Oh my god you guys, it’s new years eve! How has this happened? I know it’s such a cliché thing to say on December 31st but, seriously, where has this year gone? A lot has happened in the past 12months, the major event of course being the arrival of my gorgeous second baby boy in October. 2016 has been a big year for my blog too, my audience has grown, I’ve worked with lots of lovely brands and I’ve written lots of posts that I’m really proud of. At the beginning of the year I wrote down some goals I’d love to have achieved by the time the year was out. Well, time is up. The moment has come to look back and see if I managed to smash my goals or not and to set myself some brand spanking new ones for the fresh new year ahead. New year, new goals..let’s do this.
My 2017 blogging goals and a look back on 2o16.
Before I write down what I want my blog to achieve in 2o17, let’s look back and see how Naptime Natter got on with my 2016 goals first.
1. Take better photos – I have loved experimenting with photography this year. Oli got me a Nikon D3300 for my birthday and it’s the best thing ever. I definitely feel like I am taking much better photographs than I was this time last year.
2. Grow my audience – I gave up checking my stats months ago as I was getting a bit obsessed. I definitely have more regular readers now than I did in January but also have new people reading and commenting all the time. My instagram account currently has 1000 followers and I have about 2,500 on Twitter. Still a small following but much more than this time last year.
3. Work with other bloggers – This one gets a big fat tick. I have tried to put myself out there in the blogging community a lot more this year and have really enjoyed working with other bloggers. I have got involved in blog series post featuring on The Pramshed, Absolutely Prabulous, The Life of a Glasgow Girl, The Frenchie Mummy and have also been nominated for several different blogging tags. I have invited some fab bloggers to guest post on my blog too and I loved showcasing the work of these brilliant writers. I also helped co host the brilliant KCACOLS linky with Franca which was hard work but I loved being a part of it all.
4. Comments – OK, I have massively failed here. I read every single comment so if you have ever written to me please know that I am so grateful and I have read what you have to say. I really struggle with replying to comments though, it’s one of those blogging tasks that always gets neglected and something I really want to improve on.
5. Reach out to brands – Yes! I haven’t made the first move when it comes to brand work that often but I have sent out emails to a few people and some (not all) have paid off. I have a review coming up very soon on a brand I love and it’s on a product I asked for myself so I’m really excited about that.
6. Be more organised – Up until the last month or so of my pregnancy I was really organised in my blogging life. I was writing posts in advance and posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday without fail. Since Alex arrived I’m pretty much winging it and I just blog when I have time, which isn’t as often as I’d like but real life is very full on at the minute. I definitely want to get back to my old blogging schedule as soon as possible.
7. Do what makes you happy – There have been times over the last year where I’ve lost sight of why I blog and have had to take a few blog breaks to get my head straight and get motivated to start writing the content I actually want to be writing again. On the whole though I have loved blogging this year and have definitely embraced my blogger side.
I didn’t do too badly really did I? I’m actually really pleased with everything I’ve achieved this year. Now it’s time to stop looking back and start getting excited about the future. So without further ado, here are my goals for 2017..
1. Grow following and social media. I would love to reach 6k twitter followers (just over double my existing number) by next December and I would be over the moon if I could reach 5k on instagram. I absolutely love Instagram and I would be so happy to grow my following over there. I understand these aren’t massive numbers but for me and my little blog they are more than enough.
2. Buy a new theme. I’m currently using a free WordPress theme, it’s OK but not perfect. I have a very specific idea of how I want my blog to look, I just need to find a theme that matches the layout of my dream blog.
3. Start a Facebook page. I did do this earlier in the year but I gave up on it pretty quickly. From what I’ve read you’ve really got to persevere with Facebook so I’m going to start over and see if I can use Facebook to help drive some more traffic to my blog.
4. Start a guest post series. I’m not sure what I want this to be on, I have a few ideas flying around but I just need to find some time to plan it all out.
5. Work with more brands. I really have enjoyed collaborating with lots of different brands this year and I would love to keep doing so in 2017. It would be my dream to be able to make a regular income from my blog and this is something I am going to be striving for this year.
6. Be more social in the blogging community. I have really worked on this over the last year and I feel like I have made some wonderful friendships with other bloggers. However, I know I could be more chatty on social media and join in with discussions and chats on Twitter and Facebook if I just made the time. Well, this year I’m going to find the time. I’d love to get to know everyone better and make lots more blogging buddies.
7. Create a child free/mess free zone for blogging. I have made it my mission to convert some of the space in our attic into a blogging corner. A chilled out part of the house where I can sit with my computer and my thoughts and really concentrate and work hard on my blog. I can’t wait to get started on this and you can find out all my plans in my blogging corner wishlist post.
I am going to stop there, I could probably come up with more as the blogging to do list is never over but these are the 7 main things I want to achieve in 2017.
I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who’s read, commented on and shared my blog this year, it means so much to me that you take the time to read what I have to say. I just want to give a big special thank you to Fi (beautybabyandme) for being such a lovely friend and Mackenzie (reflectionsfromme) for being so supportive to me and my blog this year. Also, a big shout out to everyone over in the # KCACOLS crowd group on Facebook, I don’t where I’d be without this group of lovely bloggers sometimes. And to all the people I haven’t mentioned, who have been a part of my blogging journey this year..thank you, you’re all awesome.
Happy new year all!!
How did your blog perform in 2016? Better or worse than you hoped? What are your plans for 2017, are you aiming for the stars? I hope your blog achieves everything you hope it will in the year ahead.
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* After my recent blog move from Blogger to Word Press, some of my posts have been left looking a bit strange. I am working my way through everything and sorting out the formatting, hopefully it won’t take me too long! If you come across a post with strange looking formatting please let me know as I might have missed it. Thank you 🙂 *