Hey, friends. How are you today?
I’ve got a pretty personal (and vulnerable!) post for you today. These types of posts are always a little scary to write, so bear with me. If you’ve been around for a little bit, you’ll know that last year around this time I wrote a similar post talking about how I’m hoping within the next few years I’ll be able to quit my day job and be a full-time blogger. It was a really scary post to send out into the internet, but you guys were so supportive and kind and wonderfuls, so that helps make this one a little less intimidating.
Let’s chat about where we’re at.
(This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy.)
When I wrote my “state of the blog” post last year around this time, I had just started to really dedicate my time and attention to the blog. My interest had waned in the months prior and I wasn’t giving my all to the blog. Since then, I’ve poured my heart and soul into this space, and we have come a (very) long way.
So, where are we at now?
Well, all I can say is WOW. The last 12 months have been an absolute whirlwind of growth, excitement, change, and big plans.
For starters, traffic here on Love & Renovations increased by 250% in 2016. 250%. Can you believe it?!
Here are a few other highlights from the last year:
- We worked with a ton of new brands! I’ll talk more about this in a minute, but this was the year I learned how incredibly fun it is to partner with brands. We worked with Floor & Decor, Behr, Mrs. Meyer’s, Home Depot, Rustoleum and several others. I learned so much and it was such an honor to get to work with all of those amazing companies.
- We made huge progress towards my goal of staying home. I’m not quite ready to declare that I’m going to be a professional blogger by the end of 2017, but I’m a lot closer than I was at this time last year. Corey and I still dream every day the possibility of me eventually working from home, and it is starting to feel more and more like a reality.
- We made so many new friends. Over the past year, I have really immersed myself in the blogging community. Prior to last year, I really didn’t know any other bloggers at all, I hadn’t connected with many of you yet, and I just felt disconnected. Now? I have a ton of friends who are bloggers, I feel like I’ve gotten to know so many of you so much better, and blogging is now a serious part of my life.
- We completed some things I’m seriously proud of. 2016 was probably the biggest year ever for the blog in terms of awesome projects. I’ve already done a recap post of our top projects, but to sum it up: we renovated our bathroom and our master bedroom closet, I did a globe project I adore, and we gave our kitchen a quick “phase one” makeover.
I’ve had a lot of questions on how we did it and what resources I’ve used this year to help me along the way. I have a ton I could share with you, but if you’re a blogger or if you are interested in possibly starting a blog, my top three resources from the last year are Elite Blog Academy, Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers, and The Ultimate Photography Book for Bloggers. I can’t recommend them enough – I have learned so much in the last year!
So, what are some of my goals for this year on the blog?
- I want to focus on my email list. I absolutely love getting to know all of you who are part of my newsletter community, and it’s been so fun to send emails to you guys every week. Over the last year, my little list has grown from almost nothing to over 1,500 people – and it gets a little bigger every day! It’s only going to get even more awesome as it continues to grow, and you guys are constantly giving me super helpful feedback and chiming in, which I love! If you haven’t signed up yet, you don’t want to miss out! You can sign up here!
- I want to keep working with amazing brands. There are lots of different avenues for making an income in the blogging world, but my favorite (by far) is collaborating with brands on awesome projects and posts. It gives me an opportunity to share some of my favorite companies and products with you (which I love doing!) and it pushes me creatively in a way that feels so good! I’m hoping this year we’ll be able to form some closer relationship with the brands we’ve already worked with, and get to know some new brands…and I’m hoping to bring more fun giveaways your way as a side perk!
- I want to connect with you guys more! There’s nothing more rewarding and exciting than getting an email from one of y’all, or having you hop in on the discussion on one of my social media pages. I love getting to know you guys, and I’m not kidding when I say I consider each and every one of you a friend. I’d like to spend some time this year getting to know you even better – so if you haven’t connected with me yet on Instagram or Facebook, please do!
- I want to open an Etsy shop. I’ve mentioned this here and there before, but this is the year I’m going to open an Etsy shop – it’s happening! Corey and I have been tossing around ideas for months for what we could sell, and I promise you’re going to love it. If I’m going to do this, I want to do it right so I plan to spend the first part of the year doing some serious planning, and I’m hoping to open shop this summer!
As big as last year was for the blog, I’m hoping this year is even bigger and better. I’m more determined than ever to make this whole “blogging for a living” thing work, and I’m so excited to see where the year takes us.
And here’s where I get cheesy on you.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading, tweeting, Facebooking, emailing, Stumbling, pinning…thank you. I wouldn’t still be doing this if it wasn’t for you guys coming back every day, and all of the progress we’ve made this year is completely thanks to you being so amazingly supportive. I’m so proud of this little corner of the internet and all we’ve accomplished – and I couldn’t have done it without you!
As always, I love hearing back from you guys and I take your feedback very seriously. If you have any thoughts, suggestions, input, or just general commentary I would love it if you’d leave a comment or even shoot me an email. Many of my ideas for posts come from you guys asking questions or comments that you leave, so you inspire me more than you probably know!