I very honestly can’t believe it’s been A WHOLE YEAR since my First Post! Whew, that flew right on by. Wasn’t this blog supposed to help me focus and take in life as it zips by, not speed it up even more?! Well, at least I have something to show for the whoosh.
For the launch, I quoted Leonard Bernstein, as quoted to me by my barista – who, btw, for those of you who live outside of the Pacific Northwest, are kind of like our gurus. Anyway, Leonard said, “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.” I’m certain that I had no idea then just how little time this blogging plan would leave me! In essence, it was the perfect storm for achieving greatness.
Of course, it would be a little presumptuous to call this little corner of the blogosphere great. Far from it, I know. I still have many dreams about what this blog can become, but I had to start somewhere. And, I’m feeling pretty darn great about (mostly) keeping pace with my goal of daily posts, and jumping across the year mark with (again, mostly – at least, as much as it could ever be) my sanity intact. There have been many nights when I didn’t wanna. There have been days when I begged RF to fill in for me so that I could finish “work work” and still get a few winks, and he gladly stepped up. Thankfully, you seem to like his ramblings and musings too!
I’ve mostly adhered to my original plan of daily themes. I still have Monday Meals, Wanderlust Wednesdays, and Friday Finds. Tiny House Tuesdays have extended on more than one occasion to general shelter topics. Thursday Throw of the Dice has morphed into Thursday Style, typically fashion-themed posts. I’ve tried out various post formats: This or That, Do or Don’t, Tracy’s Take. It all continues to be a work in progress…but, most importantly, it continues. Though I have plenty of moments of doubt, and days when I just want to quit it all and move to an island (don’t we all?!), I haven’t thrown up my arms and run screaming just yet.
Stats can be the death of any blogger. They can build you up – Whoa! Did you see how many hits that one got?! – and they can shut you down – Wait, where is everyone?! I thought that topic would be so popular. In general, I try not to pay too much attention, lest I spend more time obsessing over the blog than enjoying creating it. But, here are a few stats to give you an idea about how the year progressed.
Top 3 Posts:
Outstanding Experience … just barely edged out a win, but continues to go strong. I have no doubt that it will continue to surge as the OITF season goes on, and more folks are looking for info about the experience. I can’t recommend it enough. Even if it’s not this particular event, please go out there and support farm-to-table dining in your community!
Portland ADU Tour – Part 2 … I can’t for the life of me figure out why 2 is more popular than 1 and 3 – ok, I’m sure it’s in the reference, but WordPress analytics suck and I have no clue where the traffic is coming from. Thank you, whoever you are!
Portland ADU Tour – Part 1 … Also strong, sending me a clear message that I need to take more field trips and report from out in the wild. Hoping to find more Seattle-based ADU activities in the coming year. They just don’t seem to be as popular, despite the fact that housing density legislation is a very hot topic here.
If You Build It…
Early on, I gave monthly updates about where visitors were coming from. At the time, it was more encouraging to think less about how many (or few) people were reading along, and how far away people were seeing my words. I was pretty stoked back at the two month mark to have hit 10 countries! Here’s where I am today:
2015: 33 countries
2016: 47 countries
Overall: 52 countries
Top 5 (outside the US): Canada, Spain, UK, New Zealand, Germany
Most Surprising: Guernsey. It mostly surprised me that Guernsey popped up as a country. I didn’t realize that it’s a “British Crown dependency” – one of the Channel Islands. More importantly, they have really cute cows. Probably need to add this to the Wanderlust List.
Top Referrer: By far, Facebook. So, I hate to break it to you, but I’m going to keep harassing you with “please read my blog” social posts.
Can You See the Future?
I can’t. But the one thing I know is that, as much as I’m able, I’m going to keep showing up here. There are plenty of things I still want to try – new topics, updated formats, more field trips, maybe videos. Better analytics! (WAY better analytics.) Oh, and maybe some personal essays. Many of my first iteration YoM posts were in the essay style, and I not only really liked those posts, I also miss writing them. So, look out!
Also, if I had my way, I’d be rolling out a fancy new site design at this juncture. Alas, best laid plans. New goal: 2017. Hopefully, for New Years. But, if not the new calendar year, the new blogging year. I promise that I will get more professional up in here one of these days! When I’m not churning out posts while hatching last-minute remote work schemes, managing unexpected family obligations, and trying to convince my friends that I still exist, so yes, please do invite me out for that drink. I neeeeed it!!!
Of course, above all – above developing a writing habit, above being more creative, above preventing life from completely slipping through my fingertips with nothing to show for it – I’m here to have fun. So, until I go completely mad, there will be Year of Months. Here’s to seeing what Year 2 brings!!