This little year in review post has become a favorite of mine. I’ve done it the past two years and always find it to be really helpful both personally and professionally. It’s good to reflect, take a step back, look at the numbers, and see what worked and didn’t work this year! It’s also important to celebrate successes. As with last year I looked at the overall numbers, how you found me, my top performing posts, and the products you bought the most of. Let’s dive in! I hope this is as interesting for you to read as it was for me to put together! (And for a less analytical, more subjective post, check out yesterday’s post: my ten favorite products from 2018!)
2018 by the numbers!
- 397 posts published (-2% vs. last year)
- 9,558 comments (+6% vs. last year)
- Blog traffic was up 36%!
I’ve been a little in the weeds (the holidays!) and honestly was pretty shocked to see that the blog grew as much as it did. I pulled the numbers in Google Analytics multiple times as I was so surprised. I knew it grew but my target was 20% so this was pretty major. I’m not someone who necessarily celebrates success. I’m usually just like “okay cool good, how do we keep this going!? NEXT!!!” It feels braggy and is also scary because there’s always that little voice in the back of my head telling me I won’t be able to keep the momentum going. But everyone is saying that nobody is reading blogs AND the blog turns 9 this year so I am pretty damn proud of that number!
It also made me happy to see that blog comments are still growing. It’s not in line with the traffic increase, but I’ll take it. I realize that it’s a lot easier for you to DM me or leave a comment on Instagram so I really cherish a blog comment – it’s much more special! I make it a point to respond to each and every one and to encourage a conversation in the comments section! Nothing makes me happier when I see readers making friends/having their own discussions in the comments section. When I updated the site this month, we added the “trending” icon so that you guys can more easily see which posts are sparking the most discussion, as well as a way to highlight the post getting the most.
How you found me:
- Mackenzie Horan (thank you, friend!)
- Go Fug Yourself (thanks Heather & Jessica!)
- A Girl and a Glue Gun
Most Popular Posts of 2018:
#10 Five Summer Fragrances. This one surprised me a bit. I don’t talk about fragrance very much here as it’s so personal and hard to describe a scent through the blog… you have to experience it in person! Do you want me to talk about fragrance more here?
#9 The Correct Order to Apply Skincare. This was one of my most requested posts! The main reason that I wrote it was so that I could stop typing it out in emails and DMs. 😉 With so many products, it gets confusing (when to apply serum? What about toner?) This was a popular one and I’m actually a bit surprised that it didn’t rank even higher.
#8 10 Tips to Boost Your Immune System. This is one of my favorite guest posts ever because it’s solid advice from a doctor (as opposed to you know, me, just telling you what I do!!) I re-read it again this week as I’ve been worried that I’m getting a cold.
#7 How I Packed for Asia. A fun one to write (and I definitely learned a lot about what to pack/what not to pack while on this trip!).
#6 The Most Uplifting Podcasts. You guys really loved this one and it was a fun post to research as I came away from it with a lot of new favorites!!!
#5 My Favorite Embroidered Dresses. I was surprised how well this one did as outfit posts tend to get a lot of comments but not a lot of traffic. The photos Trent took turned out really well. I blame Pinterest!
#4 The Best Irreverent Gifts. Always a favorite and just affirms that YOU ARE MY PEOPLE!
#3 DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. This is one of my favorite easy beauty DIYs and seriously so effective. Since making a point to do this at least once a week my hair is so much shinier and my dry scalp is GONE.
#2 Dr. Bader The Cream Review. Yessss my most favorite face cream ever. This one also did very well through SEO… I was one of the first people to write about it and because of that it ranked really well with google. But google or no google, it’s still my personal number one.
#1 What’s in my Carry On Bag. I can’t believe this was my most popular post of the year and have resolved to do more packing/travel content. We went really in depth here so I was happy to see you guys liked it so much!
Top Products of 2018 in no particular order:
- Acwell Toner. I never was a toner person until this year (specifically when I visited Christine Chin) and it’s made a big difference in my skin. I sell at least one of these a day!
- Dr. Bader Face Cream So happy to see this make the list as I could literally talk about how amazing it is every day.
- Natori Feathers Bra My favorite bra – I always sell a bajillion of them during the Nordstrom sale!
- Lele Sadoughi Headband Honestly was a little bit shocked to see this one do so well given the price point but it also made me happy. I love mine and it’s such a good way to elevate any outfit.
- Chelsea 28 Wrap Dress Simple and chic and always in style.
- Anthropologie Lucite Handle Purse – such a good bag – looks designer for only $68!
- BaubleBar phone case This was a no brainer – whenever I take it out I get non-stop questions!
- Tuckernuck Top – this was my go-to party top this year… I wear it so much.
- Hanes x Karla Tee. The best simple white t-shirt ever.
- Topshop Coat. I think this one did so well as it’s been in stock at Nordstrom since summer (I bought the camel one during the anniversary sale and wear it non-stop.
- Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter – my holy grail. Like an instagram filter for your face!
- Free People Sweater Tunic. Another no-brainer. I basically live in this sweater!
- Eileen Fisher Alpaca Coat – I have this coat in camel and it’s my favorite. So soft. One of my favorite purchases from this year.
- Glossier Lash Slick. My most favorite mascara. Read my review of it here.
- Good American Jeans. The best jeans. So flattering, the greatest.
- Barefoot Dreams Cardigan. Another Nordstrom sale one. I bought mine two years ago and it’s my favorite for cozy nights at home.
What you can expect to see in 2019….
This year was big in terms of changes. I think the site grew as much as I did because I listened to you. I really focused on having more useful content, more personal posts, more beauty and wellness. The Facebook group grew quite a bit and turned into it’s own special self-sustaining community. I launched the podcast with Becca.
This was a goal last year but then I kinda just stopped doing it because it was hard/time consuming/etc. I know that a lot of you prefer to just read but I view video as an incremental thing that will either a) be a fun little treat for those of you who like video, or b) be an acquisition tool: a way to get new people from Youtube over to the blog or the podcast. My goal is to publish at least one video per week through June and see how it goes. No big expectations, just one video a week and then we will reassess after that.
Changes to the podcast.
It’s so interesting. Becca and I were killing ourselves to read, outline, and come up with discussion for two books a month and then realized so few people (in the scheme of things!!!) were reading the books. The advice episodes were SO much more popular and those were the easiest/most fun for us to do. So we are moving to one book a month and adding in more episodes where we just shoot the sh*t, or chat with our cooler-than-us guests. We have a killer lineup of guests in store, so far we have lined up Katie Sturino, Danielle Prescod, Jared Freid, and Ashley Spivey. I am really, really excited about this.
I am feeling better about Instagram and it’s because a) I’ve stopped worrying about if my audience is growing there (I would love for it to grow but my sanity is more important and I refuse to cheat!) and b) I really love posting to stories. It’s nice to have an easy way to share my day to day with you! In every business piece I read about Instagram they say that stories are becoming more important than “the feed,” and I am a-okay with that. (The blog is still #1 though, followed by the podcast and Youtube!)
That’s about it! But what I really want to know is, what do you want to see!? I’d love to hear it in the comments. I listen… it is so helpful to me to hear what content resonates most with you and why you come here! We touched a lot of this in this post but keep the feedback coming. If this is my “annual report,” you guys are all my customers and I want every visit to The Stripe to be a good one!