Setting the Stage for 2017 | Looking Back + What’s Ahead

setting-the-stage-for-2017

The first week of January is nearly over, and I’m already late with posting my 2016 wrap up and 2017 goals *nervous laughter* Hopefully it’s not indicative of what the rest of the year will be like?

Fiery Reads has changed a lot over the past year + handful of months I’ve been blogging. I had my 1st year blogiversary in late September, I hit some big milestone goals, and I read a shit ton of books. The changes won’t be stopping anytime soon; the second part of this post will focus on what’s in store for the blog in 2017, and what changes you can expect around here.

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looking-back-at-2016

In the beginning of 2016, I set a bunch of reading and blogging goals. I talked about my success rate for the reading challenges in this post so I’m not going to go over it again here. Instead, I’m going to take the time to look over the blogging goals I set, and how I did:

  • Post a new discussion every Sunday

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA. Yeah, this goal didn’t go so well. I was pretty good with it for the first month or so! But there was no way that I could–or did–post a new discussion every Sunday. That would be over 50 discussions, and seeing as I went through a big blogging slump at the end of the year, that didn’t happen.

But the discussions I did write were consistently my top posts ever! I have to say, I’m really proud of the discussions I did manage to write; you can check them all out here 🙂

  • Go to BEA, meet some friends, and generally have a kickass time

This one I definitely achieved. BEA was my first ever *official* book conference and I met so many amazing people there. I even got to meet my best friend, Ava, there in person! Seeing all the authors and being surrounded by thousands of book people was so, so wonderful, and something I’m really grateful I got to experience.

(because i am lame i have no pictures from BEA 😦 )

BUT! I also got to go to another AMAZING conference, one I enjoyed even more than BEA: ALA. I went to Orlando for the conference, and I met up with a bunch of my friends. Over the course of 3 days, I walked a million miles, got a ton of books, and lived the best 72 hours of my life. Another plus? I got to get a ton of my most anticipated books of the year–and this time, I took pictures!

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I also got the chance to go to NYCC! I went to this with my family, and I saw a mix of film/tv things and book things. I did come back with a few exciting ARCs though, and I’m going to post a review on one of those books soon 🙂

Of all the events, ALA was my favorite. It was the best 3 days of my life by far. If you ever have the chance to go to this event, it’s 110% worth it.

  • Try and post two times a week on the blog

Ehhhh this goal is debatable. I went through a two month drought on the blog at the end of 2016 where I posted nothing, but in the beginning of 2016, I posted nearly every other day. I think I did okay with this goal; I didn’t do *terribly*, but I could’ve done a lot better.

  • Post a picture to instagram every day

THIS IS THE FUNNIEST THING I’VE SEEN ALL DAY. I can’t even remember making this goal. I actually quit instagram over 6 months ago…..so you can see how well this went.

  • Receive my first print ARC

Yes!!! I was so so so excited about this one. The first ARC I ever received from the publisher was A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry, which I really enjoyed. You can check out my review here.

So as you can see, I didn’t do so well on these goals. Some of them I only achieved halfway, and others I just outright failed. But that’s okay! It’s a learning experience. Now I know what’s realistic and what’s not when it comes to me and my blog, and that’s going to help me shape my goals for 2017.

stats

The best thing I did for myself this year was ignore my blog stats. I didn’t actively follow them or watch my page views or anything like that. It was nice to blog for fun instead of trying to get the most views. I’d really recommend it; it’s so relaxing, and it makes blogging fun again.

But that doesn’t mean I’m unaware of my stats, and it’s true that stats can play a big role in how a blog functions. It’s what publishers pay attention to and it lets you know how many people read your content.

I’m publishing my stats from 2016 so I can analyze them in relation to my goals, but also so everyone else can see. I’m not ashamed of my stats–in fact, I’m so, so proud and grateful for what I’ve already achieved after over a little more than a year of blogging.

Posts: 86 posts

VIEWS: 10,693 views

COMMENTS: 634

WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS: 276 (AS OF 1.5.17)

BLOGLOVIN FOLLOWERS: 170 (as of 1.5.17)

Looking at all of this data, I’m stunned. I’m so grateful that people enjoy my content, and I’m really proud of my little blog that could 🙂 Here’s to hoping 2017 is just as good to Fiery Reads as 2016 was!

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And now for the main attraction: what’s happening on the blog in 2017

There are going to be a few big changes. First, I’m going to cut back on my reviews. I still LOVE reading and recommending books to other people, but my reviews are consistently my lowest posts, and they take the longest time to put together. That doesn’t mean there won’t be reviews! I think I’m going to post most of my reviews on goodreads, and post a few on the blog.

So what will I be posting otherwise? This is the fun part–I want to start writing more discussion posts again, more posts recommending books, maybe even something not related to books. Who knows what the future holds?

For now, here are my blogging goals for the year:

  • Post at least once a week: twice a week is a hard thing for me during certain times of the year, so I’m going to try and have a new post every week. Original and fresh content is the most important thing when it comes to writing a blog, so I’m really hoping I can stick with this one!
  • Find a balance between blogging and writing: Being a blogger who is also serious about writing is hard. Add being a high school student to the mix, and I have almost no free time. This year, I want to be able to devote enough time to both of my favorite hobbies.
  • Write at least one discussion post a month: they’re my favorite post to write, and your favorite post to read. This one is a no-brainer, and the one I’m going to try my hardest to achieve.
  • Reach 500 followers: Stats aren’t a huge deal to me, but it would be nice to reach this huge milestone this year. Here’s to hoping I can create original, fun content that a ton of people love!
  • Win my goodreads reading challenge: This is my only reading challenge for the year. I set it at 100 books, but my unofficial goal is 125.

I don’t want to overwhelm myself with goals, so for now, this is all I’m going to put. Good luck, future Alex–considering how last year went, you’ll need it!!

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What are your goals for the new year? let me know in the comments below!

 

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3 thoughts on “Setting the Stage for 2017 | Looking Back + What’s Ahead

  1. Maha @younicornreads says:

    happy (late) new year, alex! 💞
    it’s okay if you didn’t achieve your goals, really. looking back, i *think* you finished your first WIP? and that’s? freaking? amazing?
    also, i’d LOVE to go to a book conference! i don’t think there are YA-based conferences in my country, but i think there are, at least, conferences. at least in french. so i’d love to go to one of those one day.
    i’m so excited to see what your blog has in store this year! here’s to an amazing 2017! ❤️

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  2. Lizzy says:

    Good luck with your goals! I think it’s perfectly acceptable though, to have somewhat fluid goals, especially for things that take as much time as blogging and writing. Sometimes life happens. A few years ago there were a lot of things I meant to do in the year…I had SUCH big goals and dreams for myself…and then I ended up moving and changing jobs in the year and everything else just kind of fell flat. But you know what? It was ok. Because I did important things, even if they weren’t the ones I thought I’d be doing that January. 🙂

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  3. Miss Dino says:

    This new year I am trying not to completely pressure myself into all these goals, you can check out the ones that I made on my blog, but they aren’t many. I like to leave some “breathing room” for myself with goals, but overall I think I made some pretty good ones!
    I liked the goals you made, and I am sure that they are achievable, so you know that you’ll have chances of actually completing them!

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