The honest truth about my blogging journey and my 2017 goals

To tell you the truth, my 2016 year in blogging has been hard.  I haven’t posted as often as I wanted, I spent a lot of time trying things left and center without a strategy, I saw the traffic stats go down to the point that I actually ended the year with less views than in 2015!

Am I really helping you?

It’s sometimes very difficult to know whether all the work that I put into the blog is worth it. For instance, I spent a lot of time working on the redesign in 2016.  First with one designer in the spring which didn’t work out and then thankfully with the wonderful Myriam, from the Stylish blog, who helped me create this beautifully simplified presence.

However, I got barely any feedback from my readers about it.  The whole point was to making it easier for stylish travellers to quickly find places but I still don’t know if that works. Sure I had some friends on Facebook saying it looked beautiful but that was it.  Nobody on my email list replied either.

It’s going to get a bit more personal around here

I wondered if the reason why I didn’t have any response was because people don’t see the person behind the blog, they don’t see Stéphanie, the full time working mum who loves researching beautiful places and love even more sharing it with others.  The blog  is meant to be a resource to help people find their next gorgeous holiday accommodation, that’s why I created it, to help my friends who always asked for my recommendation.  But as Monica, in her Blogger course, pointed very well: People like to follow recommendations by People they know, they won’t follow an information site.

My blogging goals for 2017

So in that spirit, I will transparently tell you what I intend to do this year.

  • Be more personal:  I am doing this today and I will on time to time write more about me and this blogging/online creative journey I am on.  I will keep Mr Big and Mademoiselle’s profile very low key though as it’s not their choice to be on the web.
  • Post consistently: OK, this one is a biggie. It’s been my goal in 2015 and I failed miserably.  So this year, my goal is to blog twice a week. The new design is definitely helping me blog more quickly so fingers crossed!
  • Try monetisation methods:  hosting, scheduling tools, security plugins etc.. end up being a significant budget every month. I will try a few techniques to get a bit of cash back into the pot while still providing value to you.  The two main ones I’m focusing on are affiliates and small travel guides.  So from now on, when you see an asterisk next to a link,that means it’s an affiliate link.  In practice, it means that if you click on the link and end up buying a product/booking a place through this link, I may receive a small commission.  I will always add a disclosure at the end of the post as well.  The other monetisation method that I may try is doing a few promotions around my Personal Travel Plan service .
  • Finish up tasks: I have been guilty of drafting too many posts and leaving them as such.  I had a goal of blogging about 30 places before the end of 2016.  I actually completed it on January 6 with the 10 ski hotels and the 20 stylish rentals posts.  I still have some draft posts that I will combine into more round-up lists in the next few weeks.
  • Implement courses: I love learning and God knows that you can buy tons of blogging resources and courses.  There are a few by Regina that I really want to finish so that I can be really efficient. I promised myself I would not buy any new course until I have finished all my already purchased courses!
  • Focus on Instagram and Pinterest: clearly the two main traffic drivers to the blog but also where my community hangs out the most. Instagram in particular is full of creative and inspiring people and fellow travel fans.  I found Twitter to not be relevant and Facebook is really a “pay to play” game now so Il’l see later on if I want to invest into Facebook ad to make it worthwhile.

I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this.  In any case, it feels good to write it down and to set this as a kind of accountability list for the year as well.

What are your goals for 2017? 

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4 Comments

  1. Hello my sister!
    I really enjoy reading your blog and it’s very helpfull!
    By the way I need your help for next summer. We would like to go back to Sicily but in the north-east part of it (ie Taormina, Catane, Etna, maye be Lipari).
    Do you have any place to recomand?
    Thank you very much
    love
    Your little sister
    PS you did not answer me regarding the summer rental

  2. Hello Stephanie,

    That is very interesting and I noticed the same phenomenon on quite a few blogs I read recently. I am referring to one of them in my last blog post (https://softdeco.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/that-its-good-to-be-natural/), and here is the direct link to the article I meant -see #4: http://karinecandicekong.com/2016/11/all-the-women-in-me-are-tired/
    Perhaps people tend to play Pokemon and watch TV series more often rather than visiting blogs? Perhaps there are too many blogs? Perhaps we expect too much of our blogs and visitors? …
    I like your posts and sometimes go for a check when I am searching for nice holidays places. Please keep going! 🙂

    All my best,
    Cécile

    • Chère Cécile,

      thank you very much for your comment and your article. I think you are right about expecting too much from our blog. In my case, I think I was trying to do “the thing to please my reader” and therefore expected too much return. I will be much more liberated about it this year! Reading your post and Karine’s article made me feel much better as it shows that I’m not alone. Thank you very much for coming back her on time to time! Will go follow your blog too!

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