Okay so it's pretty obvious that I failed at Blogmas because I hadn't posted until today since the 19th December. Work got in the way and I fell ill right over Christmas meaning from the 22nd until the 27th I couldn't bare even looking at a laptop. Christmas Day wasn't the best as I just wanted to sleep but now I'm refreshed and well again and felt like reflecting on the past year. It's been an up and down year, having entered 2015 in my final year of uni with many ups and downs there, finishing uni with having nothing but blogging to do, moving back to Liverpool then getting a job in Boots for over the festive period. Nonetheless, I think I achieved a lot in the year with my blog and I'm so proud of what it's become.
Recently I hit 100,000 page views which doesn't seem a huge lot in comparison with the most successful bloggers, but I'm proud that it took me 22 months to hit 100k. I think I entered 2015 with about 30,000 views so I've not done too bad. Using Google Analytics has really helped me discover what times of the day I get the most hits, where my referrals are coming from and really how to use the stats to my advantage. I was surprised by the numbers (especially when looking at Bloggers stats, which were only about 1/3 more than what GA was saying) and whilst views aren't everything, they mean a lot.
I've already spoke about this on my How I Edit My Blog Photos post, and more recently on my New Camera post because my photos have improved so much it's unreal. I posted over on Twitter when comparing photos from the beginning and the end of the year. I think I realised that light was key and learning to edit on Photoshop has helped with that when natural light just wasn't possible. Using my blog photos and putting them on Instagram boosted my followers there, along with the same on Pinterest too.
I don't even like calling people who follow my blog and social media followers because they do just feel like blogging friends. I also don't want to be a cringe and started referring to you all as friends because I just can't even deal with that. Anyway, overall I hit 12,000 and it felt like such an achievement. I can tell that my heart is a lot more into my social media than previous years and I think this reflects it. I'm so happy that I know more bloggers now and love chatting to people at whatever time of day.
Enjoying Blogging More
This is the most important thing to me. Whilst I started blogging as a hobby, and now it contributes towards paying the bills, it is still my hobby no matter what. I put so many hours into it, have paid (happily) for blog designs and taken a step forward into developing skills to potentially, one day, turn it into a career. Over the past year I've learned so much from blogging and think about it all the time. Building up relationships with brands and discovering new products has changed my perspective about a lot of things and is making me such a better person. Blogging has helped me increase my confidence and the support of other bloggers has encouraged me to do things I would never do off my own back. I'll only stop blogging when it's no longer in my heart, which I can't ever see happening.