2017 Blog & Brand Review

Not only did 2017 go by in a blink of an eye but it was also quite a great up and down journey for the site. Major life changes were made for me personally in the year which included moving across the world to a familiar but new place along with many other travel experiences. Some major decisions were made from revamping the site and branding and they have paid off in a big one because this has been one of the most successful years to date.

 

You can see what the year was like in 2016 for the site here:

READ  2016 Year in Review + What to Expect in 2017

Below I’ve written some of the major changes made to the site in 2017 and what 2018 will look like for each of the categories.

New Logo + Website Layout

If you’ve been following along for a while, you might have picked up by now that I’ve switched up the look of the site multiple times over the past 3-4 years. This year I decided to go with a new logo for the site and using design studio in the name. I also update the layout of the website pages and the content that can be found on the site. I wanted to make everything easy to find and not have too many links on the menu bar. With this new layout, I wanted to have a minimal look and feel.

hello next brand

When I got started with the resource library I called it Next Level Branding and creating the Instagram account using that name. Throughout the two years, I felt Next Level was just too common to have a name, and I also wanted to go further with this secondary brand. This was a big decision because everything was already set with NLB but I knew it was a change I need to make. With hello next brand I decided to give the name to all my social accounts and have more future plans to do with hello next brand.

 

I revamped the Resource Library along with the name change and create a whole different layout and experience to having a resource library. This included deleting some of the older downloads and also including resource within the library. In 2018, I want to continue with the same layout but be more consistent with adding free downloads to the library. Fell behind in updating with new downloads last year and felt that there wasn’t much to offer. Also, want to have a different login set up where I’ll be able to track the downloads.

 

You can be in the know for when new downloads are added and also get your hands on the existing ones by signing up here.

 

Online Shop & Blog

In January 2017 I opened and launched my first product on the Creative Market shop, I was always hesitant to using Creative Market because I knew there will be a percentage taken out of each purchase. But I’m so glad I looked past that because it was the biggest source of income for me this year. The downside to opening the Creative Market shop was that sales on the main site declined dramatically but I guess people felt it easier to purchase via Creative Market. Sadly, I wasn’t able to blog as much as I would have liked this year. I was only able to publish about 12 posts for the entire year of 2017. I tried to focus more on the longer blog posts this time around, but I’ve learned that the length of the post doesn’t really matter as long as the point you’re trying to get across is made.

 

In 2018 I plan to have 4 new product launches along with an online e-course. (this was on my list for 2017 but it didn’t happen) As for the blog I want to post at least 2 blog posts per month, I also plan to go back and update old blog posts to match the current trends especially the posts related to social media. I plan to re-publish these posts with the new dates but they won’t be counted in the 2 new blog posts per month.

 

Newsletter

I honestly abandon my mailing list for most of the first half of the year. I sent out no emails for about 6 months. I started back to send out monthly emails in August and use that opportunity to do a list clean at the same time. My list went from just under 5,000 subscribers to just over 2,000 after. I plan to do another list cleaning in the Spring of 2018.

 

For 2018, I want to continue sending out a monthly newsletter along with a general branding topic in the middle of each month. I want to implement a new mailing system where subscribers can choose what type of emails they will like to see.

 

Studio

After going full time with the site in the first half of the year I had a lot of design work that I was able to work on but I slowly realized that I didn’t want to continue doing this. But I like the idea of working with one or two people on long-term ongoing projects. In the second half of the year, I decided I will no longer take on design projects from the site. I did meet some fabulous people during this time two of which I’m still currently working with and it has been a great honor to work with them.

 

In 2018, I will continue working on some freelance designs but I want to focus on working with my current ongoing clients and also place more effort into the content for the site.

Social Media

The main focus of the site is Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Back when the site was revamped all the social media names were changed to hello next brand. Instagram gives the most traffic to the site and is where most of the efforts were placed for most of the year.

 

In 2018, the focus will continue to be on Instagram but want to improve the Twitter and Pinterest pages. Will try to get a pinning schedule going or purchase a scheduler that will hopefully make life easier.