Five Years of Blogging.
First off. Happy New Year!!
Sometimes it seems so wild to me that I’ve been here sharing parts of my life for so long.
Today, Bedlam and Daisies turn five years old!
In the scheme of a lifetime a part of me thinks that five years sounds short, but as I reflect on all the changes in my life…in the world… 5 years seems like a lifetime of its own.
When I looked back at my reflections of Four Years of Blogging, it was there that I shared how motherhood tested me to my core in 2019.
Little did I know that 2020 would test us all to our core.
Root out our strengths.
Expose our weaknesses.
It was also in that post that I shared my word of the year, “prune”. I would venture to say that 2020 had some pruning to do in all our lives.
In my most recent post, 20 Triumphs in 2020, I mentioned the loss of my mother-in-law and my mother’s diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. And while they are not something that I considered “triumphs”, and actually fall on the opposite end of the definition, they still helped to prune the superfluous. To open my eyes to what I consider to be important.
2021 has already started off bumpy. But as I sit here looking out the window at the snow falling down I am reminded of a quote:
“Kindness is like snow – it beautifies everything it covers.”
– Kahlil Gibran
Just as in my reflection on triumphs in 2020, I have to believe that it will all get better. That we will choose a path of love instead of hatred. I’ve been moving a collection of quotes from the notes on my phone over into a document and here is one that struck me:
“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
– Anne Frank
She goes on to say, “I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death.” I choose to view the world from that lens as well.
I have to keep seeking out the beauty in the chaos. It is there. It’s just waiting to be found.
This is where I pause for a moment of gratitude.
Thank you for joining me in this journey. I appreciate each and every one of you.
For the past two years, I’ve shared the statistics on Bedlam And Daisies. I do this because I think that it is easy to become disheartened when you are beginning and want to get your words out there. I know not everyone feels this way and sometimes I’m not even sure how many people I really want to read my words. But I do put them out publicly, which would imply I’m hoping someone out there reads them and resonates with the things that I have to say. After five years my reach is not huge and it may never become huge, but as I mentioned last year, if you stuck the same amount of people into a room to listen to what you had to say, you might think “holy crap, that’s a lot of people.”
So on with the statistics.
In 2020 I wrote 40 posts.
Of those, 12 (1 per month) were from my Tuesday Truth series. If you are new to my site, this is where I share a photo quote (some of which you’ll see in this post) and my thoughts on the quote. 10 posts were from my What I’ve Been Reading Lately series. Again, if you are new here, my goal in 2020 was to read 100 books and I shared all the books that I read in that series. The remainder were on a variety of topics ranging from photography challenges, laughter, hobbies, travel, and thoughts on subjects in life.
I wrote 37,145 words. The majority of that was due to the fact that the reading posts were lengthy.
I had 24,885 visitors and 34,117 page views. This was an 36% increase in visitors and a 39% increase in page views as compared to 2019.
This was mainly due to my Pinterest efforts. I had a variety of Pinterest pins in place from years prior and created new, more visually appealing ones for posts on topics that I thought might interest others. Pinterest generated 19,184 of my page views. Also, as my blog becomes older it gains more legitimacy amongst search engines. I had a few posts where search queries had them head to my blog. 4,178 of my page views were generated by search engines. The remainder of the views were primarily from the WordPress Reader, Facebook, and other blogs.
Top 10 Posts of 2020.
In the past, I’ve shared the top 10 blog posts as its own separate post (Top 10 posts of 2019 & Top 10 posts of 2018). However, the blog is currently at a point where some of the posts have gained enough traction that they continuously hold a ranking position even if they were written some time ago.
Because of this, I decided to share the top 10 within my anniversary post. Three of the top ten were written in 2020, the remainder in various other years.
So without further ado, Bedlam and Daisies Top 10 Posts of 2020 are:
This one caught me by surprise. It was written in May of 2016. Big Mr., my oldest son, was about to become a solo driver and we were car shopping. Big Mr. stands around 6’5 1/2” and his height affected the availability of car choices. This post touches on other topics that tall people face. Since being tall does affect choices, this post became found in search engines and garnered 270 views in 2020.
This post was written in 2020. It was in answer to a photography challenge, but also because we were in the beginnings of lockdowns and travel had moved off the table. This posts rounded up 294 of the views in 2020.
This post was written in August of 2017. It gets viewed periodically because it’s one of my earliest posts to show up in search engines. However, the amount of people hunting out The Cloisters tends to be small. It is a filming location for Outlander so that may have increased the interest. It did make the number 10 spot in 2019. However, I was still surprised, pleasantly so, to find it in the top 10. It brought in 464 views in 2020.
This post was written in October of 2016 and is another of those posts that have made their way into showing up during search engine queries. This Dam was built in 1906 and is a pretty stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway and takes you down to the Roanoke River. It collected 490 views in 2020.
This post was written in 2020. I think we can all acknowledge 2020 was stressful and since I am a lover of quotes I created a collection of ones on hope. If you read this post, you may have noticed that three quotes in the collection were my own words. I love quotes because I am drawn to words and love to find ones that sum up my thoughts. I often think I have nothing profound to add to the world of words that tackle the human plight, but at other times I think this is me being unduly harsh on myself and decide not to listen to the part of my ego that says I have nothing worthy to say. This post has picked up traction at the beginning of this year. I think that’s being generated by some being found on Pinterest. For 2020, it accumulated 597 views.
This is the third and final post of the top 10 that was written in 2020. I was finally able to sit down and write another post about our 20th Anniversary getaway to Charleston. I still have more posts to write from those travels. The photos have all been edited and are patiently waiting for me to carve out the time. This post brought 773 views to the blog.
This was written in October 2019. Since that’s late in the year, I suspect that time is what helped it make its way to the number 4 slot. It gathered 892 views in 2020.
This post was written in August of 2017 and this is its third year holding a spot in the top 10. In 2018 it was the 4th most viewed post and in 2019 it was the 2nd most viewed post. I did add an update for 2020 because I had another post I’d written a year after this one about other lessons, but it got lost out in the world of words and I thought it was important that all these people coming to read my thoughts around cutting out alcohol should hear more of the story. Pinterest is a large driver of my top three, which you will notice in the huge jump in views. This post had 4,785 views in 2020. And even though it moved down a place, that’s still a 59% increase in views over those from 2019.
This post written in 2013 was the number one viewed post in 2019. I guess everyone loves a love letter. 😉 It racked up 6,245 views in 2020. While it did move down from the number one slot, it had a 38% increase in views over its amount of views in 2019.
This post was written in 2019 and actually placed in the top 10 posts of 2019, coming in at number five. It continued to see steady traffic and worked its way up to the most viewed post in 2020. Primarily driven by Pinterest, it had 6,345 views. An increase of 787% over 2019!
Theme for 2021.
Each year I choose a word as my overarching theme, or focus. My word in 2019 was blossom. In 2020, it was prune. For 2021, I considered breathe and transformation as just a few of the high contenders. And I suspect they will be employed throughout the year. In the end, I settled on nourish.
nourish /ˈnəriSH/ (v.) -defined as:
1. to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth.
2. to cherish, foster, keep alive, etc.
3. to strengthen, build up, or promote.
One thing that 2020 showed me is that I needed to practice more self-care. I was trying to pour from an empty cup. I had forgotten that I needed to put on my oxygen mask first. It gave me the realization that I need to strengthen myself…physically, mentally, spiritually. I’m not sure what that will look like, only that I will place my needs on the priority list.
This blog began as a journey of self-discovery.
I knew that it would evolve as I evolved.
And it has.
And my theory is that it will continue to do so.
I hope that you’ll continue along with me.
Do you have a word or theme for 2021? Perhaps an intention that you’ve set? Don’t be shy. Let’s chat in the comments.
Despite its rocky start, I have a good feeling about 2021.
Let your light shine!