Being a content creator is a strange thing. Sometimes you think a blog post or video will perform really well. The topic inspires you, your passion and enthusiasm are high, you share your best advice… and the tumbleweed comes rolling through.
Other times something simple and unassuming takes off and you don’t really know why.
I feel like 2018 was a turning point for me. Everything took a hit – blog traffic, YouTube views, my health, my wellbeing… But in the midst of all that, I still felt excited for the future because I know that difficult times are what separate the fierce from the fairweathers.
I’ve learned a huge amount about myself and my business. Even when things were tough (and at times they were VERY tough), I kept going. I took care of myself (in the end), I made great memories with my family and friends, I established good routines, I settled into a new home, and I produced some of the content I’m most proud of.
Believe me when I say it’s so good to see some of that in the top 10. I haven’t got it all figured out, but it’s a great feeling when something I truly love turns out to be something you love too.
Here are the 2018 blog posts that drove the most traffic to the site:
Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018
Click the pictures to be taken to the post.
This one's tricky but it's something I'm getting better at – letting the small stuff go. Journaling has really helped because, as I look back over old entries where I'm fretting about something or other, I can see that a lot of those things were just plain silly, or didn't even come to pass.
And for the things that did? Well, I survived.
Nevermind a leaf, I had to take a whole chapter out of this book in the latter half of 2018. I burnt out in September, and then my daughter got hit with one disease after another (which, I might add, is still continuing; she currently has Fifth Disease, AKA "slapped cheek"). There were days when even just getting out of bed was a struggle.
I still haven't quite found my groove again, but I'm getting there.
When I turned 34 in May I vowed to make it a standout year. I hit upon the idea of taking on a new challenge every month until I turned 35. This one is obviously still a work in progress, but my first test was to start getting up earlier.
Now, I'm a night owl through and through. When the sun goes down, my motivation levels go way up. But Sam gets up early to go to work, and I have to be up at a reasonably early hour too, to get Scout ready for school. So late nights no longer make sense.
Plus, the world's most successful people are, invariably, early risers who have already started their day while the rest of us are still hitting the snooze button.
I'll go ahead and give you a spoiler right now: this one stuck! I get up at 6.30 most mornings and enjoy a small bit of peace and quiet before Scout comes crashing down the stairs. It may not be the most "natural" for me, but I'm in a good rhythm nonetheless.
I don't think this requires any introduction or explanation, but I was very surprised it was so popular.
I hesitate to call myself a writer but sometimes I produce a piece that I'm particularly proud of.
When burnout hit, I basically went into hibernation. This is the post I wrote to explain my absence.
It wouldn't be a top 10 if it didn't include decluttering.
Again, no explanation necessary. I kept them all as simple, practical, and helpful as I could.
One of the biggest things people struggle with when it comes to the KonMari Method (and decluttering in general) is sentimental items. Those things we all have tucked away in our attics and basements – old photos, love letters, cards, memorabilia, trinkets, inherited items...
With so much emotion attached to them, it's easy to see why this is a stumbling block. The Wave Technique is something I'd been developing and honing for a while and, when I thought it was ready, I finally shared it. Truth be told, it could help with any category of decluttering, but it's especially useful for the really difficult ones.
If you got stuck in your simplifying journey, I hope this post proves helpful and gets you back on track.
This was a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to setting up a weekly schedule. If you're not prepared to put in a decent amount of time upfront to get this all set up properly, give it a miss.
And now for the top spot. The 2018 post that got the most traffic was...
This was another of those "unassuming" posts that did surprisingly well. Maybe I'll do a follow-up...
And that's it for the posts. Apparently you want to do everything, and you want to do it quickly. 😉
And now for the YouTube channel. These are the videos that got the most eyeballs:
Top 10 Videos of 2018
Click on the video to play it.
Unsurprisingly, saving money takes another top 10 spot.
This is the video version of the blog that appeared in the top 10 posts above.
I'll have an update on this one soon. Ish. Maybe. Does anyone care?
I'm a huge STM fan. That's why, even though I'm a digital planner these days, I still bought this as soon as it was released. There's a lot to be said for supporting a company close to your heart, and I've always found STM to be the best out there for listening and responding to their customers.
I see how much thought and care they put into their products, and it shows. The quality of these planners, as well as their notebooks, is excellent. If you've been looking for a planner that has a huge amount of flexibility (like bullet journaling) but that also has some structure so you're not endlessly drawing out boxes and trackers, this is the one for you.
Fun fact: I actually had to go around my home creating mess just so I could "clean it up" for this video. Ha ha. It took a LOT of time to film and edit, so I'm delighted it was one of my most viewed for the year. Made the mess worthwhile. 😉
This one attracted a lot of negativity, and I can see why. People felt I was being unfair to America, or that I was being overly critical. I suppose when you move far from home it's easy to notice the things you feel you're missing out on. Like decent healthcare. There, I said it. 😛
There are definitely things we struggle with and can't quite understand but, overall, we love our lives here. (Otherwise, we wouldn't still be here.)
Anyway, the extra reactions (good and bad) bumped this one up in the rankings a bit, getting more eyeballs on it. In turn, that led to even more negative comments. And the cycle continues.
Should I do a follow-up, or would that be pure folly?
I can't tell you how happy this little project made me. We moved out of that house shortly afterwards but I really loved my cosy little office space. Most of the content in this post was conceived and brought to life in that very room, and I'll always have very fond memories of it.
This was another video that attracted quite a lot of negativity. People felt I was complaining too much. It's very hard to walk that fine line between wanting to inspire someone and show the positive side of things, but also wanting to be realistic and show things as they truly are.
Honestly, it sucks that any time I say something that's not entirely positive and upbeat, someone comes along and basically calls me a moody cow. I adore the KonMari Method, but if I share something that's causing me to struggle, people accuse me of being "jealous" of Marie Kondo, or of not understanding the Method. Ugh.
Again though, more views, so swings and roundabouts.
If you thought the negativity on the last one was bad... Ha ha. I've never had so many attacks on my appearance before.
And the top spot goes to...
The KonMari Method continues to be a huge source of traffic for me, particularly now with the new Netflix show. In recent years I've made massive strides when it comes to simplifying and streamlining my life, and this Method has been instrumental in that, so it's great to see it's helping so many others too.
Stripping away the excess and getting back to basics is something I'll be continuing to do in 2019, so you can look forward to me sharing more lessons as I learn them. 😉
It’s pretty clear that decluttering and cleaning were hot topics in 2018. I expect this to continue into 2019 so if you love those videos, stick around. Also, expect a lot more moodiness and negativity because, apparently, they lead to more views. Ha! Kidding!
Overall, 2018 taught me a lot of lessons. Some were harder than others to learn, but all for the greater good. I have a clearer focus, a stronger network, and a better understanding of myself.
But I’m still a terrible cook. ‘Cause some things never change.
What was your favourite from the above? Or what would you like to see more of in 2019? Maybe your idea will be on next year’s top 10 list!