As October got closer, I actually didn’t know if I had been blogging for three years or four. I had to look back at my previous posts to see! I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for four years. I wanted to just write a little bit about how the last year has been as a blogger, what’s changed, and what I learned. I also wanted to ask you guys to fill in my first ever reader survey. I am doing a giveaway of my favorite travel product this year you can enter as well!
If you want to read my past updates you can do that here:
Changes on Hippie in Heels this year & what I’ve learned after four years of blogging
The biggest change I made this year is bringing on more writers so that I can let them travel in my place when I get invited somewhere but already have travel plans. It’s been so amazing to let you guys experience:
- See what a local island in the Maldives is like thanks to Nam
- Yacht trip about Greece thanks to the talented photographer Monet
- What it’s like trekking in Nepal thanks to Michelle & Nicky
- The best city guides to Luxembourg thanks to Sophie
I’m happy that I got to send them on trips in my place because they were amazing opportunities. Now you can learn more about these places even though I haven’t been. It was bittersweet sending them; I was getting some major FOMO. Nothing is changing on this front, except for I hope to send our India based and USA based writers somewhere, too!
My biggest accomplishment (and the hardest thing I’ve done so far in this career) is writing the Insider’s Guide to Goa. It’s a 169-page ebook that took me a LONG time to put together. I’ve been in Goa almost five years and I’ve been wanting to put this together for a long time. My blog has Goa information but just some basic travel tips. This book is where to eat, sleep, party, and what to do in every area of Goa. It’s a completely comprehensive guide to get around Goa from vaccinations to where to get waxed, lol. I covered all the FAQ I get about Goa and am really proud of this book. If you don’t have a copy, you can buy it now with the button below! Use “welovegoa” for a special 30% off.
Hippie in Heels Monthly Newsletter
I finally started a monthly newsletter! You can sign up to it by putting your email at the end of this blog post in the box that says “sign up for my newsletter”. There are also options to sign up at the bottom of this post and on my sidebar.
The newsletter has been cool because I tell what I’m actually up to at that time (since this blog is usually about 30 days behind), I share my favorite post of the month and tell you what my upcoming travel plans are, among other things.
The biggest thing I learned in my fourth year of blogging
This year, I learned that I need to invest into my blog for it to grow. I didn’t see it as a “real” business until this year. But, things have gotten real! I had to hire someone to do my taxes, I’m getting ready to set up an S-corp, and I’m finally putting away money for retirement. Being self-employed is cool for sure, but there is a lot of extra responsibility that comes with it and it was a big stress on me this year to figure it all out. I’m not done sorting it all, but it’s in the process. I knew I couldn’t do it myself, so I hired people to help.
Investing back into my blog became a no-brainer when after my redesign last year, I saw the increase in readers that I feel were partly because my site was easier to navigate.
So, what investments did I make?
- I gave up on Long Tail Pro (which was paid) and bought Keysearch
- I got a premium plan for Gumroad
- I upgrade to a new host with a VPS THEN upgraded to another host 4x the price of that one that came with extra support, Performance Foundry, who I love.
- I bought Lightroom and took a class on Skillshare to learn to edit better
- I have a developer I pay a monthly fee to, who helps me when things go wacky and takes care of my security and WP/theme/plugin updates
- I upgraded my email
- I have a Pinterest VA who I pay a monthly rate to take care of all things Pinterest for me – even though I already bought and knew how to use Tailwind
- I outsource more with multiple VA’s and on Upwork and Fiverr.
With many things I do, I outsource parts of it. This could be things I don’t have time to do, hate doing myself, or don’t know how to do and want a professional. For example, when I wrote my ebook I hired a professional editor to edit it and paid my past designer to make it match the theme of my blog. I paid to have the graphics done to promote it on my homepage and get custom CSS to make it all match.
These days, I am realizing that instead of taking hours to figure something out on YouTube, it’s so worth it to hire a professional.
I also moved my email list from Mailchimp to Mailerlite. These things sound like they might be hard but it was really easy and I’m spending a quarter of the price that I did with Mailchimp. You can get $20 off with my link. My new host helped switch it over, since I get a free hour of developer work from them each month, but you could do it yourself.
I’ve outsourced anything from updating rstyle links to changing my affiliate links in my posts. It’s been a relief and I’m happy to have more people on my team that I can trust. If you’re also a blogger all I can say is that I wished I started delegating earlier.
I’d Love If You’d Take My Reader Survey!
It’s just 10 questions long. I really want to know what you guys think about my blog, the changes I’ve made, and what you like and don’t like about Hippie in Heels.
A blog kind of feels like I’m always “broadcasting” or basically talking too much since I’m just posting my travels all the time and it’s a one-way street. I love when I get comments and readers reach out on social media but I’d really like even more of your input about what you find useful on my blog and if there are things I could do better.
Enter the Giveaway: 3 Winners for Ebags Packing Cubes
It’s not too shocking that I’d give away packing cubes! I have three sets of packing cubes from Ebags myself and I cannot travel without them. They make life so much more organized and easy. I’d love you guys to have some, too.
I’m giving a set away to 3 people. If you win, I’ll email you and you can choose if you want the classic eBags packing cubes or the Ultralight eBags packing cubes plus what color you prefer. Then, Ebags will mail them to you directly. Because they only ship to the USA, I’m sorry to say that this giveaway is for people in the states only.
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