The one thing I am most proud of with my blog is that I create original content. I blog about the projects that I am actually working on and the products I like to use. This year I had 186 posts including 50 tutorials, 14 patterns and even a few recipes.
I like to support and encourage other professional crafters, artists and creative people. I have featured interviews or tutorials by six other creative ladies on my blog this year. I also spotlight one Etsy treasury each week in my Fun Find Friday post. In 2014, I plan on hosting regular link parties where Etsy artisans can submit items in their shop to help gain exposure for their work.
I'm building relationships with crafters of all skill levels. I reach out to every Etsy artisan who is included in my Fun Find Friday posts. I have also decided it's important to personally respond to each comment left by others because I appreciate when people tell me they like a particular project and hope to help if someone has a question.
I had over 9 times more page views in 2013 than in 2012. My personal goal, at the beginning of the year, was a 500% increase in page views, so I am very excited that I exceeded my goal. It didn't happen by accident. I'm getting better at promoting my blog by submitting tutorials to other crafty sites and have improved my search engine optimization practices.
My top 10 referring sites were quite varied. Of course much of my traffic comes from Google, Facebook and Pinterest, but I also had a substantial number of visitors who found me through, Craftgawker, Totally Tutorials, Ravelry, Tangled Happy, Knitting Paradise, Creativita Organizzata and I Share Crafts. Thank you for sharing links to my blog!
I finally own my domain name. I made a rookie mistake when I started blogging and didn't search the availability of the domain name I wanted and it was owned by another business. When it became available a few months ago I didn't hesitate to purchase it. Now, if you look up in the address bar, you will notice it says http://www.thechillydog.com instead of http://thechillydog.blogspot.com.
My guiding principle...
I love to craft and learn new skills that I can incorporate into my creations. I take great pride in my work. Crafting often requires patience and attention to detail but with practice (and maybe some guidance and encouragement) everyone has the capacity to make crafting a relaxing and enjoyable part of their life.
The Chilly Dog is my place to share my crafting experiences, expertise and inspirations and I hope to guide, encourage and promote others in their creative endeavors.
Create Happiness. Expect Excellence.
Finally, my favorite projects from 2013.
Happy New Year!