Looking back and musings for the future

Whoops! I guess I was so excited about my new battery organizer that I completely forgot to wish all of you the best of happy new years – I hope that all of you had a great start to 2012. I don’t know about you, but 2011 was a C-R-A-Z-Y year. That sounds so American of me but being a young adult in this world is recipe for a hectic life, and I have a feeling it’s going to get even more so as years go by.

In terms of milestones though, this past one was big. I met and fell in love with my best friend, John, (read up on that here), started this little ole blog (embarrassing first post found here), got engaged (story found here), got a new job, moved in with John (progress updates on that found here, here and here) and spent our first holiday season together making new traditions between our respective families. After our wedding this coming April, I am hoping that 2012 will be a much calmer year, with time to relax and enjoy our new marriage.

Among all of those big happenings, this blog is not the least of them. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that I decided to take the leap into blogging and our visitors and repeat readers have made that journey all the more rewarding. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have accomplished so much in my first year.

Like other WordPress bloggers, I got an email from the powers that be laying out all of my blog’s stats from 2011 – The results were encouraging and I thought I’d share them with you since the email would have been blank if it weren’t for your daily traffic to DreamGreenDIY.

First, we have a breakdown of the overall numbers:

I love that they compared my blog’s stats to one of the most incredible (so I’ve heard – haven’t been there yet) art museums in the world – the Louvre. Apparently, if DGDIY was an art exhibit there, it would take four days for my 85,000 visitors to see it in person. Incredible… I’m not surprised to see that my busiest day for views in 2011 was on November 5th, with 2,049 views. This was the week that our blog made it onto WordPress’s Freshly Pressed list – SUCH an amazing honor!

Next up, we have my top five referral sites that got people a-scrolling through DGDIY:

In the top spot is Craft Gawker – I L-O-V-E looking through the pages and pages of craft ideas on that site. Craft Gawker is a little like Pinterest – In fact, most of my original pins (that is, those I don’t just repin from someone else) are from Craft Gawker. When I realized that crafties like me could submit their own material to make it on the list, I hastily clicked “Submit” and posted a few of my favorite projects over the last year.

Second on the list of referral sites was StumbleUpon.com – Holla! I love wasting time using the Stumble button on my browser…I’m honored that people decided to waste time on our blog. Next up was WordPress.com – That must have been during my “Freshly Pressed” days again. The last two referrals went to Facebook (like us here if you haven’t already!) and Pinterest. In the last couple of days, I have seen Pinterest referrals skyrocket. I won’t hesitate to admit that, if in need of a pick-me-up, I click over to Pinterest to be astounded at the number of pins people have created from this blog. It is SO humbling and I am just thrilled to pieces that I could inspire others. That was the main purpose for this blog in the first place, so seeing that dream become a reality is A-W-E-S-O-M-E and the best motivation I could ever have.

Continuing our merry way through WordPress’s handy site stats email, we move on to demographics.

Seems like the majority of you are from either the U.S., Canada or the U.K. I’m excited to see a medium-sized icon over Australia, and the rest of the icons blow my mind a little too – I had no idea DGDIY reached that far!

Speaking of readers…Here are my top commenters:

Ainhoa of “A Little Bite of Everything” was my top commenter this past year. She probably has no idea, but I am so thankful for her. She was the very first non-family member to comment on DGDIY when we first started up last March and I have gotten so used to seeing her pop up with something encouraging to say. She has become a little like family (at least a virtual one) and I am just so happy that she found us and that she decided to stick it out with us from the beginning. Again, she probably has NO idea what her consistent commenting has meant to me! If you haven’t checked out her blog before, you must do so – She too got engaged this year!

Not to be ignored, a HUGE “Thank you!” goes to Sosha of “Nice and New”, Maggie of “maggsworld” and mybrightlife – PLEASE click on those links to check out their sites. Thanks to Lourdes Lopez too (who doesn’t have a site to link to)!

And finally, we take a look at the most-viewed posts from 2011:

To check out these popular posts click on the links below:

  1. “Thrift Store SCORE!” {11/4/11}
  2. Master Bedroom Revamp {Part Two}
  3. Hang ’em High: Framed Earring Organizer
  4. Attempted Cover-Up
  5. Class is now in session! DIY Framed Necklace Organizer

Before I wrap up this year in review, I wanted to gush for a moment over the big wigs in the blogging world that have so kindly featured DGDIY…

My first foray into guest blogging was with Kami of “NoBiggie”, who featured my take on easy Fourth of July decorating over the summer (see that post here). I will always remember this post since it was my first to be featured on a blog other than my own, and will be eternally grateful to Kami for sharing our blog with her readers.

And also featuring my Fourth of July tips, Ashley and Greg of “7th House on the Left” (fellow Virginians!!) made my little heart burst with joy – See their shoutout here.

Ahhh!!! I still can’t believe that happened.

And the most recent shoutout for DGDIY was by Amanda of “Bullfrogs and Bulldogs” who named us as one of her “Top 10 Most Inspiring Blogs of 2011” – Wow!!! See that post here. “Thank you!” just doesn’t seem enough…

The last exciting news in 2011 was when I was invited by my friend and editor of Breathe Magazine (based out of Charlottesville, VA), Marissa, to join the ranks of their monthly bloggers. My topic: “Tricks and Trends” in the home design world. So far I have published two posts and another is to go live tomorrow morning (see the first here and the second here). I am incredibly thankful for this awesome opportunity to gab about what design trends are influencing me and the rest of us nesters. If you’re on the east coast, the latest issue was just released and I have an in-print article to peruse for more on my home DIY projects. So exciting!!

I am so thankful for what came to pass in 2011, but I think I’m even more excited about 2012! John and I are going to be pretty busy the first part of the new year with wedding-related details, but we had a big talk about the future last night over dinner (in terms of our home) and decided on a couple of bigger projects to save for and tackle in the next 365 days (some of which involve FINALLY getting our kitchen done). We can’t wait to share our big projects with you as well as the smaller craft projects I think we are starting to be known for.

Keep commenting, keep pinning and PLEASE email me if you ever have a suggestion or question about our home or the blog – We absolutely adore hearing from you guys and I learn quite a bit from the things you are talking about and sharing. As always, you can reach us via email at DreamGreenDIY@gmail.com.

Thanks for a great 2011 and here’s to an even better 2012…


(Photo credit for engagement picture: Here)

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