2016 Blogging Year In Review

I'm giving a little bit of a behind-the-scenes look at the last year of the business side of Lamberts Lately today!

Once again, I've been blown away by the growth that Lamberts Lately has seen in the past year. When I started this blog almost 8 years ago, I had no idea what it would become one day. A little fun experiment in recording our memories has turned into a full-time business for me. I never saw this coming, but I absolutely wouldn't have it any other way!

One of these days, I'm going to get brave enough to start sharing income reports. I love reading them on other blogs…they provide such amazing inspiration for those that are looking to grow their blog into a revenue stream. But, I haven't quite got the guts to do it yet. I've disclosed it before though and I'll say it again…blogging has more than replaced my full-time teaching income at this point. More importantly, I get to do something I really, truly love (I'm such a nerd about it…I love growing this blog into a thriving business!) and I have the flexibility to be home with my babies every day. Don't get me wrong – blogging professionally is work (much more work than it looks like on the outside), but it's so amazing to get to pour your heart and soul into something that you love. I'm so lucky to get the chance to do it!

Ok, on to the numbers for this year. (If you want to see my stats from last year, check out this post.)

I had a little bit of a snafu with Google Analytics in September, so these pageviews in this graphic are skewed a little high. Nevertheless, we still saw awesome growth in 2016. In comparison, here's what 2015 looked like…

I've seen more of a sustained growth in 2016, as opposed to a 4th quarter explosion in 2015 (thanks to my stocking stuffer posts and the huge popularity of my cleaning schedule post from June of 2015). If you take out the page view glitch from September, I estimated I was at about 1.56 million views for 2016. That's a 10% growth over last year. And I earned about 30% more than in 2015, thanks in a large part to great book launches in June and December. I'm so happy with these stats – a lot of work has gone into this growth, and it's amazing to see the results of your efforts!

The growth I'm most proud of this year is in my email list. For years, I heard from blogger after blogger that the way to really engage readers and maintain long-term relationships with what might be one-time visitors is to grow your email list. I never did it…it was always on the back burner, something I said I would do eventually. Well, early this year, I finally buckled down and really started pushing it.

And now, I wish I had done it years ago!

Email has become by far, no question the #1 way I promote my blog. I send out a weekly newsletter through my email list, host email courses and follow-up emails when somebody signs up through a form on my site, and send out any news or special offers about my products via email. Not only does it result in a lot of my product sales, but I get many visits to posts (both old and new) via my email list. Plus, I don't have to jump through the thousand hoops that social media platforms often impose to reach my readers!

You can see the growth of my email list in 2016 above. August-September looks kind of funky…that's where I cleaned out a bunch of inactive users (no sense in paying for a spot for a reader that never reads your content!). At the end of this year, I'm at almost 9,000 readers on this list. I love getting to interact with readers this way and see what they're interested in reading!
If you're interested in signing up for my email list to see what I mean, you can click here. And, for those bloggers out there, I'm currently using Convertkit (affiliate link) and couldn't be happier with it! It has really ramped up my ability to track what forms are popular on my site, offer targeted courses (that actually deliver when they say they will), and follow-up on the sign-ups through my site.

Some of you might have noticed a little bit of a switch in the content of the blog this year. It's gone from a family journal to more of a homemaking resource. This isn't by accident – it's a decision I debated for a long time. Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to keep our family a little bit more private. I read a post from Erin Carroll a few years ago, and that message has always really stuck with me. Ultimately, at a certain point, I think that my babies' stories aren't my stories to tell anymore. Emmie is already at that age and Jackson will be there very soon.

I'm not saying I won't mention our family or our personal stories on the blog anymore. I think that's part of the charm of following along with a blog – hearing the occasional personal anecdote from the families that are inspiring the content of the blog. But, I made a personal decision that I think every blogger has to make at a certain point. And that decision was to, for the most part, keep our private lives private. So far, the transition has gone wonderfully. I hope to keep up the current combination of occasional family stories and resources I'm posting right now, because it's a mix I'm really comfortable with and that seems to resonate with readers perfectly!

Let's get on to the top posts of the year. These are in ascending order, according to Google Analytics:

#16 101 Ideas for a Toddler Easter Basket – first published March 2014 (23,000 visits)

#15 The Ultimate Blog Planning Notebook – first published February 2014 (23,000 visits)

#14 5 Ways to a Clean House: New Cleaning Schedules! – first published November 2012 (25,000 visits)

#13 My Favorite Font Combinations – first published June 2015 (28,000 visits)

#12 Freezer Meal Boot Camp – first published January 2013 (28,000 visits)

#11 25 Days of Baby’s First Christmas – first published November 2012 (31,000 visits)

#10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Birthday Party – first published March 2014 (32,000 visits)

#9 20 Ways to Reduce Your Utility Bill – first published August 2013 (37,000 visits)

#8 101 Unique Stocking Stuffers for Women – first published November 2014 (40,000 visits)

#7 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Baby’s First Year – November 2012 (42,000 visits)

#6 101 Ideas for Baby’s First Easter Basket – first published March 2013 (48,000 visits)

#5 101 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Men – first published November 2015 (49,000 visits)

#4 Ten Quick and Easy Toddler Lunch Ideas – first published August 2014 (52,000 visits)

#3 101 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for a Toddler – first published November 2013 (70,000 visits)

#2 Peanut Butter Cup Earthquake Cake – first published July 2016 (124,000 visits)

#1 How I Keep My Home Looking Professionally Cleaned (in under an hour a day) – first published June 2015 (409,000 visits)

If you want to see what's popular on the blog right now, you can click here to see what people are pinning from Lamberts Lately!

It's been another super-productive, exciting, fun, crazy year in my little blogging world. Here's to an even bigger and better 2017!

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