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What a year it has been! This was the year I decided to really go hard and all out on my blog. I decided to re-invest a chunk of money back into the blog as I made it. 2016 was my first year to make a little money, but I was still so new to turning this hobby into something bigger so I wasn’t really sure I could make it happen in 2017. But 2017 has proven itself to be the year things happen, and I contribute it all to one thing. I made the decision that if 2017 didn’t show some real progress I would stop blogging. Well, I love blogging so I wouldn’t quit, but I would have to go a cheaper route. But, I’m sticking around! Because of all my great friends that have encouraged me by sharing my posts, commenting, and just stopping in to read what I have to say. You have wowed me with your support and I plan to show my gratitude by bringing you more great content in 2018! THANK YOU!

In 2016 I was stoked that I had readers, that I had new friends I don’t even know subscribe to my emails, people liking my Facebook page…. but 2017 brought on even more people to this journey. I started off this year doing some income reports then I realized a problem with those…. I work with brands and don’t think it is really respectful of their business to share how much they pay for my services. I do plan to move back to those eventually, but not until I am consistently working with a larger group.

In 2017 I began giving my book away, which caused my book income to  be slashed. I was determined to replace that income in other ways. I placed ads on my site, which has added income that easily competes with the book sales income.  This year I also did a few posts for brands in exchange for products. Those were great learning experiences and lots of fun. The influx of other brands requesting similar work has been flattering, but I have had to decline many offers as I don’t feel like the align with what you are interested in reading.

This year I have really gotten active on Pinterest. If you aren’t following me yet, I would love to see you over there. At the beginning of the year I rarely used Pinterest for the blog, so when I started I was blown away with the increase in traffic. I started using Tailwind scheduling and Tailwind Tribes and have seen a growth in traffic of well over 350%!!  I was able to get on board early and have been grandfathered into a much lower price point this year, but will absolutely be keeping this next year even with the increase of price. One of my main goals next year is to learn more about Pinterest and get even better with it as I am sure this is a great spot to grow my circle of friends that are on this ride with me.

My income has also grown significantly this year and especially in the last few months. Some months are not as flashy as others, but I am understanding this is to be expected so I just continue with putting out great content and contacting brands for campaigns (jobs) as they fit with what I think you want to hear. This year my income has grown 150% (over 800% if you were to count the free products I have received)! I hope to continue the same or even better growth next year.

Next year my goals include getting more people to subscribe to my emails. It’s nice to have people that read and support the blog so faithfully, but feels like a much deeper relationship to have people give me their email address so that they don’t miss any posts. So I hope to continue growing those relationships.

I have been able to learn and grow so much this year in regards to the blog and all that goes into it. Next year I am sure to learn even more and look forward to implementing it all and bringing you even better content in 2018.

At the beginning of the year I had planned to grow my Instagram significantly, but that didn’t work out. Despite the amount of time I spent there I wasn’t really seeing any more or less interaction on the blog, so I decided my goals there needed to change. I mean, don’t get me wrong… I love Instastories and playing with all the features there! So I promise you will still see me there.

My goals for 2018:

Pinterest: grow impression numbers (follower numbers don’t really matter as much as impression numbers over there anymore). I want to double my current 200K impressions a month.

Instagram: I will continue using it whenever the urge hits, but no real goals there.

Tailwind Tribes: I would love for my Family Travel group to continue growing (so if you are a family travel blogger, please let me know if you would like to join).
Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite
Facebook: I would love to see my Facebook page grow to 500 next year. If you haven’t already joined me there, please do!!

Twitter: Twitter is a great spot to have conversations with other bloggers and to reach out to brands. I am happy to say my Twitter friend circle has grown to over 21,000, so I don’t really have any plans to grow it more.

From Hobby to Steady Income: My 2017 Blog Growth

The blog itself: I would love to grow my views to 20K a month which really feels like it can happen with the current growth I am seeing. And I promise y’all will hear me shouting and I will tell you when it happens.  I also want to grow my affiliate income to be my largest income producer and I think that will happen in the next few months.  I have a couple of brands I am pursuing, and while I don’t feel like I am on their radar yet.. I am in this for the long haul so I have the patience.

I don’t want you to think it has been all glitter and rainbows over here. I have cried, I have gotten angry, I have threatened to quit more times than I would like to admit. I have had web hosting problems, web site problems, I have even been called “JUST a mommy blog”!  It certainly isn’t always an easy road, but it is an exciting one. I am thankful for each of you and all of your support!

If starting a blog interests you, I wrote a post that can help get you started and I would love to help you if I can. 

Next week I want to tell you about the most popular blog posts of the year.

Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss all the awesome things I have coming up to close out 2017! (And I will send you my book and printable packing list for free.)

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From Hobby to Steady Income: My 2017 Blog Growth