2016 in Review.

At the end of the year, I always like to do a little reflecting. I am more of a words person than a numbers person, but I force myself to look at the numbers and to take a more analytical approach to my blog. After all, the blog is is my business and my livelihood… it’s not wise to just post whatever I feel like posting and hope it sticks. So, let’s dive in!

2016 by the Numbers:

  • 8,339 comments
  • 465 blog posts

How you found me:

  1. Search Engines
  2. Bloglovin’ (my fav tool for reading/discovering new blogs)
  3. Facebook (still a big player, clearly)
  4. Mackenzie (thank you friend!!!)
  5. Pinterest
  6. Twitter
  7. Buzzfeed
  8. Fran (thank you friend!!!)
  9. Go Fug Yourself (I love these girls -and they are so sweet to frequently link up my cocktail posts).
  10. The Budget Babe (thanks, Dianna!! This is pretty cool as I read her blog when I first moved to New York before blogging was even a thing.)

How to make Frosé - The Stripe // An easy recipe inspired by Bar Primi in New York City

Most Popular Posts of 2016:

#10 How to Make Frosé Frosé was such a big trend in the city this summer and I’m really proud of this recipe. I had several failed attempts at making it but this version ended up absolutely perfect. It is definitely the perfect summer cocktail.

#9 The Perfect Strappy Sandal I was honestly surprised that this one made the cut (outfit posts typically get a lot of comments but then are forgotten after a week or so) but then I remembered that DSW featured the post in their email, which sent it a lot of traffic. Either way, those sandals are truly the best (and still available!) for only $30. I’m wearing them here, here, here, here, and here!

#8 10 Ways to Make Your Morning Better Um yeah, so I am not a morning person. These tips really work, that’s all I will say. If your resolution this year is to be better in the morning, bookmark this one!

#7 A Post About Dating This one is no surprise. I get so many questions about my dating life and generally stay relatively silent about it as I would eventually like to meet someone and nothing is more terrifying to most guys than the prospect of being discussed on the Internet. In this post, I hashed out a few of the things I’ve learned while dating in my thirties. I was blown away by your comments and how much so many of you related to the post. I really hope it’s helpful!

#6 DIY Aquazzura Inspired Pom Pom Sandals I coveted these sandals all Spring and the DIY is pretty much spot on… I was excited to see that this post received such high traffic!

#5 My Holy Grail Beauty Products This is one of my all time favorite posts. You guys know (probably) by now what a beauty product junkie I am. These are the products I love the absolute best… the ones I live and swear by!

#4 Gift Guide: For the Person Who Hated 2016. This is always a favorite. And I’m selfishly reaaaallly happy you guys liked (and shared it) as I lost a sponsored post because of it. The brand actually said I had to take it down or they would pull our post. (Needless to say, I did not work with them!) Live and learn, but as I’ve always said, creating content that appeals to you guys comes first to me.

#3 L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Masks. I am thinking maybe SEO came into play here as I was one of the first people to review these masks, but man… these masks are so, so great!!! No major drugstore brand has created a clay mask that truly works. Bravo to L’Oreal for doing so (the charcoal is my fav!)

#2 The Baby Foot PeelThis is one of the creepier posts I have written, but man it is a good one. It is one of the most disgusting yet satisfying treatments you can do (as I write this I am tempted to order one as my feet are a little rough right now). You will simultaneously be horrified and amazed by the results.

#1 An Honest Neulash Review This was an older post and I am surprised/happy that it resonated so well with you! Neulash has changed my life for the better. I used to be an eyelash extension addict and now I just use this every morning and night along with mascara) for the longest natural lashes I’ve had in my life. It’s so much better than getting extensions.

Top Products of 2016- Clockwise from Top LeftBP V Neck Sweater // Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask // Neulash Treatment // J.Crew Factory Polka Dot Dress // Chloe Medium Faye Bag // BP Mock Neck Pullover // Arcona Body Lotion // Halogen Boatneck Sweater // EDIT Swing Top // Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Eye Treatment // LOFT Bow Tie Heels // Zimmermann Top // Glossier Generation G Lip Stain // ALO Yoga Moto Leggings // Manolo Blahnik BB Pump

Next, I looked at the most popular products from 2016. I did this by pulling data from my two affiliate platforms (ShopStyle and RewardStyle) and looking at which products you guys bought the most of over the past twelve months. A lot of things were sold out, but overall it was pretty interesting! I thought it would only be the more affordable products that made the cut (and it was, mostly), but there were a few more pricy items (like my fav Zimmermann top) that made the cut. I was really excited to see a lot of my favorite beauty products in there too… especially this body lotion, my favorite eye cream, and Glossier’s lip stains. And of course, Neulash. #holygrail

What’s next?

The biggest takeaway for me was that I have been posting too much. 465 blog posts in one year is just too much. If I had a team of writers then sure, that would be normal, but it’s really just me (with the exception of Kelly’s Tuesday afternoon column). I want to focus on quality over quantity. In December, I posted twice a day most days to give you my gift guides without compromising regular content but… it was just… too much. I was really burnt out by the end. I felt like I was just churning out content and crossing off to-do’s as opposed to creating thoughtful, meaningful posts (which is always my goal here).  On Tuesdays I will probably always post twice a day as Kelly has her column, but otherwise we are back to a one a day posting schedule! Two is just too much! When we get to next November and December we’ll figure out the gift guides, but man… I was really tired by the time the holidays rolled around.

Fewer outfits. I am coming to realize that you guys are starting to look to my Instagram more for style posts but engage/appreciate the meatier posts (beauty reviews, wellness posts, reading lists, travel guides) so much more than outfits. Outfits and personal style will always be a big part of the blog, but if I have an outfit post, maybe I will include a Q&A or a more thoughtful and personal bit of writing within it. I’ve always felt that my writing is better than my personal style and I think that the numbers really show that!

More beauty product reviews. I love, love, love testing new things for you guys here and telling you what the good stuff is. Nothing makes me more excited to discover a new eye serum that really sucks up those under eye bags… or a mascara that makes you look like you have lash extensions. You may know this already but before BaubleBar and before blogging, I worked in the beauty industry for over eight years. It’s such a big passion of mine so I would ideally like to have a beauty post for you every week.

More wellness posts. I fell pretty hard off the wagon in December. I mean, I was traveling SO much that I was only in NYC for seven days total. And so my workouts slipped. But I am going to get back on track here… more to come there, later this week!

More personal stuff. I am not planning on more dating content (sorry!) but I will be making a point to share more from my life + things I am thinking about as I know those are the posts you guys love the most.

More recipes and DIYs. I really miss creating. I’ve hired an intern (she starts in 2 weeks!) and she will be able to help me shoot these.

Some fun site updates! My book lists are always a hit. They didn’t make the top ten, but the individual posts are usually in the top ten every month. I have hired a web development team to help me implement site changes more quickly and they already have a pretty big to-do list. Some things have already changed. I am really really proud of our new Book Club page as you can easily find whatever type of book you are looking for. Besides that, their are two more things! Stripe Finds (those mini posts at the bottom of my site) now will all archive to this page (so they won’t just go away at the end of four days and you can filter them to find all of our little mini posts + discoveries). I hated that I spent so much time finding cool things to showcase; only to have the content disappear after a week. Annnd, I’ve been hard at work on my new Travel Guide page. I travel so much that I wanted to have a place to house all of my favorite travel content, making it easier for you if you are planning a trip.

I hope all of this is exciting to you. I’m pretty excited over here… 2017 is going to be a lot of work but also a lot of fun!

But what I really want to know is, what do you want to see!? I’d love to hear it in the comments. I really do listen… it is so helpful to me to hear what content resonates most with you and why you come here!

Leave a Comment

Comments

  1. 465 blog posts in a year – that’s actually incredible! Looking forward to your 2017 posts!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Thanks Charmaine!! Happy 2017! xx

  2. Catherine says 1.4.17

    Lurker here – I really enjoy your blog, and visit it daily, though I rarely comment. I’m really excited about your travel guide and book club pages. I’d love more travel posts, not just about where you go and what you did, but how do you research a new place, how do you pack, what do you take with you on the plane, how to stay healthy while traveling, how do you recover when you get home, etc. I also enjoy your wellness posts. They’re more relatable than a lot of other blogs, and it’s a topic that I know I have on my mind for this new year.

    One site design request – I read on my phone, and the mobile version of the blog doesn’t have a link to comments at the bottom of the post, just the top. So if I want to comment, I have to scroll back to the top of the post. It’s a small thing, but you might get more comments if the link were available at the bottom instead.

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Hi Catherine,
      Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment!! I love the ideas for travel content.

      And thank you SO much for the site design request — I am logging this with my developers now!! xx

  3. Sharon says 1.4.17

    I really like the idea of not ‘just’ outfit posts… I agree that instagram is great for that . I look to blogs to actually read content. I have stopped following bunch of bloggers that just post outfit pictures and those who wayyyy overuse pictures… I do not need 10 pictures of one outfit either. Love your blog!

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Thank you Sharon!

      Haha, your comment of seeing so many photos of one outfit cracks me up. I think bloggers are conditioned that we have to show you a lot of photos or our post is lazy. x

  4. Kristin says 1.4.17

    Wow this is such a cool post. I loved learning about what resonates with your blog. For an early blogger it is very informative. I would love to hear more about the business of blogging too if you feel like sharing your experience in 2017! I definitely think you add a more personal and honest touch to your blog posts which differentiates you from other bloggers out there!

    Kristin

    http://www.tweedandlace.com

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Aw, thanks Kristin!!! Appreciate the kind words. 🙂 xx

  5. Jenn Lake says 1.4.17

    Love how you are taking such an analytical and self-reflective approach! Can’t wait to see all that you will create in 2017!!!

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Thank you so much sweet friend!!! Happy 2017!

  6. Brittany says 1.4.17

    yay more beauty products- (my post today actually is a quest for new stuff to try if you have time to recommend something!) you are my guru in that arena.
    this is such a good post- so helpful to see what resonates with people! you are such a thoughtful blogger, grace! your readers appreciate you!

    xo, brittany
    a simple beauty routine on my blog today
    http://www.notablob.com

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Thanks for such a sweet comment, Brittany! Have a great day! xx

  7. Jess Zimlich says 1.4.17

    This has been the best 2016 recap post I’ve read so far! Like you, I love words the most, but I’ve also come to love numbers/analytical side of blogging – they can be so motivating! And on the flip side, so telling when I’m trying to figure out why I’m not growing my audience/following/etc. Thank you for sharing all of this! I’d love to see more when it comes to fitness and I must say, I really do love your style and hope you don’t scale back in that area too much (Q&A’s are great). Happy New Year, Grace 🙂

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Aw thank you Jess!!! I completely agree.

      And I’m happy to hear you say you still like the style posts. I am still going to do lots of those but maybe just incorporate other things into those posts.

      Happy New Year!!! xx

  8. Leah says 1.4.17

    This post was so interesting, thanks for sharing with us! Your approach to changes in 2017 is so thoughtful and I’m looking forward to it!

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Thank you Leah!! Happy 2017! xo

  9. Maggie says 1.4.17

    I love your Q&A posts, health/wellness and personal posts the best! Keep up the great work!!

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Thank you so much Maggie! That is so good to know! xx

  10. laura says 1.4.17

    Love reading your blog. It’s always refreshingly genuine. My favorite reads are the real life ones – things you do in real life, what you wear, use, eat and reviews of your trips. I would love to see a closet tour or how you maintain all your awesome clothes and shoes. Appreciate the hard work you put into your blog.

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Thank you so much Laura!
      I don’t think I will do a closet tour (until I move to a bigger place), right now everything is really crammed into my closets which isn’t ideal but I’m very careful!!! But I think a post on clothing maintenance would be great! xx

  11. Breanna Marie says 1.4.17

    Love this analysis. I had no idea how you got that many posts out! You must be insanely busy! I’d love to see you do more content on wellness. Maybe a follow-up to your snaps? Favorite workout clothes/gadgets if you have any?

    bybreannamarie.com

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Hi Breanna, Haha I know. A lot of posts!!!

      There is definitely more wellness content to come. In the meantime I did do a post this summer about my fav workout gear, and a lot of that is still the same! http://thestripe.com/2016/08/best-workout-gear-2/

  12. Marta says 1.4.17

    I remember some of those posts and products and they were some of my favourites as well! This year, I’m hoping your blog grows even more and I’m excited for the new content!

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Thanks Marta! You have been one of my most active commenters this year and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!!

  13. Diana Pearl says 1.4.17

    I’m kind of an analytics geek, so I love this! So interesting to see what resonated on your site — a lot of the posts mentioned were some of my favorites, too! I have really loved your Q&A’s so I’m excited to see more of those, too!

    x Diana // http://www.dianapearl.com

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      I’m so glad to hear that you loved the Q&As too – they’re so fun!!!
      Happy 2017, Diana! xo

  14. Angela says 1.4.17

    Your blog has quickly turned into one of my favorites and one that I visit daily. I absolutely love your beauty/skincare posts (your blog introduced me to cleansing oils and I can’t live without it now!) and I look forward to your reading lists. I’m excited for all of the changes/additions coming this year! Keep up the good work!!

    Angela

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Aw that makes me so so happy, Angela!!! And happy that you are using cleansing oils – they are the absolute best. Thank you for the sweet comment… happy 2017! xo

  15. Cy says 1.4.17

    As know Grace, 2016 was a big loss year for me and reading your blog every morning with my coffee, really helped me through it. Part of my morning ritual! I think your blog celebrates women; we are beauty, intellect, style, emotion, hralth and creativity. There is something here for everyone. Really fun to see this break down. Also, love that that you can call your shots and don’t feel obligated to post something you don’t believe in. As a “creative” it’s important to feed that in ourselves. I would love to see more creative posts, but really love it all. Bring on 2017!

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      I am so sorry you experienced such terrible loss this year 🙁 but am also so happy that the blog could help in a small way.

      I always appreciate your comments, Cy – I feel as though I know you in real life through our little daily conversations!

      Cheers to 2017… it’s going to be a great year! XOX

      • Cy says 1.6.17

        I was thinking the same thing as I wrote this! I’m going to take you up on grabbing that coffee. I plan on g tying to NY sometime this year. I think it’s going to be a good year too. 🙂

        • graceatwood says 1.6.17

          Yay! Would love that. xx

  16. Roxanne says 1.4.17

    I distinctly remember all of these top 10 posts! I’ve been reading your blog forever, and I like that you change and grow with what we like to see and read!
    I like the idea of doing the outfit posts and writing about something in addition. Your writing always stands out, which is why keep coming back for more!
    Thanks for all the great content this year. You’re seriously inspiring.
    –Roxanne
    http://glassofglam.com

    • graceatwood says 1.4.17

      Awe thank you Roxanne! I’m grateful that you keep coming back every day!!! Happy 2017! xoxo

  17. Hillary says 1.4.17

    Love that you keep things so real and inspiring! Your blog is one of my favorites because you’re so relatable. I love the book club page and revamped travel guide — would love to see more q and a posts!

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      Thank you Hillary!!! I am going to put out a call for questions on Snapchat shortly! xx

  18. Jess R says 1.4.17

    Love all these! Totally agree on the outfit posts…like them but love your other ones better. LOVE the beauty posts and also the book ones so much –your reviews are always spot on! A suggestion for site design and maybe this is user error (most likely!), but I always have a hard time finding the new posts. If I haven’t looked for a couple days, the only way to find which ones are new is to click on the post at the top and then click the previous button at the bottom of the blog. Just a suggestion! Love everything you are doing. xoxo

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      So happy to hear that.
      And thank you for the suggestion – I am talking to my developers about that!!!!

  19. carrie says 1.4.17

    What fun insights!

    And 465?! WOW.

    Carrie
    http://www.wearwherewell.com

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      HA I know. Too many!!! 😉 xoxo

  20. Sheela Goh says 1.4.17

    I look forward to getting to know you and your posts in the coming year 🙂

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      Aw, thanks Sheela! xx

  21. Leah says 1.4.17

    Sounds like a great year ahead. I can’t wait to keep reading. I love this blog! Happy New Year Grace! xo

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      Thank you Leah! Happy New Year!!

  22. Jessica says 1.4.17

    Oh wow, I cannot tell you how annoyed I am that you lost a sponsored post over that gift list. I love your blog, and that gift guide was perfect and I am buying my best friend the whore pillow. Thinking about that pillow just makes me laugh, and I know that she will actually put it on her couch.
    I love your blog, Grace. You are the very best at what you do. And good for you for keeping your dating life just for you, and your IRL friends. I just finished reading The Circle, and there are some things that you just need to keep for JUST YOU. Happy New Year, and cheers to a wonderful 2017!

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      Aw, thanks Jess! I think the thing is, you can’t please everyone – that brand just didn’t have a sense of humor but that’s okay, better to just move on. I love that pillow, it is so funny!!!

      And yesssss – The Circle! I so agree. I read it a few years ago. Did you see that it’s going to be a movie? I just watched the trailer and cannot wait for it to come out (Tom Hanks + Emma Watson star in it.)

  23. Alex says 1.4.17

    So agreed on beauty, wellness, and personal posts as being my faves! Also LOVE your books reccs so really excited for that. As a fellow single 30-something would love your dating newsletter to keep going… either way you’re killing it! Xx

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      Thank you so much Alex, happy to hear it! Happy New Year! xx

  24. Mary says 1.4.17

    I absolutely love your posts– all of ’em! I just sent my friend the foot peel- lolol– we will have to do that for our next girls’ night!! xxoo
    Mary
    http://www.BelleOnTrend.com

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      Oh my gosh it is so gross!!!! Let me know how it goes for you! 😉

  25. Stefa says 1.5.17

    Thank you Grace, over the past year I feel like I’m aging out of a lot of the other blogs I read but your content has kept me interested, entertained and visiting daily. I love your beauty and book suggestions and that you give us a glimpse of your life but also keep it at a level that seems true to who you are. Best wishes for a great 2017!

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      Aw thanks for this Stefa! I am trying!!! Happy 2017 to you! xx

  26. Lauren says 1.5.17

    Great post! It was fun to see what your readers enjoyed this past year. You are my go-to gal for all things beauty (my favorite posts to read!) so I am excited for you to feature even more of that this year. Happy 2017!

    xo, Lauren
    http://www.itsallgoodblog.com

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      Aw that makes me so happy to hear!!! Happy 2017! xx

  27. Hayley says 1.5.17

    LOVE the wellness and reading posts, keep those up! Honestly not that big of a beauty post fan, it seems like a lot of your “loves” end up being sponsored.

    • graceatwood says 1.5.17

      Thanks Hayley! Lots more of both to come (and non-sponsored beauty, too). I know it isn’t always easy to trust bloggers’ sponsored post but I swear to you, for anything sponsored I test it for at least a week to make sure I really love it. Either way, glad you are excited for wellness + reading posts… today we had a fun health-related post! xo

      • Hayley says 1.6.17

        I realized that probably came off way more harsh than I meant it to. I really do appreciate how seriously you take your job, case in point 465 blog posts in one year. As always you are such a professional, thanks for taking all of our constructively feedback so positively. Forgot to add that I’m also a fan of your cooking posts!

        • graceatwood says 1.6.17

          Aw, thanks Hayley – seriously no sweat… but appreciate that you came back to say something!!! More cooking to come… I hope… need to get my act together in the kitchen! Xoxo

  28. Charlie says 1.6.17

    I’m loving this round up – as a brand new reader (hi!) it’s super helpful having so many of your top posts all in one place!
    http://www.thebarefootangel.wordpress.com

    • graceatwood says 1.6.17

      Oh good, I am so happy to hear it! Xoxo

  29. Rose says 1.6.17

    This is such a great/thoughtful post, Grace!

    And yes to your point #2 about fewer outfit posts…I feel like “outfit” blogs have been slowly dying (or changing, like yours!) the last few years, as I can see pics of style on instagram and would prefer to read actual text on a blog. Yours is one of the few I still visit, for this reason 🙂 also, nothing is more annoying than a style blogger that posts 20-30 photos of the same or similar outfits in one post—Instagram sums it up much better, haha. I feel like I am always discovering new things through your blog, and that is the #1 thing that attracted me to blogs in the first place many years ago. Keep up the awesome work!!

    • graceatwood says 1.6.17

      Thank you so much Rose!!! Twenty or thirty photos in a post? That is so so many!!! Someone complained that I post too many – I try to keep it to 6-8 to show all angles and how it moves + details, but it seems like people are fine with just a few photos! Appreciate that you took the time to stop by and comment – happy New Year!

  30. Denise Atwood says 1.6.17

    Love this round up, what a year! xox

    • graceatwood says 1.6.17

      🙂 love you mom!