How to write your “round up of 2020” blog post

Hello! For the past two years I have written a blog post on how to make your “best of” blog post. They have been quite popular, and whilst 2020 was shall we say, not exactly a highlight of anyone’s lives, there are still wins to be shared and celebrated, whatever they may look like. And now more than ever (I’m sorry for using an overused phrase but it’s true), people want to relate to people, rather than a faceless brand. We want to know that you’re going through strange times too.

Perhaps we should rename it as a round up of 2020 rather than best of?

In 2019 I shared that video had become popular with the rise and rise of Instagram Stories and now of course with Reels + TikTok, sharing our personal lives, especially in lockdown, has felt even more, well, personal.

No matter what your year has looked like, here’s how you can do a round-up post of the year.

Here’s why a round up post is always a good idea

People are nosey. Because we know that people are nosey, we also know they love looking into our lives, the parts we are willing to share with them. Whilst a round up of how many times we climbed into the cupboard with a bottle of gin may not warrant a shout out on a round up blog post, they might also help inject some much needed humour into what has been a crazy year

Perhaps in previous years you’ve envied people’s slideshows to music, or you’re wondering what to say at all, if anything. 

In this blog post I will not only present different types of Best of 2020 blog posts but also, I’ll share with you how to make the most of this kind of blog post, and the added visibility benefits of creating this blog post.

Stop worrying about creating fresh content all the time, and instead repurpose older images, older content, and re-publish that. (This very blog post is an excellent example, where I have rewritten it to make better)

Here are five ways you can make your own round up post of 2020

1. Blog your Top Five Blog Posts using Google Analytics

One way to present your Best of 2020 is to create a blog post from your 5 most popular blog posts of the past year and write a short paragraph about each of them, before linking to them.

To find out your most popular posts, head to Google Analytics

  • Then, go to Behaviour on the left hand side menu
  • Click on Site Content
  • Click All Pages
  • Change your dates in the top right corner by manually typing in Jan 1 2020 and leave today’s date in the second box
  • Scroll down and you’ll see your most popular pages of your site in the past year. Chances are your blog posts may not be there, as your pages will be listed, so there’s a small box saying Rows underneath – click this and change from 10 to 100 and you’ll see far more
  • There you’ll spot your blog posts as your most popular content over the past year.

You can then link to each blog post and add one image from each blog post. The text you use to link to the blog needs to be something very relevant to the blog post itself such as “Pregnancy Nutrition in Bristol – Five ways to support your body in early pregancy” or “Pembroke Lodge wedding photography – Colourful Intimate wedding with Bob & Sue”.

Of course, you don’t have to add images, but if you’re a visual business then it makes sense to. Otherwise, you could just list them like this… 😉

My top five blog posts were:

  1. How to install Google Analytics

Oh how meta, for the most popular blog post to be how to install Google Analytics. I have shared this a number of times with my membership communities and course groups, as well as in public talks + podcasts that I’ve done. It’s absolutely fundamental to tracking your success so that you can see steady changes in traffic to your site, and which pages people visit so you can create more effective content. You can read how to install Google Analytics here.

2. How to install a Cookie Notice

A cookie notice is the little pop up notice that we have all come to know and love on websites particularly since GDPR became a thing in May 2018. You can install it very easily, but many find it tricky knowing where to start, so this blog post breaks it down for you. Interestingly it was number 4 in last year’s rankings so it’s now gone up! You can read How to Install a Cookie Notice here.

3. Being Successful with Lisa Johnson (an episode from my Gin and Magic YouTube series)

Spending time with one of the UK’s most successful business coaches is always a giggle, I do admire her confidence. She’s a woman who knows what she wants and that’s the kind of woman I can get on board with! Since that time she has gone on to launch an incredibly successful coaching business and has since hit seven figures this year in revenue. You can watch the episode here.

4. 20 things to do when you don’t know what to do now

I wrote this back in March just after lockdown had started, when I was massively overthinking everything and realised everyone else was too. I wrote 10 self care tips in the blog post and five tips on how to market your business. Interestingly and perhaps reassuringly (?) I stand by them all even with everything that has happened since. You can read 20 things to do when you don’t know what to do now here.

5. 7 ways you can jazz up your SEO

I wanted to point out a couple of things about how I get traffic to older blog posts I’ve written as only the last two I wrote this year. I am not afraid to share older blog posts (many people are, and it’s a waste of time, if you see that you got a lot of traffic first time you shared a blog post, share it again! It saves you having to blog that week if nothing else!) Also I link to many of these blog posts in my automated email funnels where someone has downloaded a freebie and they’re wondering what they can do next, and I link to them in other content I write whether it’s guest blog posts (everyone wants free content, right?) or whether it’s my own podcast (you can listen here) or whether it’s a newer blog post where I refer to an older blog post like I’m doing right here. You can read 7 ways to jazz up your SEO here.

Last year I started to email out my entire blog posts as email newsletters with a link to the blog post on my site should people want to bookmark it and delete the email, which also may be why traffic is generally lower this year on my blog posts than I have come to expect, but also that people are enjoying my free content in other ways – the podcast, on Instagram, guest posts like this one on how to build links to your website and the free challenge trainings I run on Facebook.

2. Blog your Best Nine from Instagram

You could create a round up of 2020 blog post by linking to the 9 posts that were your most popular on Instagram, or simply using it as inspiration of course. Here’s where to find out your top nine most popular posts (this is ranked by likes, rather than saves (useful in the algorithm) and shares (something that was useful to the algorithm until Brexit took it away in early December)

If you haven’t blogged about each of the projects that were on your best 9 then you don’t even need to refer to the best nine and instead just link to the ones you did blog about and/or add the best nine images to your slideshow if you’re doing one, along with links to the photographers who took the photos, the collaborators involved in those images and anything else of note.

Here’s my best nine of 2020 – it was a fun year, one that made me see even more how I want to focus. I’ve linked to each individual post so you can read the full message.

Photography credits from top left to bottom right:

A beautiful drawing about self care I found from years ago and sadly the artist Calm Down Moz is seemingly no longer on Instagram, talking about my first venture into writing about choice to be childfree

A word about running a business as a woman whilst on a shoot with @The Woman and the Wolf

Channelling one of my favourite Instagram heroines Florence Given in a shoot with @The Woman and the Wolf in Peckham

A giggle in a street in London in the summer, ready for my rebrand + new site which is coming in January, taken by @The Woman and the Wolf

A gingerbread heart from the lovely Maid of Gingerbread to celebrate the move into my new home in July

Quaffing a cocktail in a teacup in Soho Square, snapped by The Woman and the Wolf

A word about self care written by yours truly when we first went into lockdown and shared multiple times both by me and others.

An oldie but a goodie snapped by Cooper Photographer and re-shared this year, talking about my journey to actually being ok with photos of myself on the internet (hint: it’s needed if you want to be more visible)

Of course my niece aka my double would appear in my most popular, where I’m talking about our Why.

3. Blog your Numbers of the Year

You could create a blog post where you list your numbers of the year – shoots you’ve done, clients you’ve worked with. And no, I don’t mean publish your £££ (that is, unless you want to!) but you could create a fun list depending on how much you like to inject humour (hint: people like humour)

Here are some examples of numbers you could share…

  • X awards won (I won zero awards this year, FYI but I did hit number 55 in the UK SEO blogs!)
  • X pets adopted (I adopted zero pets this year, but I have pretended to adopt almost every dog + cat I’ve met on my daily walks throughout lockdown)
  • X online Zoom calls hosted / joined (2,642,143 at a guess. I did try and guesstimate but then I realised I didn’t want to do that)
  • X TikToks learned (for me, it was a grand total of 0, but I did try doing a couple of TikToks back in April)
  • X podcasts listened to / spoke on – I listened to quite a few this year actually, but I also launched my own, and spoke on Females on Fire, Just Start Now – Vicky Shilling’s wellness business podcast, Freelance Feels.
  • X conferences joined – I was lucky to squeeze in speaking at Cake Professionals and South West Wedmeetup pre-pandemic
  • X courses joined (I joined 3)
  • X coaches worked with (I worked with 3, separate from the courses)
  • X courses completed (I completed 2 – as Meat Loaf sang “two out of three ain’t bad”)
  • X courses hosted (I hosted 3 – two rounds of Blogging for Gold and 1 round of Let’s Get You Found)
  • X students helped (over 170 through my courses + memberships, and over 1700 through my free trainings)
  • X banana breads made (I managed to avoid this trend, see also: sourdough. Reader, I am not a baker)
  • X amount of miles walked / run (ummmm, more than 2019 I’m guessing!)
  • X quorn nuggets devoured (36,420 for me. With a giant salad and lots of chilli sauce)
  • X existential crises had (most days)
  • X amount of Schitt’s Creek episodes you watched this year (all of them)

    I said this last year and I’ll say it again – If you’re a movie/TV show/soundtrack binger like me then another way of attracting more of your ideal client is to share your favourite TV shows, movies, music and more. Honestly, I cannot tell you how much sharing about this stuff has made me more visible.

    You could link to most played songs of the year (I personally love looking at other people’s so I can mix up my own taste a bit so here’s mine. Spotify Wrapped gets a lot of flack, but honestly, they are hugely popular. I have downloaded quite a few pals’ top 20 songs of 2020 just so I get to listen to some new music.

Here’s mine! I usually listen to the top five songs before I go live on camera to gear me up.

4. Blog your best Podcasts

Of course if you’ve been busy on podcasts this year, you could blog about your favourite podcasts or if you host your own like I now do, you can mention your most listened to episodes

Episode 12 of the High Vis podcast – a round up of season one

Episode 11 of the High Vis podcast – writing about yourself and having fun with it with special guest Ellie Kime

Episode 9 of the High Vis podcast – building a strong foundation to be visible

Episode 1 of the High Vis podcast – let’s get visible

Episode 10 of the High Vis podcast – the not-so-secret formula to being more visible (plan, create + measure)

 

So you’ve created your blog post, what now? 

Now you need to shout about the blog post, an often-missed part of being more visible but nevertheless important!

  • Choose an image from 5 of the best things you shared and post for 5 days about it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
  • Link to the round up blog post in your Autoresponder/Out of office
  • Link to the round up blog post in your email signature
  • Email the suppliers and collaborators you have featured in your round up.
  • Email your list to tell them (if you have one!)

Remember, no one cares when you post your round up, but they do care when you DO hit publish. Your audience wants to hear from you, that’s why they follow you, so don’t stress about being spammy or showing up too much.

You can just choose one of the ideas, you don’t have to do all of them! I’m sharing examples to be helpful not to hinder 🙂

Like I said at the start, you want to create great excuses to repurpose content you already have. You also want to have great reasons to link to other content ideally published on your website but if not then external links that are highly relevant to your brand (submitted weddings or shoots, collaborations, etc)

And finally, remember that your blog is not always there for you to sell directly but to make people more AWARE, demonstrate how you can be useful to them. Check your traffic on your best of 2020 blog post after you publish and you might be surprised by the results (lots of people still read my 2019 blog post this year!)

Now, off you go and keep me posted as how you get on (DM me on Instagram!)

Maddy

Maddy x
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