2018 Year In Review – The Highs, The Lows & What’s To Come

2018 Year In Review – The Highs, The Lows & What’s To Come on the Travelling Corkscrew Wine BlogEvery year I like to do a bit of a recap on the blog to look back on all the TC wine adventures and share some of my ideas for what’s to come for this wine blog in 2019.

I also really want to use this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to join me. If you have a spare moment, I’d love if you could scroll down to the comments section at the bottom of this post and let me know:

  • What you particularly enjoyed on the blog over the past year &
  • What would you like to see more of in 2019?

From 2010 to now, the blog has seen and experienced a lot. It is a passion project that has changed direction many times over the years. However, it’s still the love of learning about wine which drives me to spend hours upon hours working on this website. Yes, there are perks from free wine samples to invitations to fabulous wine events, however, what a lot of people don’t realise is the behind the scenes work that goes into it. Just to host this website it costs me $48 per month and on average a blog post is about 4 hours of work.

But enough about all that, grab a glass of wine and join me on looking back at 2018 and ahead to 2019.

The highs

Spirit of the Swan Award

I was honoured to be named the 2018 Spirit of the Swan at the 2018 Singapore Airlines Swan Valley Wine Show. This achievement is in recognition of my ongoing support and promotion of Perth’s Swan Valley wine region.

Spirit of the Swan 2018 - Swan Valley Wine Show

The Swan Valley will always hold a special place in my wine glass and I really hope that my small contribution helps all the amazing people who make the Swan Valley so special.

Like I said when I accepted the award, I still don’t think Perth realises how lucky they are to have this Australian wine region right on their doorstep.

Over 165,000 blog visits

Professionally I work in the field of SEO & Google Ads over at Grand Cru Digital. So it’s safe to say I am very much into tracking the performance of this blog. I would have loved to have cracked the 200k website visitors this year, however, I think that might have to be a 2019 goal.

What were you all loving in 2018? My top 5 blog posts this year were:

Another exciting update for the blog this year has been the addition of my Wine Reviews section.

Out of my comfort zone

I won’t lie, I have pretty low self-esteem. I don’t feel comfortable around a lot of people, I am negatively obsessed with my weight and are horribly un-articulate. Which means recording myself via video isn’t my idea of fun. I’d rather hide behind a computer screen.

Yet, for some crazy reason, I thought I would record 12 days of videos recently as I opened my wine advent calendar. You can check them out on my IGTV channel here. For me, this was a major achievement and you know what, I kind of enjoyed it.

Travelling Corkscrew IGTV Video

I’m not saying I am suddenly going to become the next wine video blogger. But for me, the feedback I got on these videos from those who watched, really made me happy and feel more confident about myself. So thank you!

Guest Appearances

I always feel very honoured to be mentioned, interviewed or collaborate with other website publishers to produce wine content online. Here are a few of the projects I was involved in this year:

To all the brands I have collaborated with in 2018 – thank you for involving me in your projects 🙂

Over 400 wines tasted + notes made

If you want to learn more about wine, the best way is to taste, in my opinion. But not just taste. To get to know a wine. As you’ll see across my social media channels, on wine apps like Delectable and Vivino alongside in my Wine Reviews section here on the blog – I try and put an informative tasting note together for each wine I taste.

It’s funny to think in 2013 I aimed to try 365 wines in 365 days. I completed it. However without trying, in 2018 I have most definitely upped the ante.

Some of my most memorable wines include:

To name just a few. A big thank you to all those wine brands who sent me samples this year – it’s amazing to have the opportunity to try such a diversity of wines.

The lows

The move

I wouldn’t see that leaving Perth is a low as such, as a lot of really good things have come out of my move to the east coast. However, it definitely was sad to leave.

It’s safe to say I still feel very involved with the Perth wine scene despite the distance. It’s like a long distance relationship which is actually working.

Thanks to wonderful wine lovers like Naomi (aka the Travelling Piccolo) and Nicola, we’re still able to cover a lot of Perth wine content on the Travelling Corkscrew.

Naomi and Casey - Wine Island Sydney - Travelling Corkscrew

Wine and Internet Trolls

I think we can probably all relate to this. People who are nasty, judgy and do untoward things online (and offline!) are just not called for.

I really like to advocate that you should drink what you enjoy and not feel inferior for your choices. This prompted me to write this post – The Only Wine Advice You Need as I am sick of people feeling like they know better than your own taste buds.

Along these lines, I’ve had numerous websites (some which are very well known brands, who should know better), completely copy content off my website. A particular favourite post to copy is my Wine Days Calendar post. The thing is, I am happy for people to use my content with my permission and for them to mention on their web page the original source. I’m also happy to show them how to put a canonical link on their page so Google doesn’t punish them for duplicate content (okay sorry that’s the SEO geek of me talking there!). But please ask.

I actually approached a few people who blatantly copied my content and they denied it. Even when there are specific personal remarks which are word for word copies of my content. I guess on the upside, I can take it as a compliment that they think this blog is downright awesome hey 😉

Plus I also implemented a small tweak that means you can’t right click and copy. If you do want to copy and paste from my blog you have to get more creative than that. I’m making it harder for all you content thieves.

What’s to come in 2019

In 2019 the TC wine blog will be turning 9 years old in June 2019. The blog will continue to be focused on my personal journey through the wine world.

Alongside this, I will be inviting fellow wine lovers to share their experiences like Naomi and Nicola have done this year. It’s nice to have fresh voices on the blog as we’re all at different stages of our wine journies and all have our own unique taste buds.

One realisation that recently dawned on me was that, yes I like social media, but I have found I spend more and more time on maintaining the TC social media channels than on my blog. By focusing on silly vanity metrics like how many likes a post gets on Instagram or how many followers are on Facebook, is just unnecessary I feel.

I want to get back to basics and for my main focus to be on the blog first and foremostly. This will closely co-inside with keeping my email database updated. Feel free to subscribe here.

To be honest with you, I am not a fan of the term ‘wine influencer’. I would describe myself as a wine blogger who helps to inspire people to try new wines, visit new wine regions and simply, explore the wine world. I am just a woman, who loves wine and blogging.

Okay so I have just hit the 1400 word mark and I feel I am starting to get emotional. So I am going to end this here. I’m off to get stuck into a big glass of vino and raise a glass to YOU. My loyal reader.

I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say about this post below…

Casey - Wine Blogger - Travelling Corkscrew

8 thoughts on “2018 Year In Review – The Highs, The Lows & What’s To Come

  1. It’s been so great to connect with you too Lynn. And yes, when it comes to videos, just give it a go and see what you think. Who knows, like me, you may just enjoy it. Happy Holidays to you!

  2. Wow Casey, you’ve certainly done a lot! First congrats on the Spirit of the Swan award. I appreciate your honesty, I’m with you on the comfort zone… haven’t done a video yet but you’ve inspired me. I look forward to going back and reading more of your posts. Glad to have met you socially… it’s just been a few months or so?!? And look forward to more engagement in 2019. Happy holidays!

  3. Aww that’s so lovely to read Robin, thank you so much for the kind words. And likewise, I have so much enjoyed following along your wine journey this year and let’s hope we can clink those glasses in 2019!

  4. I have so enjoyed the virtual toasts and learning about so many cellar doors with you! And you find the coolest wine stuff! I find your content upbeat, joyful and informative. I’m inspired by your pairings and tasting notes and hope to have a face to face toast with you next year! It’s always good to drink bubbles with you I just really want to be able to clink glasses!

  5. Thanks so much Allison, it has been so great to connect with you also and having a wine together would be absolutely fantastic! Enjoy your travels in Australian wine country, I can’t wait to read all about it 🙂

  6. Congratulations on a great year Casey and kudos to all the work you’ve put into your passion project. Now that we’re doing our own, we fully appreciate the amount of work that goes into doing it consistently. It’s been a pleasure connecting and reading over this past year. We’re looking forward to reading more about Australia as we head down to Adelaide and explore Barossa & Mclaren Vale for the first time in person. I hope our travels bring us together over a glass of wine sooner rather than later. Cheers!!

Grab a glass of wine and let me know what you think...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.