It’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost over! For me, this year was exactly how many parents describe their years with young kids: the days were long, but the year was short.

I sometimes can’t believe it when I think back on how much my kids have grown and changed over the last year. I feel so fortunate that I’ve been able to be home with them to experience their rapid growth and development.

My daughter has grown from a baby to a full on toddler. She does everything herself, knows what she likes and doesn’t like, loves to dance and sing, always has a smile on her face and just loves life! My son has matured so much. He is becoming a strong athlete, and he is learning new things everyday. He can write, draw, tell the best stories, and he is starting to learn to read. I am very proud of my fun kids and am looking forward to watching them grow and all our adventures together in 2019!

Since this is my last post of 2018, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope you enjoy this wonderful time of year, and connect with your loved ones near and far. I am looking forward to spending time with family and maybe taking a few days off the grid with no social media!

Now, I want to reflect on Engineering Emily in 2018. I will share my most popular posts on the site in 2018, as well my performance against the goals I set out for myself earlier this year. 

My top 5 most popular posts in 2018 were:

  1.  How I survived the first two years of college
  2.  Teach your kids STEM concepts while making Rice Krispies Treats!
  3.  Easy and fun tower building activity to teach toddlers about shapes and gravity
  4.  Women in Engineering Interview Series – Jeanet S.
  5.  3 fun and easy static electricity activities for babies and toddlers

These are my top 5 for a good reason. I’m extremely proud of all of these posts and if you haven’t read them yet I highly recommend checking them out (or go back and re-read them)! I found it interesting that out of my top 5 posts from 2018, only two of them were actually published in 2018, and they were the Interview with Jeanet S., and the Rice Krispies Treats posts (both of which were published in January). It tells me that if I write good and useful content then people will eventually find it, even if it isn’t right away. 🙂

Out of my posts that were written and published in 2018, the top 5 most popular posts were:

  1. Teach your kids STEM concepts while making Rice Krisipies Treats!
  2. Women in Engineering Interview Series – Jeanet S.
  3. Stay-at-Home Mom vs. Engineer
  4. Women in Engineering Interview Series – Karen W.
  5. Top 10 Reasons to Become an Engineer

At the beginning of this year I shared a post about setting goals for myself in my personal life and for this blog. I have been blogging at Engineering Emily for 3 years and this is the first time I set actual goals to help myself blog consistently and grow my audience. Just like when I was working as an engineer, it’s time to look in the mirror and see how I performed against the goals I set out for myself.  It’s much less stressful to do a year-end review when you are reviewing yourself!

My year-end review results:

  1.   Goal: Publish one blog post per week/at least 50 posts in 2018
    Including this post, I’ll be closing out the year with 50 post, which means I met my goal! Due to personal commitments, I skipped posting one week in August and one week in September; however, I was prepared to skip a few weeks because I squeezed 6 posts in during the month of May!
  2.  Goal: Post one STEM for Kids activity per month/12 total in 2018
         Result: It wasn’t always easy, but I did succeed in posting at least one STEM for Kids activity or book review per month in 2018, for a total of 14 posts. I added in STEM book reviews in addition to the experiments because my kids and I enjoy learning though reading. We had a blast trying the STEM experiments and reading the STEM books we shared on the blog, and I will continue to share more in 2019.
  3.  Goal: Post one Women in Engineering Interview Series interview per month/12 total in 2018
         Result: I am proud to say I published interviews with 9 inspiring and brilliant women engineers. These women came from all different engineering disciplines and stages in their careers and personal lives and I’m proud to have been able to share their stories to help inspire others on my blog. I have a long list of 20 questions I email to each interviewee. Answering the questions is a long and time-consuming process and it is intimidating to share your story publicly. Finding women willing to go through this process can be difficult, but I know these interviews are valuable and I’ve learned and gained so much from reading the stories. I will continue to post interviews with impressive women engineers as often as possible in 2019. 🙂
  4.  Encourage more reader engagement by increasing social media posts and presence by doing the following:
         Goal: Post on Facebook and/or Instagram at least once per week/50 total posts in 2018
         Result: I shared all of my new blog posts on Facebook and Instagram, and I also shared separate relevant content every few weeks. This led me to more than 65 new posts on Instagram in 2018 and over 300 new followers! I also joined Twitter this year, so if you use Twitter and aren’t following me yet on there, please follow me!

         Goal: Add 5 new pins on Pinterest per week/250 new pins in 2018
         Result: I’ve been pretty inconsistent with Pinterest this year. Some weeks I pin 10+ new pins and some weeks I pin nothing. Prior to 2018, I spent 5 years addicted to Pinterest, and this year I’ve finally started to cut back. I only checked it about once a week this year, mainly because I am spending more time on other social media platforms, like Instagram.

Posting regularly definitely helped grow my audience. In 2017, I had just over 1,200 new users on my website and in 2018, I’ve had almost 6,000 new users! I have also grown my social media following by posting more regularly and sharing relevant pictures, stories and articles.

There were times throughout the year that I struggled to keep up with the weekly posting schedule. It was a big commitment for me to post weekly on the blog and social media last year, and I feel like I didn’t always have relevant content to share. But since I had set the goal and made the commitment to myself, I pushed myself to not give up.

I can’t wait to share more STEM/STEAM for Kids activities & books and more Women in Engineering Interviews in 2019 and I hope you’ll share your time and stories with me too!


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