Well, another year has nearly come and gone, and here I am again left wondering what happened to 2015. Did it feel like it blew by for any of you? Sometimes it feels like it went by fast, and other times it feels like I’ve been waiting so long for 2016 to start. I think that’s because I have really high hopes for 2016. Not high enough that I’ll be crushed if nothing comes to fruition, but high enough that I’m excited to see where a new year takes both my life and this little blogging space of mine.
When I started this blog in February of 2009 I had no idea it would end up where it is today, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the ride and the growth that I have seen. I want to take a moment to go over some of the milestones and achievements that this blog hit in 2015, and then talk about where I’d like to see it go in 2016. I hope you’ll be along for the ride there.
A Look at 2015’s Milestones & Memorable Posts
- In January of 2015 I was working hard to build up my photography skills and I took on my first photo shoot with The Falkner Family. I also shared my top 10 inappropriate fictional crushes and I was interviewed on the local news.
- In February of 2015 I shared my tips for sizing and positioning photos on your blog and opened up voting for the second annual Best of Blog Awards here on My So-Called Chaos. I also debated if I was too old for my current decor style, went to SLCC FanX15, created an organizational calendar and checklist, and shared photos from my Oregon trip HERE, HERE, and HERE.
- In March I announced the Best of Blog Winners and I shared how to make your own DIY Bath Salts. Plus, I shared photography from Liberty Park, and talked about how to create a budget right from your bank account.
- In April I turned 29 and started looking to buy a house. I also shared how to make your own DIY Sugar Scrub, 15 DIY Kitchen Projects I wanted to try in my new kitchen, and a quick tutorial on Basic HTML for Bloggers. April found me with a lot of good photography posts as well, including the skies of Liberty Park, the wildlife and foliage at Liberty Park, one block of Salt Lake City architecture, Salt Lake City sunrise, and a portrait of a baseball player.
- May brought even more photography like foliage in one block of Salt Lake City, the yard back home, and my final ART1050 project When I Grow Up.
- June found me starting what has now been eight months of a somewhat on again off again thing with a guy I really care about. It lead me to write about how attachment does not equal love, and a couple of other deep posts about my feelings. However I also shared my Top Tips for Starting a Blog with Helene of Helene in Between, and photogprahy posts where I shared Aspen’s senior portraits and the Tropical Pyramid of the Muttart Conservatory.
- In July I bought a house. It was stressful, but it allowed me to share my top tips for buying a house with you also. I also talked about the 10 blogging mistakes you might be making, the top 20 most handsome male celebrities, and shared photos from the Temperate Pyramid and the Arid Pyramid of the Muttart Conservatory. June was also a sad month since my little cousin died in a drunk driving accident. Please don’t drink and drive.
- August brought a new found sense of independence while I navigated home ownership alone and more back and forth with Yoshi. August was also huge for the blog because I switched from Blogger to WordPress.
- In September I adopted Handsome Bub the rescue pittie. I also tried to come to terms with my relationship issues and shared a recipe for All Veggie Sphagetti Squash which was delicious. I decided that I love CoSchedule, and shared photos of Wheeler Historic Farm and the trees there.
- October found me excited for Halloween and sharing my DIY goodie treat bags. I also finally hit my limit with some of the negativity and wrote about rethinking our responses. More photos were shared from Wheeler Farm, first the cows and then the farm buildings. I also joined forces with Beth and Kenzie to start Page à Vu, a new blook blog!
- November was a great month as I shared tips for using Facebook to boost your blog more effectively, talked about how we can become addicted to our pain, and shared some fantastic gift ideas for creatives. I also guest posted at Flowers in My Hair with 10 Reasons You Should Consider Rescuing Your Next Pet.
- And here we are in December, the last month of the year, and so far I ran some fantastic giveaways, shared the lessons I’ve learned since becoming a dog mommy, and my non-traditional holiday playlist. Make sure you stop by tomorrow for a HUGE photography giveaway.
Changes, Goals, and New Directions for this Blog in 2016
In 2016 I really want to double down and work on a few great things to make this blog shine. I also want to work on interacting with some of you a lot more and posting some really great authentic content.
Blogging Goals & Directions for 2016
- Purchase some soft box lighting to take better photos.
- Purchase a scanner and a printer to print off art and printables.
- Create an adult coloring book (to hopefully be offered as free printables to my newsletter subscribers).
- Write more useful and authentic posts.
- Interact better with my readers and blogs I follow.
- Update all old posts.
- Start offering blog consultations and design services.
- Build up the Grow Your Blog Group on Facebook.
- Change my major to Marketing and start working on marketing better.
Changes for 2016
- My ad spaces have changed slightly. I’ve just altered a few of the offerings and sizes available, and I’ll be doing a lot more killer giveaways like the November Kitchenaid Mixer Giveaway and the December HUGE Beginner Photography Giveaway that goes live tomorrow.
- I’m going to limit my sponsored posts to things that fit and offer good information.
- I’m going to work more with Etsy for affiliate than other sites. I just love Etsy and it’s been the best so far.
- I’m going to carefully curate my Instagram and grow it.
The 2015 End of Year Survey
I know I did a survey last Summer, but it wasn’t quite up to par with what I should have been asking. So I’ve put together another small survey (only about 15 questions and I’d really appreciate if you’ll fill it out for me. I just want to get a better idea of my readers, so I can help fine tune and direct this blog into a more meaningful place. You are all so amazing, and I really do value your opinions.
Note: There is a code you’ll receive after you complete the survey, make sure you grab that to enter into the Rafflecopter below.
Enter the Giveaway
I’ve decided to celebrate another awesome year and give away two $15 Starbucks Gift Cards! This is also incentive to fill out the survey for me-as you gain entries for doing so. This giveaway is open worldwide (and if you’re in a country without Starbucks I’ll send you the cash equivalent via Paypal) and ends when the survey closes on 1/11/16 at 12AM. Entering below agrees to all terms and conditions within the Raffelcopter and all entries will be verified.