2016 Suburban Steader Recap

2016 Suburban Steader Recap

Suburban Steader had a hell of a 2016.  I want to spend a little time going through what changes the site went through, some of our successes, some of our failures and a bit about what the future holds.  Overall, 2016 was a good year for the site and, more importantly, for the Suburban Steader Homestead and family.

2016  Stats and Milestones

First things first, let’s take a look at some of the stats from 2016 and compare them to 2015.  This post is going live on December 29th so these numbers are fairly accurate for the whole year.

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Visitors
2015: 59,953
2016: 77,812 (+29.8%)
Sessions
2015: 68,299
2016: 87,968 (+28.8%)
Page Views
2015: 144,360
2016: 165,792 (+14.8%)
Twitter Followers
2015: 641
2016: 853 (+33.1%)
Facebook Fans
2015: 4,071
2016: 4,434 (+8.9%)
Pinterest Followers
2015: 2,115
2016: 2,521 (+19.2%)
YouTube Subscribers
2015: 29
2016: 51 (+75.9%)
Instagram Followers
2015: 0
2016: 88

As you can see, Suburban Steader saw growth on all fronts.  I’m most happy with the social media growth that’s occurred.

Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest are all organic growth – I’ve done very little to grow Suburban Steaders followings in those places.

Facebook, while being the smallest percentage growth, has been where I’ve spent most of my time growing the audience (I did add 400 followers).  The reason for this is that Facebook, far and away, is the most productive social media driver to the website.

Instagram is a new social media account I took on this year and, while there’s a fairly small following, it’s an active following.  I don’t have any stats, but I definitely get more interaction with Instagram posts than any other.

The site, while the numbers are up fairly well, is nowhere near where I want it to be and that has most everything to do with my lack of consistency posting.  In fact, it’s embarrassing to admit that I published twenty-six (26) posts in 2015 and only fourteen (14) in 2016.

Most importantly, however, is that 2016 was the first year that Suburban Steader was self-supporting.  The site didn’t make a lot of money, but it did make enough to cover all the costs associated with running a blog.  And, for that, I’m quite thankful.

What To Expect In 2017

People spend a lot of time reflecting on the year gone by and making grand plans for the year to come this time of year.  I suppose I’m not different.  I had mixed emotions on 2016 – Suburban Steader saw better numbers across the board, but site upkeep and product creation was down.

Much like everyone e;se, I view 2017 as a new slate and have some plans to grow the site and extend the brand a bit

Blog Goals

Personalize The Blog

I feel like the blog is losing its voice, so to speak, and want to fix that.  I think bringing more of my personality back to it will help elevate the quality of the writing and bring a more centered voice to the site.  The other thing I’m going to concentrate on with regard to this topic is to use “I” more and “we” less.  This site is not a conglomerate of people.  It’s one guy busting his butt to make it all work and I think it’s time I own that fact!

Post Weekly

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to accomplish this goal and believe I’ve hit on a plan.  2017 will be the year of the Suburban Steader Homestead Review.  I’ll write a weekly piece about the goings on at the Suburban Steader Homestead.  Not only will this approach cause me to publish weekly, but it will also chronicle a year in the life of a suburban homesteader.  Articles in addition to this update will be published as appropriate.  The goal will be one article and one update per week, but I’m not going to promise a standalone article per week right now.

Social Media Goals

FacebookFacebook

Facebook has been on a slow, steady climb.  I’ve had about 10% growth in 2016 and, while that’s not bad, I’d like to see more.  I’d be ecstatic if I broke into 10,000 followers next year (yes, that’s over 125% growth) but I realize the chances of that are slim.  I do think that keeping my nose to the grindstone and pumping out content on a regular basis will help grow the site organically, however.

TwitterTwitter

I’ve never been a big Twitter user and any growth I’ve experienced has been completely haphazard and organic.  I will continue this approach as I’m not seeing a lot of engagement on this outlet.  Essentially, that means that I’ll keep sharing on this platform on a daily basis but there probably won’t be a lot of interaction past that.

Google+Google+

Google+ has shown to be almost a waste of time.  If not for the fact that I can simultaneously post to Google+ and Twitter, I’d probably not post there at all.  Unless something changes on this platform, I won’t be spending a lot of my time there.  Much like Twitter, that means that I’ll keep sharing on this platform on a daily basis but there probably won’t be a lot of interaction past that.

YouTubeYouTube

YouTube is one of my two main goals in 2017 when it comes to social media.  I will not commit to a regularly scheduled video but I will say that I intend on posting more videos in 2017 than I’ve ever posted before.  I believe the engagement is worth it and I also like the fact that it’s a creative process – scripting, filming, editing and producing.  Definite skill sets that I want to gain and also a way for my viewers and followers to gain knowledge.

PinterestPinterest

I have a love-hate infatuation with Pinterest.  When I need something, it’s a great resource, but it’s not a place I like to spend a lot of time.  I find the mobile interface clunky and personally prefer Instagram and YouTube to it.  I’ll continue to post there when a blog post goes up and I’ll also post when the mood strikes.  The traffic bump may be enough to make me entertain more time on the platform.

InstagramInstagram

Instagram – my social media drug of choice lately.  I love the pictures you can find and the speed of interaction is just terrific.  I can honestly say that if I had to pick just one social media platform to use going forward, it would be Instagram.  And, to that end, I need to be more of contributor and not just a lurker.  Instagram participation will increase in 2017 – the end goal will be for me to be posting at least once a day.  I don’t think it’s going to be a big driver to the blog but A) I could be wrong and B) it doesn’t matter.  The community interaction is what I’m after.

Wrap Up

First, I want to thank each and every one of you.  Without my readers and social media followers, Suburban Steader would just be a diary of sorts.  It’s all of you that make this site, and its social media accounts, what they are.

I want you to know that I fully intend to re-up my commitment for this project in 2017 but I need your help.  Keep reaching out to me and letting me know what you want.

More product reviews? What kind? More how-to’s? For what skills? More general theory articles? What topics?

This site is only as good as its readers and I know I have some of the best readers out there.  Help me grow it into the wealth of knowledge I know it can be!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! Many blessings and good fortune in 2017!

Suburban Steader

2017 Suburban Steader Weekly Updates

  1. 2016 Suburban Steader Recap
  2. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 01
  3. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 02
  4. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 03
  5. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 04
  6. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 05
  7. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 06
  8. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 07
  9. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 08
  10. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 09
  11. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 10
  12. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 11
  13. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 12 & 13
  14. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 14
  15. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 15
  16. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 16
  17. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 17
  18. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 18
  19. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 19
  20. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 20
  21. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 21
  22. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Weeks 22, 23 & 24
  23. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 25
  24. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 26
  25. 2017 Suburban Steader Update – Week 32
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Dan
Founder/Owner at Suburban Steader
I am a middle-age guy with a wife, two young kids and a crazy dog. We live on Long Island, NY and had an interesting experience with Hurricane Sandy. That experience led me towards the self-sufficiency movement and eventually led to the founding of SuburbanSteader.com. I aim to provide suburbanites with the confidence and know-how to become more self-reliant by providing content on topics such as gardening, personal health, financial responsibility, cooking, self-preparedness and self-protection.
5 Comments:
  1. Hi there! I find it very interesting that, as a newbie-blogger, I’m coming up with many of the same conclusions you are. I don’t nearly have the numbers you do, but I know my haphazard blog posting has hurt me a lot this past year. I also love instagram…probably a little too much! It’s visual eye-candy! I have many of the same goals as you, although I haven’t ventured into the youtube-world yet. I’ve also found that the posts I’ve done that chronicled my homesteading journey did much better, organically, than any other post I’ve done. I look forward to both of our progress next year!

    On a side note – my cousin lives in NY and gave birth to her daughter during Hurricane Sandy. The hospital she was in had their generator go out because it was in the basement, which flooded! I’m fairly certain they delivered her daughter by head-lamp! Crazy to think in this day and age we’re not better prepared!

    • Lauren – first off, I checked out your site (pssst, you made the link hillsbourough-homstead.com not hillsborough-homesteading.com – but I found it anyway 😉 ) and have to say that I like what I see. Your design is sharp and clean (something I feel like I’m lacking here) and the articles that I skimmed seem well written and informative. Keep at it and you’ll make great gains. Oh, and don’t feel bad, I don’t have good numbers either. Believe me – the fact that I “broke even” this year on my side hobby is a B-I-G accomplishment!

      Second, that is crazy about your cousin giving birth during Hurricane Sandy. Was she on Long Island or NYC/upstate? I’m curious to know which hospital since I have friends who work at most major hospitals here on the Island.

      Anyway, thank you very much for your kind words and continued readership. Looking forward to watching your blog grow as well! 🙂

  2. FWIW, I find the information you publish on the blog to be very practical, so while the quantity might be lacking the quality is definitely there. Maybe because I live in the burbs not too far from you — just over the GWB in New Jersey — I relate to a lot of what you publish. Keep up the good work and I’m definitely looking forward to the additional content you plan on publishing.

    Cheers,
    Rich

    • Rich – thanks for the kind words. It’s always nice to hear that people are related to what I write and the site in general. Sometimes it can be frustrating when you spend a good amount of time on an article and all you hear is crickets 🙂

      Also, glad to hear I have some “local” readers. Do you have some land you’re working in NJ or are you in more of an urban setting? I’m not _that_ familiar with NJ, but do know the areas right across the bridge tend to be more urban than suburban.

      Anyways, thanks again for the kind words and please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you with regards to your journey!

  3. Yeah, we’re urban/suburban where all the houses are mainly on on 50×100+ lots so “homesteading” is more a state of mind than an actual thing, but the prepping, creating as much self-sufficiency as possible, etc. is real enough. Still have that goal of getting out to where I’ll have some elbow room, so if/when that happens I’ll be ready. Again, I enjoy what you do and I’ll be looking forward to the additional content to come.

    Cheers!

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