2020 has turned out to be a pretty eventful year, to say the least (reminder: it’s totally okay just to have made it, and not started a new banana bread/exercise/world empire!). Like most companies in the northern hemisphere, our original plans quickly went out of the window post spring when the pandemic really started taking hold.
Our original plan was to be a lot more product-focused and release new updates of existing products, services and programs, including our affiliate program. But it quickly transpired that all that was on our minds was, “How can we help people? How can we make them feel more supported?”
So from March onwards, we switched focus. Our new plan was to incorporate fun things to try to take people’s minds off the world for a bit and provide something to look forward to, and useful things to help people pivot, get new projects and businesses off the ground, and generally help and support them however possible.
Below we’ve included descriptions of what those things involved, plus everything else we got up to this year. Each month we’ve also released new resources and stock photos which aren’t listed below as they aren’t public content, but we’ve linked to the blog posts we published at the time too. Read on to find out more!Currently reading: Lyrical Host's 2020! Click To Tweet
2020 started off as planned, with a popular New Year sale on our flagship course, Navigating SEO.
We also announced our integrated Content Delivery Network (CDN), which ensures that website content is served from a location close to you and your visitors no matter where they are in the world. With customers in 45+ countries, it’s essential to make sure everyone benefits from great speed regardless of their location! (Learn more about other things we do for Speed & Security).
In other news, we launched a Slack co-working channel in the Squad workspace, where customers can drop their to do lists for the day and share what they’ve been working on. (If you’re a customer and you’d like to join, please create a support ticket or check the most recent newsletter for the current invite link).
Sadly January also saw the horrendous fires in Australia, and we donated to firefighter and a koala hospital to stand with our Australian family members at this time.
January’s blog posts:
- How To Start Your Podcast In 5 (Relatively Easy) Steps
- How To Keep Track Of Your Blog’s Finances
- 7 Totally Free Ways You Can Support A Blogger
In February we launched Speed Boost, our comprehensive but easy to follow website speed course for less techy people. After launching the course, many customers managed to half their page load times! And we started getting much more specific support questions as people began to really understand what numbers and metrics they needed to look at to make a noticeable impact on their site speed.
February’s blog posts:
- Tips For Recovering From A Google Organic Traffic Drop
- 9 Tips For Better Password Security
- How To Find Great Places To Guest Post
- Why You Should Ignore Google PageSpeed Insights
As the pandemic really started to take hold, we decided to offer extended help through our tech support system. This included helping people get set up with their online stores and portfolios, discussing ideas with customers for pivoting and regaining traffic, taking advantage of changes in search trends, and so on.
Since so many people now had more time to play with and not a whole lot of distractions, we released a limited edition “Boredom Bundle” of resources with exclusive content. (It’s now been added to the customer Resource Library, so if you missed it the first time you can still grab it there!)
March’s blog posts:
- What Is SSD Hosting & Why Do You Need It?
- Blogging 101: How Often Should I Publish A New Blog Post?
- 7 Ways To Use Affiliate Links If You Don’t Blog About Blogging
April saw the return of Bunnybot, one of our favorite contests. It’s a virtual Easter egg hunt where you search for brightly colored eggs on our website and then submit them to our friendly chatbot, Bunnybot.
We also did a book giveaway based on one of our Resource Library downloads – must-read books for business owners. The lucky winner got to select their choice of book from the list.
During April we set up a recurring donation to the United Nations’ Covid-19 Fund. You can find out more about that and the other organizations we donate to on the Causes We Support page.
April’s blog posts:
- What To Learn First (Or Next) As A Blogger
- Which Yoast Green Lights You Actually Need (And Why)
- WordPress Site Health Status Checks Explained
In May we started running what will be become a Lyrical Host tradition, The Great VA Giveaway. By this point in the year many people had realized they didn’t have the time or motivation they thought they’d have during the pandemic, and we also had a lot of Virtual Assistant customers with free hours to book. So, we brought the two together by buying up a bunch of Virtual Assistants’ hours and giving them away to customers in need of help with their website.
It worked out super well, and it was amazing to see the benefit on both sides!
May’s blog posts
- 5 Productivity Tips For Working From Home
- How To Stop Content Theft (And What To Do If It Happens
- How To Win At Full-Time Virtual Working
- How To Write Great ALT Text Descriptions For Accessibility & SEO
We ran a short campaign to boost customers’ products and services by creating an “Everything under $20 page” and running paid and organic traffic to it. Customers submitted their own listings to the page, and we promoted it on social media.
June was also a busier than usual month for our Causes We Support page), as we donated to a number of Black Lives Matter related charities.
We also commemorated Pride with a list of free and paid LGBT+ Stock Photo Websites on the blog.
June’s blog posts
July was a busier than usual month for us due to so many people being stuck at home. We still had time to celebrate the Lyrical Squad‘s birthday as it turned two over on Facebook!
July’s blog posts
- The 6 Types Of People You See In Facebook Groups
- The Blogger’s Guide To Bounce Rate
- The Difference Between Indexing & Ranking For SEO
In August it was Lyrical Host’s own birthday, and we celebrated a successful third year. Now with customers in over 45 countries, we’ve grown a lot over time! As is tradition, we upgraded the specs of our Tiny and Mighty plans to add more space and bandwidth…for free! As the Boss plan is already maxed out with unlimited space and bandwidth, we added a new perk of a permanent 10% off our courses.
August’s blog posts
This month’s coronavirus support came in the form of a limited edition “Save Money, Earn Money” bundle. Packed with resources for bloggers and digital businesses, the flagship download was a PDF on using your blogging and digital skills outside of your blog. (If you missed it, it’s available for download from our Resource Library!).
September’s blog posts
- How To Add & Update Social Media Image In WordPress
- What To Consider Before Giving Backend Access To Your Site
In October we ran two contests, a Halloween contest and an Anniversary contest. Over in the Squad, we launched a series of Facebook Residencies. Each Residency is a month-long topic where the host posts on the chosen topic every other day, and takes questions in the group. The first Residency was hosted by Kacie, who did an amazing job covering self-imposter syndrome.
October’s blog posts
In addition to posting about our Halloween contest, we also published…
November was one of the busiest months at Lyrical HQ as we moved into a new office and hired new staff pretty much simultaneously! We’d been waiting a while at our old office for them to juggle round the businesses and open up a bigger space for us. In the end, it looked like they’d shelved those plans for a while due to Covid-19, so we hunted around for a new home that had more room to grow.
We ended up finding a lovely office in a great location, with views of Nottingham Castle. The month was busy with onboarding staff and the big move, but we’re finally close to being fully settled in.
For Black Friday, we increased the number of trees planted for each upgrade, domain registration, course sale, and hosting plan bought in the month of November. As a result, we’ve been able to plant hundreds more trees!
November also saw a Facebook residency with Sarah, who runs the very popular Official UK Bloggers Facebook group. She spoke about all things Facebook group related (meta!), including how to choose mods and manage a team, how to ethically promote your group, and more.
Speaking of Facebook, November was also the month we hit 1,000 members in our own Squad Facebook group!
November’s blog posts
December saw Fiona’s Facebook Residency on WordPress itself. Covering things like landing pages, Gutenberg, and SiteKit, it had a lot of value!
We’ve also arranged coworking sessions in our Slack channel for the week following Christmas – a time when lots of people want to rebrand, reboot, and start new projects for the New Year.
December’s blog posts
- You’re reading it!
All in all, we’re definitely looking forward to starting a new chapter in 2021! What are you looking forward to most about next year? Let us know in the comments.