Is it mid-February already? Sheesh! I’m a little late in the game for goal-setting this year.
Or maybe not. We don’t typically set annual goals in my day job until spring. (Or even later, sometimes. For 2020, Covid-19 quarantines hit before we had finalized individual goals for the year and things were sort of a mad scramble for several weeks after.)
Who says goals must be set in motion only on neat little milestone dates like January 1, a Monday, the first day of the month, etc.? Goals can be set anytime, adjusted as needed, drilled-down to more specific goals or broadened for a bigger picture.
While we’re at it, who says goals for blogs must always be based on growing readership, growing revenue, growing engagement, etc.?
This blog is largely a bi-weekly(ish) missive into the void, with small readership/followers and no monetization at this time. It’s one of several creative outlets for me and it incorporates two or three of my passions. I started it as a hobby, with a goal of having fun, but admittedly it sometimes feels like work.
Having blogged here for several months now, I’ve adjusted my expectations for what I can achieve with the time and resources I have. Onward and upward is not necessarily the trajectory I aim for. My 2021 goals for the blog and for my perfume habit are somewhat intertwined and more inwardly-focused:
✅Focus on sampling of solid fragrances, rather than making full-size purchases. (I acknowledge that such a thing is not always possible with solids, but I often chose to purchase larger sizes of products when a liquid or solid sample was available for testing.) Sampling is especially important given my focus on the solid medium, because unlike alcohol-based perfumes, solids generally DO have a shelf life and an expiration date. If I continue to accumulate new solid perfumes at the same rate I did in 2020, I will soon have a shelf full of beautiful but expired and possibly unusable solids.
✅Find the right publication schedule for me. My initial goal of two posts per week quickly proved unrealistic. Once a week feels like a better goal for now, though it’s a stretch goal at this time. I have not yet hit this pace and may need to scale it back further, such as two or three posts a month. I also need to determine the best day of the week to publish, taking into account the established wisdom about days and times that generate good traffic, but more importantly, taking into account my own personal schedule, work and family, etc.
✅Improve my photographs. Solid fragrance containers are often (but not always) less interesting and less beautifully designed than their liquid counterparts, and photographing small, shiny things is difficult. I purchased a light box, which has helped to some degree, but my photos are often still lacking. Working on lighting and composition, finding ways to make my flat lays more interesting, maybe using my REAL camera instead of being lazy and relying on my phone camera (which is pretty mediocre as far as phone cameras go) are all on the table.
✅Get my fragrance collection organized and find a way to attractively display it. I have my full-size liquid bottles displayed on dedicated shelves, sorted somewhat by size (bigger bottles in the back) and this works wells for seeing my entire collection and being able to choose a scent for the day (from amongst the liquids, at least). The solids and all the liquid and solid samples are just thrown together on a big tray at the moment. I am tired of rooting around in the pile to find the solid I’m seeking. I also lose track of some of the solids or samples I purchased and never get around to blogging about them. My beautiful solids deserve better!
❓Figure out what I want from social media. I’m currently participating in Instagram only, and I am not interested in expanding my presence to other forms of social media, but I also haven’t quite figured out what to do with IG. I enjoy interacting with a small subset of the fragrance community on IG who post regularly, mutually comment and like and engage with me. I have a lot of other followers and people I follow who never post, or who post regularly but don’t interact with me. IG drives a lot of the traffic to my blog, but not all of it, and even the folks I interact with on a regular basis may not be reading my blog entries (and I admit, I may not be reading theirs, either, though I always read entire IG posts). As far as brand connections, apart from a few industry folks I know from my Fragrantica days, I’m using IG mainly to connect with the smaller indie brands whose fragrances I purchase and review on the blog. I also follow a few hashtags and have found some great new brands this way. Whew! Is it just me, or does IG often feel like work or a problem to be solved anew each day? That’s not the experience I want to have when I’m on there. I’ll be reading and reflecting on how to handle IG this year and maybe changing my activity on there. This is a loosely-defined goal right now and I’ll likely drill down as I learn more.
If you are a fragrance collector or blogger, have you set goals for yourself for 2021? I’d love to chat more about it, here or on Instagram if we’re connected. Stay safe and sweet-smelling in the meantime, friends!
All photographs by me.