This month marks my one-year anniversary in the blogging world. That means I am celebrating my “blogiversary” if you will. Hooray, and happy blogiversary to me and to you, the readers! Now bear with me as a lament a bit… you might want to grab a cup of coffee or a cold beverage. A snack is recommended, too.
I started Britta’s Banter last July as a creative outlet alongside my Mommyhood duties. And before I delve any further into thoughts on my first year of blogging, a huge shout-out to my first ten email subscribers… Marisa, Casey, Jessica, Jan, Kim, Sally, Allison, Felice, Rachel, and Crystal. I SO appreciate all the support, comments, and interest on your end. Without readers, blogging would be no fun. Thank you for reading!
Now for the numbers
Since then that list of ten has grown to over 50 email subscribers and 520 Facebook followers, though admittedly the latter number does not accurately represent the number of people who are actually reading. On average I get anywhere from 50-80 hits (over 100 on a stellar day) per post through email subscription and Facebook. Not bad for my first year, ehh? But who is counting anyway? Well, I guess I am. I do watch my site stats that WordPress provides to tell me how many hits I get per day. On my busiest day I got 296 hits. Of course, I would like more hits/followers. I long for the moment when my stats skyrocket into quadruple digits. Who doesn’t? But for now, I am happy with a small group of loyal readers.
In one year I published 85 posts, and I would like to maintain this pace next year.
I have never been Freshly Pressed, but maybe one day… FYI Freshly Pressed is an honor bestowed to about ten hand-picked blogs each week that are featured on the homepage for all of the world to see. Talk about a traffic booster!
I guess my quandary about wanting more readers is, why would someone want to read my blog in the first place? I have nothing to sell here. I am not trying to persuade anyone of anything. I am really not giving out much useful information. I do not have DIY tutorials or projects that I write about. I do not specialize in anything. Boy, I bet I really have you convinced to keep reading don’t I?!
Wait, what I DO have to offer you is entertainment and a genuine passion for writing and real-life storytelling with pictures. I love to write, especially about Lance, one of the top reasons I started this blog in the first place. So again, as I ask myself what will attract people to my site I can only speculate… Maybe you are a family member or friend and are genuinely interested in my life. Maybe you are a mother. Maybe you are pregnant or have been pregnant. Maybe you are a runner. Maybe you have a pug. Maybe you are just curious. Maybe you enjoy my wit. Maybe you, too, are trying to figure out this whole blogging gig. Whatever your reasons are for reading and following my blog, I thank you. This blog was born out of my sheer love to write. So that’s it!! What I have to offer you is this: unabashed writing from my life and heart.
Blogging is a big business! There is social media interaction, information about anything and everything at your fingertips, money to be made if you are good enough, and even notoriety for the crème de la crème. Whatever one’s motivation to blog is, it is a fun hobby if you like to write. I have learned so much from WordPress and reading other blogs alone. From dashboards to posting images and graphics to widgets to copyrights to marketing your site. Blogging is a fun outlet for anyone with the time and energy to devote to blogging.
For me, blogging is low pressure and enjoyable because I get to share snapshots from my life. I am not trying to make a living out of blogging… although if the right opportunity for me to write for an organization ever arose I would go for it in a heartbeat. My obligation right now is to my family and raising Lance, but as a stay-at-home-Mommy it is certainly nice to keep learning a skill and improving my writing on the side. One day when I do go back to work, I hope I have the courage to keep writing and apply for a job that involves a writing component.
In the meantime, Britta’s Banter is what it is. A place for me to creatively express myself and share our lives with family and friends afar. To this point, blogging has been meaningful, educational, puzzling, and rejuvenating.
To some extent I may sound lost or frustrated – most writers are – but I am whole-heartedly trying to unravel and discover new ideas and ways to express myself through my posts. At times I feel uncentered and unfocused – most writers do – but I am determined to stay true to my own voice and continue writing about an array of topics until when/if I ever find my distinct niche.
Goals for next year
I have three simple goals for my next year of blogging…
1. Improvement – that includes areas of writing, appearance (i.e. layout and design), number of email subscribers, traffic, and networking. I still have a ton to learn!
2. To be able to clearly articulate the answer to this question: What is it that I am trying to get out of blogging anyway?
3. To be Freshly Pressed. Duh 😉
Speaking of improvements
A few weeks ago I opened my site to search engines to see if I will start getting more traffic through search engine optimization (or SEO). What that means is google and other search engines will index my site and it may pop up in various searches around the world depending on the search terms. Making this decision was a big deal for me because I was a little apprehensive and self-conscious when I started this blog. I thought… “Is my writing good enough?! Who cares what I have to say?! Do I want just anyone able to read about my personal life?!” Therefore, for the first year I kept my blog private and only shared with people I knew. In a year I have grown to realize, I am ready to share with a wider audience. Obviously, anyone who blogs knows that whatever you put up online is fair game to ANYONE even if you opt not list it with search engines (others can forward/share the link without your knowledge). I knew this, but still tried to protect myself a little. Next year I am open to sharing with people I do not know, which may seem scary to some, but that is what successful bloggers do — they put themselves out there for who they are. It’s what makes a good blog good. It’s open and honest. I am also starting to comment more often and follow other blogs that interest me, too, which is another huge way to get more traffic.
– I just started a weekly column-type post called List of seven on Sunday. This will be something for readers to look forward to each week and will be something scheduled for me to work on each week. I love writing in lists and have enjoyed this style of post so far.
– I updated my “About” page and added a scroll down bar for an explanation of the “Categories” I write about and a “The best of the Banter” list of my top 12 posts (one for each month) from last year. Please click on the “About” button in the menu bar to review these changes.
– I now have a second blog with my good friend Luke called The Guide to Modern Family Blogging, another venture that was born out of my first year of blogging.
– I am making friends in the blogging world! Two blogs I started following recently: High, High, Higher and Brigitte’s Banter. Both were featured on Freshly Pressed, which is how I discovered them in the first place. It’s fun to read, comment, and network with other bloggers. Interestingly enough neither of these blogs have anything to do with Mommyhood, which you think I might gravitate toward, but I enjoy reading about other interests and good writing. I became interested in High, High, and Higher because of a post about her one-year blogiversary. See? I am not alone here in my overly cerebral thinking/reflecting. I am attracted to Brigittes’s Banter because of the name of her blog – so similar to mine – but now I genuinely enjoy her writing. I guess there is room for more than one Banterer in this world… 😉
BTW, is anyone still reading this mega-banter post? Just wondering. I have totally violated the recommended word count/post unwritten rule and should most probably break this all down into two posts, but I don’t want to belabor my points. Let’s continue and be done with this.
Please get in touch!
Wrapping up… Please connect with me if you are a reader and have not already done so. You can comment or like, very similar to FB at the end of each post. You can also contact me personally in the “Contact” button in the menu bar above. I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. And lastly, you can always email subscribe. Seriously, it will take you two-seconds… just add your email address to the box in the top of the right menu bar under The Banter Lady box and you will receive a friendly email ever time I make a new post. No spam.
Thank you, thank you, thank you again for your readership. Next week it will be business as usual with my regular Banter. I just really needed to write this today — to share an uncensored, behind-the-scenes, utterly transparent view of my thoughts on the big one-year blogiversary.
Until then… ever reflecting and trying be a better blogger. I obviously have no idea what I am doing.
Suggestions/shares welcome. Have any?
The Banter Lady