I know it's cliche' to spend this day looking back at the previous year, but I love it anyway. That's what holidays are for. To take a moment to mark those important moments.
This year I started this blog not knowing what to expect, or how it would be received. We launched in June, averaging a disappointing hundred hits for the month. But by November we had more than 3,000!
I've kept my promise to myself to post twice a week, without fail, and only broke that promise once. (And that was the week before Christmas so I'm blaming it on the holidays.) While a true journalism snob, I've turned my nose down on the blogging world for years, and am now humbled by how much this little venture has taught me.
It's forced me into a vulnerability I wasn't capable of when I first sat down to write No Beauty Queen (the book) and is helping me release that vulnerability now into the rewrites. Blogging has kept me honest. It's difficult to lie to yourself about your feelings when you examine them so closely twice a week to create a post for your audience. It's also showed me who I don't want to be. And when building your own brand, it's equally important to know who you aren't, as who you are.
I've learned my favorite posts are not necessarily your favorite posts. My best posts are never the most popular. And people like lists. Seriously. People love clicking on anything with a list.
For example, these three posts were half of my top six posts of the year for hits and comments. Sometimes I love getting comments and feedback even more than a thousand hits because then I feel I touched something.
I've also enjoyed having people follow me along on the journey of writing and publishing this book. When I launched the first sneak peek, I was overwhelmed with the response to it. However, I should let you know now that even this sneak peek is being reworked ;)
This next post was my first break into big web hits. Probably because it was a direct comment to someone else's blog that had gone viral. Trust me bloggers...commenting on someone else's popular blog will lead to way more hits on your own blog! However, I struggled with this one since I hate the attack blogs, especially those arguing ugly church issues. But after considering what I'd written, I decided I was defending one girl, and not so much participating in a mean-spirited attack on a blogger.
This final post has by far been my most searched and most viewed post ever. It's the one about the very well-known Bible study teacher's daughter getting divorced. In fact, I average 20 hits a day from people searching "Beth Moore's daughter divorced." I'm not sure what this says about church society. On one hand, everyone loves gossip. Everyone. On the other, people want to understand how these devout followers can have such bad things happen in their lives.
So thank you!!! Thank you for reading and sharing and commenting and being an overall tremendous support for this crazy dream of becoming an author! I also want to thank my contributors: Jessica, Michelle, and Christy for adding their insights and sharing their own personal thoughts on this blog, even though they all have full-time jobs and lives of their own!
Here's to 2014!