Happy Wednesday, friends! I can’t believe that we are just days away from Christmas and the New Year! If I’m honest, this week has been sort of a blur around here for me as we get ready to travel, anticipate the very last minute packages arriving to be wrapped, get together with friends, and work our way through quite the to-do list.
Today will also be my last post here for 2017 (crazy, right?!). I’ve got some exciting things coming up in 2018, but I really want to take some time away to spend time with family, rest, and prepare our home well for baby #2. I’m also planning to spend some time behind the scenes here getting things ready for launch in the new year so be sure to let me know what you’d like to see on Live Well Play Together. (There’s a short reader survey at the bottom of this post that I’d love you to complete so I can have some feedback from you all!)
With all of that, I thought it would be fun to do a Year in Review of sorts for 2017. I feel like I have grown so much this year with the blog. I’ve learned a ton and met a lot of really wonderful bloggers both locally and around the country. I’m finding my feet and getting into a groove over here, which is really nice. Of course, I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t and hope to continue to get better at utilizing my time efficiently to be able to continue to keep you all up to date with our life, and provide fun content that is hopefully helpful and encouraging along the way.
So, let’s review, shall we?
2017 On the Blog
I love seeing the most popular posts this year. They are all different, but were all fun for me to write and share. The top five posts this year were:
- 20,000+ Pageviews to Live Well Play Together
- Admittedly many of these are from the last quarter as I’ve been working harder to promote content (and you all have been visiting more frequently and sharing – THANK YOU!)
- I’m hoping to continue to grow this in the new year, but as we wrap up the year, I am so thankful for each and every one of those views!
- Almost 3,000 comments
- And I’ve read every single one.
Milestones & Successes
I’ve also had several exciting opportunities and successes this year. Some of my favorites are:
- Meeting so many wonderful bloggers locally and around the country. I have really started to make some great connections with some excellent women and I am so incredibly grateful.
- Working with various brands and writing sponsored posts.
- I know, I know. Sponsored posts tend to get mixed reactions from readers. What I’ve learned though, is that you can accept sponsored work and right great posts that are still totally genuine and authentic. Remember this post for example about Shape Mags? We literally still play with them almost every day. In fact, they are currently set up on the coffee table as a zoo for all of Little’s jungle animals. We love them so much. I don’t plan on promoting here if I didn’t.
- Being a part of my first giveaway.
- I had the opportunity to participate in a fun giveaway to help celebrate my friend Shani’s two year blogging anniversary earlier this month. Remember what I said about meeting so many wonderful bloggers? Shani is one of them and you should totally check out her blog.
- This was so fun in fact, I’ve got a couple giveaways in the works already for the new year. If you are a new or expecting mama, or have friends that are, be sure to keep an eye out because there is some good stuff coming your way!
2017 On Instagram
I created my Instagram account back in January, kind of on a whim and kind of not – knowing that I wanted to get back into blogging. It’s been one of the best places for me to connect with other mamas and I’ve enjoyed sharing little snippets of our life there with you all.
Instagram can be a tough place for bloggers these days with ever changing algorithms, followers who unfollow shortly after, and so many different hashtags to keep up with. It can be easy to get frustrated and bogged down. Sure. I love to see it grow and appreciate every single follow and like and comment. But, I don’t have a perfectly curated feed (or life) and as much as I want to be really consistently posting, there are some weeks where it just doesn’t happen.
One rule of thumb that I try to practice when it comes to social media is to be the kind of follower that you want to have. That means, that I really do try to stay engaged with followers the best I can. We may not be growing by leaps and bounds, but I’m alright with where we are. I’ll keep sharing our life and I hope that you’ll keep right on following along.
Below is my “2017 Best Nine” and I think it does a pretty good job of capturing some of the year’s highlights!
2017 Life Updates
I’m not even sure where to begin on this one. I feel like I’ve learned so much this year – and still have a ton to learn. One is that being a blogger really can be and is a job. I mostly think of myself as a stay-at-home mom, but the more I work on the blog and see it grow, the more I am starting to view myself as a part-time work-at-home mom. That can be really tricky to be honest and I’m still working on finding the balance with it.
Of course the biggest thing for our family in 2017 is finding out that we are expecting a new team member in just a few short weeks. We are busy busy preparing for this sweet little one to join our family. While I’m sure it will be some level of chaos here for a while, we are so excited to see all that the future holds as we add this little nugget to our family. I am excited to see Little transition into his role as big brother and I know he’ll be awesome.
Looking Ahead + Reader Survey
Wow. It’s hard to even think about “looking ahead” to 2018. So many exciting things, but still feels like 2017 just flew by. I actually sat down recently and brainstormed a page full of new content ideas for you in the new year. BUT, before I publish them, I want to get some feedback from you all. I’ve created a short survey that I would LOVE you to fill out about things you want to see more/less of in the new year, what you like and don’t like about Live Well Play Together, etc. There are just 10 short questions and it really should take less than 5 minutes.
Your answers really mean a lot to me!
Fill out the short reader survey here! You don’t need to include your name and your answers are confidential! I SO appreciate your feedback!
I’m also planning to do a better job of sending out email updates on a regular basis (bi-weekly or monthly) so be sure to subscribe if you’d like to be added on that list.
And that’s a wrap, my friends! I hope you all have the best Christmas and that you also get some time to rest, relax, and recharge for the new year! Then come back and see me – we’ve got a fun year up ahead!