2021 Year In Review

What a year 2021 has been. I’ve rebranded this blog, stepped out into freelancing, celebrated a year of marriage and so much more. Let me first acknowledge that I have a lot to be thankful for and grateful for. I saw much success this year personally and professionally. So this year’s year in review will be a bit different. In this review, I’ll try my best to give you a thorough summary of the year that was both on the blog and in my personal life. To help with the storytelling I’ll be tackling each milestone as a mini-story on its own. I hope you enjoy this little sneak peek into my life.

I’ve seen this meme floating around where everyone seems to be scared to claim 2022 as their year and I understand.  I’m approaching 2022 with caution too. We never know what the next minute, hour or day will bring so it’s normal to be scared of a new whole year especially in these unprecedented times. But if there’s anything I’ve learnt from this year I’ve had is “your time is your time”. Your moment in the sun won’t be stopped by rain.

The last two years have been very difficult for all of us in different ways. But in the midst of it, people have bloomed.  Businesses were born, degrees obtained, people gained the courage to quit toxic jobs and gain better ones. It hasn’t been doom and gloom all around and it will never be.

So as we approach the new year, don’t be afraid to plan, dream and sow the seed you want to reap in the future.

I met my  goals

This year I bought a bullet journal and decided this was the year that I’d get myself together. I planned to get on track and stay on track with my trusted bullet journal holding me accountable. As the year comes to a close I’m proud to say I did that!

I made a list of my goals at the start of the year or a little before and I can now tick almost all of them off.

Goal 1: More blog visitors

The key here is to set smart, realistic goals. One of my goals was to have over 1000 monthly visitors to my blog and I easily exceeded that monthly. When I made the name switch from The Sunny Side Ja to Simply Candi Nicole my monthly visitor numbers took a hit but I’m sure I’ll be able to rebuild going into the new year. 

Goal 2: Learn something new

Another goal I had was to pursue some professional studies. I didn’t quite feel the need for a master’s degree but I did want to learn something new. So to act on that I set a goal to complete a short course I had enrolled in in 2020 and gave myself the goal of completing another. This time it wasn’t such a short course (it was actually 6 months long)  and while I’m not completely done at the time of writing this I only have one course left and so I’m still counting it as success.  

Goal 3: Create an additional income stream

The third goal I’ll share with you is another personal/professional one but it ties well into this blog. I became a freelance writer this year! When I set the goal of obtaining freelance gigs I thought I’d be busy searching high and low for clients. Oh, how wrong I was. The gigs and clients came to me. All I had to do was what I was already doing: writing and sharing my work. By February I had my first client on Upwork and soon thereafter I had my second.

Remember what I said earlier about your time being your time? This is what I was referring to. This was nothing I could have planned for myself. Divine alignment allowed me the success I had with this goal.

The Upwork client didn’t pay the best but it was a good start. It gave me the confidence I needed with my second client and this partnership is far more rewarding.

Hosting my first giveaway

If you’re subscribed to this blog you would remember the skincare giveaway I hosted in exchange for your feedback on subscription emails earlier this year. I had 3 lucky winners who were able to take home a quaint skincare box from Simply Luxe Botanicals

Hosting a giveaway is a goal I’ve had for a long time so I was happy to finally be able to give back to my subscribers. I plan on doing many more giveaways in the future as my blog continues to grow so subscribe so you don’t miss out

I upgraded my equipment

As an investment back into the business that allowed me to buy it in the first place I bought a new computer. My previous was a pain and was failing me on all fronts. I could hardly use it. Everything ran painstakingly slow on it and though it served me well for years it was time for an upgrade. 

My new income allowed me to afford it and I thought it was a wise decision to invest in the tool I’ll be using to make money in the future. Because of this upgrade, I’ll be able to edit and upload new YouTube videos. You can look out for that in 2022.

Blog income

A goal of mine was to reach Google Adsense’s threshold for payout. Unfortunately, switching domain names (blog name) dashed my dreams. Because I changed my blog name there were some technical issues I had to iron out before I could opt to have my blog display ads. Fixing those issues took me months, not so much because of difficulty but life happens and other priorities had my attention. I’ve finally solved the issues and I plan to have ads up and running again in January. If any ads appeal to you don’t be afraid to click on them, it’s perfectly safe and it helps to keep this blog running.

While I didn’t meet my goal for AdSense this blog has still been earning money through collaborations. You may recall the headband wig collaboration I did in partnership with Luvme Hair. More recently, I’ve tapped into influencer marketing and I occasionally work on branded content through Intellifluence. You don’t have to worry about this blog becoming saturated with branded content. This is an honest space. That means collaborations seen on this blog are carefully chosen with my brand and audience in mind and if I don’t genuinely love a product or service you will never hear of it. 

Blog views

In 2021 blog views were maintained at 5 figures. Unlike years past I decided not to use any paid marketing strategies and I’m very happy I was able to generate around the same volume of views completely organically. Thanks to each and every person who took the time to read my blog this year.

The best performing month for views was March. 2021 was the best year yet for comments. You guys really engaged with my content this year and I love it. I had the highest number of comments in March as well.

The most popular posts for 2020 were:

  1. 15 Romantic Date Ideas You Can Do In Kingston
  2. How I Cleared My Adult Cystic Acne
  3. What Azelaic Acid Did To My Skin
Thank you

I have been loving the engagement I’ve been getting from you guys. I see you interacting with my newsletters, commenting on blog posts and sharing my content on social media. I appreciate it all. Thank you for supporting my blog in any way that you have and I hope to have your continued support in the year ahead.

Thanks for reading through this testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. I pray for your success in everything you do this year and I pray the spirit of the Lord will guide you always.

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