30-day check-up

Today, I’m celebrating my blog’s one month birthday! Here’s a virtual cupcake so you can celebrate with me 🙂

Dont spit on your screen trying to blow it out.

Since I’m new to this stuff, I thought it’d be fun to share what I’ve learned so far, some statistics and my future plans.

What I’ve learned so far: The blog process is hard. From making the decision to start a blog, to coming up with a name, to deciding where to host it, to developing content and focusing a theme…it is not physically hard but it takes a concentrated effort and {apparently in my case, at least} can’t be a throw-together project.

  • I just want to touch on the naming part. I went through 32 names over a two-week period before accidentally saying “Greenhorn Living” and liking it enough to run with it. Just for kicks, here are a few of them that didn’t make the cut (either they weren’t “right” or were already taken…you can probably pick out which were which):

–And What Then (my initials, by the way)

–Up and At ‘Em

–The Back Burner

–The Long Way to Shortcuts

–Procrastinating Perfectionist

–Rough Drafts

–Message in a Bloggle

–Life Under Construction

–Grasping at Straws

–Big Fat Waste of Time

  •  You can see it started to get touchy at the end of that name list. So the next thing I learned was to take it easy. Once my brain wasn’t churning out names like those information overload Bing commercials, I felt better. Eventually had the clarity to think of a few posts, which led to a theme, which led to a name. I find that’s still how I have to make myself approach things when I’m not sure what to say or what would be interesting to read. I just breathe and write. Then I edit after dinner 🙂
  • Sharing is fun! I was afraid about boring people to death or revealing the imperfect things, but then I realized two key points: 1) You can’t bore people who aren’t reading. It’s not a face-to-face lecture; people will hopefully find their way here and if they don’t like it they will go away…and hopefully come back to try again. 2) The gig’s already up. People don’t think I’m perfect so I don’t really have that image to uphold. And, since they aren’t perfect either, I’m not offending anyone by admitting I’m not. Hooray! Let’s all be perfectly imperfect together!
  • It’s a great way to find new blogs and interesting people. With a blog, now I can interact more personally on other blogs. In the short month I’ve been blogging, either through comment sections on other blogs or the referring sites, I’ve had the pleasure of finding Stace @Swim In Circles, Bri @The Modern Parsonage, Kristen @Anywhere There’s An Airport and Erin @Domestic Adventure.
  • Commitment, organization and scheduling are key. I set out with a promise to myself to post once a day. I panicked three days in that I had nothing left to say. My go-to fix was an editorial calendar. I charted out possible topics and upcoming events that I knew I wanted to share. The blog also keeps me honest at projects and trying new things…like a gym buddy. You guys (or many days just the potential of people) allow me to not give up or get lazy.
  • I have a lot left to learn! I’m trying to conquer widgets and am considering a Greenhorn Twitter account…we’ll see.

Stats: Can I just tell you I LOVE that WordPress gives you statistics!? I’m giddy over them. Here are some main ones:

  • I averaged 16 views per day in March.
  • I’ve averaged 30 views per day in April.
  • My lowest daily view number was 0 on March 22—the day after I started the blog and the only day yet when I didn’t post.
  • My highest daily view number was 122 on April 19.
  • My all-time views total is 792 (thank you, thank you, thank you! I assumed it would be 10).
  • My search terms include my full blog name, “thrift bookcases”, and the quote I mentioned from the movie Yes Man about getting punched in the face. Ha!

Eventual future plans: I have a few–some bigger than others…

  • Link a Twitter and/or Facebook account with the blog to increase traffic.
  • Complete building the Pages sections.
  • Streamline my process. There may or may not have been nights where I was up at midnight trying to finish a post because uploading and editing photos were taking for.ev.er. Or, because I needed to do life stuff first (wash the dog, run an errand, make the dinner I plan to feature on that night’s post, etc). There’s a learning curve for certain but as long as I’m not rolling backwards down it, I’ll feel good.
  • Continue to improve the quality of photos and content.
  • Get paid per post like TV stars get paid per episode. Anyone ready to offer me money? I’m cheap and will start at $1K per post. I’ll also require only pink Starbursts in my dressing room, thanks 😉

So, did you try anything new today? Anybody celebrating anything special? Follow the link to read my first post ever from March 21, 2011. Also, please feel free to comment with what you love or don’t like in a blog (mine or in general). I love hearing feedback, even if it’s not positive. Don’t go all crazy hatin’ though—I’d like for this to remain a positive environment. Or do, it’s okay, vent it out! I’m not here to tell you what to do–I’ll just delete it later; everybody wins.


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