So 2017 came to a close and now we’re embarking on a new journey that is 2018. How exciting! 2017 has been an awesome year for me because it was my very first year blogging. I’ll actually make 1-year blogging in February (yay!) It’s been such a wild ride learning the ropes of what it takes to create your own blog to making my first-ever blogger paycheck. So I thought it would be a great idea to review 2017 and see what worked and what didn’t for Simply Amanda.
Just last month, I took a break from blogging and now I’m back and better than ever. I’m refreshed and excited to see what’s ahead for the growth of my blog and I think a yearly review is extremely beneficial for deciding on what strategies to improve to get to the level you want to be at.
How this blog started
Before Simply Amanda began, I had a beauty insta where I posted photos of my favorite beauty products. After a few months of posting makeup flatlays, I decided to get my own free WordPress.com blog. That’s where I started posting full reviews on beauty products and makeup tutorials. But as I dipped my toes into blogging for the first time, I discovered there was actually a whole world out there for blogging. I didn’t really think blogging was that big because I was mostly into YouTube. But suddenly I had fallen in love with blogging and I was shocked that people actually could make a living out of blogging.
I’m passionate about writing, but always thought I had to be an author to ever make a career out of it — which I wasn’t that into. That’s when I decided I wanted to take my writing more seriously and chose to make the leap to having my own domain and monetizing my blog.
And that was the best decision I’ve ever made!
I can’t believe the growth I’ve seen since then. It’s my passion and something that I’ll always love doing. I love writing, photography, social media, graphic design. And blogging lets me wear all those hats.
So let’s dive in and see how Simply Amanda has grown over the course of 2017!
Below is a screenshot of my growth from day 1:
Now… by no means am I a professional blogger that gets hundreds of thousands of page views a month. I’m a newbie and I don’t know the answers for everything. And I’m not one of the bloggers who made thousands of dollars in their 1st month of blogging.
Although we all wish we could have that, it simply doesn’t always happen that way. I want to be transparent with the stats of my blog. I’m very proud of my growth, but I know it can be improved even more. In the graph, you can see the traffic has slowly been increasing. It stayed the same for a bit of time because I took multiple breaks throughout the months of September and December.
One super awesome thing that did happen was my Alexa rank increased from 15 million all the way down to 3 million! Plus, it shows a US rank now too.
2017’s Most Popular Posts
Now let’s take a look at the most popular posts of the year! I can see what content was getting the most clicks and what my readers are truly interested in.
Top 7 Best Editing Apps For Creating Killer Instagram Photos – 2,919 views
Social Native: How I Made My First $200 On Instagram – 1,604 views
What is Influenster? 9 Tips on How to Get Your First Box – 959 views
These posts received the most views for the entire year and are also my most popular pins on Pinterest.
I didn’t really have any goals in place for my first year. At first, I was just planning on taking it day by day and seeing what happened. I started my blog as a hobby and I wasn’t really expecting anything.
I didn’t have any social media goals going into this — just absolutely nothing with no expectations. But I did end up achieving some really awesome things in 2017 that I’m extremely proud of!
1. Held my first giveaway
2. Created my own email list and actually stuck with it
3. Landed collaborations with some of my favorite brands
4. Made my first $1,000+ from blogging
5. Received a blogging award
6. Gained 2,000+ social media followers
7. Launched my own Pinterest Management services
These achievements are so mind-blowing. I honestly never really expected any of this happen. But it just did. I’m really excited to work twice as hard on my blog this year to be able to reach my 2018 goals.
Blogging Income for 2017
I am completely in awe that I was able to earn that much from my first year of blogging. Especially since I didn’t start monetizing my website until May 2017 and took time off in September and December.
So imagine if I worked harder on it for a full 12 months! There are several different ways I was able to earn an income from Simply Amanda. Some were through sponsored posts, ads, affiliate marketing, etc. Here’s a breakdown of what I earned for the year:
Blog Sponsored Posts: $600 (Social Fabric)
Social Media Sponsored Posts: $445 (Social Native, Takumi)
Affiliate marketing: $92.47 (Bluehost, ShopStyle Collective, Shareasale)
Grand Total: $1137.47
Plus a Tailwind credit for $15 and $1,000+ worth of free products!
2018 Goals + What I Learned
This time around, I am setting goals and here’s a look at what I’m hoping to accomplish this year:
1. Reach 1,000 email subscribers
2. Earn $2,000 from blogging
3. Launch my first digital product
4. Create a Facebook group
So those are my four goals for 2018! I’m not going to make a crazy list of goals for the year. Just focusing on growth. If you’re part of the email gang, then you know my word of the year is “flourish.”
For me, 2018 is going to be all about growth. My personal growth, my blog, my life, everything. I’m excited to grow this year as a person and keep this word in mind for everything I do as a blogger as well. I have huge changes coming my way this year and I am going to take advantage and grow + learn throughout the whole process.
I want to fully turn my blog into a business and I’m going to work on growing + flourishing this year to make it happen.
But I’m not going to lie. Blogging has been one of the most difficult, trying experiences of my life. Between trying to manage my content and keeping up with full-time university courses and work — it was very tough at times. I have had to remind myself to NOT stress out and to just relax.
The #1 thing I learned is to take breaks when you need them. Do not overwork yourself. This is something I’ve reminded myself time and time again throughout this blogging journey.
When you have deadlines and you’re trying to have a personal life as well, things can get in the way. Blogger burnout is real, babe. It’s something I’ve learned to manage and that’s why you’ll see that I’m not always 100% consistent with my blog. Sometimes a newsletter might come out a day late, sometimes there won’t be a new post up on the blog certain weeks. I’m human and it’s important to remember not to push yourself too hard. Especially when it comes to something you are so passionate about like blogging.
You don’t want to lose your spark.
Another huge thing I learned is that things change.
In the span of less than a full year, Simply Amanda went through several design changes and a rebrand. I really pride myself in the work I do with my blog and it needs to be 100% what I’ve envisioned it to be. So if something isn’t working for you or isn’t exactly how you always dreamed it to be, then change it. You are a creative human being. Create something you obsessed with. Don’t stop until it’s what you want it to be.
Things can change in a second.
You could be into writing book reviews today and then suddenly be interested in posting food reviews or maybe you want to be a fashion blogger instead. It’s okay to rebrand and do some soul searching until you find what makes you happy and what sets you apart from the rest. Whatever it is, follow your passion. And once you find it, stick with it and you will create an entire community around your blog that loves you and every single word you put out into the world.
Don’t forget that and let’s keep working harder towards our dreams in 2018!