Blog Talk: 2016 in Blogging and 2017 Goals! (+ a genuine thank you!)
It seems a bit into 2017 to still be looking back in 2016. But I promise, that was not the intention, and it was supposed to be up way earlier. I had typed up this post, totally from my heart and using the blog app on my phone.
But my phone battery wasn't charged. It's a bad habit I have especially since moving to the UK where I know there's always power supply. But alas, my phone surprisingly went off without warning and I realised the post was not saved. So I had to type this up all over again.
Top Tip: Always type your blog posts on a separate word processor like notes.
Anyway, 2016 was an important year for the blog, so it's worth a fairly detailed recap, with really important bits you shouldn't miss at the bottom of the post.
Except you're completely new around here, you probably already know the story of how I started my blog. It wasn't actually my first blog. Or my second. It was my third. But the first two had barely five posts between them and were not read by anyone other than Tee or my sisters.
I wish I had a video recording of the moments leading up to the time I eventually shared my first blog post on Facebook. Because I have no idea where that courage came from and I'll definitely love some more of it. The first day of sharing the blog brought about 300 page views. Not bad, I thought to myself. People may actually want to read what I have to say.
So I fell in love with the blog.
My initial blog layout was basically one page of the entire posts following sequentially. I'll never forget the reader who emailed me say "thumbs up on starting, but a bit of aesthetics on the blog may be needed". I was going to work on that, but such helpful encouragement and feedback often go a long way.
My initial posts were also very personal. With posts about my Frolleague, my kneeling culture experience (as a non-Yoruba person married to one) and how I ate my chicken with my hands on my first date with Tee, and how he got me a dozen roses when I failed my driving test. Little wonder someone said "are all your posts going to be about you and Tee". The rebuttal to that, sort of, was this post on how to deal with negative criticism. But you can tell I took the good from that - obviously, as not all my posts are about Tee.
Just into day 2 of blogging, and I caught social media envy. I found myself comparing my three digit statistics with the six digits of an older blogger! (It didn't help that she had live on her blog so I could see the figures go up by the second) Comparison can be a struggle, but thankfully I nipped that in the bud wondering on what basis I should even compare myself to her! If you often find yourself in such situation, I shared some great tips on how to kill social media envy & comparison and 6 easy ways to stay grateful and content.
My February and March blog posts also had really weird titles - such that you may have found it weird to decipher prior to reading, what the post was about. Take this one - Unintended Rant & Oechestra Tickets. It's a really fun blog post, and a particular person's favourite. But what on earth is that title? Or this post on gift preferences initially titled - Just Give me the Darn money. And this great post on the beauty of often being single or bae less which I titled "One Good Head Can Take Over the World", as well as this fun post on Chinese Etiquette which was initially titled 2016: The Year of the Monkey! *sigh*
Sometimes such weird titles really work! But these days I'm more inclined to go for titles that at least have a direct bearing on the post.
By a sheer stroke of luck, my post got published on one of Africa's most popular entertainment website. Quite a number of people found me through that post, I think. So I wrote this post on "How a Flu + Mother's Day made me Famous!"
I also rejoined twitter. I remember that when I published the post above I had 12 followers! Seeing as I'd joined twitter in 2009 - this wasn't a great statistic for 7 years later. Not to bring Tee into this, but he was the cause of my poor followership. He made me join twitter, as he kept going on and on about it. Then one day I tweeted at him, and he didn't reply. So I disconnected my account! Ugh... early days relationship drama!
But Twitter is such a great tool for blog promotion, so I'm back at it. With about 850 followers as at today. Not bad aye? You should follow me: @KacheeTee
I also made public my Instagram account. This was a slightly tough one because I'm a private (ish) person. But asides blog promotion, there's people out there I'm called to inspire and impact, and a private Instagram ain't going to do that! Plus we all know how annoying it is when you stumble on an Instagram account and it's private. Arrgh.
March 8th - International Women's Day and someone asked if we had international men's day, so I felt compelled to write a really enlightening post on International women's day and the essence of it. And yes, by the way, there's an International Men's Day
March meant Lent. So I shared an interesting find on what the Americans gave up for lent - according to their states. Shout out to the good people of Delaware who gave up the Internet! After Lent was Easter and I had so much fun learning and writing these fun facts about Easter eggs!
I almost always write my blog posts on my phone on the train back home from work. It's a great tip to save time. One day I got on a wrong train and found myself in a place called Stoke-on-Trent. Good grief! I met the loveliest old man though, and the experience birthed this post on why you shouldn't judge anyone!
Started the #WeInterview series to interview awesome inspiring ladies! We had nine amazing features and I'm so excited for the line up for this year.
Now a twitter user, I randomly stumbled on the phrase 'sibling goals'. So I wrote this post talking about my sibling goals and shared memories from my childhood. Including the one time my brother and I smashed the TV, so the army guys on there could come and guard our house!
My boss at work gave me free tickets to the orchestra just because I spoke up! So, with a bit of a tongue twister title - Why Shall You Shy, I shared on the need to go after what you want! No shy zone, please.
We hit a 100 subscribers! I may have bullied some of them into subscribing but who cares? Now they're taking me for all the good stuff. 3 people un-subscribed (don't worry, they had good reasons). But even if they didn't, know that you can't be everyone's cup of tea!
Started the monthly recap posts, reviewing the previous months, and planning of the next.. After all, they say an un-examined life is not worth living! And isn't that the reason we are writing this post in the first place? Also shared some of the questions Tee & I get asked the most on our Igbo-Yoruba Inter-Ethnic marriage.
Started seeing lots of people begging on the streets of London. So I flashed back to that one time I begged on the streets of London. This isn't weird title, as I really did beg. But there's a greater message in the post which is super important! Likewise this post on easiest hack to get rid of bingo wings is a hack but, well... you probably don't want to use that hack forever.
Started our #NigerianInterEthnicLoveStories which is pretty dear to my heart. First couple was Tina & Nonso and then Ayo and Cyril and Flora and Kunle. Each couple have funny stories! from how they met, to the foods they can't stand from their spouses culture and tricks played on parents! And Dr N's real life story of faith and triumph is such a must read.
What do you do when a couple photo shoot freebie goes south? You write a blog post on it, share some of the photos and more importantly on how to get the best of freebies!
The blog was a sponsor to The NFB Yard Sale, in Lagos and some of the proceeds when to charity! Rather strangely, a routine pedicure visit resulted in an assault on me and a 999 police phonecall. I really wanted to share the experience with a wider group, and so I did so on an external platform, But then I became unsure of the post and didn't tell anyone I wrote it. I started feeling better when people told me it was very good read. We should really learn to not underate our work!
Six months of regular blogging! And nominated for a blog award. Having passed the six months mark, I started thinking about taking the blog seriously and improving it. Was crushing on the iMac computer to help with this - so I shared some gadgets we are probably all crushing on. I'm still waiting for number 4!. This simple post on what married couples should share, ended up being about sharing toothbrushes or not. One of our most popular ones and the comments make me laugh all the time! That's definitely one where a weird title sort of worked.
Finally shared the details of the CV & Career workshop my friend and I held in Lagos. I really do enjoy Career talks and articles and looking to do more of those this year. If it's something you'll be interested in, you should look out for that.
Our first guest post: Tayo shares her awesome experience at the Chale Wote Festival in Ghana and her take on Ghana Jollof rice. Another first and a blogger collaboration. Mine took the format of a letter to my younger self on all the skills I wished I learnt. Definitely a popular post with lots of insightful comments on what people wished they had learned.
We didn't quit! We made it to 100 posts! And I answer 5 useful questions I get asked on blogging. If you're a blogger, the answers may be helpful to you.
October is also the month for the girl child and breast cancer awareness. So I merged both in this post on Girl Talk - How to check your breasts (+helpful infographic). On a lighter note, we celebrated NationalHandBagDay (apparently it's a thing), and it made me think: Are Designer Handbags Justifiable? - To Buy or Not to Buy? I liked the comment a reader left about her grandfather's approach, and I think I'll adopt that.
We hit a bit of a milestone. 9 Months of blogging and 100k views. I also finally improved the layout of the blog to make it more functional and introduced pages such as a first timer page, an FAQ page, a Testimonial page, a Work with me page and updated the about page!
We also had a second guest post by Ebzz on mastering the art of gifting and how to always buy the perfect gifts.
This was very much a Tee post. It was 9 years since we met and our first date, so I share all the details on How we met, first date and a 9 Years later photoshoot. Such lovely comments on the post, thank you! I can imagine most people were surprised to see me that glammed up. I was surprised myself too!, and maybe I should try it more often.
Sent our first newsletter - after many months of procrastination. See it here.
Everyone looks forward to gifts and Christmas. And so with crossed fingers, I shared our Christmas wish lists, hoping on secret santa. How sweet that a reader offered to get me number 3 on my list. I'm taking that offer up asap, as it seems I may have lost my current ones.
First brand collaboration. I shared my love for greeting cards, especially personalised ones + how I've kept the 52+ cards ever received from Tee. If you're into greeting cards, this idea of Video greeting cards is genius. And finally, some rather funny one liner Christmas riddles and jokes. Glad that a number of people totally loved the humour.
I know that was long! But I felt it was important to share this because:
- I was in the mood to write*
- I wanted to show you some posts you may have missed (so please read them!)
- It's important to document growth - lest we forget humble beginnings
- I wanted to encourage someone. Start, write about anything. Be willing to make amends and change.
Finally I really want to say thank you! Some people are read all of my almost 150 blog posts. That's incredible.
On my birthday in 2016 (November), someone tweeted at me saying one of the highlights of her year was watching me grow. And it meant so much to me. But that growth, was mostly because of this blog. I doubt I'll ever be able to explain how much impact it has had in me. And seeing that i've been able to teach, inspire, encourage or just make someone laugh, means the absolute world to me.
So thank you again!, or to put it in my native Igbo language, 'Dalu', and in Tee's Yoruba language, 'Ese'!
Someone said to me that the beauty of the blog was that when you get the blog post notification email (you're subscribed to receive posts by email right!?) you never really know what the topic will be on, and he absolutely loves it.
I love that we're able to have meaningful conversations about everything:
- What happens behind the scenes of a marriage proposal? Is it all perfect as we see on proposal photos and videos?
- Should wives should take their husband's last name (and not just on social media!): 8 reasons why some ladies are refusing to do so. A lot of it is the administrative hassle!
- Should husbands should go on a men-only vacation.? We sort of agreed that a short holiday is okay, subject to some ground rules.
- 6 love lessons learnt from my wedding rings (absolutely love number 2 which emphasises that love is a conscious decision), and
- 4 do-able traditions for young couples. The favourite seems to be an annual photoshoot, bt the ladies say the men are often not willing to co-operate!
- A surprisingly popular one - How to successfully survive long distance relationships!
- Learning and being inspired by the Proverbs 31 (super) woman
- Ruth and Naomi's friendship and all the lessons there (including knowing that monster mother-in-laws are not the norm)
- Discussing how to pray better especially using the JOY model
- In a world where so many bad stuff happens, how to deal with fear!
Law & Careers:
- How to stop making typos + 25 Microsoft Word shortcuts totally worth knowing. I refer to this post a lot, and I hear many have it book marked.
- How to effectively maximise your day job and side hustle. I still have not got around to getting separate business cards!
- What to do when trying to get a foreign academic scholarship, + 6 helpful tips to succeed at the Nigerian law school. These are super helpful, as although I still graduated with a first class, I'll have made more effort particularly as regards networking.
- Tips for being confident and nailing public speaking + succeeding at job interviews with the STAR technique.
- Kind of dicey, but there's the argument of why you should choose a Boss and not a job.
Humour & Weddings
- Had a huge laugh like when my husband defined makeup products! But we agree he did a pretty good job.
- And everyone sort of fit into at least two of the 8 Interesting Kind of Dancers at a Nigerian wedding.
- Weddings: the amazing moments, ideas and tips on personalising your wedding, important details to have an awesome day and the hilarious moments no one talks about!
- 6 different and easy ways to cook and enjoy eggs - The fact that it helped solved the dilemma between omelette, scrambled, and fried eggs made the post with it.
- Questions we have about makeup - we realised some people contour their legs as well!
- The ultimate guide to buying men's gift, with 11 categories. No jokes, this post was the saviour to a friend's relationship. Sort of.
- All the tips and tricks for shaving and body hair removal, whether or not to have a large first year old birthday party for your child, and helpful ironing hacks.
- After I almost fell victim, I shared a lesson in Cyber security 101 on how to avoid scams and stay safe online.
These may sound a bit cliche, but very helpful.
- How to become a morning person + really useful habits to adopt.
- 5 support networks everyone needs and why you absolutely need younger friends!
- When iconic Shoe maker Manolo Blahnik himself give an advice to choose books over shoes, including reading classics like Charles Dickens, you know its important!
- Being able to share some of our travel experience and adventure: Like Malaysia, Barbados, a beach resort in Lagos and our Olumo Rock adventures, and inspire people to travel. Two of my friends have now been to Cornwall because of our review!
The idea of the blog remains the same. To build a community - positive space where we can learn, live and laugh. To this end, your comment on here isn't just a comment. It's super appreciated,a and know that someone is learning from you.
In our second newsletter, I shared the Top 10 commented posts and how much I value your comments. Please don't keep sharing.
And special thank you to all the people who featured me on their blogs at one time on the other. It was humbling and fulfilling stumbling into a feature where you say that you like my blog or posts and recommend it to others.
Blog goals for 2017
- Continue to improve this space for you to the best of my ability.
- Better timetable on days and times for new posts.
- New categories / features including more blogging, faith, travel and fashion posts.
- Increase readership (counting on you to spread the word and share posts, thank you!).
- More giveaways.
- Host or Attend a Bloggers Meet up or event.
- Get an assistant or two. If you think you'll love to, I shared the details in our third newsletter. Get in touch.
- Finally it'll great for the blog to generate some money, some how. There's a lot of helpful apps, subscriptions and software out there I'll love to buy, but can't really invest that much at this time. When I finally bought my iMac, Tee said "can't your blog pay for this!?". I had a good laugh, but hopefully soon!
I write because you read, so please let me know what sort of posts you'll like to see here! Relationship? Blog tips? Interviews? - Will love to hear your thoughts.
And finally, if I may: I'll absolutely appreciate if you could share this post. I really did spend unbelievable hours on it, and I think any new reader will get a fair summary and the gist of the blog! So please share this one post to your Whatsapp groups, Twitter, Google+ or on Facebook too!
And, you can just click the tweet button below to share to Twitter.
Thanks again for finding me in 2016, and I look forward to sharing 2017 with you!
If you blog, was was your biggest achievement of 2016, and the one thing you think you did better. Plus ever made a mistake and lost a draft post?
*I was in the mood to write when I wrote the original post. I was not so in the mood to write when I had to think it all up again. But I'm pretty impressed with what I came up with. Please don't forget to share - as some form of compensation to me.
pS: Please follow me on Bloglovin!. And I'm probably pushing my luck, but if you could like this post on there too, that will be awesome!