Top Ten Blog Posts of 2014

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2014
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Guess who’s celebrating a birthday?  Your Bloggess!  Yes, The Free Spirited Woman blog is 1-year-old, let the celebrating begin!  Today honestly, the stats are staggering considering I’ve done little to promote my website. I wrote and published through March with only a couple of followers; close, trusted friends.  At that point I’d had about 280 views….barely in business if you ask me.  Then at the end of March I left for France and told a few more people so they could follow posts of my trip and that’s when the page views began to grow as well as people finding my blog by a google search of tourist destinations in Paris.

Much has progressed since the end of March. I’ve published a total of 112 posts.  My goal was to have 10,000 views in my first year and I surpassed that goal months ago.  On the days I publish a post, my highest view count has been up to 179 per hour. That being said, some posts are more popular than others.

I’ve learned so much along the way.  Last May I joined a Meet-Up group for web developers and not only did I obtain valuable tips from those who do this for a living, I met some very talented web development professionals who encouraged me to keep on going when I became frustrated and got stuck.  Thank you guys at The Nerdery for so patiently answering my stupid questions!

In July I monetized my blog which means I’m now making money through GoogleAdSense, that’s why you see those ads to the right of your screen on iPads and desktop viewing.

The goal of any blogger is to drive traffic to it.  While I have registered followers who are notified every time I publish a post, I also rely on traffic from Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.  Pinterest is the real driver to my website with an average of 3,747 monthly viewers with the popularity being travel, decorating and food.

There is always plenty to write about but finding the time is the challenge.  I had several posts started but then with the IOS 8.0 update last fall, I lost everything so that has slowed me down a bit, it’s always nice to have some written articles on reserve when writers block strikes.

So as I proudly celebrate the 1 year anniversary of my blog and the timeliness of a New Year coming around, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you my Top Ten Blog Posts of 2014 based on the number of views.  As you can see those to ten lists are quite popular.  Here we go, be sure and click on the link to view the original post…

10.  Top Ten Favorite Kitchen Tools – If you’re a last-minute holiday shopper, this post will also give you some great gift ideas for someone on your list who loves to cook.

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9.  Top Ten Places to Visit in Quebec City and Montreal –  I took a long weekend in October and visited Canada; Quebec City and Montreal.  We couldn’t have picked a better time to view the spectacular fall colors.

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8.  A Weekend of Random Activities and Thoughts – Ah yes, the weekend I decided to put the cabin up for sale and the melancholy mood which this post is the result of.  Although I miss the great memories we made at Bone Lake Lodge, I don’t miss the responsibility of the upkeep.

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7.  Top Ten Actions to Simplify Your Life – Life is more manageable once you simplify it, here I gave you some suggestions on where to start a more simple lifestyle.  This post produced some great comments on how others maintain simple living.

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6.  Top Ten Products at Trader Joe’s – Oh boy, this was difficult to stop at ten.  I’m the ideal Trader Joe’s consumer, I love to cook, I appreciate “fresh”, I like to cheat by purchasing ready-to-eat desserts and the liquor store is right next door.  Perfect!  It sure makes things a lot easier when you have one-stop shopping.

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5.  My Hometown – I think when you’re from a town as cool as mine, you’re proud to call it home.  That’s my hometown, New Ulm, Minnesota.  I spent a day as a tourist last summer visiting all my favorite attractions.  Growing up in a small town had advantages, unfortunately I didn’t learn to appreciate them until I became an adult and moved away.  I especially appreciate the friendships developed as a youth that have continued well into adulthood.  I just love my hometown and apparently so did many others as this post reached #5 as most popular post.

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4.  Lazy Days and Saturdays – “Life looks different to me on Saturdays. Everything sparkles, I see rich colors, my mind has clarity, and I’m reflective.”  And then there’s Sunday….

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3. Glensheen Mansion – In the fall I visited Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, Minnesota.  This post produces views daily from Google searches.  I know people who have lived in MN their entire lives and have never seen this amazing mansion.  I love the architecture and interior design and of course throw in there a who-dun-it and you have a Magical History Tour.

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2. Top Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn’t have Random Sext – This must be a hot topic because Google searches have made this the 2nd most popular post.  Everyday when I check my blog stats I see that this post has been viewed dozens of times and has been shared.

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1. Exploitation of Children in Paris – This post has had the highest number of views and from many countries around the world which tells me everyone that visits Paris must be disturbed by the sleeping children held by beggars so they go back to their hotel rooms, do a Google search and find my blog.  This post has had several compassionate comments but it has had far more negative comments, quite threatening as a matter of fact.  Fortunately I have a filter built-in that with the use of certain words and phrases the comment goes into an “approval required” mode before posting publicly.  This story still brings me to tears and knowing how many hundreds of views it gets, it makes me proud that I have a voice.  A small voice but hopefully one that gets noticed and becomes a voice of change in Paris.

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For those of you who are registered followers, I can’t thank you enough for your loyalty!  Thank you for your comments telling me I inspire you, your day or your life.  I’m truly humbled.  Thank you to those who follow me through Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.  Thank you fellow WordPress bloggers who read my posts and tell me they enjoy my writing voice.

I have free-spirited goals in 2015, you know me, I must have a running list of to-do’s, a.k.a. my over-achievers list.  I’ll be launching a Recipe menu bar so when I share pictures of food I’m cooking up, you can easily obtain the recipe.  And no, I’m not going to give you the long, dragged out version where you need to scroll and scroll to get to the recipe while by-passing step-by-step photos…I’m giving you the recipe, straight up!

I’m also considering a new design. I still plan on maintaining the clean look it has today, it just needs a wardrobe change, like new shoes…right?

So thank you again as I celebrate the first birthday of The Free Spirited Woman blog, sharing with you my adventures,  opinions and passions.

Lynn

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8 thoughts on “Top Ten Blog Posts of 2014”

  • Congratulations Lynn! This is such a great accomplishment. You’ve inspired me and many others through your blogs! Can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!

  • Thank you Ms. Debra, you know your thoughts mean the world to me as does your friendship. Thank you for always being there supporting me on my journey.

  • Happy Birthday celebrating your first successful year! You now have progressed past the baby learn to walk shoes and on to the hip, maybe purple or grey suede heels!
    What an enjoyment it has been to follow in the thoughts and life of my friend Lynn, a true free spirited woman!
    Will look ever so frontward to what you share in 2015!
    Debra

  • Congrats on your achievements!! I’m so proud of what you have created and built, this is your calling.

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