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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
Photo via Rachel Mansfield.
Let’s Talk Oats by Rachel Mansfield
The Meaning of ‘Balance’ by Georgie Morley
67 Countries & Counting: Perri Rothenberg’s Take on Travel & Foreign Cuisine
What I’ve Learned from Moving Overseas by Perri Rothenberg
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:
Brunch & Bubbly: A Kate Spade-Inspired Bridal Shower
4 Lessons Running Has Taught Me
Why I Don’t Count Calories
5 Things to Do in Banff National Park
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.
I won Best of the Bay 2015 Best Food Blogger in Tampa! You can read more about this award here.
My sister got married, and I was an MOH for the first time in my life. Read all about the wedding here!
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.