Another detour, not because I’m tired of blogging about Peru, but because I miss blogging about other things, and hitting 30,000 hits on my blog today is well worth celebrating! Last night I almost posted something about hitting 30,000, but I was nearly 70 hits away. I should have figured that something about sex and the Olympics would bring in 70 readers, easily. Who isnt’ curious about that? But, I wasn’t really doing the math and when I got up this morning and had already hit 30,000 it was a very pleasant surprise. So from this point to the end of this brief post, I will proceed to toot my own horn, blatantly brag and gloriously gloat. You’ve been warned. (And thank you Pink, AKA Pinkagendist, for helping me out!)
One year ago (plus 3 days, technically) I was Freshly Pressed (Check out the current recipients). Being Freshly Pressed is the crown jewel of posting on Word Press. Theoretically, you’ve made it once you are Pressed. However, I was a new blogger at the time, only having blogged for 6 weeks, and it was a total surprise. Frankly, I didn’t actually know what it meant. I didn’t aspire to it (yet) or appreciate the impact, until the day it happened. As a new blogger, I was still completely clueless about uploading pictures, adding links, tags, all that stuff. I was an utter newbie and had only read a few Freshly Pressed myself. A year later I appreciate that positive acknowledgement, that cyber praise, but no longer seek it. I write for me and hope others will find something meaningful in my writing, and sincerely this blog has been key to my sanity this year.
Saving my sanity: I blogged through the decline of mother’s health, suffering from Huntington’s, and her blindsiding death on December 31, 2011. Those of you who read those posts sent your thoughts and support and it meant more to me than most of you probably realize. As I came out of that difficult time you cheered my happier posts, as I hosted two exchange students and our home became the U.N. As a mother I’ve posted about growing pains with my kids and growing pains in myself, and many of you have written in to say “me too,” “you’re normal,” or “you made me laugh.” Sharing with others and feeling part of a tribe makes a lot of things better, and writing about those things and getting your responses has been a validation that I didn’t anticipate when I started blogging.
A year later, I feel good about my writing. I feel good about the feedback and thoughts that come back at me in response to that writing. I know a lot more about uploading pictures, links and other cyber info, now (hence all the cool graphics to support my gloating and bragging here), and that makes my posts a bit more interesting for all of you as well. A year ago I rarely had more than 20 views a day (those were the good days) and now I rarely have less than 200. The summer is a slump and like so many other writer-bloggers I strive to not look too hard at the stats in July and August. Like a junky however, I do need a daily fix. I generally check the site stats at least once a day, unless I’m traveling. A year later I know what stats mean and I have goals and vision for my blog. One year later, when you type Tales From the Motherland into Google, my blog is the first thing that comes up. That is something to brag about!
I love that WordPress has added cool things that allow me to see what countries my hits are coming from. Some weeks I get more from seeing how many countries have viewed my blog than from how high the numbers are. Watching the Olympics, it’s fun to see what countries are at the game and on my blog site. Seriously, is Moldova at the Olympics? Belarus? Ecuador? Sri Lanka? Qatar? At least one reader in each of those countries have visited my blog in this last quarter, and that makes me feel excited, proud, giddy even! The fact that I can see details like where the hits are from, what search engines people used to find me, or which posts were particularly popular lets me know what I’m doing right, and what I’m doing wrong… and despite the fact that I write for myself (what I want to say, what I’m thinking about), and I try very hard not to think too much about the people I do and don’t know who might be reading, it is rewarding to see that my posts reach others all over the world. (Below, you can see the countries where readers have checked out my blog, over the last quarter. That’s right, it takes 3 images to show you them all, she said braggingly.)
I try not to gloat. Really I do. But 30,000 is a really flipping big number and admittedly, for this one day I’m feeling really impressive. I felt like a WordPress rock star today. I know there are others out there, some of whom I follow, who do this all the time. Lesley Carter (of Bucket List Publications) probably does this about every 10 days, and it blows me away. Mikalee Byerman has hit millions, even if she did use a brick. I get it: there are much bigger rock stars out there, but today I get to toot my own horn and I am. I am also stretching the limits of my readers’ patience by posting twice, but I’m that good today.
One final outright boast: A year ago when I’d just been Freshly Pressed, and was a newbie, I was sitting at well below 10,000 hits and about 7,000+ came in from that one post (The Grass Is Always Greener On Someone Else’s Head). I hit the 10,000 mark in October with a huge push from the readers who checked out Freshly Pressed and found me by accident. Today, 10 months later, and 20,
130193 (as I type) more hits, those hits are all from my own hard work and writing. No influx of people who see me and drop in briefly. I have 493 Followers (can’t wait to hit 500) who check this out enough to keep the numbers growing. That is truly gloat worthy in this girl’s world. I am proud of that fact and what I’ve done in one year.
So, I may not be winning any real awards for this, no gold medals, nothing tangible: But thank you one and all for helping that number grow. Thanks for supporting my desire to write and express myself. Thanks for making me a rock star, a gold (or at least a bronze) medalist for a day. Hip hip hooray, I’m 30,000 today!
While I’m already bragging, help me brag more: **Please take a moment and support this blog. Share your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of this post (hit the title to open the link), and join in the conversation. Or post your comments on the Tales from the Motherland FB page. If you appreciate this post, click on the title and then hit the Like at the bottom of the post. And if you’re really a fan, consider subscribing. Let’s see that number hit 500. It’s easy and painless. Your information is private; I see only the log on you use. Once you hit the subscribe link to the right of the post, you will get email updates each time I post a new story… No spam, no junk mail… nothing but my deep appreciation.