1. Focus less on custom work and more on premades
I won’t be quitting custom work completely, but I am thinking of massively toning it down. I’m going to reduce the amount of custom projects I accept so I can work on fine-tuning my premade store. I want to create more premade themes.
Really, I’d also like to focus less on design and more on development. I’d like to make more connections with designers who do custom work. I’d love to forge partnerships where they do the design and I do the development work. So if you’re a designer who wants to pass off the coding to someone else, hit me up! 😉
2. Rock the blogoverse with simple designs
In 2013 I made an error. I kept trying to beat Tweak Me (at least in terms of the settings panel). The only theme I’ve actually released like this was Charlotte but I have many others that remain unpublished.
Here was my problem: I wasn’t happy with Tweak Me. It was a good theme, but I didn’t like the look of it. So I tried to create a new theme with a different look and an equally-epic settings panel. What was the problem? Everyone still chose Tweak Me. And I don’t blame them, because you can pretty much make any theme design with Tweak Me.
Finally, at the end of 2014, I realized that if I wanted to beat Tweak Me, I had to start from scratch and make a new Tweak Me. I couldn’t make a different theme with a new name but a more epic settings panel because everyone already had it in their head that “Tweak me is the most flexible.”
Well, now that Tweak Me v2 is done, what’s next? It’s clear that I can’t keep creating these huge themes because people will just ignore those and buy Tweak Me v2. So what’s my plan moving forward?
Simple theme designs with small settings panels
I’m going to start moving away from the “build your own design” themes. Tweak Me v2 has that area covered. Now I’m going to be creating actual complete blog designs. So when you buy these themes, you’re not buying the power to build your own design. You’re building a design that’s already made for you. And since the design work is done, there won’t be 5 million options for changing fonts and colours. The settings panel will be very basic with only a few settings (maybe sidebar location, excerpts vs full posts, and a few others).
With integrated Tweak Me v2 skins
But with each new premade theme, I’m hoping to also release a version of that design specifically for Tweak Me v2. I did this recently with my new Wonderland theme. You can either buy the full theme on its own, or you can buy the Tweak Me v2 skin. When you buy the skin, it adds a new preset for Tweak Me v2 and when you click that preset, you automatically get that new design!
Simple design recap
- Release new premade themes that are simple, fully designed, and have small settings panels.
- For each theme also release a second version that’s just a “skin” for Tweak Me v2. So people who have that theme can buy a new preset at a smaller cost.
3. Create a “how to start a blog” series
I have A LOT of blogging tips on Nose Graze, but I’m hoping to create a linear, all inclusive “how to start a blog” series. This will include things like:
- Choosing the platform (Blogger vs WP.com vs WP.org)
- Deciding on a name
- Choosing a focus
- Setting up an email subscription
- Your blog’s presence on social media
- How to host giveaways
- How to gain followers
Some of those I already have in posts, but my aim is to tie everything together. This way people won’t have to go searching for different topics, they just have to follow the series!
4. Launch my Novelist plugin
I swear, this plugin is like the bane of my existence.
Novelist is like the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin, but for authors. It gives authors an easy way to add new books to their website and rearrange/display the book information. Also included are:
- A contact form.
- An ARC request form and management section (similar to the Review Requests add-on for UBB, but for managing ARCs).
- Custom widgets for highlighting books/series.
- Custom archives for series.
- Automatically grab data from Goodreads (average rating and number of reviews).
I’ve been working on this plugin off and on for months, I just haven’t had time to finish it up and launch it. Well, 2015 is the year!!!
5. Finish Couch to 5K
I started C25K in 2014 but I never finished. Here’s what happened:
- I got pretty far along (week 6 or 7 out of 9 total).
- Then there was my wedding, so obviously I paused C25K while I was in Italy getting hitched for about 4 or 5 days.
- Shortly after I got back, I came down with some kind of virus so I was out of commission for like THREE FREAKING WEEKS.
- When I finally got better, it had been so long that I felt like I had to back track. I couldn’t just pick back up at week 6, I felt like I had to go back to week 4.
- But, I didn’t have a good, solid stretch of uninterrupted time (like 4 weeks where I wasn’t going to be away on holiday). So I was hesitant to start up again.
- So, I never did.
So in 2015, I’m going to finish it! I’m not sure if I’m going to start over from the beginning or not… I think I jumped straight into week 4 the first time I started up, so maybe I’ll do that again. But I’m going to see this through to completion!
6. Launch something new
I have a lot of ideas swirling around in my head, including:
- A new e-course, focused on an introduction into HTML, CSS, and customizing premade themes.
- A blogging/WordPress related ebook.
- Some kind of coding/blogging membership site. A subscription gets you access to exclusive guides, tutorials, and a forum where you can ask questions and get help/advice with coding/blogging. I have no idea how this would go down in the book blogging community but it sounds fun. Hmm… I had thoughts of tying this into the first idea.
I’m not really sure what I want to focus on yet, but I want to launch something new in 2015!