As mentioned in yesterday’s post I am currently in the middle of making my blog goals for the upcoming year, and part of that process means I need to take a good look at the year in review. To see if there was growth, to review any ventures started in 2014 and how they were received, as well as looking on the inside to see what is aligning with my heart and personal goals. This helps me move forward in a positive way, and helps determine where I see the future vision of the Sewing Rabbit.
And while I do have some fun things up my sleeve already planned for 2015, the long term goals are still coming into focus.
In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share what I discovered while looking back at 2014….of course in a pretty infographic kind of way. Ha! Is there any other way to share information now days? They just make my eyes happy.
A Year in Review.
(More thoughts at the end).
On Pageviews: Although there was overall growth in the page views by the end of the year, there was a major dip in numbers from March through August. I attribute this to the fact that my family was in the middle of buying a house and moving, so my heart / posts weren’t quite in the blog during that time. I admit I let a lot of things slide, and wasn’t giving it my all. I still feel guilt towards my team members for not being there for them as much as I would’ve liked to during these months. Although I have already apologized to them for this, I would like to try harder in truly building and being an awesome leader for my team. I believe it is any leaders job to try to grow, strengthen, and build up your team if you are going to take one on. Financially, my goal is to continue growing my pageviews so that this blog can be profitable on sidebar ad revenue alone.
On Demographics / Page Time: It is no surprise that the majority of my readers are English speaking. It will be interesting to see how the upcoming changes in European VAT tax structure will impact small businesses that sell eFiles in the coming year. As for Page Time, I actually think 2 minutes is pretty good. Considering I personally have the attention span of a gnat, clicking away in less than 20 seconds most of the time. One of my long term goals includes something that would require me to get that page time number up, so I need to come up with things that I think will grab people’s attention and make them want to stick around. The best way to do this is to figure out what grabs my own attention, what makes me personally stick around. I guess I need to start paying more attention to that :).
On Social Media Presence: Numbers up are always a good thing! But getting people to actually SEE your posts is another beast altogether. With both Facebook and Pinterest changing their algorithms constantly, and requiring people to ‘pay to play’ – they are both becoming slightly more irrelevant to me. Because after all, you need $$$ in order to utilize them properly now. And as any sewing blogger can tell you, good luck with that. I will probably need to start to focus my energy on growing my newsletter more as it is the only thing I have true control over. But even those are expensive….sigh. Only time will tell here.
On Industry Features: Thank you thank you thank you thank you. Honestly, when I get featured anywhere – from big companies to small bloggers – it just makes my day! It is like one of the biggest compliments a person can give you, to say they like what you do and show it off. Without these features, I wouldn’t be here because they help grow and establish you as a writer and sewing blogger. So THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! There were more companies I did not mention like Coats & Clark, Kix cereal, & Nancy Zieman off the top of my head. As well as websites like Craft Gossip, who are such champions of sewing bloggers everywhere. Thank you. One of these days maybe the big time Martha Stewart will come to recognize us as ‘professionals’. Until then, THANK YOU to all who do recognize and give credit to people working hard to put their work out there. It does not go unnoticed.
On Post Numbers: 226. Wow, not too shabby! Ha. Now you have to keep in mind that the Sewing Rabbit is comprised of a team of writers, so it is not just 1 person writing all of this. And I am oh so thankful for each and every writer that came on board, they are my backbone. I couldn’t keep this all up by myself! It’s just not possible for one person to do it all, especially when you look at the items NOT mentioned in this infographic. Like the paid sewing content creation or written articles I do for other companies and their websites. I simply could not keep up with my deadlines AND maintain a blog that puts out incredible content each week. That being said, the way I come up with the team for 2015 is evolving – so I look forward to finalizing those details and sharing them with you in January.
AND THREE STYLO MAGAZINES. Yesssssss. I mean, was there anything cooler than STYLO? I think not. Those magazines are a complete labor of love, that take so many months to plan and put together. They are like giving birth to something truly incredible, and after each one Celina and I step back and practically don’t talk for a month simply because we need to breath again before we can revisit it. Seriously, with the amount of work that goes into STYLO – I cannot believe we were able to actually release 3 of them in 1 year. That is pretty amazing if you ask me.
On Pattern Member: Ah my baby that had so much potential. This venture I am canceling. It was actually a really hard decision to make, because I can see such a bright future for it. Not only that, but I truly believe I was helping indie pattern designers either get their name out there or make a profit on patterns that had been released a year or so ago. As well as helping readers try patterns that they might not have otherwise purchased. But logistically it wasn’t quite working out the way I had hoped. I simply couldn’t keep up with the demands I had put on myself to run the project properly – by sewing each pattern every week and showcasing it. And technologically it was having problems, with some people being unable to download the patterns, etc. Add all of that to the fact that I would get complaint e-mails from people every week about not liking the patterns in that months bundle, or from people expecting 3 high fashion couture patterns for only $10, it was just becoming too much. And I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. It is time to throw in the towel. Which was so sad, as I was really excited when the project started.
But what I do LOVE are some of the friendships I have made because of it. Some of the ladies who signed up were just so awesome, and I am so thankful that I was able to get to know them better. And who knows, maybe Pattern Member will re-emerge someday with a better thought out plan as to how it can be run realistically. But for now, c’est la vie.
On Sewing Articles: Woo hoo!!! This is actually my biggest blog score for 2014, in my humble opinion. I started writing them when I realized my personal Facebook behavior. I was spending about an hour each day clicking on articles and reading them, mainly as a way to procrastinate – but I was loving it! So I thought to myself, why don’t I try to write some?! And the articles were born. It all started off with the funny Celebrity Blogger Quiz, not meant to be serious of course but all in good fun. And as it turned out, I really ENJOYED writing these articles. I have always loved graphics, which is probably part of the reason I redesign my blog every 6 months or so. I was an artist long before I was ever a seamstress. And I have always loved writing, so coming up with these articles has been an incredible outlet for my creatively. Whether I am writing one just for fun, or whether I am writing something more from the heart, I have loved them equally as much as I do sewing. The best part of it being where I get my inspiration for each article. It can come to me while I am driving my car, standing in the grocery check out lane, or even while I am talking to a friend. They will say something and BAM – I know exactly how I would spin it to make it sewing related.
In fact, I even started writing for Disney’s Babble this year…wait for it…NOT sewing related articles! But rather on Mommy and parenting related posts, and those are equally as fun to write. I love it!
So you can definitely expect more of these in the coming year…and my guess is, you will see it throughout blogland as well on other sewing blogs. People are tired of the constant DIY barrage, they need something to break the monotony. At least, I did. While the DIYs will always be my bread and butter, I just love making them so much, the articles to me are equally as fun. And just in case you were wondering, these articles are actually HARDER to write than a simple DIY post. Coming up with the graphics and everything takes about 3 times longer for me than just sewing and photographing a DIY project. But perhaps that is just the learning curve talking.
My Top Posts:
- Running Belt DIY – this post was actually written by the incredible Erin of Sewbon, who was a writer for the Sewing Rabbit in 2013. I am not gonna lie, when she first pitched the idea I was like ‘huh?’…I didn’t get it. But I let her run with it, which I usually do because I think each team member should let their personality shine. And I am so thankful I did, it is still one of my top pinned posts. Thank you Erin!!! She continues to put out incredible work on her blog, and was recently filmed for an episode of Sew it All TV which will air in April of 2015.
- Easy Baby Pants – I am still shocked at the success of this post. I mean, there isn’t even a DIY attached to it. But it does include a round up of baby pants at the bottom, with one of them linking to a post that would give you the same adorable result. I am going to attribute its success to the cutest photo ever of my son…which I snapped without much thought in front of a laundry room door. I mean, really? I work so hard on so many posts only to hear crickets, and the photo I snap of my son in front of a laundry room door goes viral. Go figure. This post is also from 2013.
- 10 Sewing Tips that Changed my Life – the inspiration for this article actually came to me while I was standing in line at Home Depot. There was a magazine cover staring at me with Matthew McConaughey on it, and the ’10 things that changed his life’. And I started thinking, what are the 10 sewing things that changed my life when I learned them? The article was born. What skyrocketed this article into superstar proportions was when a couple of ‘Pinners’ with millions of followers happened to pin them. It was suddenly everywhere. Thank you! I love this article because I feel like it really helps people – giving them good, practical tips that will improve their sewing in a common sense way. Things like that, I love.
- 10 Super Cool Sewing Inventions – this post was inspired by a Facebook post I saw on The Daily Seam. (BTW – if you aren’t following that FB page you are missing out). I saw this incredible sewing machine invention that changed the color of the thread. I mean, it was COOL. It got me thinking, what other cool sewing inventions or concepts are out there? After doing some research, the article was born. What propelled it into mass social media reach was a feature on the Threads Magazine Facebook page, that was awesome and I was so thankful! I mean, how cool is that? It was featured on Threads. Kind of like a dream come true.
- Elsa Costume DIY – ah yes, my Elsa costume. Not something I would’ve typically done for my site – this dress was actually a creation I made for the DIY Network. They commission me each year to come up with Halloween costumes in the early Summer. And all of my projects for them need to be beginner-sewer friendly. In fact, I try to make them as no-sew as possible! After seeing Frozen, I knew they simply needed these princesses costumes. As it turns out, their legal team decided these costumes were unable to be used. So they ended up here, at the Sewing Rabbit. The reason they were a hit? Not because they were from the movie Frozen, but I believe because of the timing of my release! I released these posts long before the Halloween season, which gave people time to see it. Loads of Frozen costume DIYs have been released since, many much prettier and for the more experienced seamstress. So my guess is these costumes will not have the same numbers next year. But for this year, the Anna & Elsa costume DIYs were a hit!
- No-Sew Projects – My biggest shocker on the list coming in at number 6. This post saw a resurgence this year, and I haven’t been able to figure out why. Sure, it is an awesome round up of no-sew projects with beautiful photos. But usually I can pinpoint a reason to where traffic is coming from, I have been unable to do so with this one. But it is an awesome post that you should check out, if you haven’t seen it yet. Because I am always amazed at what people can create, without sewing a single stitch!
And there you have it.
2014 – a Year in Review.
Was this interesting to you? I would be curious to hear…