12 more months of me

I have renewed my WordPress subscription for twelve more months, so I guess it’s time for me to get a whole lot more creative. Also, I would like to be a whole lot more thoughtful with respect to the things that I say with my blog moving forward.

The career series is still coming. It’s something I very much have my heart set on doing. I got a little tied up with the whole situation wit my cousin and her son, then there was a baby here for ten days… not sleeping. Needless to say, It was a few weeks that seemed to fly by, but also somehow, last a lifetime. If I told you I was going to email you, that email will still be coming.

*If anyone remembers my post about my cousin’s son, there is a familial match, so we are grateful for that blessing and hopeful for the prospects that brings for her son’s health.

Things your WordPress Analytics can teach you.

We’ve all seen these statistics before. Every blog on WordPress has them. But what are they? What do they mean? How do we use them? Why should we use them?

Analytics are one of the easiest, and best things you can use for improving your blog’s function, reach and usability. And WordPress just gives them to you, for free. Since they’re there, you might as well use them.

I have touched on each of these things before. But, I’m doing a refresher since my blog was much smaller last time I spoke of these subjects.

WHERE DOES YOUR AUDIENCE COME FROM?

Using the #MillennialLifeCrisis blog statistics for example, you can see that the bulk of my audience, far and above views from any other country, comes from the United States.

Why does this matter?

Well, if the majority of your audience is coming to you from a certain country, and you’re looking to have your posts seen by as many people as possible, it might be a smart move to strategically plan posts to go up at peak hours of applicable time zones.

Again, using my blog as an example, #MillennialLifeCrisis posts are scheduled with the American time zones in mind because Americans are the largest audience that I have. While I do get a lot of views from the United Kingdom, it would make less sense to post content around Greenwich Mean Time (The UK) because I’ll be missing out on having my post at the top of feeds for my largest audience (Americans) when they sign into WordPress.

Now this is just an example of my blog. Take a look at your stats! Maybe you’re in the UK and the bulk of your audience is in the United States. If that were the case, it might be something to consider posting your content during the peak viewing times for Americans.

WHEN ARE THE MOST PEOPLE VIEWING YOUR BLOG?

Under insights you can find this statistic. What it tells you is what day of the week the most people visit your blog and what hour of the day the most people visit your blog.

If you’re someone who posts once per week, then go into insights, find this day and time and schedule your posts around this day and time. Why? Because if this is the time when the most people are viewing your blog during the span of one hour, why not optimize that specific time by giving them a new post to read each week at this time?

WHAT TAGS AND CATEGORIES ARE MOST VALUABLE?

I know that I’ve said this before, so I apologize if I sound like I’m sending the same message time after time after time, but tags and categories are integral to blog growth. Not only that but they’re also one of the easiest ways to help people find your content.

Properly categorizing and tagging your posts allow them to come up when people search subjects on WordPress. Perhaps a travel blogger wants to find more travel bloggers to follow, if they type “Travel” into the search bar and your post has been categorized as “Travel” then it’s going to come up in the listings.

Now, where categories and tags can really benefit you is knowing that not all categories and tags are as valuable as others. Using #MillennialLifeCrisis stats as an example (screenshot above), you can see that ‘Millennial’ and ‘Blogging’ as tags are much more valuable towards drawing in views than ‘Writing’ and ‘Job Hunting’ have been. Does that mean that it’s a bad idea to use ‘Writing’ and ‘Job Hunting’? No, not at all. It just means that strategically tagging your posts can allow your posts to be seen more by other WordPress users.

If you’re post is filled with writing and you want to tag it as ‘Writing’ then do so. But, if you’re a millennial then please also consider tagging it ‘Millennial’ to allow it to be seen that many more times.

If you go into your Insights and find that some of your tags and categories have been a lot more valuable than others, remember that when you’re composing your content so that you can strategically categorize and tag content.

I would like to hear your opinion.

If you are so kind to oblige, I kindly ask that you please share your opinions on the following:

  1. What is the most difficult thing about blogging?
  2. What annoys you most about blogging/the WordPress community?
  3. What do you not understand about blogging/WordPress/Social Media?

I ask out of curiosity, but also out of a desire to find out if my thoughts align with others.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!

A ‘love letter’ to the WordPress community

I think we all want to feel like our words matter. Like they make a difference. Like we mean something to someone. That we’re not just aimlessly wandering through this life, not leaving a mark anywhere, with anyone.

I get that. I really do. I feel that way a lot.

I think that’s why it’s so amazing when we come across someone who’s words align so well with the way that we think, with how we see the world, with who we perceive ourselves to be. Finally finding that feeling as though you’re not alone, it’s a big deal.

For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of meeting someone who understood me, who didn’t want to change me, who liked me just the way I was. And last year, I found that. Not only had I never known a love like that before, but I’d also never known an understanding like that. It was beautiful, unwavering and felt like it weather any storm.

Because when you find someone who’s words resonate with you, it’s a magical feeling (for lack of better terminology). It’s almost as if you’ve got this family that you never knew you had. People who understand you, who love you for who you are and have no interest in changing you.

I get that. That feeling, it’s everything.

This place has become like a second family to me. I come here when I’m sad. I come here when I’m mad. I come here when I’m happy. I just like to come here. I like the people. Even when they notice, and point out that I probably come here too often, I just like the place. I just like the acceptance, how everyone treats you as though you’re one of their own. Like you’ve known each other all along and this is the place you were meant to be.

No one judges me here. No one holds my faults against me. People just appreciate and respect. And, man oh man, that’s a nice feeling to find.

Thank you. All of you. Thank you. You mean the world to me.

She was fierce, she was strong, she wasn’t simple.

There’s something to be said about solitude. It can be both the best, and worst thing to happen to you… simultaneously. And that, that is considerable power for a state-of-being to hold over you.

Thankfully, when solitude comes in small, infrequent doses, it’s much easier, and more pleasant to accept.  Waking up in the morning, brewing a cup of tea and curling up on the couch with a good book is a nice treat. Losing your flip flops as you run through a field of perfectly trimmed, untouched grass has a certain childlike luminosity to it. You can’t help but smile and remember that sometimes, it’s the smallest of moments that make the biggest of difference in our days.

I tend to get so wrapped up in life that I forget about the world going on around me. For such a long time the only thing that I have even contemplated wanting is success. And, whilst I do not believe determination to be a bad thing, I do tend to forget to enjoy my days. It’s nice to not have to be somewhere by a certain time, and have people expecting things from me.

Today, I had the immense pleasure of sitting down with Hilary from Serene Luna Blog at Starbucks for a couple hours of conversation and frappucinos. That’s right, the blogger girls did coffee!

I’ve never met anyone from the blogging world before. This was definitely a first for me. She has this distinctly honest presence about her and authenticity that radiates through every motion she moves and every gesture she makes.

As an introvert, it takes a lot for me to step outside of my comfort zone. It’s easy for me to be anonymous, I like being anonymous. I like not being known. If I can take one thing away from my coffee date with Hilary, I think it’s that I should’t be so afraid of new things. I think I need to put myself out there more often. There’s some pretty wonderful people in this world and I’m not doing myself any favours hiding.

It’s good to put yourself out there. It’s good to be real, to meet new people and do new things. I need to remind myself of that more often. I need to remind myself to not hide. Because, while there’s very much something to be said about solitude and the peace that it can bring, there’s also something to be said about friendship and an appreciation for the good that people can bring to your life.

**Note to Self – Make more acknowledgement of the good that people can bring to your life. Let them.

“She was fierce, she was strong, she wasn’t simple. She was crazy and sometimes she barely slept. She always had something to say. She had flaws and that was ok. And when she was down, she got right back up. She was a beast in her own way, but one idea described her best.

She was unstoppable and she took anything she wanted with a smile.”

R. M. Drake