Though I seldom post life updates on this little corner of the internet, longtime readers of the site will probably have noticed less frequency in the number of posts I’m uploading here, as well as those on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. As such, I thought it might be time for a little life update, as well as what you can expect to find on the site this year (don’t worry, the plan is to start posting on a daily basis here again)!
2019 Recap (travel, personal & business)
2019 was a pretty up and down year for a number of reasons, but I’m glad to have spent so much of it with friends and family and feel lucky to have travelled to so many places. Business wise, things went pretty well, right up until November 2019, when my site was hit by a Search Engine Update. With this being said, these updates can often go either way and so the only way forwards is to keep creating content to the best of your ability!
I’ve spent the past week pretty unwell at home (and mainly in bed) and so have had plenty of time to perfect my business plan for 2020, as well as consider what personal goals I might want to achieve this year. As I touched on, 2019 saw a number of life changes, which in turn resulted in a lack of posts here!
Following a month long of travel in August (catching up with family, working on other projects, spending plenty of time with my sister, who I definitely don’t get to see nearly enough), I was feeling pretty burnt out. It was at that time that my boyfriend of the time broke up with me (over Facebook messenger, no less). Truth be told, it was for the best as, though he is a lovely person, we were perhaps not the best suited to one another.
I decided to uproot my life and change locations. As stressful as this was, I was lucky to have friends and family support me every step of the way, though I can’t deny that my sudden willingness to move was definitely enhanced by the thought of a looming no-deal Brexit. The past few months, I’ve travelled a lot with old friends and new and feel blessed to now have a new home (complete with close to 100 plants).
2020 Business Goals & what’s next for solosophie
In 2019, I focused solely on this website, added a few writers to the team, and spent the majority of my time learning as much as I could about affiliate marketing and growing my traffic. In 2018, I divided my time writing on solosophie with running an SEO consultancy business with another blogger, but had to cut back on this as I felt overwhelmed all the time. You can check out how to make money travel blogging in this detailed post, which I recently updated!
Grow 2 new niche destinations websites
For the past year or two, I’ve toyed with the idea of creating more niche destination websites which allow me to delve further in-depth into specific destinations I particularly love or am more knowledgeable about. As you might imagine, I’ve now created a website dedicated to France. This website will focus on more locally-based tips and tricks and is called C’est La France.
My second website is a collaboration with another writer and we’re hoping to expand it to include the entirety of the UK, and perhaps even add actual products in the future (watch this space). Again, this website has plenty of church guides, local’s tips, and a number of floral-related posts! The UK-focused website is called Escape to Britain.
As well as solosophie, I’ll be spending most of the year focusing on growing these websites, both in terms of traffic and affiliate marketing. Starting new websites has been a daunting process (as I already feel quite overwhelmed in running one), but over the past couple of weeks I’ve realised that writing and photography are two of my greatest passions. And as much as I might think that I need to ‘go and find a real job’ (self-doubt as an entrepreneur is something I’ve truly struggled with over the past year), I wake up excited to do what I do – the majority of the time.
Work on my YouTube Channel
Something I really wanted to work on in 2019, but that inevitably ended up falling by the wayside, was to create more travel video content. I’d love to start creating mini history & culture videos on specific destinations and already have plenty of footage to work with. Find my YouTube channel here.
I’m also toying with the idea of creating some city specific guides, as well as perhaps incorporating some lifestyle elements, i.e. plant discussions! I’ve spoken about it before, and no doubt I’ll speak about it again, but as humans we’re multi-faceted and so finding a blogging niche sucks. Instead, I’ll carry on creating a multitude of content, as long as I’m passionate about it!
Create a Podcast
In a bid to venture out of my comfort zone and create something other than written content, this year (as pretty much every other blogger I know has announced) I’ll be creating a podcast. Due to the number of other projects I have on the go, this one will have to come around later on the year and won’t necessarily be entirely travel focused, but more something with a historical slant!
Finish my Paris Book
Within the next few months, I want to have completed another project I let fall completely by the wayside in the past year. Over the past four years that I’ve been creating content (I’ve been creating content for this space over half the amount of time that I’ve been an adult!), there is no destination I’ve focused on quite so much as Paris.
Since my first visit aged 18, I’ve fallen completely head over heels in love for the place and I even have a shelf of books heaving under the weight of tomes about the city. I’ve had a book in the works for a while now and this will be the year I complete (and release) it!
2020 Personal Goals
In the hope of having a little more personal accountability, I’m publishing my personal goals here. I both want to check how I’ve done by the end of the year, and feel that I have to keep up with them since I’m publishing them online!
Though I’ll be pretty busy with my business goals (and when you turn your favourite hobbies into your job, you inevitably spend most of your time working, and failing that, thinking about work), there are a few things I’d love to work on this year.
The first is my French accent, which is honestly often a source of great embarrassment for me! I understand everything that’s going on and never find it hard to reply, but I definitely want to improve on my accent. I’d also like to start learning a new language!
Next, I want to dedicate more time to creative pursuits which are outside of the realm of my job. What this means is learning how to bake more vegan recipes, spending more time painting and drawing, learning how to better propagate plants, and attempting to read more books than last year! More than anything, I’d love to manage my severe anxiety and negative thoughts a little better and establish more of a routine. However, I’ll see how this pursuit goes as the year is progressing.