Reflecting Back on 2017

Ok 2017, where’d you go! How did you go so fast! If there’s one thing I hope for in 2018 it’s that it slows down, at least a little!

Regardless though, it has been a pretty great year and I don’t regret a thing.

I wrote a similar post last year where I made the decision at the end of 2016 to take a tiny step back from taking on so many cake orders to prioritise other things; 1) my son, and 2) my blog.

It worked!! I just realised I made a plan, a real plan, and I stuck to it. Pat on the back there!

The Blog

Blog wise I feel like I’ve made some pretty good progress. Scratch that, I think I’ve done pretty flipping good actually. Exactly one year ago today I decided to take my blog in a different direction as I previously predominantly only wrote about baking relating subjects, and was starting to feel restricted. Baking will always be my thing…but there’s far more to me than that.

Raspberry & Orange Cupcakes with Prosecco Buttercream

They say to write about what you know but also what you love. I love my family (obvs) and I love to travel. Ta-da, blog niches updated! Making the transition was scary, would I lose readers and followers? Would nobody get it? What if no-one liked it? I then realised this didn’t matter so much and I should just focus on the content itself. The rest would hopefully happen naturally.

Since then I’ve managed to achieve some pretty cool things. I’ve worked with some impressive brands; Fresh, Lily’s Chocolate, Tesco, Pho, Provident, Ascot Racecourse, MalMaison, GoEuro, SpaSeekers, Whittards, Mason Cash plus more! Who’d have thought that making money from blogging is possible, I didn’t! I now know it absolutely is.

One big achievement was winning the Clickstay blogger competition and not only taking advantage of my amazing prize, but then also getting to go on a press trip to Italy for them in October. It was an amazing experience but also gave me a little insight into what being a ‘real’ blogger is like. I learnt that there is a lot of pressure to get the best photos, write well, but to make sure you experience as much as you possible can whilst staying genuine and true to what you’d usually enjoy and do. I loved it.

So yeah, a big thank you to everyone who voted for me – it means a huge amount and is an achievement that I can look back at on days where I’m struggling with my confidence.

Wait until you see what opportunities I have lined up for 2018! I’m hugely excited.

My Most Read Post

I knew the moment I published it that How to Price Your Cakes and Make a Living was always going to do well. I suppose the subject of money is always a little bit of a sensitive area but also I knew that so many people struggled with realistically knowing what they should be charging. The post is completely transparent and provides a clever formula, known to many but not often shared, which helps you price realistically and consistently.

Cake Life

Since 2010 I’ve run my own luxury cake company called Cuppies ‘n’ Cream, hence the ‘Cuppies’ name link to my blog. In 2017, I took a real step back and reduced the amount of orders I booked in but I also increased my prices. I’m confident when looking back it worked well for me. In previous years I wore myself out, and whilst this year has been crazy I don’t feel as frazzled!

I feel like I’m in a pretty good place now and it’s all balanced itself out a lot more. My 2018 diary is full with orders too. I really focussed on booking in designs that are totally unique to my style but I also chose to accept orders with people that ‘get’ what I do and are allowing me to have a little artistic flair.

I also created a little Facebook group called Hello Cuppies Baking Buddies and we had our first meet up in November. Some people may consider it strange to meet up with a bunch of strangers, it’s not. We’ve all built up a pretty good friendship online and I can’t wait for the next one! If you love baking feel free to join – the more the merrier!

hashtag amazing! 😉

This was one of my most favourite cakes from 2017.

My Most Popular Instagram Photo

Instagram this year has been really tough but I have found the more I post the better my photos do. This photo was snapped whilst in Italy at Cinque Terre and is probably one of my favourite photos of the year with 1094 likes. Quite rightly though it is a beautiful part of the world and one place I really want to go back to. The food, the lifestyle…and the houses are unbelievably beautiful.

Coby

What a year we’ve had! 12 years old and he really is growing to be an amazing, kind hearted boy. He’s funny, clever and would literally do anything for anyone he loves. We’ve had our highs…an amazing holiday in Croatia together, fab parent’s evenings but of course we’ve also had our lows. I once vented on here and wrote about how much he drove me crazy…strangely I bashed that post out in about 30 minutes and it’s been one of my most read rambles to date!

Bluestone with Teens

Holidays

I consider myself to be extremely lucky when it comes to travel but on the other hand I work hard to get them.

We’ve travelled to Croatia and watched amazing sunsets…

Croatia holiday - Mum & Son time - Part One.

Crossed the border over to Bosnia and learnt about the war, admired waterfalls and gasped in excitement watching some lunatics jumping from the UNESCO Stari Most Bridge.

Croatia holiday – Mum & Son time – Part Two

Lounged in pools in the mountains of Sicily

Relaxed on beaches…

Sunsets in San Vito Lo Capo

Climbed the leaning tower of Pisa

A Day Out in Pisa, Italy

Explored Florence, ate way too much pasta and then watched the sun set across the city whilst drinking beer with some of the best people I know.

Fallin In Love With Florence

It’s been an amazing year and I can’t wait for 2018. Maybe I’ll finally get round to finding the guts to add a video to my YouTube channel too! It’s just sat there.. waiting for me to stop being a baby.

I’m now going to sign off until after Christmas but like most social media addicts I’ll be no doubt still updating my Instagram and Tweeting away as normal.

Here’s a few interesting statistics for 2017:

  • 68 blog posts (compared to 16 in 2016)
  • 25 cake classes (compared to 22 in 2016)
  • 36 wedding cakes (32 in 2016)
  • 4 Blog events attended – with one being on a cruise ship (0 in 2016)
  • 5 holidays (Croatia, Sicily, Italy, Wales and soon Switzerland)
  • 4,289 Twitter followers (compared to 3,609 1 year ago)
  • 13,354 Facebook followers (compared to 10,181 1 year ago)
  • 6,535 Instagram followers (compared to 1.680 1 year ago)

With regards to numbers and followers, these are cool and growth is important but engagement is so much more meaningful – you’ve all been fab! Thank you to those of you that take time to comment, like and engage with my posts. It truly means everything.

If you’ve managed to stick with me through all this waffling on, I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and New Year.

I’ll be blogging about my New Year’s trip to Switzerland as soon as I can – it’s gonna be fab! See you all in 2018.

Follow:
Share:

12 Comments

  1. 23rd December 2017 / 11:44 am

    Well done Natalie. Look forward to hearing about what you have lined up for 2018.

    • hellocuppies
      Author
      23rd December 2017 / 12:50 pm

      Thanks Alison xx

    • hellocuppies
      Author
      23rd December 2017 / 12:50 pm

      And merry Christmas x

  2. 23rd December 2017 / 12:25 pm

    Wow, your year in numbers is great Natalie! Your Instagram following is so impressive – changing the niche of your blog and content clearly had a positive effect looking forward to reading your Switzerland posts – hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas and a great time seeing in the New Year xx

    • hellocuppies
      Author
      23rd December 2017 / 6:13 pm

      Thanks Becca, you too. Merry Christmas! Xx

  3. 23rd December 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Wow, I really enjoyed reading this. You should be proud of yourself. Being a mum, having your own business plus blogging , big bravo to you. Another proof that women are superheroes ! It’s very inspiring for me. I’ve just started blogging and with my full time job, it’s hard to find time to do everything but you’re right it’s about planning.
    Love your travel photos, I work to travel 🙂
    Can’t wait to read more of your achievements !

    • hellocuppies
      Author
      23rd December 2017 / 6:15 pm

      Ahh, thank you! It’s totally difficult juggling everything but we just kind of get on with it don’t we! Have a lovely Christmas x

  4. 24th December 2017 / 12:01 pm

    It’s lovely seeing all you’ve achieved in 2017. It sounds like 2017 has been the year your blog really came to life!
    Your holiday where you crossed the border into Bosnia sounds incredible. A real eye opener.
    Wishing you a beautiful 2018 x

  5. 26th December 2017 / 8:24 pm

    I am so pleased to have ‘met’ you. You are a positive, loving woman.
    I hope 2018 is super successful for you, I’m enjoying seeing you develop your site & IG!
    Only thing I have an issue with.. IS YOU MAKE ME SO HUNGRY WITH YOUR CAKES haha!

    • hellocuppies
      Author
      26th December 2017 / 9:38 pm

      Oh don’t Kayleigh! Cakes are so hard to resist and my thighs hate me all the time… I’ve loved ‘meeting’ you too! It’s always lovely seeing you pop up on my insta feed, B is one cool child too! Xx

  6. 21st March 2018 / 7:21 pm

    Hi, I’m just new to blogging and just found your blog. This post is very inspirational. Wow, what a year you had!
    And your cakes look fantastic! I look forward to reading more of your posts xx

    • hellocuppies
      Author
      21st March 2018 / 7:22 pm

      Hi welcome! Ha-ha! And thank you so much for commenting, I really appreciate it. I love finding new blogs too, will go take a peek at yours too x

Go on... let me know what you think below...