Month in Review

First, on a slightly selfish tone, I’d like to say that I’m happy to see the tag I started happily blog hopping. It gives shout outs to new and veteran bloggers alike. However, I’ve noticed that number 100 has mysteriously disappeared. If you’ve been tagged in the “Get To Know Me” please add number 100 which links to the original “Get to Know Me” post. You can just copy and paste this as the last question (which obviously isn’t a question):

100. The original Get to Know Me post


I feel like I’ve shot myself in the foot this month.

But as the saying goes,

It is what it is…

February has been a rough month. I have had the blog on autopilot for the month. In doing so, my views have plummeted like that skydiver without a parachute, my comments have dropped like Galileo’s weights from the tower (9.1 meters/sec), and my stats in general are so low they’ve hit oil.

But these are January’s stats. Let’s look on the bright side…

Once upon a time I was getting over 2,000 views per month. That hasn’t happened since April of last year. January saw 1,325 views. This is exactly 1,325 more views, people who stopped by to read what I wrote, than if I didn’t blog at all.

There were 595 visitors. I’m kinda proud of this number because it means readers are not just coming over, but they’re staying. Kinda like the friend who stops by to deliver a box of Timbits but ends up staying and chatting for a couple hours.

I published 24 posts in January. Not too shabby. I haven’t been posting on Saturdays because that used to be my day for writing 100 word stories and I haven’t done that since my series ended.

I got 481 likes in January. I like that.

The 342 comments I received though, are my pride and joy of the blog. I know I’ve written well, written content you can relate to, when you are kind enough to leave me your own thoughts on the subject. Building community is what drives the blog. Thanks to all who have chimed in. Also, I’m far more apt to visit and share the blogs of those who comment.

January’s most popular post was Mystery Blogger Award when I was nominated by A Momma’s View. It received 47 views.

41 countries visited my little corner. The US, Canada, and Australia were three to visit most often. The UK and Netherlands were close behind.

The search terms that brought people to my blog were great. “Dad son farting stories” brought 4 people. There more farts and poop around here than a dairy farm! Also searched was “fix cassette with a pencil” (that’s old school). “Stomping feet gif”, “beach forest mountain”, and “earth compared in size to the galaxy”. I’m so happy a science search landed someone on my blog! I hope someone feels smarter.

I am currently sitting at lucky 7’s. 777 followers! My latest three followers are Sheryl, TrevnJess, and Mykynla. Thanks for following! Will you be next? It’ll be worth it. I promise.

I’m going to pass on the most comments for the time being. As February ends next week, I’ll rewrite the Month in Review for this month and I’ll include y’all in there. But I will let GrubbsnCritters know that she’s currently winning and A Momma’s View is close behind. Perhaps someone can knock these two out of the top spots? I will be giving shout outs to the top six come March first!

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A Year in Review

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If you’re reading this you’ve successfully made it through 2016 and into 2017. Congratulations. My blog survived the year, too. It’s coming up on two years since I made the switch from Blogger to WordPress. I brought exactly zero followers with me when I made that switch.

So how did my second year compare to my first year? Thanks to all of you, it’s a bit like comparing George Lucas’s second film “American Graffiti” with his third film “Star Wars”. The only thing missing is a few million geeks.

2015 accumulated 9,259 views.
2016 accumulated 18,997 views for an increase of 9,738. This is over double from my first year of blogging. This makes me as happy as a geek on opening night of Rogue One.

2015 had 3,510 visitors.
2016 had 6,625 visitors. This is 3,115 more. Not quite double, but close!

In 2015 I posted 316 times.
In 2016 I posted 356 times. This means I was 9 posts short of one a day for an entire year.

2015 brought 2,827 likes.
2016 brought 6,735 likes.  3,908 more! You like me! You really like me! Y’all are as awesome as a $20 bill found in a pocket of a coat you haven’t worn for a year.

2015 had some good discussions. 2,370 comments were left on my blog.
2016 had some good discussions. 5,633 comments were left on my blog. Again, this is more than double. This is the section I love to report on the most. I’ve said it repeatedly and I’ll continue to say it, your comments and stories and input are absolutely amazing. Thank you.

In 2016 my most popular page was my homepage with 3,628 views. My top three most viewed posts were my about page with 296 views, my links page with 145 views, and the taboo words for the Taboo Word Challenge with 127 views. My most popular post to date is The Value of a Teacher with 517 views.

In 2015 my blog travelled the world over. 54 countries visited my little space.
In 2016 my blog travelled the world over. Exactly 100 countries visited. That means there are just 96 countries who haven’t visited yet. The top countries to visit last year were the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, and Thailand.

2015 began with exactly zero followers, but by the end of that first year I had 253 amazing followers.
2016 began with the 253 followers from 2015. Then 456 joined us for the fun and frustration of being a parent for a total of 709 followers! Thanks to AppleGrowing Up Wonderfull, and Little Boys Are Made Of for being my most recent followers. I see the 1,000th follower coming. Will you be next?

Lastly, my top 5 commenters in 2015 were Grubbs-n-Critters, I’m Strong Enough to Break (now known as That’s What Anxious Mom Said), Elen Grey, A Momma’s View, and Terri Webster Schrandt.

In 2016 four of those 5 are still on my list of top commenters! Grubbs-n-CrittersA Momma’s ViewThat’s What Anxious Mom SaidElen GreyLife In Perspective Web, and Larva225.

I’ll end on a humorous note, the search terms that led people to my blog.

  • run sad to happy
  • sunday
  • sad running happy
  • windows 10 start button doesnt work
  • taboo challenge
  • about captain america
  • semalt expert
  • parenting
  • mountain.or.forest
  • elf on the shelf when dad’s in charge

I LOVE that sixth one.

friendship-quotes-friends

All 709 of you are weird, but I’ve been lucky enough to find someone nearly as weird as I am and I am eternally thankful that she continues to put up with my desire to blog. XOXO

 

Sunday Night Share

Another week has come and gone. Another week begins. I’m slipping this post in under the wire. I didn’t want to miss my chance to share some good read with you. It’s still Sunday here. Matthew is on his way. We’re not getting much, just a bunch of rain. Nothing new for these parts this fall. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in Canadaland. Stay tuned Tuesday to read about our hiking/shopping trip yesterday. 

Happy reading!

The Return of the Modern Philosopher
I love reading the conversations with Lucifer…

Coach Daddy
6 word stories and a passport…

Adequate Dad
Finding a real hero in an unlikely place

Not the Average Mama
On speaking to children

Nikki Bayouth
What parents should know about teachers

Taboo Word Challenge

There will be a new challenge coming to the blogosphere in September. Warm up your thinking caps. Loosen up those blogging fingers. After those pesky kids get back to school we’ll start up this new and exciting adventure!

Next week I will be revealing the Taboo word list. 

It requires you to do nothing but blog as you normally would. If you blog every day you can join. If you blog Monday, Wednesday, Friday you can join. If you blog once a week you can join. Simply comply with the rules on the days you blog. There are no photos or topics to write about. You simply write the day’s post as you normally would. However, there will be something missing.

Each post you make will be missing a word… or rather written without using a given word. I have 20 words chosen. Each day, the taboo word will be a little harder to omit so you’ll have to be creative. The challenge will start on the first of September and run until the 28th. It’ll be a Monday to Friday challenge so there will be no taboo words on the weekends. I’ll post the full taboo word list on the 21 of August for those who like to plan ahead. Check back here then!

Simply visit the Linky below and click to enter and join the party! The more the merrier. It’ll be a great place to share your blog and to meet others. Hope to see you there!

Oh… and please share this post however you can to help me spread the word. A huge thank you to the Amazing Eight who have signed up already!

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Behind the Scenes Blogging

I found this on Stephanie’s blog, Making Time for Me. I thought the questions interesting enough to answer myself. But like Stephanie wrote, I’m also interested in your answers.

  1. Where Do You Blog?  Usually in the basement. That’s where the desktop computer is. That’s the computer I can use most efficiently. If the laptop is free I’ll blog from the kitchen. Weird place for a laptop, but it seems to dwell on the kitchen table the most. I did just get a new tablet (with a keyboard). So perhaps I’ll start blogging from the new living room couch.

 

  1. Where Do You Find Inspiration For Your Blog Posts? My inspiration usually comes from my two boys affectionately known as Crash and Bang. For those who have been here before, Thursdays is all about them when I ask them questions. Fridays is also all about them when I answer their questions. For all the days not Thursday or Friday, I capture the moments, the joys, and frustrations of being a parent.

 

  1. How Long Does It Take You To Write a Blog Post?  Usually it takes me about 45 minutes from start to finish. I aim for 500 words. I don’t know why I picked 500, but it seemed like a good number of words to write. It also depends on how well the thoughts flow from brain to fingertips. A lot of times the message gets lost in translation.

 

  1. Do You Plan Your Blog Posts? How?  Four of the seven days are planned. As I mentioned in numero dos, Thursday is “Questions I asked my kids” day. Friday is “Go ask your father” day. Saturday is for 100 word fiction story (I just finished a 26 chapter story there, check it out). Sunday is for sharing posts I enjoyed reading from the previous week. This leaves Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for writing inspirational, thought provoking, laughter inducing posts.

 

  1. What Kind of Camera Do You Use? What Editing Program?  I have this fancy camera called “The Internet”. However, I have been known to use a few of my own photos or DW’s with or without her permission. When I do use my own, I use her camera, also with or without her permission. It’s a Canon powershot 50x. It zooms to 1200 mm. Basically, it’s a telescope. I don’t edit. I use as is.

 

  1. Do You Use a Notebook To Track Your Ideas?  I discovered an app (thanks to another blogging friend) I use to track all the questions the boys ask me. It’s also the app I use to track what groceries we need. Handy. They ask more questions than I could ever possibly write down.

 

  1. How Do You Take Your Pictures?  With the camera I discussed in numero cinco. I take them carefully. I take them many many times. Especially selfies with the cell phone. I suck at selfies. This one was a lucky shot…
lucky selfie

Lucky selfie… we’re all in it and we’re all looking!

 

  1. What’s Your Favorite Type of Blog Post to Write?  My favorite to write are the funny ones. Though I’m probably not nearly as funny as I think am. I try to inject a little humor into all my posts. I enjoy laughing at myself as much as every else enjoys laughing at me. I enjoy laughing at others as well. Especially when we’re telling parenting stories!

 

  1. Who Knows About Your Blog?  Everyone on my Facebook knows as all posts get shared there. It’s pretty much how my parents keep up to date with what’s happening up here in the Great White North (we live 1100 miles aways from Nana and Pop Pop). Other than that, it all y’all who have found their way here to read me! Thanks a million!
  1. Are You an Organized or a Messy Blogger?  Pretty messy. Each post might be neatly organized, but if you saw my drafts folder you’d be like, “WTF?” I’m a piler (pile-er?). Everything is in piles and no one can find anything. If you ask me where it is I can take you right to it. Unless I had it a minute ago. I don’t know where it is now.

 

  1. Biggest Blogging Pet Peeve?  Using a phrase incorrectly or spelling things wrong.  I have a hard time continuing on in a post when there are a bunch of spelling errors. Including my own. My biggest error is leaving out words. My brain moves faster than my fingers.  If I go back and reread one of my posts and start finding mistakes, I stop reading. Ain’t no one got time for that.

Lastly, I am not challenging anyone in particular. I don’t want to be the kind of person who puts too much pressure on someone else. Ping this post and I will RT your post as well.

spider web

One of the community of spiders taking up residence outside our front door. They eat the bugs that eat us.

Month In Review

July was the slowest month of 2016. I suppose with everyone on vacation that’s to be expected. As I’ve always said, even if the numbers aren’t there I’m still writing, still blogging, still me being me. Exactly how slow was July?

I managed to post 27 times. These posts received a total of 1,382 views. This is the fewest views for a month all year. I’m certainly not complaining because that’s 1,382 times you, my readers, came to see what was up over here. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

There were 540 visitors, 24 fewer than June. Again, thanks for coming for one and staying for more.

August brought 467 likes, just 13 fewer than June. So even though there were few views and visitors the like button was still getting clicked! I like you, too!

My blog had 394 comments in July. This is 83 fewer than June. I attribute this to the lack of time summer provides. But to those 394, I thank you. The comments build community and I love the community my blog has built. And I welcome you to it.

32 countries came to visit. The top three were the U.S.A., Canada, and Australia (the Netherlands were close fourth). After we win the lottery and start travelling I’ll be sure to stop by to thank each country personally.

Besides my homepage, Taboo Word Challenge was viewed 92 times in July. Check it out. It’s a fun little challenge I created for the weekdays in September. All you have to do is not use the word of the day. Please join us! A Literal Comparison of Parenting and Writing was second with 60 views. 10 Questions I Asked My Kids was in close third with 54 views. This one was unique because I also asked the boys cousin to answer, too.

I crossed the 400 followers mark in June. In July the followers kept coming. July brought 33 followers to bring me to 471. HMillerFitMasterpiece943,  and Koumba Orsi are my newest three followers. Thank you! I’m eyeing that 500 mark now. Perhaps I’ll get a little something something for the 500th? A guest post? A reblog? An interview highlighting your space?

As for my top three commenters… There was no change!

Ann’s Grubbs-n-Critters
The Invisible Moth
A Momma’s View
That’s What Anxious Mom Said
Elen Grey
Ah Dad 

So things have slowed a bit here and there around the blog. I’m not too worried. As I have said before, my blog doesn’t operate on likes and views. It operates on discussion. Thanks for all it. I can’t wait to see what the second half of the year brings!

the beach

A view from the beach. We visited here 3 times last week!

Good Morning Rain

It’s raining. I don’t mind it. Fresh, cool breeze wafting in the windows. The pitter patter of drops on the driveway and trees. Kids in the basement supposed to be cleaning up their toys but singing and playing instead.

I’m now on day three with no Coke. Chances are good I’ll have to start over tomorrow. We’re going to supper at Nanny and Pop’s house tonight and I love to have one with supper there. Almost three whole days without one ain’t bad.

Speaking of numbers,  have you looked at your stats page recently? If you’re like me, you check that page before clicking the notification bell. Right? How many views am I up to? How many visitors? Did anyone click my links? And my favorite, what weird search terms brought people to my blog? This month is was “thank you in south africa” from when I thanked South Africa for sending 300 firefighters to help battle the blaze in Alberta. The other was “prayer for dad coached” which should have led them to a guest post by none other than Eli, the Coach Daddy himself.

If you’re not watching your stats page, you aren’t blogging right. You’re not reaching your full potential. As long as you use your stats page correctly, you’ll find success. They aren’t just random numbers generated by WP. They are insightful reasons explaining why a post, or your blog in general, isn’t as popular as you would like it to be.

In this world, the one with the most is often the winner. Unless you have the most bowel movements or the most nose hair. We all want to be that blogger with the most followers or the most views or the most visitors. What’s the point of writing and publishing it online to the world if no one’s going to read it?

Those numbers, though a bit of detective work might be required, can tell you how you’re performing. If you see a post that does well, look at the reasons. When was it published? What tags did you include? Did you get more traffic from google than usual? What referrers brought people to your blog? It’s all on the stats page.

Confession: I don’t believe any part of this. Really. This is all hogwash. The stat are nice and they can be useful sometimes. But they don’t take into account that it’s summer vacation and not many are reading blogs at this time of year. They don’t take into account how well you write. They don’t take into account the audience you’re trying reach. There are so many subjective matters that can’t be measured when blogging. Like right now my stats page says that Thursday mornings are the most popular. You know why? Everyone loves to hear Crash and Bang explain their world in “Questions I Asked My Kids” episodes. And since I don’t post at regular times (I post when I get a chance to write) that stat changes more than I change my underwear.

The stats page is fun, don’t mistake me on that one. I enjoy seeing which posts do well, which ones bring the views and the likes and the comments. They subtly inform me when I need to get out to read and comment on more blogs (aka build community). I can’t expect people to come to me if I don’t tell anyone I’m here. That would be the equivalent of playing hide and seek without telling anyone you’re hiding!

So today’s piece of advice…

Use your stats page to guide your progress, but don’t let it be the only tool you use to measure.

Then hop over here and sign up for the Taboo Word Blogging Challenge!
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Month in Review

Not sure when I did my last review. Might as well use today to get caught up, eh?

Numbers have been dropping since April. The month of the A-Z Challenge has been the best since. April was the last month to top 2,000 views.

June saw 25 posts  bringing 1,470 views. While this is 137 fewer than May, this brings me to a total of 11,221 views for the year. I’m already 2,000 views ahead of last year’s total. Thank you everyone for coming back to read this little space.

There were 564 visitors, which is 64 fewer viewers than May. A huge thank you to those who read more than one post.

The like button was clicked 480 times. That’s 11 more times in June than in May. Keep clicking!

477 comments were left in June. That’s 71 extra comments from May. Y’all are too too kind and your discussions make me smile and motivate me to write more. All y’all are my muses.

Science Questions I Asked My Kids gained the most views for the month of June with 84. It was the first time I asked them science questions and it proved fairly popular. They did give some funny answers as to how our world works. A close second was Sunday Share Happiness with 71 views. I like when my Sunday Shares are at the top. I enjoy sharing what others have written. This one happened to be a tag post about what makes me happy and I got to share which bloggers I enjoy reading. Third was a fun facts post about a unique little pet.

Thank you to all of you for clicking the follow button. I didn’t just cross the 400 followers line, I leaped across it. I now have 438 followers. Scarlet Piper, Over the Line Show, and Wanderlust Jessica are my newest three followers. Thank you! I’m eyeing that 500 mark now. Perhaps I’ll get a little something something for the 500th? A guest post? A reblog? An interview highlight your space?

My top commenters are:

Ann’s Grubbs-n-Critters
The Invisible Moth
A Momma’s View
That’s What Anxious Mom Said
Elen Grey
Ah Dad 

So things have slowed a bit here and there around the blog. I’m not too worried. As I have said before, my blog doesn’t operate on likes and views. It operates on discussion. Thanks for all it. I can’t wait to see what the second half of the year brings! (aka my birthday!)

summersun

Sunday Share 1/2

Thanks to A Momma’s View I now know we are officially half way through the year. We are as far from New Year’s Day ’16 as we are New Year’s Day ’17. Well, we were on Friday, July 1st. Now we’re 2 days closer to ’17.

Anyway, we’re off to our first ball game today. Technically, we’re off to our first TWO ball games. Crash plays a double header tomorrow. This outta be good. Opening day starts with twice as much baseball.

God, I hope he has as much interest in the second game as he does the first. It’s gonna be a long day!

For such a long day, we all need some good stuff to read…

Hillbilly Blogger
This is some good ol’ fashioned winter fun.

Baby Sideburns
Every waking moment is for them (like it or not)

Humor Columnist Blog
Then there’s waiting…

Five Little Doves
Even when we’re trying our hardest things happen otherwise

Opinionated Man/Harsh Reality
Blogging ain’t hard folks

Niki’s Thoughts
A Meet-n-Greet on summer traditions!

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Sunday Share 22

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I hope the Easter Bunny found everyone this morning. I certainly don’t want anyone jipped out of their share of the chocolate.

If you’re like me, you’re going to be super busy. So I’m only leaving a few links today. Happy Reading!

Heather Needs A Nap
The gas we pass. It’s hysterical! So what if we only think we’re 10.

Opinionated Man
Don’t steal!

That’s What Anxious Mom Said
It’s all about that crap…

Properly Ridiculous
Trust Trump?

Riddle From the Middle
Will Smith and scary funny movies

If you have a great post to share, feel free to leave it in the comments whether it’s yours or someone else’s. All links are welcome!