MY HAPPY DANCEI'm doing a happy dance at the moment because I have 250,000! No, that's not how much I won on Saturday Night Lotto or last week's Power Ball - That will never happen because I don't even buy those kind of tickets anymore - because I never win!
This is a different happy dance and a different win - I'm doing my version of the Macarena right now because I just reached 250,000 views of my blog!! Yes, I know for many bloggers it would be just a blip on their radar that they reached years ago - or they reach this number every month, but for me it's a really exciting milestone.
2 YEARS AGO...Sometimes I wonder how I even got here - two years ago I hadn't given blogging a second thought - or a first one either for that matter! I didn't know that blogging was a "thing" that people did (let alone the fact that there are MILLIONS of people doing it every day!) For me it was a spur of the moment thought that became an action and before I knew it I had leapt into the wild and weird world of blogging.
LEARNING THE RULESWhen I started I had never heard of HTML, or SEO, or key words, or Google Analytics, or StumbleUpon, or Flipboard, or Link Parties, or Facebook groups, and even Pinterest was only something I had recently begun to get my head around - and certainly not rich pins or Pinterest Analytics! Then there was Blogger vs Wordpress vs Self Hosting vs Square Space vs Weeblie or goodness knows what else!
Then there were sponsored posts, and guest posts, and links, and advertising, and writing for your reader and not for yourself, and minimum numbers of words per post, and what time you post, and social media promotion, and the list just kept growing like Topsy! Who'd have thought all this stuff existed???
Then there was 'finding your tribe', 'finding your niche', finding sponsors, finding Nemo (no that wasn't really suggested) but the others were all strongly suggested. I was supposed to sit and make lists of things that defined me and my blog and then get serious about the whole thing. It just didn't work for me, but somehow - by natural osmosis - I seem to have found my tribe and my niche - Nemo never turned up - and I haven't really worked at finding sponsored posts (probably because I'm too busy writing about my cats!)
THEN BREAKING THEM ALLI think why reaching a quarter of a million views really 'rings my bells', so to speak - (is that an Australian term? Along with 'floats my boat') is that I have done almost none of the recommendations and suggestions that I listed above. I tried a few and for the most part, I hated all the rah-rah promotion and the time consuming nature of trying to be everywhere at once. I struggle to be enthused by writing posts on washing detergent, or incontinence pads, or hand wipes, or whatever are being given out for free by sponsors, so I've never bothered responding to the emails that offer things I'm not interested in.
I still work three days a week, so I don't have time to be at every link party, and on 30 facebook groups, or posting on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, G+ etc sixteen times a day - and I refuse to use a scheduling tool (another thing I never knew existed two years ago) because it all becomes too business-like for me. I need time where my head is elsewhere - where I'm in the sunshine, or looking at pictures of my grandbaby, or talking to my husband, or phoning my daughter - not worrying about blogging stats.
As far as "writing for my reader" goes, I'm afraid what I tend to do instead is write about things I love, about things that touch my heart, or make me smile, or lift my spirits. I write about how great this time of life is and how I've arrived at that conclusion. I write because I love to - and that isn't necessarily the way to get "readers" but by some weird and wild turn of events, I seem to have found other people who come to visit and read my stuff - not all of it I'm sure, but bits they like and can relate to - and that's one of the reasons why I blog.
A HUGE THANK YOU!So, if you are reading this and you are one of the 250,000 views I've had - then I want to say THANK YOU!! I want to say how much I love that I seem to have organically found my "tribe" and my "niche" and I love the comments, and the interaction, and reading other blogs, and commenting on them, and the facebook connections, and the huge boost this has given to my well-being and my self esteem.
Who'd have thought back in 2014 that this could happen? Certainly not me! But I am SO glad it has. I wonder if I'll ever get to half a million views, or if I'll quietly fade off into the ether and nobody will notice? Either way, it's been a blast so far and that's why I'm doing a happy dance today! xxx