We’re there. 2018 is winding down and I’m looking forward to starting 2019 with a bang. It’s been a crazy year here at The Mamma’s List and I wanted to take some time to do a blog review share with you how we’ve grown and what we’ve been working on this year.
This post is a little to show you all how we’ve changed over the last year and a lot to remind me how far we’ve come.
When starting a new community, blog, space on the internet, or business, it’s pretty easy to get discouraged and assume you’re talking to yourself.
I’m so glad you’re on this journey with me and I truly appreciate and am grateful for every email, comment, like, share, and interaction we have.
So, let’s jump right in and cover what we’ve done here at TML over the last year. Here are a few of the major milestones:
We’ve renovated. (And the site is finally live!)
*This was actually what people saw on my homepage for over two months of the year. I know.
We actually renovated twice. And it took six months. I appreciate you hanging in there with me for all of the tech issues and system updates. Unfortunately, I had a “coming soon” page up for almost two months on my homepage. I definitely got (a lot) sidetracked with all the design work and tech that didn’t translate the way I’d hoped.
I was able to keep posting, but it was definitely a draining experience. I learned a lot about making radical changes when you don’t fully understand the implications. However, I am fully committed to the new design and I’m so excited about our new look. If you haven’t checked it out yet, head over to the blog and let me know what you think. I hope you love it as much as I do!
We also swapped email platforms. Twice. (See, it takes me a long time to learn. And commit.) I’ve only been in ConvertKit for a week but so far I’m loving it. It feels much more user-friendly than Drip and I love that I don’t have to figure out the styling on forms myself. While I don’t love that it’s not a free tool I can use, sometimes you have to pay for the quality. Both Drip and ConvertKit were light years above MailChimp. Of course, I didn’t have any expertise in this area so I may have not liked MailChimp because I didn’t know how to use it.
BUT at first glance, Convertkit is the way to go if you need a user-friendly email marketing platform.
Elite Blog Academy
I joined and completed half of Ruth Sukoup’s Elite Blog Academy course. Second half up in 2019! This is an incredibly in-depth course on blogging and online business. I’ve learned so much and just haven’t been able to plow all the way through the whole thing. I hit pause on the course after getting to the halfway mark to continue to grow my audience. The second half is around product launches, so after scaling a bit one of my goals is to launch something in 2019. Be on the lookout next year.
I also completed multiple smaller Pinterest, SEO, and traffic courses to develop my skills, and on Black Friday one of my biggest purchases was Pinning Perfect. I’m going to rock Pinterest in 2019!
Genius Bloggers Toolkit (2017)
I really liked the Ready, Set, Blog for Traffic course by Elna at Twins Mommy, and I also tried the Traffic, Subscribers, Yours course by Raelyn Tan. Both of these courses were part of the Genius Bloggers Toolkit in 2017 that I started before I purchased EBA. I went through a lot of the resources in the GBTK and think it’s a great value if you aren’t ready to invest in something like Elite Blog Academy.
Another side course I completed was Jennifer Maker’s List Love Quickstart and it really changed the way I thought about using my posts to build my email list. It was part of the bonuses in EBA, so I didn’t have to invest any further in that one.
The great thing about the GBTK and EBA is that you’re really getting a ton of value. In the GBTK, it comes in the form of multiple formats of courses and teachers. From EBA, you go super deep in a ton of topics, AND you get the bonuses. I didn’t buy the GBTK in 2018 because I still hadn’t gone through the entire resource pack from 2017.
10 Hour Timeblock Strategy
Finally – I JUST bought the 10-hour time block strategy from Rosemarie Groner at The Busy Budgeter. I know, I know. I need to finish all the courses that I have before I get new ones. But when someone who is making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year online wants to tell you how they did it, it seems like a steal to spend $30 for a peek under the tent.
I look at these courses like my tuition. I paid a heck of a lot of money for college and my MBA. If I want to get “good” at blogging and learn about owning an online business it’s definitely worth investing a little cash.
Since I still need to complete Pinning Perfect and EBA, I’m putting myself on a course hiatus for a bit until I can catch up on this blog investment 🙂
Blog review: Growth Numbers
Although I still feel like I’m sometimes talking to myself, the numbers don’t lie. The best part of doing this blog review is that I had to sit down and look at things holistically.
There are more people reading The Mamma’s List. We had over 39,000 more pageviews in 2018 than we did in our launch year, and I still have a couple of weeks left for counting!
And, our email list has grown almost 500% over the past year. (And yes, for all you numbers nerds, it’s off a small base)
There are 46 new posts on the site.
We’ve gained over 900 social followers across Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
I’m SO thrilled to be in your inbox, on your screen, and in your social feeds. Again, I’m grateful for each and every one of you.
*Alzipmat baby playmat
Although brand partnerships haven’t been a focus area of The Mamma’s List, I was able to collaborate with two companies to review and feature their products on the blog. I did a summer giveaway of an Alzipmat baby playmat, and reviewed the Baby Charm Stroller Organizer, which is going up in January.
Both brands were great to work with and were awesome fits for what we talk about on the blog. The Alzipmat baby playmat was a particularly good fit this year since my most popular post was a non-toxic baby playmat review. The Alzipmat is a non-toxic baby playmat made in Korea and is available to U.S. customers through Amazon. Click here to learn more about it.
The Baby Charm Stroller Organizer was also a really fun one. We love our stroller and going for walks, and I’m always trying to bring something else with us. This organizer will be new to market next year and I was thrilled to be asked to review it. I loved all the space and would definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to bring the essentials but isn’t really thrilled about bringing the entire diaper bag on a walk. The full review will be coming the first week of January so be on the lookout!
I’ve loved getting to work with brands and review products because it ties into a lot of what I do at my day job. Understanding a product’s unique point of difference is really important to me so I can let you know why you’d really want one versus the other. If I’m going to pay more for something I sure as heck want to know why.
We haven’t gone viral. (Maybe next year :))
As part of my blog review I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about traffic. Unfortunately, we didn’t go viral. BUT we did have some posts that did way better than others. Here are the top five performing posts of 2018. If you see something interesting, click over and check it out. These five posts make up almost half of the 43k pageviews on the blog this year. That’s CRAZY, considering there are almost 70 posts up right now.
- Postpartum Depression – How I WASN’T prepared to feel post baby
- Non-toxic Baby Playmat Roundup & Babycare Baby Playmat Review
- The top 12 breastfeeding products you need to survive the first year nursing
- Infant sleep regressions – when they hit and how to deal
- Breastfeeding Schedule Cheat Sheets
I’ve certainly had some ups and downs on this blogging journey and have learned so much about myself since starting The Mamma’s List. Creating this blog review is a great reminder of how far we’ve come. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings and how many more people will join us in the community. If you know of anyone who would like to get updates, please feel free to forward this along so they can sign up!
I’ll be taking off the next two weeks but will be back to posting early next year. I hope you all take some time off and are able to relax and reconnect with yourselves and your family.