When my blog grows up…A Linky Party

Several of my friends,

 

 


decided to co-host an impromptu linky party posing one question:

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Well for me, this question is kind of difficult to answer.  I am going to probably write a bit here and it might be kind of rambling, so just stick with me (pretty please).

Let’s start at the very beginning….(a very good place to start)

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Don’t you just loooove Julie Andrews?

I wrote my very first blog post on September 20th with no real intention of anyone, except for my mom and sister, ever reading it.  I started this blog, as it says in the first post, so that my family could  have a way to keep up with our daily lives.

Because my parents and brother live in Taiwan, and my younger sister lives in Texas, it was a way for them to know what was going on besides the occasional phone call.

When I started I had no idea what a linky party was, what html was, or that there were hundreds…

…probably thousands….

of DIY blogs out there.  I mean it—no.idea.

I also didn’t know that people actually tried, and succeeded, in making money off their blogs (an area I’ll touch later on.)

Basically, I was clueless.

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Ok, maybe not that clueless.
Then, around the end of October I found out that Young House Love was co-hosting a Pinterest Challenge Party.  My sister first exposed me both Young House Love and Pinterest and that was the first time I ever saw a linky party.

Well, after linking up my project I actually had more than 10 readers in a month! Woo hoo!
I’m not joking…check out these stats:
  • September page views: 44 (but I think 30 of those were mine until I discovered “don’t track my own pageviews” in October
  • October page views: 268
  • November page views: 467

Yep, I know. You’re jealous of my overnight success.
Now that I knew what a linky party was, I started searching out others and linked up a few projects.  My first big “success” was when I linked up a Christmas table scape at Centsational Girl.
  • December page views: 1,596

During December I think I finally went from 2 followers to about 20.  Maybe 19.
Then, I just kept linking up more and more and more projects and was very, very lucky to be featured by quite a few different blogs.
  • January page views: 5, 615
This past month has been a big “explosion” for this little blog.
  • February page views: 58,628

With this increase in traffic has come an increase of comments and most importantly…an increase in friends!  My favorite part of blogging BY FAR has been meeting new people and becoming friends with them. 

Of course some of my comments are from “one hit wonders” (that’s what I call people who comment once and then I never hear again from them).  But some of you, and you know who you are, keep coming back and leaving wonderful comments.  And when you leave those comments I write back and we engage in conversations.

 Real, meaningful conversations, and I cherish each one.


So, getting back to our question of “what do you want your blog to be when it grows up?”…

I want 3 simple things for this blog:

 

1. I want my wonderful, dear readers to keep coming back

I don’t care if I have 3 followers or 800 (well maybe not 3 cause that would mean it’s just my mom and sisters reading), I just want to get to know those of you who come back and read what I have to say. 

We all have extremely busy lives and the fact that you take a few minutes out of your day to read something that I have to say is extremely humbling.  If you take the time to read, I want to take the time to engage in a relationship with you.  So please, if you’re a reader who has never commented let me know you’re out there!

 

2. I want to include more of my faith in this blog.


Before I am a blogger, wife, daughter, teacher, or friend, I am just a sinner saved by grace.  I feel like I have hinted here and there about my love for Christ but I want to share more of that.  Because my relationship with Him is the most important to me and “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45).

I understand that this might cause some of you to stop reading.  But I cannot not share who I really am, and I am nothing a part from Him.  I believe that He is blessing this blog (otherwise I’d still have 45 page views a month) and as one of my favorite songs says “Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise.”

PS: The Lord is doing some MAJOR things in my life right now.  We’re talking life-changing stuff and I can’t wait till it’s the right time to share it with you all!!!

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3. I want to use this blog to bless others

If I continue to get more “followers” (which, by the way, I really don’t like the wording of that…sounds sort of creepy cultish) then inevitably I will get more page views and traffic all together.   I have not come even close to arriving at that point, but I hear that at a certain point sponsors will come looking for you.  I also could put up some ads on my blogs.  However, if I make money off the blog I want to put it towards helping others.

How cool would it be to sponsor a child through an  organization like Compassion International as the Fami-Ly? How awesome would it be to have a linky party where people link up prayer requests?  What if could get money from ads and use it to support my local animal shelter?

You see, I never got into blogging to make money.  I never even knew that was possible.  And if I do ever get to the point where I can make money from this blog (although if I don’t I’m ok with it!) then I’d like to not use it all on myself.  The money would really be coming from readers anyways (you visit my site=more money for me) so why not use it to pour back into the community?
Well, those are my thoughts.   And if you’re still reading I owe you a cupcake.

{Seriously, my friends is a baker and makes the most amazing cupcakes.
You just email me the flavor you want.}

Now I want to hear what you think.  What are your goals and dreams for your blog?

Link up below and you’ll be joining other bloggers in the blogosphere for this wonderful blog hop.

I can’t wait to get to know you all more through this! (The party goes live Friday at 6 AM)

Comments

  1. Great goals! I especially enjoy a good Sound of Music reference. :) I also think it’s amazing that you’re able to maintain the blog while teaching, etc. Keep up the good work!

    (Um yeah, also, about that cupcake… ;)

  2. Sarah, you have not scared us off … even me who was subjected to a Catholicism upbringing that is harsh and unforgiving and brutally regimented and inflexible …

    But it hasn’t left me deft or void of spirituality … and I celebrate yours …

    :)

    Linda

    And bravo on those amazing numbers ….

  3. Great goals Sarah! I love your perspective, I’m not a fan of the word follower either, but it everywhere in this blog world. I love your ideas for blessing others, I just put a new button on my sidebar for a good cause…you may want to add something like that too.

    So fun to be co-hosting our first party together!! Have a great weekend,
    Karah

  4. Can I have a cup cake now – I’m in the UK lol !
    I really enjoyed your comment about one hit wonders – I get that alot, and then I stress over thinking ‘have I done that too’.
    Your goals are great. I am not religious, neither am I judgemental – I believe everyone should just live their life in the best way they can and if you use blogging to help others, that is a great way to live !

  5. Those are wonderful goals. I have blogged on an off since 2008 and never put the time in that I needed to. And when I started back the linky party thing freaked me out, I did not understand it. But after my first successful link today, its easy!! I really enjoyed reading your post and can’t wait to read daily. Oh and you started your blog on my birthday great day!!
    Bristol

  6. I have a blog review hop going on at my blog, if you’d like to join! You go and review 2 blogs anonymously and then 2 bloggers anonymously review your blog. It will give you some ideas as far as your blog layout and functionality, etc. Come on over!

  7. Well I love your idea about putting future profits from your blog toward charitable organizations! Your idea is seriously the only reason why I might in the future consider changing my mind about not-monetizing my blog.

    Congrats on the link up success you’ve had with your posts. This is my first time visiting your blog and I’m here as a fellow linker, but I will continue to visit and hope to grow beyond being as your describe (very cutely) a “one time wonder” (comment leaver).

    Robin
    happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com

  8. Wonderful! Also, it is so fortunate you have a job and can possibly use it for charity. Such an excellent goal.

  9. Fantastic goals! I’m thrilled to be one of your newest followers, and excited to see what you have in store for us!

  10. I believe you are well on your way to success…your posts are warm and honest..love reading them..and you are certainly not “clueless”..you are insightful.

  11. Isn’t blogger amazing in all the ways you described? Lovely to read what’s on your mind today.

  12. I’m so in. Carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting please:)

  13. I’ve been a follower for awhile…maybe right after I started in November? But I love your goals. This makes it so much more personal. I love that you want to share your faith and have a positive effect on others lives. Thank you! I guess I better comment when I stop by so you know that I’ve been here!!!

  14. this was so fun to read! mine is going up tonight and also has a musical reference in it, though it’s not the sound of music. i love your goals! i am excited to see where it goes. and i gave up flour products for lent so if you can get me a flour free cupcake that tastes fantastic i am yours forever.

  15. Sarah,
    The hills are alive …
    with the sound of an amazing blogger!

    Great goals – you’ve come a long way in such a short time and I know you’ll continue to grow! I need a pic of Arnold Schwartzenegger because “I’ll be back”!

    Linky following too.
    Kelly

  16. First I want to say, I read through the entire post, so I’d love a cupcake :), Your words are wonderful, I love your goals, sharing your faith in Jesus, love that!! I am glad I “found” your blog, I promise not to be a one hit wonder!!

  17. This was such a great post. I found your blog through the blog hop and am so glad that I did.

  18. I think those are wonderful goals! While I keep my faith pretty close to the vest, I do appreciate those who are able to share it so freely. Congrats on your amazing growth and wishing you continued success!

  19. Such a lovely and honest post.
    Penny x

  20. Your newest friend from the blog hop lovely blog :)

  21. Great goals! I just started over on my blog because I realized that I was doing myself a HUGE disservice by thinking I needed to either be me and post the funny content that people compliment me on OR post about my faith, which is the whole reason I started blogging more seriously last year, and then let it fail when I had a faith crisis last year. I will definitely be back!

  22. Hey there! Stopping in to introduce myself as part of the “tribe”! Can you believe my laptop crashed last week, just as we were getting our tribe together ~ God is growing me in some BIG ways right now!! :) Love your verse from Luke and your goals… following via Linky Followers and looking forward to getting to know you!
    Heidi @ Decor & More

  23. Chocolate is always good.
    And, I’ve been having a taste for an apple fritter lately.
    Hmm. Apple cupcake?

    I pondered the 5 year blog idea.
    For a while.

    My blog will be 5 years old on March 31.
    But, in all honesty, she slept for a lot of it.
    She was dormant for huge chunks of time in the middle years.
    And, last October, she came back.

    I’m not sure what the next 5 years will looks like, honestly.
    I had NO idea that I would get married 1.5 years ago.
    That I would become a step-mom to 2 wonderful boys.

    I think I’ll ponder it some more and do a 5 year birthday party for my blog on March 31st. See what a little prayer will bubble up, maybe showing some insight into God’s plan. And, I’ll continue to hold it loosely :)
    ~ Dana

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