Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Recap - What A Year!

I pray that you all have had a wonderful and beautiful Christmas.  It's hard to believe that we are rounding the corner into a new year.  My, how time certainly does seem to pass so quickly.

Joyously Domestic is now one year and six months old this month.  It is so hard to believe that so much time has passed since I published my very first post.  Blogging has been a joy and a dream job me.  I'm so thrilled that so many of you have been a part of this journey with me.  I am so incredibly grateful and humbled that you follow along with my posts, read my stories, make some of my recipes, provide me with your feedback, share my content and encourage me in so many ways.  Thank you to YOU!

I was just reading through my blog post from last December that recapped 2012 here on Joyously Domestic.  Here we are twelve months later and the very same recipe that was number one last year is still holding strong as our most-popular post - my Roasted Ranch Potatoes with Bacon and Cheese.  A couple of recipes have knocked it to number two throughout the year, but usually only for a day or two.  What is with you people when it comes to bacon, cheese and taters?  I joke.  It's a fabulous recipe.  I find it all over numerous recipe-sharing sites, Pinterest and Facebook.  My heart is so happy that so many people have enjoyed it.  It has now been viewed almost 800,000 times here.  Holy smokes!

Top Posts of 2013

During 2013, I posted ninety-eight new recipes on the blog along with some party ideas, DIY projects and other fun stuff.

You can visit HERE for a recap of Joyously Domestic's top thirteen posts in 2013.

Giveaways and Sponsorships

We, also, had a little fun doing some giveaways for the first time this past year.  Some lucky readers won gift cards, Kroger/Private Selection products and Starbucks gift sets .  And, I was blessed to start some partnerships with some fabulous companies here on Joyously Domestic.  In October, Kroger sponsored the blog with their Kroger Greek line of ingredients.  I developed two recipes using their wonderful products.  Here's one that took off like wildfire:

Pimento Cheese & Bacon Wonton Appetizers - Two Ways

And, just this past month, Private Selection sponsored the blog and provided one of my lucky readers with a $100 gift card and some of their yummy products.  Here are two recipes that I developed for the blog using their Private Selection Finishing Butters:

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Oven-Baked Fries with Roasted Garlic & Herb Butter
And, I was very flattered to find out recently that Kroger was quite impressed with my work for them (say what?), so they are using the two photos shown above for their Kroger Family of Stores pages ... all with the credit and links right back here to Joyously Domestic.
Changes Regarding Facebook
We've seen some changes along the way - especially to our Facebook page.  Recently, Facebook has started "hiding" business pages' posts (especially ones with photos and links) from their followers' newsfeeds unless page owners cough up some dough for advertising.  (You can read all about it HERE.)  So, I've had to get creative in how I post.  You'll often see text-only posts now from me that direct you to my FB page where I have the photo and link for a new recipe or post.  But, business pages still are struggling with low viewership and low statistics.  So, when you comment, share and "like" our posts, it lets us (and Facebook) know that you see us and want to continue to see new content that we share.  It's, also, a good idea to follow along with Joyously Domestic via email updates, Pinterest, Google+ or Twitter so you'll be sure to never miss a new post on the blog!
Meeting A Year-End Goal (A Bit Early)
On the upside, we hit 5,000 followers on Facebook this month!  I set a goal back in the summer to reach this milestone by the end of the year.  And, thanks to you all, we made it!   (Yes, I'm quite giddy about it!)

On A More-Personal Note

For those of you who like to keep updated on my little (and not so little) ones, I appreciate you enduring through my stories and ramblings about my "busy mom life" and how fun (and sometimes exhausting) it can be juggling family life here in the Joyously Domestic household.  Our older two - Christopher and Marah - are now twenty-three and twenty-one, respectively.  Chris lives in Arizona, but we're blessed to have him home for the holidays right now.  Marah lives just down the road from us, so we cherish getting to see her often.  Our younger ones still at home - Allanah, Zayne and Ayvah - are fourteen, eleven and six, respectively.  We stay busy with band concerts, theater practices, sports, FFA and other activities.  A shout out to my kiddos and Mr. Joyously Domestic for being my taste-testers, guinea pigs, back drop holders, stand-in lighting "techs" and eaters of lukewarm food.  (Thank you for waiting patiently while I stage and take fifty-plus photos each time I make something for the blog.)

Wrapping Things Up

I truly am so blessed to be a blogger.  You all make it so worthwhile.  Thank you.  I am so excited about the upcoming year.  While the recipes and food posts will still be plentiful and abundant, I'm thrilled to be planning some posts centered around more DIY projects, crafts and homemade gifts than I'm used to doing, too.  Also, I'm in the beginning stages of a FREE e-newsletter than you'll be able to sign up for.  It will include a recap of our most-recent posts and activity on the blog along with some exclusive newsletter-only content.  I'm, also, planning to make the blog (and newsletter) a little more interactive and "communal" with the addition of some reader-submitted recipes and photos tossed into the mix.

All in all, I'd say it has been a good year for Joyously Domestic.  And, it's all because of the community we have created.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  Happy New Year and may 2014 be a year filled with joy, peace, love and many blessings for us all!

~ Angela

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