2018: My Year in Review

Hello all and welcome to my last post of 2018! I’ve decided to take a few weeks’ break from The Bloglancer in the lead up to Christmas- so I can work on a bit of a redesign and get loads of content planned for January.

I’ll be honest, both of my blogs’ traffic is down a bit (understandable since the content on healthy living and money making does much better in Jan!) So I am going to spend the next few weeks just planning for 2019! Before I do, I thought I’d end on a little bit of a high and take a look back on my year in blogging and business! Loyal readers will know that ages ago I used to do my monthly blogging business updates-but these fell by the wayside a little.  So I thought I’d resurrect the idea with a yearly update instead…

My first full year of self-employed 

So although I’ve been self-employed on a part-time basis since September 2016; this was my first full year of being self-employed. It’s been over a year since I left teaching for good and I’m so happy I did!

Although it has been a huge learning curve, my biggest life lesson in 2018 was that I needed to keep diversifying and ALWAYS have new earning ideas around the corner! (you can read my post on 7 ways I earn from my blog here) For example, I had two regular writing jobs that just ended suddenly in the middle of the year.

That encouraged me that I needed to always be thinking of new ideas and not get comfy. Now even if I’ve got enough work on, I try to pitch to a new place every few weeks-if only to keep in practice. My biggest discovery is just how many places have said yes! 

I know lots of you are interested in my freelance writing ideas and I’m toying with the idea of writing another eBook on the topic? (See, always thinking of new ideas to earn!)  Let me know if that’s something you’d like to see? But my biggest tip is to just keep coming up with ideas and pitching them! I’ve been able to write for publications such as Top Sante, The Independent, Hostel World and The Telegraph this year. And I just pitched to my dream publication last week and they said yes! (It’s an anonymous piece so I won’t reveal who/what just yet!) I’ve learnt that the only way I would succeed is to keep putting myself out there!

I also joined Mediavine. I need to do a lot more to my blog to truly optimise my income from it (I know bloggers who earn a full-time salary just from Mediavine ads but I am so far off that!) but it has been a great decision and means I guarantee some income from my blog even if I am not working with sponsors.

A Completely New Business Venture

This year I also started another business venture: Chronic Illness Bloggers; a network that helps brands to connect with bloggers who write about their health condition. I hadn’t expected to start something new but I was approached by the old owner and it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I’ve learnt SO much doing this-and lots about bloggers (not all good to be honest!) I really enjoy this business venture and it’s great to be doing something completely different from my own blog.

Honestly, if you are aiming to work with brands this year then my biggest tips would be consistent: do the work when you say you will, read the brief and follow it, reply to emails promptly.  I know that sounds really obvious but this new venture made me realise how many bloggers DON’T do this! I go back to the bloggers who do time and time again. And I also reflected on how I could do better as a blogger too. 

What’s the plan for 2019?

So if you don’t follow me on social media-I’m pregnant! So 2019 will hopefully see my self-employed life get even more complicated! To be honest, I doubt I will take much maternity leave (I’m hoping to dedicate a blog post on how maternity pay works in the near future) as I’m well aware that the industry I’m in moves quickly! I’m planning a slight overhaul of both blogs in the next few weeks whilst I slow down on content.

I want to blog more regularly on The Bloglancer-so it’s a real resource for fellow bloggers and freelancers-as well as offering a few more paid ebooks on here to up my passive income.

I want to work on A Balanced Belly so I’m maximising all my old content so I am making a good income from ads-which would especially be useful when I start winding down! I have lots of ideas for Chronic Illness bloggers but it might have to wait as I feel it would be quite a big project! 

 Overall, it’s been a great year in business and blogging for me-and thanks so much to you all to make it possible! I love that I am starting to be known as a bit of an expert in ‘blogging’ and ‘freelance’ life; it massively fulfills the inner teacher in me and I absolutely love reading comments from you all! Here’s to a lovely Christmas and 2019!

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