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A Year in Review: 2016

I’ve never done a year-end review before, but they are actually quite popular in the blogging world so I figured I would give it a try.

The end of the Gregorian calendar year also happens to coincide with my self-hosting anniversary:

Almost exactly 1 year ago I bought the domain mishvoinmotion.com and started learning WordPress like a grown up blogger.

blizzard 2016 in Baltimore
January 2016 – Surviving the freak blizzard in Baltimore

I had put off self-hosting for so long. SO long. Five years!!

Why? Because I didn’t believe it mattered. I didn’t actually think anyone beyond my friends and family would ever care to read my blog, and even if they did, I would “never make it as a professional travel blogger so what’s the point.”

I still don’t see myself “breaking into” the travel blogging scene. If anything, it’s harder now more than ever. (If I had given it a solid go back in 2010, it would have been way easier to get traffic then than it is now competing amongst the literal millions of travel bloggers who have surfaced since.) Either way, I’m not sure I would be willing to make the sacrifices in my lifestyle that would be necessary to reach travel blogger fame.

But so what.

Cidery in Baltimore
February 2016 – Photoshooting at a Baltimore cidery with some cool friends

I’ve learned more about writing, marketing, and passive income this year than I ever did in the five years I was avoiding “trying” with my blog. So instead of shooting for fame or money, I will continue to shoot for learning more when it comes to blogging.


So what did happen this year for Mishvo in Motion?

I actually didn’t travel that much this year. I went to Sardinia, France, Seattle, and LA.

I think it was my least traveled year since graduating college, but I’m okay with that. Slow travel and living abroad are way more appealing to me than frantic nomad life.

I’ve always wanted a home base, but I also want the freedom to go somewhere (other countries yes but also, like, the doctor’s office) whenever I want without asking someone’s permission or losing my job. Hence why I’ve started freelancing (which I discussed a bit in my last newsletter – I’m sure you’ll hear more from me on that topic soon).

In Cala Gonone, Sardinia
July 2016 – Overlooking the sea at our hotel in Sardinia

Other things that happened this year: I…

– Committed to a new blog name, bought the domain and self-hosting

– Learned WordPress

– Learned SEO

– Did my first sponsored post

– Ranked on the first page of Google for my targeted keyword on one of my posts

– And ranked in Pinterest for my Weekend in Baltimore post for some reason

Hiking in LA
August 2016 – Hiking in LA with my parents during a visit to see Grandma

– Learned how to make cool things like Pinterest pins on Canva

– Started a newsletter and learned a bit of Mailchimp

– Sang some Disney songs in some Disney-looking places

– Made a whopping $130.90 in affiliate sales ($30.90 which I can’t claim yet because I haven’t reached the minimum for payout :/)

whale shark in the Georgia Aquarium
September 2016 – Exploring the Georgia Aquarium

– Got some articles published on other websites

– Created a mishvoinmotion Instagram and got serious about Twitter (because I realized it’s really awesome)

– Joined amazing online communities in the form of Facebook groups where we share stuff and help each other out

– Sorta learned how to optimize images for the web, even though they still come out blurry sometimes and I can’t figure out why (and learned that I should probably get Photoshop one of these days)

Wedding with Gatien
October 2016 – Attending our second wedding this year at a farm in Pennsylvania

I guess you could say I learned what it means to blog beyond just sit at your computer and write stuff and hit publish. But I will say, I have felt lately that blogging is making me a worse writer. So one of my goals for 2017 is to keep a journal consistently (over the years I’ve sadly stopped journaling) and make sure I spend time just writing even when no one is going to read it. Speaking of goals…

What’s next?

I mean in one sense I want this blog to grow, I want to see my readership increase. But in another sense, I just want to keep being me online, and if that means I still have 287 likes on my Facebook page then that’s that. I really don’t wanna sell out, like, ever. Because I look at The Blonde Abroad these days and I’m like girl none of what you do is actually about writing. For me, it is, and I never want that to change.

By the truck in the park in Baltimore
November 2016 – A walk through the fall foliage

More goals:

  • To either get serious about branding my blog myself or get a designer to help me but either way, I want to see my site branded better
  • To do more collaborations and get more stuff published around the web
  • To get a nicer camera and learn how to use it
  • To become a location independent freelance writer bo$$
  • To learn/practice/hone different writing styles and techniques
  • To create a consistent source of passive income
  • And overall to live more excitement and write about it

So friends here’s to 2016. Thanks for kickin it with me. Looking forward to next year with you all.

 

– Michelle

Tim Ferriss 4 Hour Work Week quote
“The only rules and limits are those we set for ourselves.” – Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Work Week

4 comments

  1. Vet Leow says:

    Hi Michelle, I really like the clean layout of your blog and I always envied travel bloggers as you can travel all round the world for free and work anywhere as long as there is a wifi connection. I am sure you’ll be that big travel blogger you want to be one day! 🙂

    • mishvo says:

      Aw thank you! I just want to see my blog design more coherent, I guess if that makes sense. And the thing about travel blogging is you have to keep traveling and sometimes I actually prefer to stay in one place. So we’ll see.

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