As 2017 is suddenly upon us, I’m still taking time to reflect on 2016. 2016 was been filled with ups and downs for me, but one thing I’ve been particularly proud of was this blog.
In late 2015, before my rehaul and relaunch of the blog, I spoke about how I’d considered giving up my blog and how I wasn’t really proud of it’s content and the way it was being run.
Well a year on and that has changed completely. Relaunching the blog gave it (and me) a whole new lease of life I suppose and I feel proud of my blog again once more. Of course it’s not 100% there just yet – there’s still many things I’d like to improve on but I certainly think I’ve come a long, long way in just one short year.
Here’s what I’ve been particularly proud of in 2016, in terms of Formidable Joy.
These have always been my favourite types of posts and finally, in 2016, I managed to do a monthly introductory post for every single month. This might not seem like a massive deal, but for me it is. The fact that I said I’d keep it up for every month and I did to me kind of signifies my commitment to the blog. Posting one regular post just once a month seems so easy but somehow I’d never managed to do it in previous years, so to do so successfully last year was great!
I also took on the challenge of going vegan for a whole entire month
and that was tough, as I’m someone who loves
meat and who would regularly gorge on McDonalds or pizza. Although I suppose this is more of a personal achievement, the challenge itself came through my blog and I covered the whole thing through a series of posts. It’s amazing how much content came out of one simple challenge.
GETTING THE BLOG OUT THERE
It’s as if relaunching the blog and giving it a new lease of life, companies could see me working harder and kind of knew I was proud of my content again. I got some really great opportunities in 2016, managing to work/collaborate with Rooftop Film Club
, Discovery Tours
and Fry’s Family Foods
, and attend events such as Taste of London: The Festive Edition
, 139 Copeland Road
, Gothic Midtown
, Chris Ramsey’s Comedy Hotspots with Swiftcover
– to name a few! It just makes me think how grateful I am to be given such amazing opportunities by being a blogger – but, of course, every collaboration or event I attend is down to the hard work I put into the blog and such. These opportunities – as fun as they are – aren’t just things that fall into my lap, and I work hard to achieve them.
I also got to attend the Vuelio Blog Awards
, which was without a doubt the highlight of my blogging career and a night I will never forget.
I also finally put myself out there in terms of local bloggers and attended the MK Blogger Network Christmas Party
. This was another big deal for me because, I can’t lie, in recent years, attending blogger events is something I’ve really sucked at. So putting myself out there socially to meet other local bloggers was a lot of fun and I met some really lovely people, as well as discovering a new local bloggers network.
I haven’t yet stuck to things like Twitter chats, but I have become more social in general when it comes to blogs – taking part in Facebook threads, commenting more etc. This still has a long way to go too, but I’m better now at it than I was last year.
I don’t know how I afforded it, but I took to trying to attend as many quirky London-happenings as I could last year (not related to the blog, just of my own accord). In the past, I’ve not wanted to write about London too much because of course, my readers are from all over, but then I figured ‘why not’? Most blog’s write about events closest to them and I’m glad I did because this decision led onto creating some fab content, such as my accounts of The Crystal Maze
and Secret Cinema
, and lots of round ups of things going on in London like quirky cinema
…AND A LITTLE FURTHER AFIELD
Attending Reading Festival led to tons of content
(so much so that my friend asked if I was blogging for them!) and I also visited Ibiza
– so although I didn’t get to ‘travel’ travel, I still got to write about some places a little further afield.
I finally found and stuck to a decent blogging routine this year, which helped massively. Give or take once or twice, I’ve blogged every other day (apart from a few days taken off over Christmas) and I’ve been super proud of this. In past years, I’d go weeks without blogging and I although I don’t think my blog is great enough to lose followers just because I don’t stick to a routine, it has helped me personally. I now have my own spreadsheet which is super useful too and I’m ever so proud of my current layout – it’s so sophisticated! And, finally, I think I’ve improved on my photography too.
Now I never just take a photo from Google (unless it’s something like a movie still or something for promotional use for example, of which a blogger can do without breaking any rules), and I’m a lot more careful about where I source my images. I almost always use my own and on the occasion that I can’t, I use a secure stock photo sharing website. It took me a good few years to get my head around using images, but during my time working for a travel magazine, I finally understood what was and wasn’t allowed.
And I finally have a press kit
! I mean, it’s not amazing or anything, but at least it’s there.
All in all, Formidable Joy has a long way to go, but I think 2016 was one of my blog’s best years yet – and I am proud of it once more, which is what counts – right?!
Is there anything you’d like to see more of in the blog in 2017? More fashion posts? Less lifestyle? Regular guest posts? Let me know – all feedback is greatly appreciated!
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