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Your Blog’s Year in Review

Tips for making the most of a year-end roundup!

Many bloggers are currently planning their 2016 year-in-review posts. To give you some ideas and inspiration, we’re sharing Elizabeth’s tips (first published last year) on crafting a winning year-end retrospective.  

Every major media outlet spends December writing “year’s best” posts, and you can, too! The end of the year lends itself to reflection (plus, well, most of us are far too busy running around like mad to come up with new ideas).

If you’re planning on repurposing content for a 2016 roundup on your blog, here are a few things to think about.

How much is too much?

Tip:  For accurate stat measuring and SEO purposes, it’s better to post an excerpt and link back to an older post than to copy and re-post the entire thing.

How long do you intend to spend strolling down memory lane? The amount of time you spend recalling the year’s posts should be roughly analogous to your posting frequency. If you post daily, a full week of “remember when” posts might make sense, but if you only post once a month, you probably only have enough content for a single “year in review” post.

Give them something fresh.

Year-end roundups can be a great way for new or sporadic readers to catch the great stuff they might have missed.

But for your most treasured regular readers, reruns can get boring. Make sure to add some small bit of new material every time you repurpose old content: a new perspective on an old anecdote, some updated research, a followup.

For example, are you re-sharing your post about bringing home your new puppy last April? Include a new snap of that puppy today, for comparison. They grow up so fast!

Pick your winners.

Tip:  To quickly determine your most popular posts from 2016, switch your stats graph to the “Years” view, then click on “Posts & Pages.”

Be careful when reposting stuff you only recently published. If you had a very popular post from November, now might be too soon to draw attention to it again.

Which posts have earned their spot in your end-of-year review? Obviously you’ll want to include your most popular posts. If a post got a lot of comments and tweets when you first posted it, now’s an excellent time to shamelessly wring even more traffic out of it.

This is also a good chance to call attention to any posts that you think were unfairly overlooked the first time around. We all have those posts that we’re positive will go viral, that will get us a book deal or our own HBO special…and yet they garner barely a like. Who can say why? Maybe the internet was just on vacation that week.

Use this opportunity to give that criminally unappreciated post one more shot! If it still falls flat, well, all geniuses are misunderstood in their own time.

It’s never too late!

Some of you might be reading along and thinking, “Well, this is great advice for people with active blogs, but it’s not applicable to me. I only posted twice this year.”

I hear you! I also have a formerly active blog that is now mostly a storage shed full of tumbleweeds and echoes. But those of us who didn’t post this year can still write a year-end wrap-up about whatever we did instead of blogging!

If you were a truant blogger this year, what kept you busy offline? A new career? A new baby? Travels? Personal drama? A Netflix subscription? Think of the year-end blog post as a modern version of the Christmas letter. Catch your readers up with whatever you did in 2016.

Even a particularly slow year can look surprisingly full when summed up in a single blog post. You might find you have more to share than you would have thought.

Put out the suggestion box.

When you’ve finished your roundup, prompt your readers for their thoughts. What did they particularly enjoy on your blog over the past year? What would they like to see more of in 2017?

Soliciting your readers’ opinions will let them know that you value their attention and participation, and will encourage them to stick around for 2017 and many years to come.

Once you’ve said goodbye to the year that was, it’s time to make plans for the future! Later this month, Cheri will share some ideas on blogging resolutions for the coming year. Stay tuned!

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  1. I have so far resisted the urge to write a very good end of year post. I think it is a great idea…and I often read other people’s….but I don’t know if my blog lends itself to that.
    I will have to think on it.
    I do appreciate your advice, though. Thank you.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I have several private blogs that are shared with family and friends. Is there any way to see the stats of the blog posts from all of them in one place? I was thinking that if I could do that, I could make a “most popular post” including links to the most popular post from each blog. Of course, I can go to each site individually to find this info, but I was wondering if it is possible to see it in one place. Thanks.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. There’s no way currently to view combined stats for all your blogs; that said, switching between them in the “My Sites” section (which you can access from the top-left corner of your screen) is a very quick affair — the hassle would be more about adding the numbers…

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I won’t be doing a year in review this year, as I started a new blog a few months ago (rebranding) and didn’t do much blogging on the old one leading up to that. I will probably do it for personal stuff though, on a personal blog lol. I find it helpful for that!

    Liked by 6 people

  4. I’ve been thinking of doing a post like this for a while now, and I’ve actually been struggling with what to put into it, so seeing this on my reader is very timely, haha!

    Liked by 6 people