Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Blogging || Looking back on 2017

I was tagged by Alex at Better Together Home to take part in a blog 'self-assessment', looking back on 2017 at Wafflemama. (You can view Alex's post here). Although I feel quite pleased with my achievements last year, I do need to look back so I can move forward in the right direction, knowing what worked and what I need to work on.

I started this blog in October 2014 but started taking it a little more seriously and investing a little more time and money from February of 2015, when I started to realise that maybe this could be more than just a family journal to look back on. It's crazy how fast that time has gone and how tiny the kids were when I started!

Blog Recap 

Posts published: In 2017 I published 702 posts! If you bear in mind that 365 of these will be my daily photos, it still averages out at around one post per day which I'm pretty happy with. I've been wondering if I should carry on with the daily photo or not as it does detract from the blog a far bit when you scroll through, but I really enjoy it so I'm still undecided.

Top performing post: In terms of blog posts, it goes without saying that giveaway posts are top of the list when it comes to page views. The most popular post of all in 2017 was this one about our rainy colouring day with BIC with a crazy number of views and entries and one I love looking back on because of the super cute Soph pictures!

Other than giveaway posts, my most popular post was this one about my five favourite beauty products for under £5. I was surprised this did so well but I guess we all just love a bargain!

Post that was difficult to write: After the terrorist attack in Manchester, the reality of just how short life can be really hit home once again. It's something you don't really want to talk about but as a mother and a human being, you can't ignore it so needed to be written about. I still have the ladies face in my mind on the news begging for news of her daughter, you just knew she wouldn't be found but hoped and wished she would be reunited. The whole thing was awful and as more attacks happened over the year it had a really negative effect on my confidence. I just had to try and not pass my fear onto the kids or let it stop us living our lives.

Post that I hope will make a difference: A short but sharp post I wrote in the hope that it falls in front of a parent on the right day. We all have hard days as a parent and I just wanted to say that it's all normal in my 'Parents, we need to talk' post.

Post That Fell Flat On Its Face: I wouldn't really say it was totally on it's face, but I would have hoped for a little more response locally from this one about motherhood being lonely. At the time I think it was a bit of a cry out for someone to talk to and despite loads of ladies I know reading it, nobody mentioned it when I saw them and it all just felt a little disappointing. BUT, since writing that, I've actually discovered that I do probably prefer being by myself a lot of the time, I'm really not very sociable and although I have a few good friends, that is plenty and I don't need someone near all the time like I thought. It's definitely quality over quantity with friends and having time on your own to do as you please is pretty amazing.

Surprise of the Year: The main surprise for me this year blog wise, has been discovering a bit of a niche for myself. As much as I love blogging about the family, I do also love all things home, from upcycling to storage solutions, so moving forward I'm hoping to go this way with a family home angle and I'm really excited. I'll still be sharing our usual family stuff and personal posts, just a bit less of the potty training/weaning type posts as the kids get older. I always thought my blog was a bit 'niche-less', so I'm happy that I have a focus now that I can really try and put my stamp on a little.

I very much want to remain a family blogger, I want to be able to look back on this fondly, but also it is my way of making money, my way of being able to stay at home with the kids while they are small and enjoy these days that are flying by at a mile a minute, so there will be a bit of a mix. I've been so lucky with some of the opportunities so far through my blog and as a family we are so grateful of everything and can't wait to do more in 2018.

My Goals for 2018

This might sound weird, but I'm not ready to set goals really yet and I'm not ever so sure if I even will. It was great having something to work to last year, but I did feel a bit stressed by watching numbers not growing on Instagram for example or knowing that I had completely flunked by venture in vlogging. I put enough pressure on myself as it is so I don't need any more. My main goal is to have a more positive outlook, take things as they come and have a bit more self confidence. This year I will publish my first kids book and I will continue to make money from my blog work - that for me is plenty to strive for.

I'm going to leave with this, my Instagram top 9 because it has some of my favourite pictures of the year and, well, It's nice to look at.

As it's so late on now, I’m tagging anyone in the blogging community that hasn't yet done this tag to complete their blog self-assessment too!