Jodi Elliott

Writer, editor, blogger, mother, lover of learning

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Dear Sabrina - planning a lifestyle blog

Dear Sabrina will be a thinking woman's lifestyle blog. Visiting Dear Sabrina will feel like having a conversation with your best friend -- sometimes witty, sometimes gut-wrenching, sometimes about baby poop, sometimes about margaritas -- but always engaging. Not so much about lipstick colors and spring fashion trends, but more about living a good life by learning and discovering stuff and having thoughtful conversations (sometimes about inane things). The blog will feature gorgeous photos and a clear, simple design.

You can visit the blog here: Dear Sabrina

My primary purposes

  • Create a practice of writing regularly by establishing deadlines and creating a clear workflow
  • Learn to take great photographs, especially of my kiddos
  • Create a community and connect with others, especially in the midst of international moves
  • Learn skills for future jobs and projects - website design, photography, ad sales, sponsorship negotiation, etc.
  • Develop the discipline to begin and continue a professional project
  • Keep myself busy while being otherwise unemployed
  • Be a model for my kids by having an identity outside of being their mother
  • Oh, and maybe one day earn some money =)

Style (I really enjoyed the process of writing these equations)

  • intelligent - condescending = engaging, smart
  • beautiful - ornate = elegant, graceful
  • relevant - trendy = meaningful
  • personal - self-involved = friendly
  • self-help - cliche = elevating
  • thoughtful - exhaustive = refreshing

Audience

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Sabrina is an educated woman in her midthirties. Maybe she's a mom, or maybe she's thinking about becoming one. She's mostly happy in her professional career but she's tired and often wonders where she'd be if she'd taken the other path and become a yoga teacher. She's kind, happy but looking for more, optimistic, loves being a mom but needs a break every now and then. 

She loves going to museum openings and drinking margaritas with friends; she loves to read and take pictures and go to lectures or watch TED talks. She likes to hike and she doesn't like to fill her life with too much physical stuff. She likes to dress well but she doesn't care about fashion. Family and friends matter most, but she isn't overly attached to her phone. 

She's looking for a little more connection in her life, to herself, to her friends, to a community. 

Brand Statement

Dear Sabrina is a smart, engaging, friendly blog focused on providing content about living deeply to tired moms, introspective women, and expats craving community. Dear Sabrina is a stimulating place where women stop in every day to feel at home, think about something in a new way, and be challenged to enrich their lives. 

Goals - by putting in the effort to develop quality content on a regular basis, I plan to:

  • Get 1000 pageviews per day within 12 months
  • Average 10 comments per post within 6 months (to demonstrate that the content is engaging)
  • Get linked to by an established, good blog within 12 months (Cup of Jo, Reading My Tea Leaves, etc.) 

Content Pillars - I'm still looking for catchy names for the topics, if you have ideas please comment!

  • Mothering - everything from personal reflections to simple photos to reader stories about breastfeeding, poop, raising boys, etc.
  • Happiness projecta la Gretchen Rubin, creating an intentional goal of pursuing meaning and happiness and sharing that journey. Ideally would include reader stories and possibly create a sort of happiness club for people doing their own project
  • Life in Sweden / Expat life / Living locally - Writing about living and mothering in Sweden, difficulties of being an expat, exploring the local community and nature
  • Stuff of life - While life isn't about having stuff, it is true that sometimes having the right stuff can make all the difference. Looking at the products and services that really do improve life
  • Thinking - book and film recommendations, quotes, links to great essays, and other things involving the life of the mind
  • Jolts - small bits of inspiration - beautiful photos, quotes, links (posts that only take 5-10 minutes to prepare)

Source Library

  • All the usual suspects, but will also include sites more traditionally oriented to men, like Esquire

Workflow

I aim to create one post per day, as I am treating Dear Sabrina like a job while I am unempoyed. I want to create a weekly workflow that goes something like:

MONDAY & TUESDAY: write, edit, find images for, and schedule posts
THURSDAY: reply to comments, respond to reader emails, spend time commenting on other blogs and gathering new content
FRIDAY: whatever needs to be done - more content planning, more image searching, running the business end

This schedule assumes that the blog is already successful; I imagine that in the early days (weeks, months, years!) most of my time will just be planning and posting content.

As for content posting, I'd like to follow a format similar to this:

MONDAYS: mothering/family/relationships
TUESDAYS: happiness project stuff
WEDNESDAYS: expat life/local life/Swedish life
THURSDAYS: thinking posts
FRIDAYS: stuff of life
AS NEEDED/DESIRED: jolts of inspiration, quick links, etc.

After reading someone else's project on here, I opened a Trello account and will be using it for content planning and post development. Thanks for that tip!

Thanks for reading, and I welcome your suggestions.

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