Founder’s Letter: 2016 Round Up

Like most of you, I take time at the end of every year to review and take stock of the last twelve months—and that includes the stats on my blog and podcast.

Lilly Wild

Sometimes it’s hard to see how far you’ve come and the successes you’ve had along the way. Every now and then people ask me about my motivation for Lilly Wild. The short answer is that I love helping women and girls create transformation in their lives through adventure. So they can win at work and succeed at life.

It’s only one measurement, but traffic is a good indicator of how well we’re succeeding at Lilly Wild. We've only really come into being in November and here are our Top 10 blog posts, Top 3 Events and Best Podcast Episode from 2016, along with our takeaways on what’s working and why.

Top 10 Blog Posts

1. If Santa Was A Girl, Poem By Tegan Phillips

A hilarious poem by the star on Unclipped Adventure and kickaas adventurer Tegan Phillips. It’s light hearted, will make you laugh and is illustrated with brilliant hand drawn cartoon images. It stands out as a unique piece that is sure to entertain anyone who reads it. What’s not to love?

2. 9 Adventurous Women Who've Inspired Us In 2016

We all need inspiration and motivation and these 9 badass and kickass women have been it for our founder, Adelaide. These courageous explorers have given Adelaide energy and belief that you can live life to the full and achieve what you set your mind to.

3. 10 Magical Places To Escape To For Christmas

As Fiona Quinn expressed so eloquently we need to ditch the pursuit of stuff at Christmas in exchange for fresh air, headspace, experiences and adventure. This Christmas we wanted to spend time with people who matter and focus on filling the last of 2016 with new experiences, new ideas and new possibilities for 2017. We thought these 10 places fitted the bill perfectly.

4. Wild Woman Belinda Kirk

Belinda helped transform our founders life and she’s on a mission to help others live more adventurously by starting an adventure revolution through Wild Night Out, Explorers Connect and Base Camp Festival. Discover Belinda’s story here; how she came to love adventure, grow her passion for helping others find adventure and how you can be part of her adventure movement.

5. The Adventurer’s Gift Central

Forget five gold rings; naughty or nice explorers alike deserve a thoughtful gift. So we put together a selection of little somethings for the other explorer in your life, a few stocking fillers that won’t break the bank and some presents listed that you wouldn’t want Santa taking all of the credit for!

6. Artists Series With Creative Explorer Anne-Laure

We were super excited to launch the Lilly Wild Artist Series with our friend Anne-Laure Carruth, a Londoner and creative explorer. Our Artists series aims to connect with you through the creation and sharing of art, by partnering up with some of our most loved adventure artists to share their stories and create unique, limited edition prints and tees. You can check out Anne-Laure’s story and the products we created here.

7. Our 6 Favourite Mountain Apps

Going on fun adventures in the mountains often takes more than good intentions. You have to check the weather, get your maps sorted, know your route and perhaps dabble in the local flora and fauna. There are tons of apps designed to help you, but which one is right for you? In this post we bring you 6 favourite apps from various mountain leaders we asked.

8. Wild Woman Phoebe Smith

Phoebe is full of the passion, energy and spirit of a woman who lives for the outdoors and adventures, and balances this with her work as Wanderlust Editor. Her love of wild places has led her to become the Queen of Extreme Sleeping. Phoebe set herself the challenge of sleeping at the extreme points of mainland Britain, solo on consecutive nights, resulting in getting a world record!

9. Explorer’s Kitchen Presents The Wilder

Our friend Sass from Leaf and Liquor bucked the Christmas mulled wine trend this year with her tea cocktail The Wilder. It’s the perfect hot toddy with a festive twist to welcome the New Year with and take with you on a wild camp!

10. 10 Steps To Creating An Adventure Blog

Perhaps one of your goals this year is to start your own adventure blog? It’s so much easier than you think and you don’t need any technical know how! This step-by-step guide will have you set up in no time! Click here to get started!

Top 3 Fuelling Women's Adventure Events

1. The Call Of Wild Camping Evening

The two words ‘wild camping’ can strike fear into the heart of even the most willing adventurer. Where do I go? What do I take? Is it even legal?? To help answer these questions,we organised a wild camping Q&A evening, sponsored by MOJU Drinks. On the panel we had Anna McNuff, Laura Kennington and Helen Proudfoot, answering a series of burning questions pitched by tribe members. See if your questions were answered here. 

2. Wild Camping 101

Due to popular demand we held another wild camping Q&A evening at WeWork Moorgate, London. We had wild camping keen beans Emma Frampton, Jana Harrison and Laura Maisey. Unfortunately due to technical difficulties the video recording didn’t turn out well, which is something we’re going to work on this year! 

3. Beginners Guide To Arctic Adventure

We partnered with Newland Expeditions to give you an amazing foolproof beginners workshop to Arctic Adventuring. Where we discussed and found solutions to many of the challenges you face when on a polar expedition, from can you have warm cosy sleep when it’s -40C in the tent? How do you go to the toilet in very cold weather? to What not to eat on a cold expedition? The free PDF will be coming soon!

Like the sound of these events? Be sure to sign up to our weekly newsletter to stay up to date!

No. 1 Podcast Episode (this maybe cheating?)

1. Adelaide Goodeve - From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to starting Lilly Wild and adventure

On Christmas Day we announced the launch of our podcast series which will be coming out at the end of January! We kick started the series with the release of our podcast which delves into our Founders story.

Adelaide reveals her motivations behind starting The Lilly Wild Show, including how she overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other illnesses, why she started Lilly Wild, her passion for adventure and the two quotes that changed Adelaide’s life. Listen here and if you think you have a friend who will find Adelaide’s story interesting, please feel free to share it with them!

5 Key Takeaways

Based on these three lists, here are five takeaways about what’s working and why. Feel free to weigh in on these in the comments below.

Women’s stories are powerful.

Almost half of the blog list is made up of inspirational adventurous women and the conversations we’ve we had with them, our first podcast episode is also doing exceedingly well . The blog excels here because it’s often hard to find motivational and interesting stories from women who are change makers, pushing the boundaries and stretching their comfort zone.

Lists fill the list.

List posts comprise nearly half of the blog list. This makes sense because lists are an effective way to summarise information and provide memorable takeaways.

Never underestimate the geek factor.

Technology-related posts were popular. We experiment with a lot of systems and apps for adventure and love sharing our discoveries with you. While the event list leans more toward personal development and the soft skills necessary for fun and exciting adventuring, nuts-and-bolts technology posts made up a significant portion of the blog list.

The creative flare is desirable.

We weren’t surprised to find that Tegan’s poem was by far the most popular post of this year! It’s humorous, entertaining and brilliantly illustrated. Giving readers a fun and short break from their busy lives!

Go one step at a time.

Another thing we noticed about our events is that they provide a space where your questions can be answered and curiosities satisfied. They’re also a great place to meet like-minded adventurous women! How-to workshops are the best way to shortcut lengthy learning processes and get to a quick win. The workshops excels here because it’s easier to get and follow adventure advice visually and audibly rather than by written word.

2016 was a fun year. And based on what I hear from my audience, it was full of personal and professional transformation! I can’t wait to discover what we can accomplish in 2017. Sign up to our weekly newsletter to stay up to date with our progress and discover what transformations we’ll be going on together!

Question: What was your favorite blog post or podcast from 2016? You can leave a comment below.