Looking Back – 2017
2017 was a big year for me and the blog: not only was I made redundant, but I took the decision to see if I could make my hobbies into something more. Just because of the kind of person I am, I like to make goals. I feel like if I don’t have something to aim for, then I don’t have direction or motivation to move forward. So, as 2017 draws to a close, please indulge me as I look back on 2017 and see how I did against what it was I wanted to achieve this year.
First of all the blog, overall my aim in 2017 was to take tippytupps and turn it from an online journal into a ‘proper’ blog. I feel like I’m kind of heading in the right direction, even if I’m not quite there yet. I want to build on this more in 2018 and have a little change of direction. For 2017 though I wanted it to be all about consistency though, blogging at least 3 or 4 times a week which I managed to do. This was key in terms of finding a rhythm and making sure it felt like a ‘proper’ blog, instead of just a hobby. Next is was all about increasing reach. I feel like I smashed this. I started 2017 with a social reach of 2,191 across all channels. I close the year with 9,451: an increase of well over 400%. I’ll be honest I’m a tiny bit dissapointed with that. Not the increase, as I can’t be sad about 400%! But the fact that I’m soooooooo close to 10k social across all channels. Just 549 short, but there’s no way I’m going to get that in the next day and a half. Next on thelist was the REAL bloggers dream, which is to monitise. I started the journey on this and have been lucky enough to have had paid posts, social content and some great campaigns in 2017. However, it’s been nomimal at best, so it goes without saying that this will definitely be a focus in 2018.
Now getting into the specifics, I wanted to increase my DA which I did. Moving it from 1 when I started in December 2016 up to 28 where it stands today 12 months later. I also wanted to improve my photography by investing in some decent equipment and learning how to use it. Even if I do sound a little modest, I feel like this is a check and check.
Moving onto what didn’t go to plan, originally I wanted to create a second blog to concentrate on HR and change management topics. Sometime during the year, I decided against this. This may be where my education and work experience lays, but it isn’t what I’m passionate about. Therefore, I’m going to stick with what I love, and hope that the passion shines through. Similarly, at the beginning of the year, I had dual interests with a WAHM craft business. I took the decision somewhere in the summer to close down that side of tippytupps as unfortunately it was just not cost effective. It supported me in my early redundancy days, but as the freelance side of my life picked up – both for writing and photography – it was no longer required as a sideline business. Therefore, all things knitted and sewn has been relegated back down to hobby, though they will hopefully be popping up more in the blog during 2018. I also wanted to crack Pinterest which never happened, mainly due to a distraction with YouTube instead!
So, 2017 was supposed to be all about relationships and more specifically to continue to grow as a family of 4 and remember to appreciate the little things and capture the moments that make our ordinary life extraordinary. And that’s exactly what we did. It’s been a wonderful year full of adventure and love. Health unfortuantely didn’t go to plan as I originally wanted to run or walk 500 miles throughout the year. A combination of health and location of where we live put a stop to that. However, I don’t plan on giving up, as 2018 WILL be the year that I reclaim my body and my health.
We also wanted to make full use of our National Trust and English Heritage memberships, and we’re halfway there. As we managed to smash the National Trust, but unfortuantely our English Heritage was far less used. Mainly because we noticed that pretty much everywhere we visit, all the membership offered were discounts. No ‘free’ entry with that one which was a shame. Therefore, we still have our Trust membership – which for us is worth it’s weight in gold! – but the English Heritage one we will let expire.
We also planned to get creative at home which unfortunately just didn’t happen. A combination of lack of funds and also the kids just not being the right age put a stop to that. We have big plans to update the living room, which we can’t really do until the HUGE fireguard comes down. I also want to knock down a wall in the back to make a big kitchen diner, which we can’t really do until the play room goes upstairs. Therefore, I will stalk Pinterest with dreams and count down the days until the little ones are a little less small and we can really start to make some changes.
And there we have it. A pretty successful year by all accounts against what I wanted to achieve. I’m proud of how far the blog has come and although I still have a long way to go until it can sustain us as a full time income, I feel like it’s on the right track. I’m so excited by what 2018 will bring and can’t wait to get started!