Archive for blogger business

Top Ten Posts of 2015 & How They Helped Me Prepare For 2016

Wow! I cannot believe that by the time I post this there will be less than 24 hours left in 2015! This year has been a wild ride. So many things have happened and changed since NYE 2014, that’s for sure.

If you read the blog, you know I’m a huge fan of learning from the past. I am in the process of refocusing my blog and rolling new things out for the new year. (I am very excited about it…… seriously this is me just thinking about it…)

Gif From Giphy

Gif From Giphy

Checking google analytics to see how my posts faired over the past year was very interesting to me.

I see that holiday posts, blogger posts and relatable self-narratives did the best.

The fact that it is the end of the year and the top 2 posts have only been published for less than 2 months was very eye opening to me!

I’ve heard many bloggers say to write about trending topics and now I see why.

When I went to check the stats over the year I was sure I knew what my top 3 posts would be:

  • The 12 Guys You Meet Online, because of the wonderful response it got.
  • Avocado Bacon Stuffed Egg Appetizer, because bacon and Pinterest.
  • 10 Text Messages You Send Your Best Friend, because of it’s response and the fact that it was the only post in 2015 I purchased a Facebook Ad for.

While these were on the top 10 list these aren’t the top 3.

One thing I also realized is the posts I enjoyed writing the most are the ones that performed the best, that makes me very happy.

Often bloggers are so desperate to gain readers they publish content that isn’t authentic and they end up not enjoying it the way they should.

I can tell you I loved sharing my Writer’s Block Guide and my tales of online dating. Those may have been some of my favorite posts to write.

Here are the top 10 posts of 2015

(According to Google)

4 Reasons People Stopped Sending Christmas Cards and What to Do Instead

I’ve noticed over the years less people seem to be sending Christmas cards and after reading post on Simply Wright, Are Christmas Cards A Dying Tradition, I thought I’d talk about why and share some ideas of things you could do instead.  Apparently this was a popular topic because a lot of people searched things like, “Do people still send Christmas Cards?” I really liked this post because it allowed me to talk about some charitable organizations I believe in and share the work of a blogger I really enjoy.

My 2015 Holiday Wish List Plus a Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

To be honest this post was a last minute idea. I know giveaways are a great way to grow your audience but this giveaway and wish list was just a result of not having a post idea and trying to answer the question my big sister asks me every year…”What do you want for Christmas?”

10 Text Messages You Send Your Best Friend

This post was fun because I actually pulled these texts from my own phone. I have a group of amazing friends and I know I’m not the only one. This post was also special to me because it was the first one from that I posted on my personal Facebook page, it was kind of my coming out party to my friends as a serious blogger. I was so nervous hitting the share button but the response was WONDERFUL!

The 12 Guys You Meet Online

I briefly went back into the world of online dating and it was a tedious experience. I know a lot of people who online date and I knew my horror stories would be relatable and entertaining, so I was happy to share.

5 Tips to Deal With Writer’s Block + A Freebie!

This was the first content upgrade I did and it was something I actually put a lot of work into. I was excited to launch it and am glad it was so high up on the list of top posts.

5 Reasons Bloggers Should Carry Business Cards

I love my business cards! I ordered them before BlogHer 15 and was so excited that I had them to pass out at the conference. I found it shocking that a lot of bloggers who want to monetize their blogs don’t have business cards. I got a lot of great comments about how my post was the kick in the pants they needed to go ahead and get their own business cards. I will be posting a follow up soon about what to put on your blog’s business card.

10 Awesome Friend Date Ideas

To be honest I was sitting in a meeting at work thinking about how frustrating it was not seeing certain friends anymore, when this post idea came to me. As life changes and we get older it seems like less friends are free for drinks on a Friday night so I started thinking of fun things I’ve done with friends or things I’d like to try with them to do something different than the typical friend dates. I think a lot of my readers are in that stage of early adulthood where friendships and priorities start changing so this post was well received. 

If you give a human a uterus…

This post was written 50% out of thoughts I have any time the subject of having children comes up, 50% from getting super annoyed when my coworker, who has 3 adult sons,  went on an unsolicited rant  about how I would change my mind about not wanting to have my own children, and then had the nerve to ask “Well what does your boyfriend think of that?” This conversation lead to all those thoughts flowing from my fingers to the keyboard and the first draft was probably written in less than 10-minutes. This post is my open letter to people who don’t understand why a woman may not want to be a mother.

Avocado Bacon Stuffed Egg Appetizer

I love food and I love cooking. While food isn’t the primary purpose of my blog I did want to share some fun food posts. This dish I made for the first time at my annual Christmas party in 2014 and it was a hit. I’m not shocked it made the list because as I mentioned above…bacon.

5 Things That Happen When You Travel Alone

I have been lucky enough to travel a lot the past few years but normally with a companion (Shout out to Mark). This year I took my first major trip by myself and it was AMAZING! Even with the bumps in the road (Excuse me while I freak out! Blogher 15, NYC and other adventures) it was a life changing experience. I think a lot of people related to this because they’ve been there or they want to have that experience one day.

After collecting this data WordPress (The awesome blogging platform I use) sent me this nifty Annual Summary check it out here.

Why you should pull your analytics

If you are a blogger and haven’t taken a look at your Google Analytics I strongly suggest it.

  • Even if you don’t want to share them with your readers, it will give you an idea of what is working and what isn’t.
  • Trade secret: Old posts can bring you new readers just like new posts can! 
    • If you have a post that has gotten a large amount of traffic consider updating it and reposting it or recycling it in your marketing calendar… obviously there is something worth reading there.
  • It lets you know what you reader’s aren’t reading- some topics your won’t fit in your niche. If you think it’s good writing see about publishing it elsewhere.
  • It lets you see how many of your blog visitors are new visitors vs. returning visitors.
    • If 95% of your visitors aren’t returning you need to figure out why they aren’t returning. Is there an annoying pop-up? Does your page load too slow? Are you forgetting a call to action? Give them a reason to come back? Are you memorable?
  • It tells you where are your readers coming from? Is Facebook a huge source of traffic? Are you spending large amounts of time on Instagram but seeing more traffic from another social media platform? Wouldn’t it be better to spend that energy on a platform that has better results for your niche?

* Keep in mind that  low pageviews could just be the result of not getting your post in front of a large enough audience, it doesn’t necessarily mean the post is bad or out of niche.


Which post did you enjoy the best? Are you checking your stats? How often do you check your Google Analytics? What lessons have they taught you? Tell me below!

2016 is going to be a wonderful year for and I want to make sure readers are getting what they want! Please take a minute to fill out my 2015 Reader Survey if you haven’t already. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get exclusive content and regular emails from me!  

(Don’t worry, I know we all hate spam, I won’t junk up your inbox… you probably won’t see me pop into your inbox more than 3 times a month…unless we take our email relationship to the next level 😀 or something truly kickass is going down! )

 Have a wonderful and safe New Year and thank you so much for all the support in 2015!

How To Create Your Personal Annual Report & Set Your Yearly Goals Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of How To Create Your Personal Annual Report & Set Your Yearly Goals.
If you haven’t read Part 1 go check it out…don’t worry, I’ll wait here 🙂

By now I’m hoping you have completed or at least started your Annual Review. So here comes to fun part…setting next year’s goals and expectations.

Part of the reason I want you to have done part 1 first is because that’s going to be your formula for creating part 2.

First look at last year’s quantitative accomplishments.

If you have 500 Instagram followers how many do you think you could realistically gain in the next year?

Look at the numbers, can they be better? Set a realistic goal based on your accomplishments from the previous year.  If you gained on average 25 followers a month can you step that up to 30?
For example: Last year I published 200 articles and this year I hope to publish 262.

Look at your list of last year’s nonquantitative accomplishments.

Are they tasks you would like to repeat? Are they part 1 of of a 2 part accomplishment.

For example did you get accepted into an exclusive community in your niche? Would you like to hold a leadership role in the community? Would you like to produce content for them?

Last year I had the privilege of working with multiple brands and being published on different websites. Both of these did wonders for my traffic, naturally I want to do more in the new year.


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Come up with a short statement that reflects your ultimate goal.

In part one I asked you to answer 3 questions:
What do you want to do?
What do you need to do to get there?
How will you know you are there?
The idea isn’t that you will accomplish your ultimate goal in the next year (depending on the goal it may take longer) it’s to think about what steps you need to take in the following year to get there.

My goal statement is:

I want to grow my brand and business to not only work for myself full-time but to help and guide other millennial women towards success and balance.

Yours may look more like, “I want to do independent graphic design full-time and help spread beauty in the world. I want to help online entrepreneurs turn their concept into a tangible design.”

Once you have that statement think of things you can do in the next year to step towards that goal.

For me, that includes launching my first e-courses and webinars.
What would help you move towards these goals?
Do you need to gain more clients? How would you go about doing this? What tasks would you need to complete to make this happen? Do you need to go to go to more networking activities? Should you create a mastermind group?
Then put it all together and you have not only a plan outline but something to hold yourself accountable for next year.


It’s as simple as that!

Here is my 2016 Goals Report 

2016 Goals

Now I want to hear from you:
What are some of your goals for the new year?
Do you make an annual plan?
How do you plan to accomplish your goals?

Don’t forget to check out this awesome tutorial on Canva, the tool I used to create my annual report and 2016 goals.


Do it for love,


Enjoyed this post? Please take a minute to complete my 2015 Reader Survey


How To Create Your Personal Annual Report & Set Your Yearly Goals Part 1

It’s the end of the year which means it’s the time for reflection and planning. Reflecting on what has happened in 2015 and planning everything I want to make happen in 2016.

While I am doing this based on the calendar year, you can perform a review at any time. Your business anniversary or blogiversary are also great times to re-evaluate where you are and where you want to go.

It’s important to look back on what you’ve done and what has and hasn’t worked in order to proceed.


If you’ve been using Facebook Ads and your traffic hasn’t increased that doesn’t mean you should quit blogging or close up shop. It doesn’t even mean you should stop using Facebook Ads, it just means you should re-examine your process and see if you need to try a new approach. If you’ve been using them to promote blog posts maybe use them to promote your e-course instead and reevaluate the demographic and keywords you select.

Because this is such an important process for establishing where your brand is, I wanted to break it into two sections so that it wasn’t overwhelming or daunting but before you start I need you to answer 3 questions:

These questions are pertaining to your career, blog or business. Think fast don’t dilly dally back and forth. Don’t talk your expectations down or think of all that could go wrong. Just answer.

What do you want to do?

-Think fast!  Do you want a promotion? Do you want to blog full time? Do you want to start freelance consulting?

What do you need to do to get there?

Do you need to grow your subscribers?  Do you need to try a new social media channel? Do you need to hire outside help? What are the stepping you have to do to get there?

How will you know you are there? (This will be important for Part 2 but start thinking about it now.)

Look at what you’ve wanted and look at your actions over the past year. Did you start contributing to publications in your niche? Did you increase your social media following tremendously? Have you done any work that contributes to where you want to be? Any trainings or courses?

Once you determine this then you can figure out the basic steps of how to get there. This isn’t going to be a detailed plan. That is important and should come later but this is just to help lead you in the correct direction.

Once you decide what you want to do look back over the past year (or however longer you’ve been consciously working toward your goal, if it’s less than a year) and think of what you’ve done to get towards that goal.

How to start your year-end review

This kind of depends on the way you work best. For me I’m a visual person so I picked out a format I liked and filled it in from there. You may prefer to figure out what you want to include and then do the visual part.

Make a list if things you accomplished: New partnerships, brand ambassador relationships, number of articles published, how your online engagement or followers have grown.

Try to stick to values you can go back and compare to or increase next year. Instead of saying “Business Grew ,” say “my monthly average page views are x” or “In the last year my  sales have increased 20%.”

As a Marketing director, freelancer, blogger, influenster, event planner and social media consultant (I just got tired looking at that list) I decided to share the things I completed in those categories. Imagine this is the accomplishment part of your resume, a lot of people update this depending on the job they are applying for. Select the accomplishments you had this year that would be impressive to a potential client.

If you do website design, how many websites did you launch?

If you are a video blogger looking for more brands to sponsor you and send you products to review track brands you’ve worked with or put how many YouTube subscriber’s you’ve gained.

Here is the annual review I created for myself and blog using Canva . Your may see what you feel is important to share is different than mine but that’s okay. You have to do what you feel works best for your brand and goals.

2015 Annual Report


Thanks for visiting today and keep an eye out for Part 2. You can also subscribe here to have it come directly to your inbox.

Please take a moment to complete my 2015 Reader Survey 

For more on using Canva here is a great tutorial about it be Adam Warner.

In addition I welcome any fellow online business owners to reach out to me about this project. You can leave questions in the comments or go to my about me page and email me.

Do it for love,



You can check out How To Create Your Personal Annual Report and Set Your Yearly Goals Part 2 Here