“All the statistics in the world can’t measure the warmth of a smile.”
Compared to my day to day real life in 2018, my blogging world was a calm sanctuary which brought me many smiles and delighted me in ways I never would have thought possible, (which is one reason why I chose the quote above).
The biggest accolade I received this year, was receiving the runner up in the Hidden Gem category of the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in London. For me, a little known Australian midlife blogger, this was a huge result!
My blog was also an outlet for my grief and my happiness throughout the year. It also allowed me to take you along on our 3 month Odyssey.
It’s interesting that my top 10 posts, as you’ll see below, are a good mix of personal events in my life, family issues, interesting travel posts and education/midlife topics. This is good to see, as my blog is based on Midlife, Travel and Adventure, as seen through my eyes!
2018 was another great year in my blogging world and the stats don’t lie!
Something I always like to do at the start of the new year (along with almost every other blogger it seems) is to take a look back on the year that was. It’s always fun to see what has gone on and I’m often surprised at what posts came out on top in terms of views and likes. I don’t often dwell on the statistic side of blogging but this is one time of the year I delve into them, despite technically being on a blogging break!
So in 2018:
I wrote a total of 181 posts as opposed to 253 posts in 2017.
There were 42374 views of my blog
I welcomed 21230 visitors to my world
I smiled at 9190 likes 🙂
I received 5543 fabulous comments
These numbers are all slightly higher than my 2017 stats, but when you take into account the fact that I wrote fewer posts, the numbers are way better, so I’m a very happy little Vegemite!
I know to some people these are negligible numbers but to me, they’re brilliant.
The number of people following my blog, liking and commenting on posts has exceeded my expectations again this year. I don’t promote my posts very much, although I am in a few Facebook groups which help get viewers to my blog.
I don’t have a newsletter or any pop-ups or ads on my blog, and I’m not involved in any affiliate programs. I make no money from my blog, I like to keep it simple and don’t like bombarding people with unnecessary emails. I blog for pure enjoyment and as creative outlet.
Over the years I have slowly increased my followers and this year I finished with a grand total of 5002. I also tipped over 1000 followers on Instagram recently, so it’s all starting to grow!
I’m so thrilled to have you all with me and thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can honestly say I haven’t received any negative comments on my posts or even been harassed. Thankfully the spam comments go straight into the bin.
According to the stats my most viewed posts, written in 2018, were:
- What I’ve learnt from surviving a school trip that went terribly wrong – I wrote this post in May 2018, which was 40 years to the day after the event. It was the first time I’ve ever written anything about this tragedy. I’ve talked about it many times and told the story of my Bravery Award over the years but had never written it down. It was good to finally do so.
- How to save a sheep and other useful cycling tour tips – in June 2018 we took a week long cycling/barge tour through the countryside in Amsterdam. We have done similar tours before from Paris to Bruge and in Croatia and New Zealand. These are some of my thoughts and tips on joining a tour.
- 10 reasons why you definitely shouldn’t visit Iceland – This post was about just one part of 3 month travels, Our Odyssey, from May-July 2018. It’s my attempt at reverse psychology! We really loved Iceland 🙂
- Shooting from the hip – This was the prompt for Week 42 of our 52 week photography challenge. I really think the word ‘shooting’ in the title, attracted all the attention, because it wasn’t one of my best examples of my photography skills!
- #6 Tips on how not make money or get a gazillion views in your first month of blogging– in April 2018 I wrote this post because I was sick and tired of seeing posts claiming all manner of benefits to blogging in such a short space of time. Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme and it takes years and effort to gain followers. I’m not into blogging for money and am not into any type of affiliate program. This post was a bit of a rant, and fun to write! Another post I wrote in this vein is this one: Blogging isn’t for the fainthearted.
- The Odyssey begins – This was the start of our 3 month Odyssey in May 2018 and tells the story of our connection to Cheddar in Somerset, where our eldest daughter now lives.
- Literary Food: Fiction and Non-fiction – In March and April 2018 I was involved in a discussion group with some friends – the course was all about food, Eating their Word: The Literature of Food. We met regularly and discussed the notes we’d been given and compiled our thoughts into a report each time. I was encouraged by the group to write a post after each meeting. This session was all about cook books and food writing in both fiction and non-fiction. It was a very interesting course!
- An artistic toilet block on the tourist trail in New Zealand captures our imagination – Back in November 2017 we spent 3 weeks in New Zealand’s North Island and I finally got around to writing about these amazing toilets in January 2018. They have to be seen to be believed!
- The Literature of food – yes that’s a real thing! – As mentioned above this post was a part of the course Eating their Words: The Literature of Food where we basically discussed food and the question What sort of language is being used here to communicate about food?
- Thoughts on losing my Father – In January 2018 we lost my father, it was traumatic, not unexpected and yet so very devastating for our family. I wrote about my grief as it helped me and apparently it struck a chord with many of you as well.
This post is a perennial favourite, getting visitors without me even trying to promote it, so it’s worth a mention here!
- Surprisingly there is a life after retirement – this post obviously still strikes a chord with readers, despite being written in March 2017. I was very honest with my thoughts on retirement and I’ve enjoyed keeping track of my retirement journey. I think this one gets found on Pinterest and was actually the most viewed post in 2018.
- It’s all about me – my page is where I tell all! I always look for a blogger’s ‘About Me’ page when I visit for the first time, as it gives me a sense of who I’m talking to. Do you do this too? It’s important to keep updating these pages as they get out of date quite quickly!
Sometime during the year the Weekly Photo Challenge ceased operations and I mourned the loss of this popular linkup. My sister and brother-in-law invited me to join their small family-oriented 52 week photography project and this helped fill the void. I enjoyed learning new skills and thinking outside the square each week. I also went from using my iPhone for my photos to using a real camera (shock horror). Then later in the year I stumbled across Terri’s Sunday Stills challenge and started joining in. I still enjoy my Wordless Wednesday posts, where the photo tells the story.
My favourite posts this year have been My Birthday letter to myself, Is beige even a colour? and Bloggers Bash Awards, where I was fortunate to be a runner up in the Hidden Gem category of the annual awards. I was in England at the the time so went along to the ceremony in London and met many of my favourite bloggers in person 🙂
I have enjoyed participating in several weekly linkups this year – Midlife Share the Love, #Lifethisweek and Sunday Stills are my favourites. These have reinforced my belief that bloggers are amazing, generous people who love to share their lives, their wisdom and their friendship, regardless of where they are in the world. I was lucky to meet a few of my favourites this year too 🙂
I’ve also been fortunate to be a Guest on many of my friend’s blogs – this is always a thrill!
Where are you?
This year the USA has topped the stats for views, followed by Australia, UK, Canada, Germany, India, NZ, Japan, Denmark and Ireland.
WordPress, Facebook and Pinterest were my biggest referrers – I enjoy sharing to Twitter, Mix and Flipboard but they don’t yield much in the way of visitors. Instagram isn’t any good for bringing in readers either, but I must say I do enjoy it! I actually got to over 1000 Instagram followers this year, which I’m quite chuffed about!
Like every other blogger out there, it’s comments that make my world go round. Those who have commented the most during the year just happen to be some of my favourite bloggers –
Jo and John from J Walking,
and there are many more who regularly leave me comments, I really appreciate every one of you, so thank you xx
Summary of 2018
So in summary, in relation to my blogging world, I think 2018 has been about life, travelling (a lot), taking photos and connecting with like minded souls. I really can’t ask for much more than that 🙂 It’s been a positive, creative time of growth and I’ve loved every minute of it.
In regards to my real life, I’m not going to lie, 2018 was a year full of emotion, immense highs and desperate lows, light and darkness, a real rollercoaster of a ride. My blog reflected only some of this.
Not only did we lose my father in January but we also lost my father-in-law, very suddenly on the last day of our big trip in July. We came home and tried to make sense of everything we’d experienced and the sudden loss of a wonderful man. All the ‘firsts’ that come with losing someone special was magnified by 2 this year and we are still trying to support our families through this time as best we can.
On top of that, or maybe because of it all, I became quite sick and have since changed the food I eat, cutting out sugar, processed foods and many carbs. I am feeling much better now as a result and the blood tests tell the same story.
Shortly after our return home one of our daughters had her first baby, our first grandchild, and she, plus our three daughters, have been the light keeping us going in recent months. Emilia is just delightful and makes me smile every time I think of her. I must say it’s so different being a grandmother.
And then there was this bombshell just before Christmas – it was a dreadful way to end of the year – My sister’s story in her own words
This quote says it all so well – just perfect in fact!
Wishing you all the best for 2019 with many breathtakingly beautiful moments ahead.
What about you?
How has your blogging year been – good, bad or indifferent? Let me know, in the comments below, what your fave post was for the year and I’ll stop by and have a read.
Thanks again to everyone who has connected with me during the year. I come back to the quote at the top of my post – all the stats in the world can’t measure the warmth of a smile 🙂
All the best for 2019, I do hope you’ll stick with me!
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