As 2015 comes to a close, I like to take this time to do a little inventory of the past year. See what is working, what I personally feel good about, and strategize about how I want to move forward. One of the obvious ways to do this is to take a look at statistics, demographics, and analytics. And then combine these numbers with the more personal, heartfelt goals and objectives list.
*Beware, unless you like knitty gritty numbers – top blog posts round ups, and personal growth thoughts….this is a LONG one. Feel free to browse through and only read the points you are interested in :).
From a numbers perspective, here was the Sewing Rabbit’s year in review.
We almost doubled our traffic from 2014 to 2015! And while I did not exactly hit my lofty goal that I set for myself for this year, I will still say that is a job well done. I could not have done it without my incredible team…they are truly rock stars and I love them so much!!! Between the ladies that stand next to me, and the friends I have made in the blogging world that help spread / share / like / comment / etc. – we have grown leaps and bounds this year. Thank you so much!!!
Top 10 Blog Posts
- How to ice dye
- 10 sewing tips that changed my life
- 21 things to make with tulle besides tutus
- 10 best ugly Christmas sweaters
- Running belt DIY
- How to take in a jeans waist
- End wavy knit seam syndrome
- 10 modern sewing patterns that flatter women
- Fabric shops you oughta know
- Side button sweater DIY
Why is it important to know your top blog posts?
Assuming your wrote these posts because they are topics you enjoy discussing, or items you enjoy creating, then these posts are a good indicator for what the public responds to. As well as what posts do well, and will generate more traffic. Keeping that in mind as you continue to generate blog content will help guide you in the right direction for blog growth.
Top 9 Instagram Photos
- Pleated Mini Skirt DIY
- Sewing Rabbit visits London dance video
- Mother daughter free shorts pattern
- Dirndl & lederhosen DIY
- High waist bikini and halter DIY
- Tissue paper poms and thoughts on birthday party decor
- Cowl neck sweatshirt free pattern
- How to take your embroidery to the next level, post for DMC Commonthread
- Kids artwork pillows
Why is it important to know your top Instagram photos?
Because Instagram is a whole other beast. I am not kidding. Unless you have cultivated a relationship with your readers to the point where they know and feel like they are a part of your family, your IG followers generally do not want to see pics of your kids, personal life, etc. They want to see about 90% work, 10% personal. And even those work photos should be broken up, like 50% finished product, 25% technique to in process photos, 10% cool tips, 10% praise other people or recognition, 5% inspiration, etc. I am just throwing out those percentages by the way – I truly have no idea. I stink at IG – but it is a strategic part of every business and if you want to be good at it – you need to take stock and know what works to best know how to move forward. Picture quality counts, because it is the only thing people see when they are scrolling. And with a less than 2 second scroll rate…you have 2 seconds to impress enough for a double click heart eye emoji.
Top 9 Facebook Posts
It is almost impossible to truly tell your top Facebook posts on a FB page, Facebook insights only go back so far. Even as I am typing this, I am realizing that my top posts are wrong as I missed a photo that would’ve been number 5 or 6 on this list. So take this top 9 with a boulder of salt.
By scrolling through my photo album feed, and looking at re-share numbers alone – here is my estimation. (None of these were promoted or ‘boosted’ with payment).
- Monster laundry bags – 686 shares
- 21 Things to make with tulle, besides tutus – 648 shares
- Fabracadabra – 636 shares
- Quilted fairy wings – 587 shares
- RV fabric shop – 387 shares
- 21 Animals to make with fat quarters – 362 shares
- Ho Ho Sew ornament – 338 shares
- Cheater piping method – 135 shares
- Sewing is my Superpower meme – 117 shares
Why is it important to know your top Facebook posts?
With Facebook monitoring your posts with their secret algorithm, it is darn near impossible to crack the code and figure out what posts will get engagement, and which posts Facebook will show your followers. Facebook is a business, and they want you to PAY. By tracking what posts do well – you can try to gear your future posts with your own algorithm of what posts work / and what posts do not. But be warned…it is kind of like banging your head against a wall.
If you haven’t noticed…all 3 social media sharing outlets had different posts that did well. A few were cross-over stars, but by knowing your social media outlets and where to share what posts – you will have a greater grasp and command of your audience and engagement.
Do as I say, not as I do.
Lastly, my personal fave…Pinterest
Why is Pinterest my personal favorite? Because 33% of my annual traffic is driven from Pinterest. That is 1/3 of all traffic to my site. Pinterest alone sent 931,352 people to the Sewing Rabbit alone in 2016, as of December 27th.
Why do I love Pinterest? Outside of my personal reasons for browsing gorgeous photos and inspiration…they help a sister out.
If you didn’t already know this, Pinterest allows you to check out your analytics. See that red arrow below? That brings up your Pinterest page analytics overview. It’s kind of a trip if you haven’t checked them out before.
Here is the Sewing Rabbit’s Pinterest page analytics for the past 30 days.
How can you monitor your Pinterest pins?
From the analytics overview go to activity -> then skip around between impressions, repins, etc. This will allow you to see which pins are doing good, as well as what Pinterest boards you have that are rocking it out.
How to find out your top Pinterest pins?
From the analytics overview go to Your Pinterest Profile ‘more’ -> click ‘All-time’. Now get ready to have your mind BLOWN. You just have no idea how some of these pins grew legs and ran. Click around and have fun with it on your own Pinterest analytics page!
Now let’s all give one big hearty THANK YOU to Pinterest for their awesomeness to DIY bloggers. We love you!
Ok, now that we got the numbers down…Here is the hard part. Your personal goals and objectives. This is the part I am still working on. I believe everyone should take a good inventory of their year and make goals moving forward. Without goals, life and work can become rather boring. I created a spreadsheet to help get started, which I thought might help some of you as well.
So while I do already know some goals for 2016, I am still working on the priorities and main objectives.
Some high level thoughts on the matter…
- I want to connect more locally within my neighborhood and community, and have already set plans into place to do exactly that. Social media is great and all, but a bit of a brain drain. I want things to be more REAL in the coming year.
- My personal growth for 2015 came in ‘letting go’. I was able to move on, and be okay with not doing everything. Of not posting to Social Media every day, or trying to check all of the boxes in order to keep up with the ‘blog standards’ that people try to tell you that you ‘need’. I am only one person, and I can only do so much while staying sane. And I am ok with that. Some things I just had to let GO of. I was also able to let go of some contracts that were not beneficial to the bottom line, as hard as it was. Lastly, I stopped trying so hard to find the perfect photoshoot spots. I am not a professional photographer, nor is that my goal. My front porch was just fine, unless something else worked itself out. And I am ok with that, I let it GO. (Thanks Elsa).
- Next year, I will stop jumping before I look where I am going. I always thought that was a good thing, until I got myself neck-deep a few times this year and had to follow through with my agreed upon commitments. After all, I am a firm believer in letting your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’. So it might be good to think through those commitments prior to saying ‘yes’.
- I am still debating on having a sewing rabbit team next year. I have loved the personal connections made over the last 3 years with these women, but until I know I can devote myself to my team, it isn’t fair to them or me. Plus, I just think the act of having a blog ‘team’ of contributors may be over. Unless you are a large enough company that can pay talented people what thy deserve (and yes, we ALL deserve to get paid WELL for our work). But even with a good paycheck, I will be the first to tell you – it is hard working for anyone else in this manner. I get it, trust me – I totally get it.
- In the next year I want to rest more. Ha, I probably should’t be writing this post while I am tired. But still. This constant life of being busy is not going to win me any prizes, in fact I have a sneaking suspicion that I will regret it someday. So…yeah. To try to slow down, even if that goes against everything in my nature.
As for my goals for next year, and what I want…that’s the part I am still figuring out.
Phew…that was one word heavy post.
I would love to hear some of your thoughts moving forward.
Have you set personal goals for yourself that you are willing to share?
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
I will see you back here in 2016 :).