Today is the 1 year anniversary of starting my NatureAmy blog and what a year it has been!
I started writing to have an outlet that was just mine. For the first time since becoming a mom almost 8 years before, I was switching from working part-time to being a full-time stay at home mom. And although I was happy about that, I wanted an outlet that was just mine.
As much as I love motherhood, it can become all consuming – so much so that I find myself needing an outlet that is all my own. When I taught college classes part time, that was a great outlet. However, after 3 kids and full time homeschooling two of them, working outside the home, even for only 10 hours a week, was too much. So I became a full-time SAHM and started a lifestyle/mommy blog.
And I’ve loved it! It’s been a hard year for me emotionally, but being able to write about it has been very healing. I’ve also found that writing is so much like teaching. I’m a teacher and encourager at heart and I’ll never get away from that.
I’ve evolved from writing two or three posts per week, to taking two months off from writing in the summer, and eventually settling in at posting about once per week.
I wish I could write more consistently – I love reading bloggers who post several days every week – but I realized that that is not realistic in my current season. I’m homeschooling 1st and 3rd grade, keeping up with a very independent toddler, and about to add a 4th baby to the mix. My husband works 80 hour weeks during the school year and we try to keep everything running smoothly at our house (emphasis on TRY – it is far from smooth most weeks!).
So… just for fun, let’s look at some of my stats and most popular posts this year. I have been blown away by the visitation and love that this site has received the last 12 months!
Total site visitation: just under 50,000 – I can hardly fathom that number! I know for many more popular blogs that is a monthly or weekly stat, but I am humbled that my blog has been visited so many times!
- My most popular post is my Weeks Worth of Trim Healthy Mama Camping Meal Ideas
- But coming in just slightly under it is my Healthy Blueberry Scones Fuel Pull recipe – Downton Abbey inspired. All my scone recipes are popular (and yummy) but this one tops them all.
- My third most popular post is my personal Trim Healthy Mama Testimony.
Enough stats – personally, my favorite three posts (even though they don’t rank so high in post views) are the following.
- My very first blog story (after my introduction post) – Glitter in the Snow. I love this touching story about how our kids are the light and hope in this dark world.
- My testimony about not having a testimony – When you feel like you don’t have a testimony… The Facebook shares of this one really humbled me.
- And finally, our family tips on hiking with little kids – or how to NOT carry them the entire way…
Some things I’ve learned that have pleasantly surprised me:
There is a wonderful and supportive world of bloggers out there that I never knew existed! I’ve made friendships all over the United States, and even some beyond, with women who also blog. I’ve never been one to have digital relationships before – everyone I was friends with on Facebook I actually knew in person – but I’ve found a kinship with these women and it has really blessed me!
Instagram is a very surprising place. I never had an Instagram account before I opened my @amylovesnature page. I’ve found it to be a great tool in the blogging world and have formed most my friendships with other bloggers through it. It is also a much more pleasant social media outlet during political season!
E-courses can be a valuable connection tool. I purchased an e-course from Natalie of At Home With Natalie about blogging. It has been a very valuable tool. However, the thing I found most useful is the connections it has brought to other like minded bloggers. I use her Blogging E-course for Moms. And she often has discounts!
So, overall, I’ve learned a lot this year. But I’ve also learned to find my groove, be completely and unapologetically myself, and not focus on page views and site stats. I’ve made a little bit of money (enough to pay for a replacement part to fix my nice camera), gotten overwhelmed by statistics and numbers (my post on why I don’t want a successful blog speaks about that one) , and eventually stepped back from it all to find a place that works for me.
Maybe someday I’ll be a “successful” blogger with really great site stats and viral posts who makes enough money to support my family… but for now, I’m happy where I’m at. God has blessed me so much in this journey so far and I’m happy to be along for the ride!