The bumper guide on how to create your Best of 2021 blog post

Hello there, I’ve rekindled this annual tradition to create my annual bumper guide on how to create your best of 2021 blog post (with the exception of 2020, not even I have that much optimism). I’ve expanded it a lot more this year so buckle in with a notepad and pen to jot down your ideas inspired by this blog.

Why do you need to do this

I get it. In 2021, this was the year where wedding businesses did double or even triple the usual work they do. Every small business owner found themselves in peaks and troughs, working in fits and starts throughout the year even more so than before and it all became rather BUSY just managing to get through. But here’s the thing. If you didn’t do much marketing when it got busy, you can start your engines and may the best bits of the year be yours to celebrate.

How you can do this

In this blog post I will not only present different types of Best of 2021 blog posts but also, I’ll share with you how to make the most of this kind of blog post, and the added visibility (SEO and marketing – YAY!) benefits of creating this blog post. Obviously, I’m going to focus on the SEO benefits of having such a blog post. The reason I wanted to write this guide on how to create your best of 2021 is not only a FAB-ulous opportunity to reflect on how awesome you are, but also to repurpose the content that worked really well for you in the past year.

1. Create a slideshow

Your best of 2021 isn’t limited to those with lots of images (looking at you, fabulous photographers!), and it certainly doesn’t always have to be a slideshow set to music. You could do this in Reels as well as in a blog post (remember, social media is the flyer for the gig, and the website is the gig itself) Of course this is a lush idea and works well if you’re that way inclined, but there are many other ways you could present your Best of 2021.

2. Write a Blog about your Top Ten Most Popular Blogs using Google Analytics

One way to present your Best of 2021 is to create a blog post from your 10 most popular blog posts of the past year. This idea makes the assumption that you have Google Analytics installed on your website (check this blog on how to set up Google Analytics) Watch this video on how to use your Google Analytics (if you have the original format of Google Analytics) simply to find out your most popular content (thanks to Fiona Kelly Photography for allowing me to share her stats for this!) If you have GA4 (the newer form of Google Analytics, scroll down!)
Watch this video on how to use your Google Analytics (if you have GA4) simply to find out your most popular content
Once you’ve got those links to the most popular blogs you’ve written, you can then link to each blog post and add one image from each blog post. Bonus tip: The text you use to link to the blog needs to be something very relevant to the blog post itself such as “Dorchester Hotel wedding – Tom & Rachel” because you want to attract more traffic for Dorchester Hotel weddings, right?

Example on how to create your best of 2021: My top ten most-read blog posts on SEO and marketing in 2021

Here you would write a brief opening paragraph to introduce your topic – tell them what you’re about to tell them before diving into your list.

1. 16 Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You Work at A Computer

Originally published by me and my team back in 2017, I go back and update this every so often as it’s so well read! healthy habits while working at a computer

2. Does Google know I exist?

This was my second most read blog post in 2021 which I’ve now converted into a landing page so it’s all clearer (and better converting to be honest!) Read up and download my free guide to setting up Google Search Console – one of the quickest ways to get seen on Google) does google know I exist free guide

3. Six Things to Do With Your Blog Post once you’ve hit publish

This will be handy once you’ve written your own best of the year blog post! For extra value, I made this Reel to show you how you can make an easy Reel from a blog post like this. things to do with your blog post once you've hit publish

4. How to set up Google Analytics

With most people going ‘wtf’ when they see Google Analytics, I dive into why it’s useful and how to set it up on your website how to set up google analytics for free

5. How to create a WordPress website

Most people stick to the website platform they’re on because they don’t know how to change, so I wrote a blog back in 2017 which continues to deliver (note: it contains affiliate links as well as valuable information) how to create a wordpress website - where to start

6. Read these 7 questions before you rebrand your business

I launched my rebrand at the start of 2021 and it was SUCH joy. I learned a lot about myself and what I want to achieve with this exercise so I thought to share my gained wisdom. questions before you rebrand your business

7. How to install a Cookie Notice on your website

Sadly not the eating kind but a legal requirement if you have Google Analytics installed on your website. how to install a cookie notice on your website

8. How to sell without feeling gross (podcast included)

The first of my podcast blogs to appear on this list but that’s not bad as it’s much newer content – I’d expect my older blog posts to still do well, as I’ve optimised them and continue to share the links to them with my online communities. In this podcast episode I share my tips on how to sell without feeling gross. how to sell without feeling gross

9. Black lives matter + how to share your personality online (podcast included)

Written in 2020, I created this podcast episode to talk about how to share your values online. It’s clunky but it had a profound shift on how I started showing up online after this, because I had never spoken publicly about any of this before how to share your personality online

10. And like that poof I launched a podcast (podcast included)

In spring 2020 I launched my High Vis podcast and the first ever episode continues to be popular! the high vis podcast episode 1 maddy shine Each of these most-read blog posts on SEO and marketing can then be a single social media post in themselves on Facebook or LinkedIn (where the link is active when you include it in a post along with an easy encouraging caption) or on Instagram (where the link is now added in your Instagram Stories, as well as the link in your bio) or of course in Reels or Pinterest. And there you have it, my round of 2021 in the form of my most read 2021 blog posts. Thank you for supporting me and my small business! Note that I’ve made the titles SEO-friendly with keywords AND linked to the actual blog posts with this SEO friendly text = this is a great thing to do for your own content.

Bonus tip on how to create your best of 2021: make sure the images you use on your blog are SEO friendly using my guide on this here.

3. Write your Best of 2021 blog post about your Top Ten Most Listened to Podcast Episodes

Equally I could write a blog about my 10 most listened to podcast episodes so if you have a podcast you could do this too! In 2020, I launched my own podcast, the High Vis podcast, your biz bestie for visibility. It took a lot of encouragement from others to do this but after the short stint of YouTube interviews I had done with Gin & Magic in 2019, I felt much clearer about my vision for the podcast. The encouragement was to sit and be my own audience whilst I recorded myself chatting away. So in the first season I pulled in a few special guests, but seasons 2 and 3 have been me flying solo. In 2022, I intend to release more episodes of the podcast. But for now, here are my 4 most listened to episodes of the past year.

i) Writing About Yourself and having fun with it with special guest Ellie Kime

I was delighted to have my own copywriter Ellie on as a special guest, she of The Wedding Enthusiast, The Enthusiast and Business Proposal podcast fame. You can listen to our conversation here or wherever you listen to podcasts

ii) Building a strong foundation for your business

Would you prefer a crumbling house with lots of expensive problems to fix or a strong well built house built on solid foundations? To build a sustainable business, you need to start with strong foundations too. 💪

That means knowing what you sell, to who, and how you want to grow your business.

With strong foundations you can stop wasting time and start putting in place the things you need to show up and get seen by your dream clients. You can finally understand what works and how to get results. You can listen to our conversation here or wherever you listen to podcasts

iii) How to get your images found on Google

If you’re a visual business, then you need to be making sure you’re doing all you can to get your images found on Google. It can be broken down into a simple step by step process. You can listen here or wherever you listen to podcasts

iv) What do I say on my website (what are my keywords?)

Most people don’t know that you need to add the phrases that describe what you sell and where you sell it to your website in certain places in order to get found on Google. Here’s where I break it down for you. You can listen here or wherever you listen to podcasts

4. Share your Favourite Podcasts or Playlists from Spotify

I share my Spotify playlists in various places where I’m present online (Instagram Stories, my email autoresponder to name two) and I know that my Spotify mixtapes are popular. You can embed your own (or ones you’ve enjoyed) like this:

Dance Break Choons

You Did It!

Lush Movies (no lyrics – great for white noise)

All the songs mentioned on my website (yes, really)

5. Round up of your best selling products

If you’re a product business, why not create a beautiful blog post about your best selling products of the year and make sure you include the stories about the products, as well as the price and the link to the product pages. It’s a great way to push what’s already working well so go for it and include your gorgeous product images. Obviously I don’t have products, but you could list them in a similar way as to how I’ve done it with my blog posts and playlists above!

6. Round up of personal stories

Of course if you’re prone to sharing more personal fun stuff as well as work stuff then you could make the focus of your best of 2021 a round up of your personal goals, challenges or stories. You could break it down into highs, challenges met and surprises along the way.
  • Did you hit a personal goal? I reached 390 million views of the GIFs I launched for fun in lockdown one back in May 2020. It’s so much fun hearing from people when they spot me out in the wild. You can find all my GIFs by typing in Maddy Shine wherever you use GIFs.
  • Did you hit an all time record for projects / sales? Whilst it took me a lot longer to hit my six figure target again in 2021, I feel much more comfortable with my launches and next year I’ll be launching something new so I’m excited!
  • Did you hit a download milestone for your podcast? Hitting 7000 downloads of the High Vis podcast after 1 year felt pretty good particularly as I have not been consistent with releasing new episodes! One of my goals for 2022 is to be more consistent and to have a better plan for this.
  • Did you release a new service or re-launch an older one? I opened the doors to Blogging for Gold twice, and I’m delighted to have helped over 100 amazing women in the course, with thousands more participating in the free challenges. Sign up to the waiting list to hear about when Blogging for Gold opens its doors in 2022 here.
  • Did you feel proud of developing a project you were nervous about? This year The Visible Vibes Community celebrated its first birthday. It’s certainly kept me busy always tweaking, upgrading and evolving to meet the needs of my wonderful members.
  • Bubbling with my folks in the countryside at the start of the year was a very precious time – lots of country walks and dancing in the woods on my own, practicing a lot of gratitude and cuddles with the family cat.
  • Hosting friends at my flat once we were allowed, for the first time! If anyone had told me how awesome it was to live on your own I would have found the money sooner.
  • Joining my local amateur dramatics group and allowing my creativity to flow first with hair and makeup for their Christmas production and next year I’ll be a lead in one of their plays!
  • Obviously the biggest personal thing was coming out as gay to friends, family and the internet! That felt wonderful.
So there we have it. Five solid ideas for you to create your best of 2021 blog, but before we round this off properly….

Make sure you….

  • Choose ONE of these ideas from my list on how to create your best of 2021 – you don’t need to do them all!

Make sure you don’t…

  • Don’t include images of clients that didn’t fit your target client. You will attract what you promote. If they were, let’s say, a little tricky, don’t include them in your Best of post, no matter how awesome the image is.
  • Don’t talk yourself out of not doing one – it’s a really helpful exercise and it makes great content – you just need to repurpose what you already have.
  • Don’t ignore your best employee i.e. your website! Your best employee represents your brand, promotes your values and works damn hard for you.
  • Don’t have too many images – this will slow down your website a lot! No one wants to wait that long – be brutal with your culling (hence why I suggest top 10 for example)

Bonus Tip on how to create your best of 2021 blog post, what now? What’s the best way to share this on social media and get more eyes on your business?

Here are 8 awesome ideas for you:
  1. Choose an image from 5 of the best things you shared and post for 5 days about it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
  2. You can paste the link to your Instagram bio along with a snippet of the blog post (like your opening paragraph) and direct people to the link in your bio
  3. Do not be afraid of repeating that it is your Best Of wherever you’re promoting this content
  4. Link to your Best of 2021 blog post in your Autoresponder/Out of office that I hope you’ve got on for the Christmas break.
  5. Link to your Best of 2021 in your email signature
  6. Email out to the clients and customers who are featured in it with a link to your Facebook and blog post for them to share it.
  7. Email the suppliers and collaborators you have featured in your Best of the year.
  8. Email your list to share the blog post with them
Whichever idea you choose from this mammoth list, make sure you just choose one. Start off with an intro paragraph like I did and then make sure you round off with a summary paragraph like I have below, including a call to action – a link you want people to check out, like my awesome offer 🙂

how to create your best of 2021 – Ooh what a lovely way to round a *cough* challenging year

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. Show, don’t tell. Now that you’ve taken the time to review a challenging year in so many ways I hope you’ve taken a moment to celebrate all that you have achieved. In fact, this is one of the steps in my Annual Review training that we do in The Visible Vibes Community. If you’d like to dive deeper into this and take action along with a group fo supportive female business owners, then you can read all about and join The Visible Vibes Community here.
Maddy x
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Maddy Shine - Visibility Expert