Good morning & happy new year! 2016 is actually here….can you believe it? We have lots of goals this year (both personally, professionally, and for the blog), and today we want to share some of our ideas for The DIY Playbook in 2016.
It’s funny because we did a post last year called 15 changes on The DIY Playbook in 2015. After reading through our list, we’re confident that we worked on each one of those goals throughout the course of the last 365 days. But we didn’t quite hit them all on the head (eek…more video content…that may be on our list every single year!) We figured it would be fun to do the same post 1 year later, looking ahead at what’s to come in 2016.
1. Maintain Pace & Avoid Blogger Burnout
We’ve been blogging now for almost 3 years (say what?!) and we think we’ve really hit our stride when it comes to maintaining things around here. We enjoy posting 4-5 times per week, and don’t see ourselves changing that pace anytime soon. It seems to be the right amount for us both in order to stay sane, and still come up with fresh interesting content for all of you! Many of our favorite bloggers experienced “blogger burnout” in 2015 and drastically cut their amount of posts. We want this to always be a creative & exciting outlet for us both…not a chore. So we’re going to “keep on keepin’ on” in order to avoid that dreaded burnout.
2. Be More Revealing
This was also on our 2015 list, and while we think we opened up a bit last year (like in this post, this post, or even this one) we know there’s definitely room for improvement. We liked sharing our personal updates in our monthly recaps and plan to continue to do that in 2016.
We consider our readers to be our friends, so you guys should know all of the quirky, weird, not-so-perfect sides of both of us. We’re gonna do our best to let that shine in the coming months. Any requests for specific posts? We’re all ears!
3. Team up with other Bloggers
The blogosphere is jampacked with talented creatives and we feel so privileged to call many of them friends. We did a blog week last July where other bloggers shared their advice and insight into this crazy world of blogging. It was a hit! We’re hoping to do another collaboration like that in 2016. Who are some of your favorite bloggers you’d like to see us team up with? We’re always so inspired by the other makers out there.
4. Hop in Front of the Camera
Another goal on repeat from 2015. We certainly won’t be doing fashion photo shoots every week, but we do want to have more pictures of us within our home spaces. We’re thinking we’ll try to jump in front of the camera in more room reveal posts…just so you can see us in our spaces and environments.
5. More Video?!
Man oh man, this is probably on every blogger’s 2016 to-do list. Video is King these days and it’s time we start giving it the attention it deserves. The good news? We filmed a “What is the DIY Playbook?” video at the end of the year and cannot wait to share it with all of you soon!
In terms of other videos, we’re hoping to do more regular Facebook video teases and perhaps a few more project tutorials via video. It won’t ever be a main component of our blog, but we do want to give a try in 2016.
6. Spread some Positivity
We never ever want to make this an outlet for negativity or venting. That’s just not us. We consider ourselves to be happy girls, and we want to make this an inspiring, uplifting place on the internet, especially with all the heavy/scary/sad things going on in our society. So no Debbie Downers here. Instead we’re gonna keep the positive energy flowing and hopefully do our best to bring a little happy into your day!
7. Share our Favorite Finds
We buy a lot of our home decor from thrift stores, estate sales, HomeGoods, and other stores where you can’t shop the exact items online. But for the items we do purchase via online retailers or national brands, we are going to do our best to keep track of the exact items so you can shop the look too. We also promise to offer real feedback and review on these pieces. No sugar-coating here. Instead we’ll give you the real scoop on any items we purchase for our homes, so you can make an intentional design decision when buying for your space.
8. Break it Down
Since Casey bought her new condo, we’ve been doing our best to not jump right from the “before” to the “after.” Instead, we’re trying to break it down every step of the way. That will only continue in 2016. We want you guys to be a part of the journey towards creating a room that we love, because we certainly know that it doesn’t happen overnight!
9. Try New Tools
Since starting the blog we’ve become very comfortable using a few basic tools like drills, hammers, and nail guns. But it’s time to step up our game! We have a few larger projects planned this spring, where we’re going to try to navigate some larger tools solo. We can’t promise that there won’t be some failures along the way, but at least you can learn right along with us!
10. Keep the Website Streamlined & Updated
For being two girls who run a website, we are so “un-techy” it’s not even funny. Luckily, we have an amazing team who keeps the blog up and running on a daily basis. Our webmasters are always finding new ways to make the blog faster, more efficient, and better organized. This year we want to keep that momentum going, and we want to continue to keep our archives up-to-date and organized. It can be easy to just focus on the daily content, but this first quarter we are going to set aside some time to update all of our static pages (home tours, about us, contact, etc). If you have any suggestions, we welcome them!
11. Show our Chicago Pride
We heart Chicago. There’s no other way to say it! In 2015, we tackled quite a few Chicago posts here on the blog (Chicago tourist guide, Chicago photo spots, and Chicago holiday activities). We want to continue to celebrate our hometown both in our daily posts and on Instagram. So expect more photos featuring our gorgeous city. Locals we hope you enjoy, and non-locals…we hope you visit!
12. Keep a Healthy Mix of Content
It seems natural for us to mix up our projects because the projects we share here on the blog are the ones we are tackling in “real life”. What needs to be done in our real life dictates our content calendar and that usually means a mix of tiny craft-ish projects, smaller DIY projects, a few larger projects, and even a weekend warrior project here and there. We hope to keep this up because we like the mix and also like tackling what needs to be done around our homes… regardless of size.
13. Host another local event
Our event in November at Room & Board was amazing, and it gave us a newfound energy for the blog. We loved chatting with readers and getting to actually meet in person was an awesome experience for us both. We have plans for another meetup in 2016 and would love to meet more of you fabulous readers! We’ll discuss details as soon as we have them…but just know cocktails & blog talk will definitely be involved 😉
14. Showcase Blog Pride in our “Real Lives”
Sad story. We both don’t really talk about the blog in our “real lives.” Honestly, it can be a lot easier to chat with you guys here on the internet, than it is to chat openly with our co-workers and acquaintances about the blog. We don’t ever want people to think we’re being “braggy,” and sometimes when you say “I have a blog,” people assume you have a random online diary that you update once every 3 months. We are proud of the hard work that goes into this site, and we need to be more confident chatting about it with people in our lives. So a big goal for 2016 is to talk about The DIY Playbook and get other people as excited about it as we are!
15. Stay in our own Lane
Like we mentioned in this post, the best advice we received in 2015 was to “stay in our own lane” and do what we do without worrying about what others are doing. We can only worry about our journey and can only control our direction. In 2016, we want to continue to do “us” proudly.
16. Hear from our All-Star Readers
You know we love you guys and are BEYOND appreciative that you allow us to be a part of your busy schedules each day. Everyone’s time these days is extremely valuable and taking even 2 minutes out of your precious schedule to visit the DIY Playbook is so humbling. Sincerely, thank YOU! One of our favorite parts of blogging is hearing from our readers. We love reading comments from you here on the blog or on our social media, love getting emails from readers, and especially LOVE when you share your DIYs with us. We definitely do not want any of that to change in 2016 and we hope to hear from you and interact with you even more!
To kick things off, we are taking requests and ideas for our 2016 editorial calendar. We want to provide posts that you want to read so we are kicking the year off by asking you, what would YOU want to read on the DIY Playbook in 2016? Is there a tutorial you would love to see? Is there a question you would love us to really dive into (#realtalk)? Fill in your request and your email and press submit. It’s that easy…. good luck and thank you for your support.
We can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store.