At a time where I really ought to be looking forward to the year ahead, I want to indulge in just a little bit of analysis of the year that’s just gone by. For lots of reasons, 2017 will be a memorable year, and mainly for all the wrong reasons. It’s been a year of great sadness and grief for too many of my friends and family, and although I know the start of a new year is an ‘arbitrary’ new beginning, I hope it does signal a change in fortune.
Over the past year, I’m really proud of what my little blog has grown to become. I’m hardly taking the internet by storm, but I can see such improvement in all aspects of my online presence and it’s amazing to look back and realise how much I’ve learned. We’ve benefited from some incredible opportunities this blog has brought about, and I’m forever grateful for the family memories we’ve made as a result.
There’s barely a day that’s gone by this year where I’ve not had my camera in hand. Capturing the precious moments of Pickle’s babyhood, and now toddlerhood, is absolutely invaluable to me. I remember starting the year saying that about 1 in 50 photos I took turned out ‘alright’, and now, that average is much better! I’m by no means a professional photographer, but I’m always learning more about light and composition and I’m excited to see how much more I can improve this year.
I’ve picked a few images from throughout the year that I particularly like – I can’t believe how much Pickle has grown! I’ve split them into two groups. The start of the year, and the end of the year so there are two big chunks of photographs to peruse with some reflection on goals in the middle!
January – June in Photos
Geeking out on Stats
I love sifting through my Google Analytics. I’m fascinated by the statistics, and finding out as much as I can about what you all like to read, where and how you come across my content and what you do once you’re here. I’m always surprised by what I find out. Having a look through what were my most read blog posts was a real eye-opener. Fancy a gander? Here they are:
Top 10 Most-Read Posts (excl. Giveaways)
- My First Bullet Journal
- Splashing in Muddy Puddles with Lottie Doll (technically, this was a giveaway too!)
- Pregnancy Skincare: The Holy Trinity of Bobbi Brown Products
- Baby Breakfast Ideas from other Bloggers
- Our Kiddy Evoluna i-Size Car Seat
- A Year of Breastfeeding
- Motherhood: How am I doing? Where do I rank?
- Are these my Bad Parenting Habits?
- Purchase: Mothercare Orb Pram
- Theatre Review: Sponge – Turned on its Head
I feel quite conflicted about this list. On the one hand, I’m not surprised that my random one off Bullet Journal post is up there – the Google traffic for that is immense, but looking over the list as a whole, I don’t feel like it represents what I’d like my most popular posts to be. As a family, we’re always heading out for little adventures outdoors, and you’d have no idea about that from the list above – although, I’m glad at least one theatre review made it into the top 10!
So what would I like my list to look like?
The 5 Posts I’m Most Proud of:
- Children’s Culture Highlights for October Half Term
- Our Family Camps – New Quay in Scrapbook Style
- Top Tips for attending a Wedding with a Toddler
- An Adventure to Sutton Park and Back
- Our Beco Gemini Babywearing Adventures
What about my 2017 goals?
At the start of 2017, I made myself some fairly concrete goals I was hoping to achieve, and wrote about them in this Blogging Goals post. I didn’t quite achieve everything I wanted to, but looking back – I was perhaps a little bit ambitious! And besides, a lot of algorithms have changed since which makes what was perhaps a bit easier at the start of the year, a bit more difficult as time has gone on.
2017 Goals Results
Post 100 Blog Posts: SUCCESS! I published just over 100 posts for the year – 113 to be exact. I’d still like to be producing more content, but at the same time, I’d always value higher quality content that takes longer to produce over lots of quick posts. Although you may look at my blog posts and think I probably bash them out relatively quickly – it takes me a long time to write these things. I constantly write, and re-write. Edit and streamline, move paragraphs around and I always read my writing out loud to make sure they flow in the way I want them to. It takes time. And as we all know as parents, time isn’t something we have in abundance!
Domain Authority of 30: I was SO close to achieving this. After beginning the year with a DA of 19, I finished on a DA of 29. I’m pretty pleased with that, and gives me a great springboard for 2018. I expect growth to be a bit slower in the next year – but can’t wait to see where I end up this time next year.
10,000 Page Views a month: I didn’t achieve this. In fact, at best, I achieved just over half. 5,000 is a good month for me, and although I’d love that to be higher – I need to change my approach to writing for that to happen, I think. I might try and mix things up a little more in 2018, write a little more influenced on search traffic, as well as writing about the things I care most about. One day, I hope those two things align really nicely, but at the moment – there’s a bit of a gap in the middle!
Social Media Following of 20,000: Pahahahahaha, what an ambitious target that was. I’m WAY off. Like, embarrassingly off. I think I’m sitting around a combined following of 7,000-ish. But that’s okay. Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey.
I’m still to set my 2018 goals. I’d like them to be a little more realistic this year, and I need to stay motivated throughout the year, not just in the first three months. This year is likely to be quite different to the last, and I’m going to have to be really focused if I want to achieve what I have in mind. No rest for the wicked, eh?
July – December in Photos:
So there we have it. My 2017. I want to take the bull by the horns over the next fortnight: spend some time getting the house spruced up, start really taking care of myself so that I can feel a bit more confident in my own skin and make some really concrete goals, aims and plans so that I make this year one that I can be equally as proud of. Let’s do this.