Crystal & Co., has grown so much in 2011 and it would not be possible without readers like you and a family who supports me endlessly.
(Warning, nerd talk for just a second.) In the early months of 2011, I moved the site to a WordPress platform and stated using a template called Thesis that improves search engine optimization for my site. I am sharing this because I get emails from other bloggers considering the switch from Blogger to WordPress wanting to know if I really think WordPress is worth it. My answer is YES!
In 2010 my good blogging buddy, Kelli from 3 Boys and a Dog, was mentoring me. She told me to start networking in my niche (mommy sites, craft sites, etc.). She told me this would help get the word out about my site. I took her advice pretty serious, and my readership steadily took off. I went from 6,000 pageviews a month, to 10,000 and then soon to 20,000 and before I knew it I was reaching 33,000 pageviews a month. I was amazed. Then, bam, in December of 2011 I have hit 70,000 pageviews in one month.
I know, it makes my jaw drop too!
I am sharing this because I know some of my readers have blogs of their own and I want you to know that networking works. Sharing your valuable posts on other sites via linky parties, like The Mommy Club here on Crystal & Co., and via guest posting helps get the word out about your site. With social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc., this just dominoes the effect. People will find your projects and share them on these networks and the dominoes continues to fall. Slow and steady, baby.
In 2011, Crystal & Co., has had over 351,000 pageviews for the year. I am pretty proud of that and I thank you for it!
I worked with some pretty amazing brands like Chevy (North Texas Chevy Dealers), Nutrisystem, Texas Beef Council, Christmas in Cowtown (local DFW event), T Mobile and Tyson just to name a few. I know that brands turn some readers off, but lets face it, as I work with brands I can continue to work on this site. It is not free to keep my site maintained. It is not free to have it designed and it is not free to have it hosted. And, my time, just like yours, is valuable. It makes sense, right?
When my site was redesigned in early 2011, I morphed into more of a mommy resource site. I wanted Crystal & Co., to be a place where I not only share my personal mommy journey, but also where I share resources and solutions with other moms. We all learn from one another, right?
I soon decided to add easy recipes to the things I would share with you guys. I was very hesitant because I am not a gourmet chef, but I knew moms struggled, just like me, to get dinner on the table. I am so glad I made this leap.
So, which posts were viewed the most in 2011? Here is a recap:
- Coupon Resources- a very influential pinner on Pinterest shared this post in early December. In turn my site went viral and this post was viewed 40,000 times.
- 80 Summer Activities for Kids- in May my friend Kim asked me if I could come up with a list of activities to keep kids busy in the summer. This post boomed with pageviews. I even found it shared over on a Disney forum later in the summer.
- Crockpot Ravioli- my most viewed recipe to date. So easy you won’t believe it until you try it.
- Easy S’More Printable for Teachers- this is a fun printable that shockingly gets views and Google searches every day. That shocks me. I figured it would be popular during Teacher Appreciation month, but year round?
- Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Casserole- casseroles in the crockpot? Yes you can! Put it on your menu in January, you’ll thank me later.
- How to Display Your Weekly Menu- last year I shared step by step how I get dinner on the table for my family. One of those steps is by developing my menu plan each week and displaying it. I shared some ideas with you guys. (FYI: Simple Dinner Ideas campaign kicking off on my site and 3 Boys and a Dog in 2012!)
- Crockpot BBQ Chicken- easy peasy. Perfect dinner idea for a busy school night.
- Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs- strawberry shortcake takes on a new look on a kabob. So much fun!
- Lego Crayons as Party Favors- when my twins turned 5 this year they wanted a Lego party. We made Lego crayons as party favors. So cool!
- Lego Cupcakes and How to Make Your Own Cupcake Topper- I could not find any cool Lego cupcake toppers so I made my own with a mold and candy wafers. These were a huge hit at the party and on my site!
There you have it. An amazing year and amazing readers to thank! Which post was your favorite? Is it one on this list? I would love to know.
I can not wait to jump into 2012 with you guys. We are going to have the best year yet. I just know it.
And I leave you with this. Today would be my grandmother’s 95th b-day, she was born in 1916! She left us to be with Jesus when the twins were just one and right after her 90th birthday celebration. That was her goal, to make it to 90! I miss her every day. Happy Birthday Grandmother!