We’re at the end of 2019 and i wanted to do my usual end of year review. It’s a chance for me to look back on how things have gone and where I’d like to improve things next year.
2019 has been my biggest blogging year for views in the 8 years I’ve been blogging. It’s all been organic from largely Pinterest and SEO. With these going well, it’s more than covered the losses with no more My Sunday Photo and 2 other favourite linkies, plus Stumbleupon and Google+ going. Over 100k views for 2019, over 500k in total for the time I’ve been blogging. Compared with some bloggers, that total is what they get in a year, but I’m pleased with that as I blog because I love doing it, alongside my full time job.
Social media is on the downward spiral across everywhere for me. Instagram in particular hasn’t been my favourite place as I’ve found I’ve not got any pleasure or progress back with putting in way too much time than I really have. So I’ve stopped using it regularly. I’ve not found time to write on my second blog, plus I haven’t danced so there’s been nothing new to inspire me. I have started adding a few more videos to my Youtube which I’m enjoying.
My top posts are the same as the previous year, but I’ve added another couple of posts that have jumped up the list. Next year I want to try and get more personal posts written. When your child is older and and doesn’t want to go on days out it makes it harder to find enough content. But I’m not short of other ideas around parenting tweens and tips.
Top posts this year were:
- Party bag ideas for 7 year olds
- No sew nativity costume
- Party bags for 8-10 year olds
- Star constellation tubes
- Cradle cap in older children
This year I’ve done fewer sponsored posts although we’ve done a select handful of reviews for companies. Most posts on here are places or products I’ve paid for and just want to share. I’m much more picky because my blog isn’t my day job so i don’t want to spend my precious evenings blogging, and writing about things I’m not interested in or aren’t worth my time.
This year I went to Blog On in Berkshire, and am booked to go again next year. It’s great for meeting up with blogging friends, to meet new friends and brands, as well as learning about blogging and other relevant skills. I also got rid of my FOMO from 2018 and went to the Flea Retreat in Wales. It was a lovely experience with fewer people attending, more in depth sessions and a more relaxing pace. A real retreat to get inspired and learn. I’m already booked in again for 2020.
In 2020, I’d love to grow my blog further, and stall the halt of my social media decline while improving my engagement. I’d like to take more photos again and get the big camera out more. I want to work through my old posts to improve and SEO them, and get a few more working harder. And I’m planning new sections for key topics on the blog, like kids in sport through tennis and swimming, as I’ve lots of information in those areas to help parents with children starting out. I might even manage to get my planned checklists and printables available by August as previously planned 2 year ago.
Another year’s gone by on the farm and not much has changed. Unfortunately our sprocker spaniel died after having broken her leg again, but there’s always other dogs around, and puppies to visit at different points over the year at various relatives.
N turned 8 and is great fun. We have lots of chats about anything and everything, he has a lot of opinions, and we laugh a lot. He doesn’t like going on days out much – unless we’ve got friends or cousins with us so he can do more fun things than just visiting ‘houses’.
There’s been a lot of tennis with matches up til the summer holidays, although there’s now no team. He’s won a couple of little local matchplays and broken his duck by finally beating one of his training friends. He’s loving playing still, but tournament play isn’t going too well. He needs to get team play again to get some confidence really.
His swimming has also come on well, with him moving up to level 6 after only 2 terms, and holding his own in the new class with children 1-2 school years ahead of him, and a lot taller.
My brother has spent a lot of time with N too – whether it’s going out for bike rides together, helping him with archery or playing tennis and badminton in the garden.
We’ve also been broadening N’s cooking skills. After he learnt to fry bacon on the gas stove while camping in the summer, he’s done bacon at home, fried an egg, made chilli con carne and macaroni. He’ll come and help cook, although he’s not fussed about baking.
School has been going well. N’s reading is non existent out of school, but he seems to be doing ok on the 2nd table in English, and he’s on the top table for maths. In comparison, I’ve managed to find time to read plenty – hitting my Goodreads challenge total by a few over.
Pocket money has started this year. We have an agreement of which chores N has to do to get his pocket money each week, and can top that up by extra chores. He’s better on the extra chores than his basics though, so it’s been quite cheap for me. He has managed to save up and buy himself an XBox – thankfully only Farming Simulator is played, and a few chats with his cousin.
I’ve always felt this year that we’ve not done much in the way of days out. But looking over my photo folders, we have still done a lot. We’ve just bunched them up rather than spread them through the year. Weekends were harder due to tennis matches, and then a poor wet autumn.
We’ve had a few mini breaks – to York, the Lake District and Blackpool, plus our usual camping trip with friends, this time back to Woolacombe. We went to Big Feastival for the first time, visited Drayton Manor and went to see School Of Rock.
In 2020, I’m sure we’ll be doing more trips, days out, and hopefully holidays, and hopefully I’ll be able to get N inspired to get out and about more often again. With my camera in tow!
I plan to continue blogging next year – what can I say, I like to chat. And it’s great to look back on.