A New Year, New Goals and a Look Back

goals happy new year blogging

Hey guys! I hope you all had a Happy New Year – and welcome to 2017!  

This post is going to be a review of my 2016 blogging and business goals, to see how I performed compared to previous years, and to set new goals for 2017!  So if you are interested in seeing how I did last year and my plans for the new year then read on!

I would like to start off by saying a big thank you to my readers for supporting me over the last few years since I started this blog in 2013, and my brand, Julie Erin Designs, in 2014.

It seems like the brand has really grown this year and just looking at my 2016 holiday sales (on Society6 and RedBubble especially) I can see that I’ve more than tripled my sales from last year! Without the support from you guys and my customers I probably would have given up a long time ago. So I thank you all so much again, and I hope this is just the beginning for me and my art career!

Looking at my blog stats alone you can see it has grown a lot over the last year, and it has steadily grown each year since 2013. I know this is small beans for some but for me this many views is a huge win!

stats

I attribute some of the increase in sales and blog views to having a more structured social media marketing plan, which includes engaging with others through this blog and social media accounts, and also participating in Facebook groups. I believe this has really contributed to the rise in viewership and activity here on my blog and also in my stores.

Coming in the new year, a blog post on Social Media Marketing tips for Artists! So stay tuned for that, and make sure you follow my blog so you won’t miss it.

Now on to my goals from 2016, let’s see, did I meet them?

1. Create a lot more art. Submit some pieces to local art shows.

I created a ton more art!  However, I did not wind up submitting much to local art shows. I found most shows cost money to enter, have rigorous qualifications, and I was rejected a few times which kind of discouraged me (plus wasted money). So I decided to focus more of my efforts online, to get exposure without having to rely on a gallery or spend a lot of money.

mug tote bag cats lover cat lady

2. Continue refining my website and blog, and working on my writing skills. Always learning!

I definitely think I achieved this goal!  My writing style has improved and I find it a lot easier to write fluid blog posts.  I refined this blog a lot and my website only a bit. This is because I think I’m going to overhaul the website using WordPress, or just scrap it all together and make this blog my main website.  I’m still on the fence about this.  It is very time consuming to build another website from scratch so we’ll see where that goes.

3. Grow my existing online stores (ongoing) on Zazzle and Society6.

I totally did this and now have over 1000 products on Zazzle and 136 different designs Society6.  I am also selling on RedBubble now where I have uploaded about 70 designs so far.  I’d like to at least double these by the end of the year.

4. Open up another POD shop on Fine Art America.

I did open a shop on Fine Art America, but it never really took off so I decided to close it down and focus on my other stores.  I did open another POD shop on RedBubble though, which has been doing really well!   I have decided to focus on those 3 for the time being.

5. Grow my social media presence.

At the time of my post last year (early January) I had 120 Facebook followers. My goal was to reach 500, and while I didn’t reach that, I now have 204.  I will re-set my goal to 350 by the end of 2017. I find Facebook is the toughest to get followers on due to their tough algorithms. (I have experimented a bit with paid advertising but I don’t want to spend a fortune!).  

On Twitter I reported having 235 followers at the beginning of 2016. My goal had been to reach 1000 which I did not reach but I now have 740.  Since that’s more than triple what I had, I am happy with this!  I will re-set my goal to 2000 for the end of 2017.

On Instagram I reported having 236 followers which has grown to 858! I did not reach my goal of 1000 but I think I will surpass that in 2017 so I will set my goal to 2000 as with Twitter.

The Tumblr account didn’t really pan out so I closed it and decided to just focus on those 3 above.  I also have a SnapChat account now so we will see where that goes (@julieerindesign if you wanna follow!).  Right now it’s mostly funny selfies but I may use it for business in the future…

Now for WordPress.  I reported having 292 WordPress followers at the beginning of 2016 and today I have 592! My goal was to reach 500 so I guess I reached my goal!  I will re-set my goal to 1000 for this year.

6. Begin working on some new projects – Adult colouring book and an art tutorial series perhaps?

Ok I kinda dropped the ball on this one.  I made some free colouring pages for download but just didn’t have the time or energy to produce a whole book.  Also, by the time I got around to it the market was so saturated that it wasn’t really worth doing any more.  I did wind up writing some sorts of tutorials and informative posts though which I will continue doing in the future.

New Goals for 2017:

1. Social media goals: Facebook (350), Twitter (2000),  Instagram (2000) and WordPress (1000). These will remain my top focus and I will experiment with Snapchat as well.  I may also add a Youtube channel at some point.

2. Create lots of new art.  I will try to make 1 new or semi-new design per week (semi new meaning a recoloured or re-used design).

3. Make a decision about whether to overhaul my julieerindesigns.com website or make this blog my main website.

4. Continue growing my online stores.  Check out new options as well but mainly focus on the ones where I have made a profit: Society6, Zazzle and Redbubble.

5. Work on some more informative posts.  Ideas include: Art tutorials/prompts, DIY projects, Social Media Marketing for Artists.

 

I think that’s enough to keep me busy!

What about you guys, what are your goals for 2017 for your blog or personal life? Feel free to comment below, I’d love to hear!

To a prosperous year everyone.

happy-new-year

Cheers,

 

Julie

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4 thoughts on “A New Year, New Goals and a Look Back

  1. Glad to hear you are expanding your followers and sales this year. My goal is to learn more about woodworking and make some great projects. This spring I have a goal to grow tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers in pots on my balcony.

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