A little over a year ago, I started Life in Pleasantville. I had been blogging for just over two years at the YummyMummyClub, and was looking to carve out a space of my own on the web. My own little happy place, so to speak.
That first month I had 137 unique visitors. It’s fair to say that I probably knew each and every one of them. It’s also very likely that I prodded, pushed and threatened them to come visit. Last month I had over 3,500 unique visits. No threats required.
Initially, I worried that I wouldn’t have enough material to fill a space. But I stayed focused on what mattered to me, what made me happy…..travel, food, music, family, repeat. Shock of all shocks, the material just kept coming. Sharing recipes I serve my family every single day. Sharing the music that gets my butt moving or my heart soaring. Sharing travel posts from places I’ve been lucky enough to visit. Occasionally venting, sometimes gushing, always just me.
That’s important in this world of blogging. It’s like the expression “There will always be somebody prettier than you, but they will never be you”. In the world of blogging, there will always be someone more talented, better with words, better in the kitchen, smarter than me….but they are not me. And it’s hard not to compare, because that’s what we tend to do. What are you numbers? Who comes to visit? Who have you connected with? It can be stressful and for what, I ask you?
That’s not what I wanted Pleasantville to be. I wanted it be my happy place and while I will always look at my numbers, I remain focused on my goal…..and here’s where I pull out a tacky movie quote……if I build it, they will come.
I feel blessed for every person who visits Pleasantville, whether through a stumble, a pin, a facebook link or a word-of-mouth reference. I delight when my best friend’s neighbour leaves a comment, or a co-worker from my former life finds me, or when someone I’ve never met leaves a comment that makes my day, or when my mom leaves a comment. Because, frankly, there’s nothing better than knowing your mom still checks in on you once in awhile.
If I can offer any advice to anyone thinking of starting a blog, it’s this. Put your blinders on. You don’t need to see who’s coming up beside you, or who’s whooping your ass in the stats department. You need to stay focused on what matters to you, because ultimately, that’s all that matters.
So without further ado, a small look back.
Top 3 Posts for Traffic
Harry Potter Books – while I’d like to think it’s the way I’ve chosen to read these books with my daughters, I do believe it’s the picture that’s been pinned ad nauseum on Pinterest, that’s the reason for the traffic.
Frozen French Lemondade – I’m a little gobsmacked that this one is in here, simply because I just posted it last week. Which goes to show, you never know what’s going to catch on. This post has over 1900 stumbles alone. Try the drink though, forget the stumbles.
Turkey Burgers – Okay, they are really good. So I’m not surprised by this one at all.
Top 3 Favorite Posts
Banning Balls and Other Stupidity – Honestly, sometimes I think we can’t find enough to make a big deal over. I’ve rolled my eyes so often the last year, I’m surprised they haven’t come loose of their sockets.
The Pleasantville Parenting Manifesto – asked if I thought French moms were superior, I answered.
7 Super Shots – I was sucked in by a meme and loved sorting through my photos.
Top Three Posts that Make Me Laugh
Little MissMatched – My seven year old tests my matchy-matchy ways.
Reading to Your Dog – Kids literacy can improve by reading to pets. Poor dog.
Give a Kid a Camera – Alright, who’s smart idea was it to give my daughter a camera of her own. Sheesh.