New Year's resolution-making isn't always the most effective way to jump-start change. Often, our resolutions are too vague, too grand, or too difficult to measure in a meaningful way. 80% of our resolutions fail by February, according to U.S. News and World Report.

So how can we marketers make a New Year's resolution that we'll actually keep - and that will actually help us improve ourselves professionally? Here are a few ideas for resolutions that every marketer can make - and keep - this year.

Resolve to write for at least 30 minutes per day.

So much of digital marketing revolves around writing. Blogging, writing columns, even writing tweets and Facebook posts - if they're not well-written, they're not going to grab your readers' attention. Either that, or they'll have lost it within the first couple of sentences.

If you're not naturally a strong writer, that's ok. You just need to practice.

The great thing about this resolution is that keeping it will improve not only your professional success, but also your personal well-being. No one said your 30 minutes of writing each day had to be about your brand.

Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, write a short story, write on your personal blog - what matters is that you're putting words together.

Set a regular day and time each week to check your analytics.

The wealth of data available to marketers today would make the ad men of Mad Men spit out their martinis in shock.

We can find out so much about our audience, from what sites they visit, to what their hobbies are, to where they live, work, and play. And yet, so many brands are still making decisions based on assumptions.

This year, commit to changing that. Set a regular day and time to check your analytics, and stick to it each week. Monday morning tends to work well, as most of us are starting fresh and don't have projects, client calls, or presentations immediately demanding our attention.

But just checking your analytics won't improve your marketing. You have to make sure you're listening to what it's telling you. After you've read, digested, and understood what it's saying, then it's time to go and devise that marketing campaign or ad campaign.

Before making a video, podcast, or other resource-intensive piece of content, create a distribution plan.

Maybe a fully-scripted short film really would be right on brand. Maybe your head content strategist would be an amazing podcast host. Maybe creating these types of content could take your brand to a new level of success.

Maybe. But you really need to be able to predict how well the content will do, at least to a reasonable degree. To do that effectively, you need a written distribution plan that includes the various platforms you'll use to distribute it, the social media posts that will share it, influencers you'll target, and any ad spend you dedicate to it.

If the content still looks like a good investment (and hopefully it will), then go for it. But the last thing you want is to spend thousands on a video that gets 120 views over 6 months.

Start utilizing landing pages.

Landing pages are proven to help increase your conversion rate, so if you're not using them for your marketing campaigns, start now.

The key to creating effective landing pages is to keep them short, simple, and eye-catching. That could mean using bright color blocks, bold fonts, or including your best video.

The most successful landing pages are also tightly connected to the offer or call to action that your visitors clicked on. The more specific your landing page is, the better your conversion rate will be.

And you don't have to outsource your landing page creation to your web design team (unless you want to, of course). There are lots of tools out there that allow you to create simple, beautiful landing pages easily: MailChimp, Hubspot, and Unbounce are just a few.

Here's wishing you - and your brand - the best in 2018!

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Published on: Dec 20, 2017