Year end reviews have always been popular in the blogging world. It has been years since I’ve shared a collection of my most popular posts from the year, so yesterday I sat down to look at the numbers.
I pulled up all of the traffic my blog received in 2017, and what I found really surprised me.
My most popular blog posts for the year were all from 2014. This isn’t actually the surprising part since my most popular blog post of all time (which continues to be the most popular almost daily) was published in 2014.
In fact, 2014 was a pretty epic year for my blog. That was also the year that I wrote the popular posts:
- I’m Scared to Have 2 Kids: an update 2 years later
- 9 Things I Learned from Cleaning Every Day for a Month
- 6 Simple Sanity Savers (for when I feel like I am going to lose my mind)
The second most popular year was 2013, when I wrote:
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Helping a Friend After a Stillbirth
- How to Cook Amazingly Moist Turkey
- 10 Religious Easter Basket Ideas
The third most popular year of blog content was 2010 because of my information on how to handle the problem of excess lipase activity in breast milk.
I continued to scan down the list of stats looking for where my content from 2017 landed.
That is when I had a moment of panic.
My blog posts from 2017 were at the bottom of list list. Out of all of the traffic that came to my blog during this past year, only 2.45% of the people were clicking on articles I wrote in 2017!
In fact, the last 3 years were all at the bottom of the list.
*insert wide-eyed look of panic here*
Uh . . .
What does this mean?!
Is my blog dying???
If people are only coming to read my older content, does that mean that my new content isn’t any good?
Then I started counting. In 2015, I published 43 blog posts. In 2016, I published 18. This past year, 2017, I published 14 blog posts.
What happened to me from 2015 to 2017??? Well, a lot actually.
At the end of 2015, my husband and I had a miscarriage. The loss of that pregnancy completely zapped my emotional and creative energy. I lost my drive to do much beyond the day to day. Every night, I escaped the reality of my sadness with Netflix.
Then in May of 2016, I got pregnant again. I was still emotionally drowning somewhat, and then first trimester yuckiness stole all of my physical energy. By the time I was feeling better, I was prioritizing getting through the holidays while prepping for the new baby.
Our delightful little Isaac was born in January of 2017. As you can imagine, a big chunk of 2017 was spent adjusting to being a family of 5 and figuring out how/when/if blogging can continue to take place.
Plus during all of this, I have been part of a thriving podcast!
The decline in new blog content isn’t without reason. But what does it mean? Bloggers have been speculating for years that blogging as a whole is dying. Am I seeing the evidence of that on my own blog? Do I push through it or is it time to let go?
After seeing these alarming stats, I immediately went to my mastermind group. I asked them, “What should I do??? I only wrote 14 posts in 2017! Is my blog dying???”
I received some great feedback.
- What are your goals?
- Can you write 1 post a week in 2018?
- How about weekly newsletters?
- What are your non negotiables?
- What can you outsource?
Yes. I totally need to sit down and figure out some business goals for myself. I should definitely write 1 new post a week. Outsourcing would be fantastic. There is no doubt that newsletters are a important part of an online business plan. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Then all of a sudden I realized this conversation was stressing me the heck out! There are so many things I could do and should do with my blog. There are an endless amount of site maintenance, blog post ideas, new products I could create, and emails I need to answer.
But even if I had 40 hours a week to spend on my blog, I wouldn’t want to do that. There really is no way that I can do all the things that I feel like I should do.
So if I can’t do it all, and I don’t want to do it all, then what?
Maybe I need to stop thinking about my online work as “my blog.” Perhaps I need to think about all the ways that Simply Rebekah the brand is doing well, and not focus on the ways that Simply Rebekah the blog is struggling.
Because I am still providing a decent part-time income for my family. And that is because of all the things I’m doing. Not just the blog posts I’m publishing.
What accomplishments did I have in 2017?
My online success is bigger than the number of blog posts I published. It is even bigger than the amount of monthly pageviews I receive.
These are things worth celebrating from 2017:
- sold copies of my very small niched ebook every single month
- hit 2,500 IG followers (This is my favorite social media. Join me!)
- increased my IG story viewers by 100+ compared to earlier in the year
- continued to have a Facebook reach of 25-50% (Trust me. This is good.)
- hit the highest number of pageviews I’ve seen since May 2016
- wrote blog posts that meant a lot to me
- consistently earned a decent part-time income monthly from my online work
- met my Ultimate Homemaking Bundles sales goal
- gained 55 Twitter followers (LOL! Seriously though, that is impressive for me! I mostly just live tweet The Bachelor.)
- increased earnings from my Sorta Awesome podcast work
- helped Sorta Awesome reach the 100th episode milestone
- was a guest on two podcasts besides Sorta Awesome
- continue to receive incredibly touching compliments from followers, readers, and listeners
- birthed a beautiful little boy
- loved on my little family for hours and hours and hours and hours
I am sure there is more I could celebrate, but I’m happy with this list. This is a good list.
How do I move forward in 2018?
My online work has always been something that I do second. Mothering comes first, and it will continue to be that way this year.
I will continue to write new blog posts. This blog isn’t dead yet!
I will continue to invest in Instagram. I haven’t made many official goals yet, but I do have one for Instagram. I would love to double my followers there. It is my favorite place to be online these days.
I have plenty of dreams for projects and products, but I will hold those losely. I understand the demands of a young family. And as I’ve shared, the demands of blogging can be a lot to handle also.
I see this as a year of recovery. I’m no longer walking in the clouds of grief. I am not pregnant. Nor am I in the postpartum stage. My baby is napping well (knock on wood). I am excited to see what I can do with this online space now that some emotional and physical healing as happened.
Plus, I will celebrate the passive income my blog archives continue to provide for my family.
And I will strive to see the value of my work in it’s entirety. I no long want to beat myself up when parts of my work are struggling. Instead, I will see the accomplishments and value of the whole.
At least that is what I am doing today. Remind me of this personal pep talk later, will ya?
Can you relate? I would love to hear your story.
Top photo via Pixabay. Pregnancy photo by Cicely Berkey. Family photo by Donna Shenk.