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You guys!! 2016 is over!! How did you celebrate the holidays? Did ya’all eat like there’s no tomorrow? I think I must have eaten so much that I must have like doubled my weight.
As far as blogging is concerned, 2016 was indeed a great year. I switched to self-hosting via Bluehost – something that I wanted to for a looong time.
My Goal for 2016 was to increase traffic to my blog, increase my social media presence and finally start earning some money from my blog! I mean, when you put in your time and energy into it, it’s only fair that you get paid for it. I applied to a few ad networks as well as blogger networks. I also did sponsored posts for the first time ever through Linqia and Social Fabric!
For my December Favorites, I’m basically sharing everything that I have loved in 2016 in terms of blogging –
What helped me to achieve my blogging goals?
Pinterest and Stumbleupon have been a great source of traffic for me this year. I attended a couple of awesome webinars as well as did a few email courses that taught me how to improve my blog.
Pinterest Group Boards can really help to boost your traffic. Initially, I was part of just 5 or 6 Pinterest Group boards, but now I’m a part of almost 25-30 Group boards. While I got invited to join a few of them, for the rest, I searched Pinterest group boards in my niche (i.e. Food and travel) and sent a message to the owner of the board requesting to be a part of their group board.
Webinars and Courses I loved –
In 2016, I took a couple of amazing Webinars and courses from awesome bloggers around the globe. Like I said, I wanted to focus on increasing my email list as well as traffic.
- Penney Fox’s Facebook group and webinars are great when it comes to showing you how to improve your Pinterest presence.
- Alison Marshall’s various webinars on How to grow your email list, how to improve your blog etc. have also helped me to gain a better insight on how to manage my blog.
- Saira from Mom Resource has an excellent twitter course that has helped to increase my twitter presence. She gives a lot of tips that are easy to follow and how you can make every tweet count!
- International Bloggers Association (IBA) has been a great resource when it comes to improving your blog content and social media presence.
- I have also benefited a lot from a few Facebook groups. They are not just about promoting your content but also about learning more from other bloggers – what their goals are, how they achieve their goals, what challenges they have faced and how they overcame them.
- I also started co-hosting a weekly link up party – the Family Joy Blog Link-up party (which I’m sure ya’ll must be aware of if you follow my blog lol) It has definitely helped to increase my network.
What didn’t work?
I signed up on Shareasale – which is an affiliate program for various retailers but haven’t really worked hard towards it. That’s why the income from Shareasale has been negligible. But I have read many bloggers have benefitted a lot.
I also experimented with a couple of ad networks (still experimenting) and finally decided to let go of Swoop and Infolinks as I figured they weren’t working for me as of now. You don’t want to stick to an ad network and give your precious blog space just to earn a few cents. Currently, I’m happy with Gourmet Ads and I’m planning to stick with them.
Final Thoughts on Blogging
I’ve always said that blogging is an ongoing learning process. If you are serious about your blog, there are tons of blogging resources out there. However, not all blogging strategies might work for you. What might work for some, may not work for you. But that does not mean you should give up hope. I firmly believe in trying everything until you find what works for you.
Great Content and being consistent is key. It may take a little while, but if you are passionate about what you do, I’m sure you will reach your goal! Let’s end 2016 on a strong note and hope that 2017 is amazing!
Here are my top 10 Blog posts of 2016 that were loved and shared the most! Thank you so much for being a part of everything that I have done this past year! I love my blog fam!!
Were you able to achieve your 2016 goals? What helped you to achieve them? I would love to hear from you!