The Blissful Balance 2015 Blog Breakdown

Boy, what a journey.

I hate to say this, but I’m not really sure where to start. So much has happened this year, and although it has been a wonderful year of growth, experience, learning, personally and professionally, I am super excited to ring in 2016. The year I’ve had is only representative of the potential that awaits, and I cannot wait to find out what’s in store next year.

I am so proud to say that.

2014 was not my year. I went through some medical issues that put a huge damper on my last semester at school (last semester physically at school), went off to a senior internship that I ended up absolutely hating for my final college semester, transitioned to my first full-time job that I hated even more, which resulted in what I now realize was a small bout of depression, which of course put a strain on my relationships with my family and Christian. It was rough, but thank God for my family and Christian because they stuck by me while I was a major Debbie Downer and helped lift me up.

During that time, I even quit blogging. 

That’s right. I felt that blogging was bringing me more stress than joy while I was trying to maintain it and my full-time job. I hadn’t yet learned the balancing act that I now preach, and I thought that since it was stressing me out, and I wasn’t seeing growth, that I should just quit.

Again, thank God for my family. They couldn’t believe that I was quitting, and told me to just keep going. So, I got the pity party out of my system for 2 months, and picked it back up.

What does this all of this have to do with 2015 and the new year? Because at this time in 2014, I was saying that I could not wait for the year to end, and that I could not wait for 2015 because I hated the year that I’d had. Now, I can’t wait for the new year because I am excited to see how much I, my blog, brand, job and relationships flourish, not because I’m ready for 2015 to end.

With all of that being said, let’s take a look into the TBB microscope.

The Blissful Balance

Growth in numbers

I really never thought I would be sharing anything regarding my blog analytics with you all. In my eyes, it’s sort of like sharing your income, which I have to admit I am uncomfortable with. Mainly because I am not at all where I want to be, but I want to share with you the result of hard work, planning, dedication, and community.

After I flipped the switch in perspective from hobby to business, and treated my blog as such, I saw growth. Mix that with a new DSLR, better graphics, a new logo and consistent branding (Georgie made my logo!), and overall better content, and you’re on your way to reach your goals.

In January 2015, my pageviews and unique visitors were in the triple digits. Each of these has increased by 50,000 and 10,000 respectively since then, most of which happened in the last few months.

I’ve also seen growth in my Instagram, which is the main social media platform that I put energy into. It has grown by about 5,000 followers in the last 3-4 months or so.

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I am not sharing this information with you to brag, but I do find that it helps to understand the methods others took to get to where they are now, and I hope this information can help you in some way.

building my tribe

While I think we all understand that hard work is a necessity to progress and success, in addition to the items I listed off earlier, there is something else that completely transformed my blogging experience, and that’s community.

Bloggers Gonna Blog

If you read this post, you understand the meaning behind this hashtag. ‘BGB‘ or ‘Bloggers Gonna Blog’ is a wonderful blogging community that has completely changed my perspective and, again, my experience. I have connected with some ridiculously smart, kind, boss chicks that I am so grateful for! It has also helped me grow my blog as I soak up valuable information that we share with each other on a daily basis.

This isn’t just about blog growth, however. This group seriously has a special place in my heart. I have made legitimate friends, and it has been, hands down, the most rewarding part of the process. I always say, monetization is everyones goal with blogging, but if I stopped blogging tomorrow, the most important thing I would walk away with would be these ladies. Inspirational doesn’t begin to describe them.

Bloggers Gonna Blog

Photo by Anthony Ruiz.

Georgie (right) and I have some big plans for this wonderful group come 2016, and we are anxious with excitement. More on how this group came to be is on its way!

 

Top Recipes of the year 

Okay, I’m sure you’re tired of the blog talk. Let’s get down to what was hot this year. Here are the top ten The Blissful Balance recipes of 2015!

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Simple Christmas Sangria

Simple Christmas Sangria

Protein Pumpkin Donuts

Protein Pumpkin Donuts

Mozzarella Stuffed Pork and Turkey Meatballs

Mozzarella-Stuffed Pork and Turkey Meatballs

Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal

Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies

Crescent Waffles

Crescent Waffles

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

These gooey, chewy, cranberry chocolate energy balls are your next pre-workout energy boost, or the answer to your late night sweet tooth craving.

4-Ingredient Cranberry Chocolate Energy Balls

4-Ingredient Ove-Baked Nutella S'Mores

4-Ingredient Baked Nutella S’Mores

Guest posts

I love switching things up and featuring my friends and fellow bloggers on TBB to showcase their writing and spread the awesomeness they have to offer you. Here is what was shared in 2015:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Oats

Photo via Rachel Mansfield

  1. Let’s Talk Oats by Rachel Mansfield
  2. The Meaning of ‘Balance’ by Georgie Morley
  3. 67 Countries & Counting: Perri Rothenberg’s Take on Travel & Foreign Cuisine
  4. What I’ve Learned from Moving Overseas by Perri Rothenberg
  5. 8 Tips for the Perfect Brand Pitch by Georgie Morley

 

Top lifestyle posts

The majority of The Blissful Balance thus far has been food-focused, but what you may not know is that I absolutely love sharing tidbits of travel, entertaining, and general lifestyle. I don’t share many of these posts, but here are the ones you loved from 2015:Kate Spade Bridal Shower

  1. Brunch & Bubbly: A Kate Spade-Inspired Bridal Shower
  2. My Battle with Balance
  3. 4 Lessons Running Has Taught Me
  4. Why I Don’t Count Calories
  5. 5 Things to Do in Banff National Park

 

Personal highlights

Like I said, it’s been a pretty great year. A complete 180 from last year. So, even though I often feel awkward and uncomfortable talking about myself, I want to share with you some personal highlights and growth points of the year.

best of the Bay 2015

I won Best of the Bay 2015 Best Food Blogger in Tampa! You can read more about this award here.

Tampa Bay Wedding

My sister got married, and I was an MOH for the first time in my life. Read all about the wedding here!

Banff National Park - Lake Louise

Charleston

I went to some pretty cool places, like Banff National Park and Charleston, South Carolina!

Thank you to everyone who has been by my side supporting and encouraging me this year. It means more than you’ll ever know.

2016, I’m ready to make you my bitch.

Comments

  1. says

    This was one of my favorite reads! Thanks for sharing about a low so we could see that it wasn’t always easy. Your blog is just amazing and I’m so happy you’ve seen so much success and I know you’re not slowing down in the new year. The best part is that you’ve invested in and helped so many people and I know I am very grateful for the community you’ve helped build!
    Margaret @ youngandrungry recently posted…Highlights of 2015 + Maybe a Manifestation BoardMy Profile

  2. says

    Christina!! So many wonderful things you accomplished this year. I didn’t realize how crappy 2014 was for you and I’m inspired that you managed to push yourself through the tough times. Reading this post inspires me to do more with my blog and to step up my game when it comes to blog growth. Can’t wait for next year!
    Beverley @ Sweaty & Fit recently posted…Sweaty and Fit 2015 RECAPPEDMy Profile

  3. says

    It’s so exciting as a reader to see and read about your growth and development. I know bigger and more exciting things await for you and Blissful Balance in the next year.

  4. says

    What a crazy amazing year. So so so so so so excited for 2016 and I’m so so so lucky that 2015 brought us together. Your photography is gorgeous and the brand and blog you’ve created is something special. I know this is just the beginning.

  5. says

    Hi Christina! I LOVE to hear that you had a great year, and you were even more grateful for all of the good things, because the year before that wasn’t easy for you. Growth! It’s a beautiful thing! As far as your blog — it’s awesome, and I’m happy to have found it this year — photos are on point. Also totally excited to be involved in BGB with you and the others! Here’s to a great 2016! Keep rocking!
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…A look at life and blogging in 2015My Profile

  6. says

    You go girl! So so happy to hear that you kicked lots of ass in 2015 (it shows!) and there’s nothing stopping you in 2016! Keep up the great work. You and all the BGB ladies are such an inspiration – thanks for dropping all of the best knowledge and community bombs! <3

  7. says

    This is so, SO inspiring to read. I look up to you and all the ladies in BGB as blog role models, so I love your transparency in this post. I just assumed (stupidly!) that you just always had this kick-butt blog and tons of followers, so it’s really reassuring to know that just a year ago you had similar numbers to me! Gives me a lot of hope and more determination to keep putting in hard work :) Here’s to 2016!!
    Gretchen | Gretchruns recently posted…#RunningWhole30 Week 1 : Meal PlanMy Profile

    • says

      Aw thank you so much Gretchen. There are many factors that go into progress, but BGB has definitely been a huge key to growth (and like I said, I’ve made genuine connections and relationships). Thanks so much for being a part of our community <3 happy new year! xo

  8. says

    WHAT A YEAR!!! Or more like WHAT A LIFE!!! You are truly living the dream, girl! I am so happy you were able to take your blog full time and truly make it something you love. It shows in every thing you write and correct. There is no one more deserving of the success you’ve had and I can’t wait to see where 2016 takes you!!

    • says

      Thanks so much for your kind words Kaila!! I actually work full time and blog on the side ha the goal is definitely to blog full time though!! Hopefully on my way there!! 😀 Happy new year and I can’t wait to see how far 2016 takes YOU!

  9. says

    Thank you SO much for helping start this community. I am slowly working my around the blogs and it’s so refreshing to connect with like minded bloggers and also read all y’alls blogs for inspirations. Here’s to 2016!
    Kaitlin recently posted…Looking Back at 2015My Profile

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