Blogging 201 – Branding and Growth – Setting Goals

cropped-blogging-201If you’re new to blogging or need some guidance on creating blog content or putting yourself out there (like I do), then make sure to follow The Daily Post on WordPress and register for their Blogging U. courses.

You’ll be given daily assignments for the duration of the course which you will have to complete and publish on your blog everyday. I’ve signed up for the Blogging 201 – Branding and Growth course and my first assignment is to set three goals that I want to achieve for my blog.

Sounds pretty simple, but there’s some deep thought that goes into narrowing down three specific goals. For the longest time, since its inception about three years ago, this blog was about nothing in particular. I wasn’t even sure if I was ready to take on the regular responsibility of sharing my personal thoughts and/or opinions with the whole world. I would read lots of blogs ranging from food to travel to anything that caught my fancy but wouldn’t attempt to seriously write about anything.

This year, I have been working on developing and personalizing my blog and acknowledging to myself and the world that yes, I am a writer. So what if the last time I got published in a real magazine was in 8th grade? The writer in me still has a voice which I intend to use, hone and hopefully make a difference.

So my blog is about two things I am most passionate about. Reading books and watching films. These might seem like trivial pursuits to many, but to me they are the reasons for my overactive imagination and the reason why I love to write. Although in recent years, I haven’t experimented in various genres of either activity, preferring to stick within the comforts of a selected few genres of my liking. This has been one of my intentions this year – to experiment more in the literary and the reel world.

My goals therefore, are centered around writing book and film reviews analytically and hopefully finding a like-minded audience out there who is equally interested to read about my thoughts as I am about reading theirs. These are:

1. To blog at least four times a month using a blog content plan and schedule.
2. To read other blogger posts, learn from their experience and get inspired to read, watch and write more.
3. To increase my followers by 50% in the next three months through posting meaningful content and by using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and Bloglovin’ to the optimum.

So fellow bloggers, I would really love to know your tactics on putting yourself out there. How do you do it? How do you plan your schedules and where do you get ideas from? Would love some advice and suggestions.

Till then happy blogging! 🙂

You can email me at
You can also follow me on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’

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16 thoughts on “Blogging 201 – Branding and Growth – Setting Goals

  1. mariaholm says:

    I think these questions in today’s task are really good and difficult too. Something you only do when told to. I love reading books too. Ha ve just finished ” Stoner” and that author John Wlliams he could write.
    Congratulations on your post here upgrading your blog for the future

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thistles and Whistles says:

      Hello Maria, thank you for stopping by and yes I agree. I never thought about my blog’s goals until this task came along and it has made me rethink my blog’s purpose and how it should be shaped.
      I will definitely look into John Williams’ books at your recommendation and hope to read some in the future.
      Good luck to you! Cheers. Tx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. R.J. Koehn says:

    Your goals are specific and doable as far as I’m concerned. Also, it looks like you are very good at using social media and other platforms to promote your blog. I’m horrible at this. I need to look to you as an example..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thistles and Whistles says:

      Thank you so much R.J. at your kind words! I recently connected my blog to many social media platforms but I am not quite sure how to effectively market it yet. I think a lot has to do with combining writing with visuals such as photography and the creative use of designing that catches people’s eyes. I am still learning on how to do both to complement my written work. Good luck to you too and I am sure we will both get the hang of it soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Safar Fiertze says:

    How to put yourself out there? The only experience I can draw from is when I started to become a serious Flickr addict (side effect of photography addiction). I was new to photography so spent a lot of time looking at what made a good or bad photo. After a while, I got brave and started to comment on the photos I liked, instead of just ‘liking’ them. I made a point of saying why I liked them. This helped my own development as a photographer, but in the process of doing it, I started to gain a followership that completely surprised me. I’ve been a bit quiet lately, and so the traffic is going down, but I do know what I need to do to create the momentum again. I’m guessing it’s the same with blogging really.
    Your blog name, and tag line are extremely eye-catching and I wanted to check out the site straight off. Good branding!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thistles and Whistles says:

      Thank you so much for the great advice and the kind comments! Yes, I too was a shy ‘liker’ in the day and now I’ve gotten a bit braver in communicating with so many bloggers out there, who are creatively talented and quite inspiring to learn from. I am loving the whole blogging experience and it is becoming quite an addiction too. Thank you again for the kind words and I wanted to say how much I love your brand name too!


  4. hirundine608 says:

    Howdy thistlesandwhistles,
    An unusual blog name you have going there. Thistles are an under-appreciated plant. What exactly do you whistle? … no matter!

    I’m not much of a film viewer, these days. yet in the last year subscribed to netflix and gone through most of them that interest. Generally I prefer the foreign films. I watch stuff on the UTube, too. Stuff about Neadertals or any educational subjects, that don’t show up anywhere else.

    Thanks for following my blog “Needle at Sea Bottom” Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thistles and Whistles says:

      Hello Jamie!

      Thank you for stopping by and the follow! Yes, I agree my blog name is quite unusual. I would love to tell everyone a wonderful story behind how I got the name…except I don’t have one.

      The blog was created as part of a graded class assignment about two years ago to help us develop our writing skills and feel confident enough to self publish our work.

      I think I vaguely remember our professor asking us to create blogs in our own names but I asked to choose a different name because I wasn’t comfortable with the idea. Time was running out and I was under pressure to find a name and register it for the blog too, whilst my classmates had already created theirs.

      I had a Eureka! moment suddenly where the name “Thistles and Whistles” just popped in my head out of nowhere. I don’t remember reading it anywhere for it to have stuck in my head, I decided to see if anyone else had registered it on WordPress. I was lucky, no one had and I quickly claimed it. Luckily, my professor and classmates loved the name too so I got away with it.

      I can honestly say, I have no Scottish connection to thistles neither do I blow whistles (literally or metaphorically). 🙂

      I wish I could say I watch a lot of foreign films too but I don’t which is quite a shame because I have worked for a film festival for 7 years and I haven’t gotten the chance to view as many films as I would like to while on the job.

      I am glad you stopped by and look forward to reading more of your posts!



    • Thistles and Whistles says:

      Hi Jamie, thanks for this. Yes, back when I was looking for an apt logo design, I considered using the Thistle flower as part of my logo but changed my mind in the research process of logo creation.
      Thanks again! 🙂


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