2014 turned out to be a rather successful year for me as a blogger. Now, this success is based on my own terms, my own evaluation. My blog didn’t go viral. I didn’t get thousands or even hundreds of daily views. But results I have seen over the six months I blogged in 2014 counted as success by my standards.
I spent the first half of the year reading blogging books and pinning many references on Pinterest most of which I read faithfully for any blogging wisdom I could wring out of them. I spent a lot of time and effort researching blog names, looking for design elements (that were free to use commercially) and any information pertaining to running a blog in general. In July, with the help of my sister and her webdesign company, Crimson Leaf Studios – I launched my first blog.
My first few months were painfully slow. I struggled with appropriate blog topics. I was tentative at first in making my own changes to Science Alcove. I finally stumbled upon the Daily Post by WordPress and signed up for their Blogging 101 course – twice! The first time I participated in the assignments but had come into the course late and so was not able to participate in the Commons and interact with others like myself taking the same course. I signed up again in November and once I was able to post my assignments on the Commons and give and receive feedback, I found my viewership spike. I also participated in Photography 101 at the same time and was tremendously surprised by the support and visitors I gained through these experiences. My participation in these courses resulted in tweaks to my blog design. My sidebar especially got some welcome bling. I also improved my writing practices by including some regular features to my blog. They give me a weekly focus but allow some for some spontaneous posts. My weekly science quiz and Wednesday quote as well as my Friday nature photo came about as the result of participating in these courses.
“Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.” ― Pat Conroy, My Reading Life
My achievements this calendar year:
- My blog received 1500 views
- Facebook and Twitter were among my top referring sites
- My blog has been viewed in 60 countries
- I published 77 posts in the six months I blogged in 2014
- I have 25 followers of my blog
- I have gained 65 Twitter followers and 16 Facebook followers for my Blog Facebook page
- I completed my first guest post, The benefits of business blogging
- I have a consistent group of ‘friends’ I have gained through these experiences who regularly read and comment on my posts
These numbers may not be impressive by some’s standards but I’m very happy with my progress thus far. The last accomplishment, by the way, is the one of which I am most proud.
My goals for 2015 are the following:
- Keep my post frequency at at least 3 posts per week.
- Investigate ways to better utilize my social media to increase exposure – this is my weak point I think.
- Participate in more blogging courses and challenges like this Ultimate Blog Challenge.
- Investigate more avenues for guest posting.
- By the end of the year develop a plan for monetizing my blog.
My biggest goal is to continue posting science-related posts which I find intriguing and stimulating and fun to share. As well, I want to continue meeting new, interesting individuals who enjoy blogging as much as I do.