only work with a brand if I think it's worth sharing with you and/or if it's one I genuinely love.
As for content, the types of posts that do best are instructional posts (ex: How to Style Overalls for Fall) and trend round-ups (ex: The Best Faux Fur Jackets to Shop this Season Under $150).
I'll be adding a new seasonal series to the blog with my monthly budget finds under $50, which I received a lot of positive feedback about. Since many of you voted that you enjoy seeing trends on my content survey, I'll also be sharing the trends I'm loving each month. Not sure yet whether I'll present this as a round up (ex: Three Trends I'm Loving this January) or as a single post (ex: Trend I'm Loving: X + How to Style It). Would love your input in the comment section!
I often struggle with getting creative in this category because to be honest, I am a total creature of habit when it comes to my hair and beauty routines! I feel like because I'm not one to be trying the latest new products each month, or experimenting with a ton of different hairstyles, there's only so much I can share. Roughly 80% of you voted that hair content was relevant to you in my content survey, and 95% voted that beauty content was relevant - so I hear you, and plan to work on some fun ways to bring this content to the blog!
Something I'm v excited about introducing in this category are some relevant hair posts focused on routine, products, tutorials, etc. with the help of my stylist and colorist. I love the idea of having a professional opinion to support what I'm talking about and think this will be a great way to talk about some of your hair questions and concerns.
This tutorial on styling tips for the perfect beachy waves was my top-performing post in this category, so I plan to introduce similar content with the help of video. Wish me luck on that.
I added my career category to the blog mid-year and was shocked that it quickly claimed a spot in the most-read category this year on the blog. I have gotten such a positive response on blogging-related posts and many of you have requested that I continue to keep churning out content for bloggers. I plan to contribute to my Behind the Blog series at least once a month, if not twice, and would love suggestions for new topics! My Blogging Resource Library subscriber count has quadrupled over the course of this year, and for those of you who subscribe, expect emails on a more regular basis! I've also been toying around with the idea of creating a Facebook group, but am not sure if that's something you guys would be interested in. Let me know your thoughts on this!
According to my content survey, 65% of you guys are interested in seeing career-focused interviews from some of my favorite bloggers, offering tips, tricks and a behind the scenes look into their business. I was hoping for a higher number here, but I'm thinking it might be best to share this with my Blogging Resource Library subscribers as a part of my monthly e-mails, rather than as a published blog posts. Would love your input here.
Blog Shop + Presets
I quietly launched my Digital Shop this year on the blog, which I plan to completely re-vamp. It will be focused mainly on Media Kit Templates and Lightroom Presets (which I also plan to re-launch!). I receive so many editing questions from you guys and knew that I wanted to share my presets with you, but looking back, I definitely rushed it. My editing style has completely changed and I want my presets to reflect that also, so expect lots of new there!
I consider myself a 'life + style' blogger. I got to a point where sharing solely style content didn't feel like enough, and so slowly started to introduce more categories to the blog. When it comes to lifestyle though, I often feel like I'm all over the place. My goal this year is to get more organized in this category and create more relevant lifestyle content for the 95% percent of you who want to see more of it (that number totally overwhelms me - but also totally gave me a kick in the butt to start planning some amazing content!).
One area of lifestyle I was surprised that over 85% of you were interested in seeing was wellness (fitness, mental health, goal-setting). This is a great starting point though, and an area I definitely plan start thinking about more. Additionally 85% of you also want to see more recipes and cocktails (seriously though, it will most likely be mainly cocktails)! I plan to bring these types of posts to the blog in a series-type where you can expect similar content from these categories every once in a while as opposed to one-off posts.
Decor is not really in the books right now, although it most likely will be once we finally settle into a new home. For now, I won't be including that in the lifestyle section of the blog.
My Link Love series started out as a filler for when I needed to publish a quick post, but surprisingly has a high read-rate. Something about click bait that never fails to deliver, I guess. Expect to see those occasionally too!
Do you have any other suggestions for what type of lifestyle content you'd love to see? Let me know in the comments!