2016 has been such a significant year for this blog and my own blogging journey. I knew that this was the year when I needed to take Mum in Brum to the next level and get a little (a lot) serious with this whole blogging thang. I absolutely love blogging and it’s always been my dream to turn this passion into a regular income and something that I could be really proud of.
I started 2016 as I meant to go on with a new home office – my own blogging space. Granted, I still retreat to the sofa or the kitchen table at times (like right now), but I love having my own work space to inspire me and get into the right head space.
I still don’t class myself as a ‘Pro Blogger’ even though I’m lucky enough to now earn a regular income from blogging (albeit small). I know that I need to post more often to really get to where I want to be, but I’ve always had issues with the constant need to churn out new content – mainly that I’m a pretty slow writer and I simply don’t always feel like writing. But on the whole, I think I can give myself a big pat on the back for all of the posts and all that I’ve managed to achieve this year…
- BiBs Winner – My biggest achievement by far was winning the Brit Mums Brilliance in Blogging award Family category. When I first put myself forward for this award I never in my wildest dream imagined winning. Hearing my blog name called out at the ceremony was The. Best. Feeling. Ever.
- Working with brands – I’ve worked with so many cool brands this year and have turned this blog into a decent money earner. Making something from nothing takes a lot of time and hard work but is hugely satisfying in the end. Brands this year have included Trunki, Radley, Dunelm, Joules, Pampers, VAX, BT and Mamas & Papas.
- Over 12,000 MPV – My monthly page views are now over 12,000, a figure I’m proud of. I know that I could still be doing a lot more to increase the traffic to this site and it’s something I need to spend time focusing on next year.
- Set up a guest post series – The #UsAfterYou series at the beginning of this year was hugely popular and gave me the great opportunity to build long-lasting relationships and form friendships with some fantastic bloggers.
- Setting up a YouTube Channel – Last month I finally launched my YouTube channel. This is something I intend to focus on heavily next year and hone my filming, presenting and editing skills.
- Increased social followers to over 11,000 – I started 2016 with very few followers on social media. I think I had under 3,000 last year at this time. I haven’t particularly focused on this area, aside from Instagram which seems to have become a bit of an obsession!
- Significantly improved my photography – When I look back at photos even from 12 months ago I cringe. I made it one of my plans to improve my photography this year and I think it’s fair to say that I’ve definitely come a long way. I still have so much to learn, but it’s been a good start!
Goals for 2017
- Make more blogging pals – I’ve found some ace like-minded blogging friends this year through various linkies and guest post series. I’d love to make more and intend to attend some more blogging conferences this year so I can catch up with the community.
- Get shortlisted for another award – Perhaps it’s a little greedy but I’d LOVE to get shortlisted for another blogging award. We will see.
- Become a brand ambassador – Despite working with lots of brands, I’m yet to be a brand ambassador. I aim to start approaching brands in the new year.
- Use more of my own photography – I love stock photography and it really is a great time saver. But I’d love to get into the habit of only using my own photography for every post. I also want to totally get off the auto setting once and for all and would love to take a photography course.
- YouTube – Having just launched my channel I really need to get a content plan in place and start creating new content. I think I could have a lot of fun with this and want to create something a little different.
- Collaborate with another blogger – It’s probably about time that I put myself out there and committed to a new project with a fellow blogger. I don’t think running a linky is really for me, but I’d love to create something a little exciting and challenging next year.
- Launch a newsletter – The truth is, I’ve tried this on multiple occasions, but Mailchimp has issues connecting to my blog and I always end up pulling my hair out! I think 2017 might be the year to nail this once and for all.
- Refocus – I intend to take some time out from blogging in early January to assess the blog and where I need to be channeling my time and efforts next year. I also want to get more of a structured content plan in place next year and really separate what works from what doesn’t work.
My three biggest sources of traffic this year were:
And now, a break…
I’m feeling a little lazy of late and feel like having a well-earned blog break as I stuff my face with mince pies and turkey. So I probably won’t post again before Christmas (or New Year) now…
Thanks so much to everyone who reads these rambles of mine – the fabulous friends who tell me that they ‘read that one’ when I start to tell them a story, the supportive bloggers who share my content with their followers, my mum who ‘likes’ everything I post on Facebook, and those compers who just pop by to enter my competitions in the hope that they just might win. Your support means so much.
Have a fabulous Christmas y’all!
What were your biggest achievements in 2016? Did you reach your goals? What do you have planned for 2017?