For me, 2014 was the year of blogging. Although I started Oddly Lovely in 2013 under the much less marketable name of Kittlywinks (I have no idea what I was thinking), I took a 6 month hiatus at the beginning of this year and then launched with a bang back in June 2014. I’m now up to 3-5 posts a week and my life now seems to revolve around the recipes, DIYs, outfits, and stories I put together for this blog.
I really truly love it. I love that it’s given me a way to stay creative, not just with writing and photography but with other craft projects as well. I love that I get to incorporate so many parts of my social media marketing job, such as writing blogging tips for you guys. And I love that I’ve found such an amazing community here – I am blown away by the very real and true friendships I have made. I wish you all lived here in the Bay Area so we could hang out in real life.
So to wrap up 2014, the Year of the Blog, I want to share a best of post.
Let’s begin by talking about the blog posts I made that really wowed you guys (and often me!). I took a look at the pageviews of each post, the number of comments, and how much it was shared. Here’s what you guys loved:
Hands down my most popular blog post of the year was “12 Podcasts to Make Life More Interesting.” I’ve been listening to podcasts for years, and when I wrote this I honestly didn’t even consider how much the popularity of Serial has made people more curious about this form of entertainment. Not only did you guys love it, but someone put this post on StumbleUpon and it received more then 3,000 visitors in just a few days. I also received over 600 hits from StumbleUpon on my “How to Make Infused Vodka” DIY.
Two of my other most popular posts are actually beauty tips: “3 Best LUSH Cosmetics Face Masks” and “4 Tips to Make Your Lipstick Stay All Day.” Remember when we talked about the importance of SEO two weeks ago? Well I get about 100 visitors to these two blog posts every day just from people searching on Google. I’m definitely not a beauty blogger and I would not have personally put these on my best-of list, but you never can predict what will do well on your blog!
When I first wrote my blog post “7 Reasons I Stop Reading Your Blog,” I had no idea how much it would blow up. After all, I was just sharing my honest thoughts about what turned me off a blog! I received over 100 comments, 20 tweets, and tons of pins. But hey, this early blogging tips post I did, “Advice From a Social Media Marketer: Sponsored Posts,” should have been an indication of how interested people are in improving their blogs. (You guys also really liked “How to Get More Blog Readers.”)
As far as more personal posts go, I was blown away by the outpouring of support that I received on far more personal posts. I was very nervous about sharing “I’m a Witch (the Pagan Kind),” but people seemed genuinely interested and no one had anything nasty to say. You guys were also extremely supportive when I shared “Because Plan B is Cheaper than a Baby” and it seemed people related deeply.
Finally, some of the random ones that were popular include a few recipes like my “Bacon Jam Spread” (no surprise there), “Bacon Caramel Popcorn,” and this truly mouth-watering “Kale, Kielbasa, and White Bean Soup.” I also had a few popular dog posts like “So You’re In Your 20s and Thinking About Adopting a Dog” and “What to do When You Adopt a New Dog.”
I also wanted to take a moment to talk about the blogs (and often the people!) I’ve fallen in love with this year. It was extremely difficult to narrow it down to a reasonable number, since I read so many. These are just a few of the ladies whose posts I read religiously (in no particular order).
Through the Thicket: Kathryn is a very recent find for me, but the two of us had an immediate connection and I deeply adore her content. First of all, her post topics are just straight up interesting. Second, I’m kind of obsessed with her blog design. Third, she manages to include a personal tone to all of her posts that seems so genuine and relatable. Favorite post: “Dating Yourself (Doing Things By Yourself Is Pretty Awesome!)”
Our Joyful Home: Despite the fact that Johanna is already married with two kiddos, I feel like the two of us are on similar blogging paths. There’s a bit of food, a bit of makeup, a bit of fashion, and a bit of storytelling that gives us an idea of what an incredible woman she is. Special callout to the fact that even though Johanna and I have some different life views, she’s always down to have an open and compassionate conversation. Favorite post: “Basically Foolproof Salted Caramel Sauce”
Always Ashten: Normally I prefer my lifestyle blogs to have tutorial content like recipes and DIYs, but the real charm of Ashten’s blog comes from her witty and strong voice. She’s funny yet vulnerable, personal and sassy. I feel like she’s the sort of BFF who will tell you what’s up, but not in a mean way, and that openness gives you the sense you are really getting to know her when you read her blog. Favorite post: “A $9 Box of Hair Dye and Self-Esteem”
Cider with Rosie: How does she always have such perfect photos? Why is she always drinking perfect cups of latte and going on perfect walks with her perfect dog and fiance? Seriously, though, Rosie is the sort of girl most of us would want to trade lives with. Gorgeous recipes, trips to London, adorable outfits – I obsess over every part of her blog. Favorite post: “Coffee and Walnut Layer Cake”
Crumbs in the Bed: I am extremely picky about humor writing, but Kerri always gets me to crack up. She’s a British expat living in Belgium and has a delightfully snarky, goofy writing voice that always tickles me. Don’t get me wrong, though – this blog goes far beyond humor and Kerri shows us insights into her travels, outfits and recipes, and random musings. Favorite post: “The Perfect Relationship Guide: Our Five Year Anniversary & A Collection of Terrible Photos”
Hello Rigby: The moment I landed on Jenn’s blog, she felt like a kindred spirit. Another West-Coaster working in a digital field and as obsessed with her pup! From adorable outfits and beauty product reviews to many posts on her blog’s furry namesake Rigby, I knew Jenn and I would get along. We’ve traded tips, shared each other’s posts, and even teamed up to do a giveaway. Favorite post: “10 Things Gilmore Girls has Taught Me About Life”
Treelined Avenue: Victoria is one of those bloggers I have a total soft spot for. She’s another California girl like me who is obsessed with her dog. Often her posts are simple, such as trips the two of them take to the beach with some nature photography, but she has a genuine, real voice that always comes through. She paints a clear picture of who she is as a person, and that makes you adore her. Favorite post: “What I Miss About Shopping at Target”
What were your favorite posts of 2014? What about your favorite bloggers?