Happy New Years, lovelies! Don’t you just love beginnings? We’re starting anew, with a fresh approach. And it’s also the perfect time to look back and reflect on what has happened in the last year. I don’t know about you guys, but my year has been bu-sy!
I started out super ambitious thinking it would be a piece of cake juggling motherhood with everything else going on in my life. But oh, I got wiser. Having a new baby, blogging, keeping up with housework, spending time with my husband, family, friends and remembering myself (something I keep forgetting these days) in a constant sleep deprived state is not a piece of cake.
But I like to think that I’m getting the hang of it. Especially now that Theo is starting nursery soon and I will be back to work full time.
And with that, let’s get to business!
MY NEW LIFE AS A MOM
2017 has been the most rewarding, emotionally exhausting and overwhelming ever. Becoming a mom turned my life upside down, and although I expected it to be life-changing, I had no idea of the magnitude of it. Before Theo, I spent my time traveling, being with my family and amazing husband, blogging, and working.
All I think about is my baby. And when I can sneak in a nap. Because the little one doesn’t like to sleep and I’ve been walking around like a mombie for the past 4 months. I haven’t even thought about traveling since he was born – and that should tell you something!
Here in Denmark you’re typically on maternity leave for 12 months. Mine runs until mid April, but I decided to get back to work half time from 1/1. From March, Theo will be in nursery, which gives me time to work, but it’s also so terrifying and heartbreaking. I even thought about quitting my job and becoming a stay-at-home mom because I couldn’t (and still can’t) bear the thought of not being with him. But I’ve come to my senses.. well… most days I have anyways, and I arrived at the conclusion that Theo can’t be cuddling in my arms forever.
BLOGGING – ABOUT ADVENTUROUS MIRIAM
Maybe you noticed that I fell off the radar in the fall? I didn’t plan to, but motherhood caught up with me and I needed a break. Not just from blogging, but from everything. You still kept reading my blog although I abandoned you there for a while, and I love you guys for that. So THANK YOU ♥
I spent the last month cleaning up my site and redesigning it a bit. I changed the title font and the theme colors to streamline and minimalize the layout. I like the new look, but ever since I started this blog 4 years ago, it’s been a work in progress so I might tweak it some more.
I also did a lot of cleaning up behind the scenes. I cleaned up my database, smushed all images and installed better plugins for caching (nerd stuff). If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I don’t blame you. In short, this clean-up makes my site faster and reduces the load time when you click a new page. It has already done wonders for my site – since the clean-up and makeover, Adventurous Miriam has gotten 1.000 more visitors a day.
It’s always fun to see what people like to read on my site. Mostly, people coming from google are most interested in seasonal posts. So, Christmas and Iceland posts are popular in the winter, and Croatia and other sunny destinations in the summer. Here’s a quick list of my most popular posts in 2017:
10 most popular posts in 2017:
• 10 weird laws in Singapore that could get you in trouble
• 20 adventurous things to do in Bali
• 15 amazing things you must do in Riga
• 11 crazy, alternative things to do in Siem Reap
• Bali scams – and how to avoid them
• A really long list of things to do in Budapest
• 12 highlights of Istria – Croatia’s most amazing region
• A Guide to West Coast Island Hopping in Thailand
• Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is a must-see in Iceland
• 10 popular things to do in Montenegro
And then I have some big news, because in 2018 I’m making a huge change on Adventurous Miriam.
2018 is the year that I will become a fulltime blogger. Basically, this means that I’m adding advertising to my blog. I’ve decided that after 4 years of blogging it’s time to dive into passive income. Guys, I won’t sugarcoat it, my posts will look different with the ads inside. But still, I feel it’s worth it. I’m actually spending between $800-1000 on my blog a year (hosting, social media scheduling, etc.) plus the time I put into it. I love blogging and I would still do it if I weren’t paid, but I feel it’s time to reap the fruit of my hard work.
I also plan on rekindling my relationship with Instagram. After all, I’ve invested so much time into growing my account already that it would be a shame to let it die a slow, painful death – although I’ve seriously considered it many a time. I do not like Instagram after the major algorithm change in 2016 – it totally messed up my engagement and everything I’d worked for.
But – onwards and upwards: I plan to grow my account, regain my engagement and get more in front of the camera (eek) because apparently that’s what people want.
BLOGGING – ABOUT MY NEW BLOG
Some other big news is that I made a new blog.
I spent most of the fall contemplating what to do with Adventurous Miriam.
The thing was that, a) I wasn’t able to travel. And b) I wanted to share my everyday life (and all the baby stuff, cake baking and mommy worries it entails). I thought about adding more lifestyle to this blog and sharing more from my personal life. I know many of you have asked for more personal posts and I do want to keep sharing glimpses of my life. But I felt that writing about cakes and baby stuff would hurt my brand. After all, this is a travel blog, not a mommy blog.
So I created a new blog – Miriam Jasmin – which is in Danish. I’ve installed Google Translate, which is really lousy, but it gets the job done.. ish. You’ll be able to understand what the posts and blog are about anyway.
I keep sharing personal posts on Adventurous Miriam from time to time as always, but if you’re interested in the non-travel side of my life, you can find it on my other blog.
TRAVELS AND EXPERIENCES IN 2017
I didn’t do much traveling in 2017, but I still had some really great experiences.
I kicked off 2017 with a trip to Iceland. A place I’ve wanted to visit since forever. Somehow I got it into my head that Iceland is extremely expensive, but we actually ended up spending less than I had budgetted for. Iceland was an amazing experience, and there’s still lots more I’d love to explore up there!
We went on several smaller trips during the summer. My brother and sister-in-law spent three weeks camping in North Jutland and I made sure to visit every chance I got. Other than that, we spent the summer visiting Danish sights and castles. Just one-day trips, but it was perfect since Theo was only a few months old at the time.
WHAT’S UP FOR 2018
2018 will be different and I’m already off to a good start. I have a very ambitious strategy for my business and blog so I will be attending blogging conferences, networking and taking courses. I’m already taking two courses; The Blogger Course, which is about how you can grow and monetize your blog, and so far it’s really great!
The other areas I will be focusing on are social media and SEO. I’ve been a little off my game since I became a mom, but I’m ready to get back in business now and get updated on the latest developments. I bought an ebook about Facebook growth and I plan on taking a course in Instagram growth and engagement in the spring. As for SEO, my blog is already doing quite good. Most traffic I get is from Google, like 62%. But it can get better so I’m subscribing to KeySearch (the most popular SEO tool) also this spring.
Okay, so that was a lot of blogging info. I know most of you guys are more interested in my travels than the blogging side of it. But right now I’m giving Adventurous Miriam a makeover and might be shaping it differently. I want to involve your guys in it, because it’s important to me what you think – so please, let me know if there’s anything you’d like to read about. I’d LOVE to hear from you! And ps. There will be travels soon 🙂
I have a few trips in the pipeline, but you’ll hear more about it once it’s final. I’m also planning on taking Theo on his first trip. I’m so excited about 2018, I have a really good feeling about this year!
And now over to you, guys. Is there anything you’d like to see more of? Like solo travel advice, food, blogging or photography tips, weekend trips or something else? Your opinion matters so let me know.