Making Goals, Taking Names: 2015, 2016 & beyond!

Is it too late to wish you a happy 2016? Nah.

I’ve seen far too many blog posts commemorating the new year, but there was no way I couldn’t partake when thinking about how much crazy growth The Cheerful Times underwent in 2015!

I’m over the moon and humbled by your dedicated readership and generous feedback, and that so many of you have shared my posts with your friends, family, and followers. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside!

Although I’ve been seriously slackin’ on the blog (I published a grand total of 8 posts in 2015… #womp), I was so amazed to see that The Cheerful Times had a huge influx of visitors over the past year. You guys are the best!

Here’s a round-up of some 2015 metrics & accomplishments!

  • Blog traffic increased over 300%
  • Subscribers increased by 40%
  • Viewers came from 99 countries! (with US, Canada, and UK taking the lead)
  • Posts were featured on several cool sites, like Diply and All Created
  • The Cheerful Times took over Pinterest! I was shocked to see that my blog posts were pinned thousands of times. DIY Doggie Dress Shirt Collar alone has over 3,000 pins and repins. It even comes up as a top result when searching Pinterest for dog crafts or dog gifts — very cool!
DIY upcycled dog dress shirt collar craft: Super easy, no-sew, and the perfect gift! | The Cheerful Times
“DIY Doggie Dress Shirt Collar” was the big kahuna of 2015

I’m so thankful for everyone who made these accomplishments possible, and I hope that I won’t let you down in 2016!

The Big Ole One-Six

As is usual with the start of a new year, everyone seems to be either making resolutions or complaining about how everyone is making resolutions.

Goodness gracious. Don’t you know how many things there are in this world that are more deserving of your hatred and social media ranting than people trying to better themselves? Imagine how much you can accomplish if you put that energy into something else. It’s a little ridiculous.

I’m not a resolution hater. The start of a new year can be a good check point to evaluate where you are and what you’re doing in life, and compare it to where you want to be and what you’d rather be doing. And then you can map out efforts to correct course (AKA resolutions).

But I’d much rather refer to resolutions as goals. Goals are friendlier, like helpful guides… rather than stressful, out-of-reach standards with fear and failure seeping through every crack like impenetrable smog. The term “goals” makes my anxiety senses tingle a little less. 😉

Like many others, I envisaged my ideal 2016 and developed some on- and off-blog goals.

Sharing them with others is the first step toward making ’em happen!

Blogging Goals for 2016

1. Redesign. That’s right, I’m overhauling the look of The Cheerful Times! I’ve been experimenting with new themes for months, but I keep developing new visions that bring me back to square one. I’m really picky and incredibly stubborn when it comes to this stuff, so this might take awhile. You may see some elements of the blog look a little funky as I’m messing with codes and themes — sorry in advance for any inconvenience this causes!

2. Refresh/update the oldies. A couple of my older posts need to be revisited, so I can clean up copy and update images/style. It’s funny how much things can change in a couple of years or less. Gotta keep fresh!

3. Up the frequency.

Embrace the short post. I think one of the reasons I don’t update very frequently (despite checking in on the blog and my subscriptions multiple times a day) is because every gosh darn post takes FOREVER. Blog posts don’t need to be such time-consuming novels!

Don’t overthink it. There are tons of post ideas I develop and then scrap because they don’t fit neatly into the various categories I’ve created. Earth to KB, it’s YOUR blog! I can post whatever I want!

4. Cultivate friendships with fellow bloggers and readers. I’m shy, both face-to-face and digitally. But I love meeting new people and developing relationships! There are tons of awesome individuals blogging, commenting, and reading (like you), and I’d love to get to know you more. Please don’t ever hesitate to drop a comment to introduce yourself, pop by to say hello, or add your two cents. I’m very friendly and always love to hear from you. We can be pals! 🙂

5. Incorporate more original, high-quality photography. I’m a hobby photographer. It’s a creative outlet for me, and I love it so much. But somewhere along the way I stopped actively taking photos with my digital SLR, as well as actively sharing that sh*t. The year 2015 was a bit tumultuous for me, so on Black Friday I treated myself to a brand new digital SLR, two lenses, and a camera bag (Thank you, Amazon, for the AMAZING deal! $ :mrgreen: $). I’m in love with my new equipment and I’m getting back on the horse! While not every post lends itself to pretty photography, expect to see more incorporated!

Side note: A few weeks ago, I was playing around with my new camera, photographing my BFF Sara’s dog Emmy wearing a Brooklyn Bowtied original. Much to my surprise, I received a text from my sister saying that the one and only REAL SIMPLE Magazine actually featured one of my photos on their Instagram!!! Like, okay, welcome back to the photography world, Kelsey! Unreal.

Dog bow tie from Brooklyn Bowtied featured by Real Simple Magazine | The Cheerful Times
A screenshot from a few weeks ago. A win for me, my sister’s doggie bow tie business, and Sara & her poodle Emmy! (You can buy this bow tie style here – $5 from each purchase goes to a local animal rescue!)

6. MORE CRAFTS! No additional explanation needed.

7. Launch a Facebook page.* I’ve debated it for a while, but I think it’s finally time to start a Facebook page for the blog. Not only will it be a place to go for the newest posts, but also for uplifting news and other happy tidbits.

*Confession: While this post was sitting in my drafts, I actually completed my first 2016 blog goal and created The Cheerful Times Facebook page! Please consider heading over and “liking” it for a delightful addition to your newsfeed. You won’t regret it! It’s small now (it was just born, after all), but will only get bigger and more fun! Come join the family!

fbblog

Oh boy. My goal about “embracing the short post” is already getting to me. This one is getting too long! I also made a list of 2016 personal goals, but I guess I’ll just have to save it for a part 2 😉

Thanks, everyone! I hope your new year is off to a great start!

What are your 2016 blogging goals? Anything like mine? Tell me below!

Love,
Kelsey

4 thoughts on “Making Goals, Taking Names: 2015, 2016 & beyond!

    1. Hi Miss Caly, thanks so much! I just stopped by your blog and totally love your look as-is. I’m looking forward to seeing how you choose to redesign! Nice to meet you, and thanks for reading! 🙂

      Like

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