When I first started blogging back in June 2009 I was busy posting away to what I thought were just two followers. I didn't mind, I was new to it, tentatively learning about this new blogging world and enjoying being able to write about my own gardening experiences.
Initially the idea was to share with my customers my own gardening experiences to help to give my fledgling business some credibility. As time went by I started to include tips and advice, recipes and anything else that popped into my head.
It was a few months before I found my stats page and delightedly discovered that more than two people were actually reading my posts. Whoopee - what a lovely surprise!
In 2010 I joined the KLCK Bloggers Network Group and my approach to social media took a new turn. The speakers at the group shared their vast experience and knowledge with us all, made us think differently about our content, encouraged us to plan our posts and have goals. Goals? Strategy? Yikes! All I wanted to do was write. Something must have been sinking in though as my page views steadily grew. As I realised that people were actually looking at my blog, my confidence in writing it began to grow too.
Over the past couple of weeks I've watched the page views get closer to that magic milestone number of 50,000, helped along considerably by the unashamed pimping for the latest competition (thanks to everyone who's helped there too). I found myself asking why I blog and where is it heading, what would you like to see, do stats matter, are they important? I was happy to write when I thought there was nobody looking, is it any different now that I've had 50,000 + page views? The answer is yes and no. No in that I still write because I enjoy it but the fact that you are reading the blog makes me think a lot more about what I'd like to include in it. The stats help me to see what interests you, where my writing came be of more help.
1. Top of the list is because I enjoy writing. I find it therapeutic and like to lose myself here (for too long my husband might say...)
2. It's a source of information for 'my' gardeners as well as for anyone else who likes to grow or eat vegetables or cares about the environment. It enhances my aftercare service as customers aren't just left alone once the workshops or advice has finished.
3. I can share recipe ideas that we've tried and tested at home. Lots of people new to growing their own haven't eaten or cooked many of the vegetables they're growing.
4. Blogging helps to keep me focussed and continue with my own education. Some of the articles I've written I've had to seriously research, for instance the GM post. If I wasn't blogging I'm not sure I'd be keeping quite so up-to-date about current and topical issues.
5. Because my blog's a mixture of personal and business, it shows there's a real person behind the business name who has as many successes, failures, angst and elation as the rest of you.
And to share the top five most popular blog posts since I began writing it....
1 Yummy Courgette Cake
2 World Naked Gardening Day
3 Mealy Cabbage Aphids on my Brussels Sprouts
4 Pesticides & Fungicides Using Kitchen Ingredients
5 Potatoes - all you need to know
So a massive thanks to everyone who's dropped by - I hope you'll be visiting again. There's still lots of posts bubbling around in my head that I hope to spill out over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, if there's any topic you'd like me to write about, please leave a comment here or on any of the other social media sites I frequent (and for anyone who knows me, that's most of them by now) and I'll try and include them.