This blog had 8,700 views last year. I tell you, I was floored when I learned that.
All year, as I prepared my blog posts, I focused on
1. publishing regularly, in my case every Wednesday
2. ending my blogs with a question for my reader, to encourage conversation
3. posting a well-written blog that informs, entertains, or connects with my readers. If I’m lucky, the post will do all three, making social media mama and blogging guru Kristin Lamb proud.
The measurement, I thought, for how well I was doing with the blog, would be the number of subscriptions I could claim. That number has been holding steady for over a year. Recently, when I switched subscription service from Feedburner to Jetpack, I lost my 36 subscribers and had to begin from start once again. Slowly, they have returned. And at last glance, I had 35.
And, while I’d like to see that number continue to climb, I never gave much thought to the people who view my blog (i.e., read my blog), but don’t leave a comment. To learn there are thousands of them was, to say the least, a shock.
A happy shock.
Now, let’s keep this all in perspective. There are millions of blogs in cyberspace these days, and thousands of them get far more than 8,700 views in a year. Many of them get that number in a week. Some, in a day.
I’ve never aspired to be in the big leagues. Instead, my goal has been to build a steady, faithful band of followers who enjoy reading my blog and who connect with what I might say.
I had viewers from 103 countries last year. Given there are about 250 countries total, I’m quite pleased with this number. But, here’s a fun trivia question. Which country was third in the number of views AFTER the U.S. and Canada?
You’ll be surprised.
It was not Kazakhstan.
It was Brazil.
How that happened, I have no idea.
But, welcome Brazilians. Or, I should say, bem-vindo.
The busiest single day was August 6, the blog that followed the release of my book, At Home on the Kazakh Steppe. That was good to know. After all, warm fuzzy friendship aside, these blogs are here to help us promote our writing (i.e., our books). The friendships I form along the way are a bonus.
Back to August 6. I had 160 seperate views that day. One hundred sixty!
Who are these 160 people? Where did they come from?
And, more importantly, where did they go?
But, I digress. It’s water over the dam, spilled milk, and flown away chickens. Or did the chickens leave when the milk spilled over the dam? Or was there milk in the coop? Now, that I could understand.
Yet again, I digress . . . It’s an illness; but I’m getting professional help . . .
Where was I? Oh yes. Happy New Year.
In checking back with the blog post I did on January 1, 2014, I feel satisfied. In that post I called my resolutions “determinations.” Semantics is my friend.
1. I posted religiously every Wednesday, whether I had something to say or not. (insert smiley face here) Having a gazillion Deleted Scenes to pull from helped. Marian Beaman, my top Commenter for 2014 (Hi, Marian) likes these Deleted Scenes, so, I plan to sprinkle more in over the next two months.
2. I introduced a guest blogger every month except December. (And my December guest blogger can’t say we didn’t try.) Here, in chronological order beginning in January are my 2014 guest bloggers. Let’s hear it for
A Little Fish in a Mennonite Sea
From Insanity to Serenity
Around the World in Seventy-Five Years
Where Do I Belong?
Transportation: The Path Between Worlds
Finding Your Roots and Keeping Them
The Richness of Cross Cultural Experience:
Ten Lessons One Learns
Connecting With Your Purpose
Nancy’s Midlife Adventures
It’s A Small World
These authors and travelers filled the bill nicely, bringing in many new readers (i.e., viewers in WP jargon) and helping me share the story of how fascinating, varied, and valuable cultural differences are. Once again, I thank each of them.
If you missed any of these postings, I hope you’ll open the links and take a look. I don’t close Comments at all, so feel free to participate in the “conversation.”
OK, back to my list.
3. I updated my profile picture in August, thanks to Woody’s and my niece Melody Starkweather (whose creative talents can be seen here at MelodyStarkweather.ca)
4. I sent out the survey in February. I didn’t make any changes based on the survey. I need to put more thought into my next one. Maybe 2016.
5. I failed miserably with “activities I enjoy,” though some less than others.
- read and review exciting new memoirs (and some classics too), one each month
- write four hours each day, whether I want to or not!
- visit my grandchildren quarterly (and their parents too, of course)
- sing tenor with my local hospice choir — we rehearse weekly plant and
- cultivate my gardens, daily from May to September
I continue to sing with my hospice group and I got in a grand total of seven visits with the grandkids (and their parents) this past year.
But I am embarrassingly behind in my memoir reading and (worse yet) reviewing. If I owe you a reveiw (or a read), never fear, it’s on my 2015 list.
Reviews really are important. I once thought they weren’t for I rarely read them. But I’ve learned that an author has a much better chance of participating in various online promotions if there are a significant number of (positive) reviews posted on Amazon. It’s one of those tiny drops in the bucket things. Maybe one doesn’t add up to much, but taken together, they make an important difference.
Cultivating my garden brought me hours of serenity, joy, and physical exhaustion. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
6. I did get two out of the following three checked off my list.
- paint my dining room and kitchen some bright new color
- clean the cluttered piles from my office
- raise pea hens (and a few pea cocks too)
8. I will publish my memoir, At Home On the Kazakh Steppe.
I batted 500.
At Home on the Kazakh Steppe officially launched August 2, published by Ant Press (Perhaps they’ll change their name to Doubleday; I hear that one’s no longer taken).
I’m actually quite tickled that the Chincoteague house I didn’t sell in 2014. That’s because in February of this year, a small group of blogger buddies will join me down there for a week of writing, reading, laughing, eating, and who knows what all.
But, the house is officially on the market. And inquiries are still welcome.
So, I’ll take my 8,700 viewers, my 35 subscribers, my top ten Commenters (and all the others too), and my four best Blogger Buddies and pronounce 2014 a grand year.
Here’s to 2015. Bring it on.
P.S. Maybe this year I’ll get the pea hens.
What “resolutions” did you accomplish in 2014? Or, if you’d rather (it’s more fun) which ones DIDN’T you see?