Reflections and Dreams

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Happy New Year! 2018 is going to be a fabulous year… I can feel it. I’m not big on new year resolutions, but I have some big dreams for the coming year.

While I would normally keep to myself and just work really hard behind the scenes without anyone realizing, I wanted to share these dreams with you, my followers and community, so maybe we could work together to make this blog what I’m dreaming it can be. It’ll never become what I want without the help of all of you!

But first, let’s look back at all we’ve done in 2017. ๐Ÿ™‚

Reflections

Our church has a week of prayer and fasting every January, and each year we end up making some crazy decision during that week. In 2017, it was the launching of Joyful Derivatives! I figured since Chris and I were already doing tons of creative projects, why not share them with the world and teach others how to do them?? During the last few days of the month I worked my way through Abby’s Building a Framework (if you’re just starting a blog and want some really awesome advice on how to do it, I highly recommend her course) then on the 26th I  published my first post!

The rest of the year was spent doing house projects, hosting lots of fun get-togethers and participating in our first One Room Challenge!

Some of my most popular posts from the year were Easy Ways to Add Style to your Bathroom, 15 Fabulous Farmhouse Laundry Rooms and our Farmhouse Bathroom Makeover. It seems people like my bathroom designs, as our One Room Challenge bathroom series had a lot of traffic too!

My favorite DIY projects from the year were my Sunburst Mirror, our Breadbox Charging Station and the West-Elm Inspired Head Board.

Our house also saw lots of updating – including the faux brick backsplash, the deck makeover and the master bathroom makeover.

It’s been fun seeing how many projects Chris and I complete in a year – I knew we were handy, but didn’t realize how much time we spent doing these types of things until I started documenting. It’s also fun to grow as a couple in how we do our projects knowing we’re going to blog about them! It makes us think through the process a bit more, take better pictures and then talk through how to teach others to do it. I’m so thankful for him and his contribution to this blog!

This year was a year of “hobby blogging,” in that I didn’t dedicate much time to monetizing the blog. I sprinkled in a few ads and affiliate links, but my main goal was to try it out and make sure people liked my style of writing, rather than make a bunch of money doing it. I saw lots of growth in my Instagram following (I’m at about 11.5k followers) and have about 100 email subscribers. On average, I’m making about $50/month.

Are you ready to hear what my dreams for 2018 are??

Dreams

In 2018, my goal for this blog is to grow it enough that it can be another half-time income for me! As most of you know, I work 20 hrs/wk at a local credit union doing financial analysis, and I’d love for this blog to supplement that income and combine to give me a full-time income.

How am I going to do it? Well, there’s a lot to the business side of blogging I’ve neglected this last year – mostly due to a lack of time. But this year, I’m all in. Chris and I have scheduled out hours each week that will be dedicated to blogging so I have the time I need to get it all done. I plan to create a few opt-in freebies (free downloads or e-mail courses offered in exchange for subscribing to my email list) and even write an e-book or two. I’m networking with other bloggers more regularly, investing time in new avenues of social media, and building my photography skills. Over the last few weeks, I’ve really dived into the blogging sphere and IT’S SO FUN!! I honestly love it.

Another shift you’ll be seeing on here is more of the event planning/entertaining topic. I was taking a goal setting course recently that had you do an exercise to discover your “flow state” or what it was in life that you could do forever and enjoy so much you never realized how much time had past when you’re doing it. I realized that entertaining is that for me! It’s a big part of me and one of my favorite things to do! So while I obviously still love all things DIY and Home Design, you’ll also be seeing more entertaining posts too.

Ok, here’s where you can help me! I need to know what you’d like to see as an “opt-in freebie”? I’ve got a few ideas, like a party planning checklist, a email course on redecorating your home for free or a simple DIY starter-guide.

Also, if you could be so kind as to share my blog on social media? Getting my name out there is the first step, and if you love following along on our creative adventures, chances are some of your friends would too! There are buttons at the top of each post to make it easy for you to share – try them out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Again, thank you all for following along this past year as we began our adventure into blogging! It’s been a fabulous year of learning and discovery and I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!!

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