Kikolani – The First Year

It is official… as of May 14th, Kikolani celebrated it’s first year anniversary in the blogging world.

Year in Review

Beginnings
Kikolani began as a place for my poetry. The poems I published here in the beginning were love poems I had written when I met my husband. The first – Neighbors – was written a bit before I actually met him, and the second – Moonlight – was written the night I met him. Then came a continuation of poetry and the love story from the start of our relationship through the time we were engaged, which has since moved to my latest site, Soulmates Wedding.

Evolution
After the poetry came posts on dreams, artistic expression, self-discovery and photography. Sadly, my poetic creativity only comes in spurts, and the last bit was haiku. When my artistic side bowed out, with exception to photography which has been my main creative outlet for the past several months, my technical side emerged into the world of blogging articles and tips, starting with an article on blogging writer’s block, something I had been experiencing at the time. Then I was invited to a post as part of a blogging project on social media marketing practices, which was my start into the social media category.

New Concept
Because of this new focus, I could no longer go with my previous Kikolani – Poetry, Photography, Blogging tagline. My husband came up with my new tagline / concept – Kikolani | The Art of Blogging | Technically Beautiful, Artfully Beneficial. This covered the topics of beautiful and artistic photography, as well as the technical blogging and social media articles, and the posts on the beneficial side of blogging and using Web 2.0 for everyone, not just bloggers.

Highlights

Community and Commentators
I would say that the things I consider the biggest highlights of my first year in blogging is developing a community of regular readers. I welcome new visitors, and have no complaints about the ones that come in for one article in particular. But seeing familiar names over and over again in the comments makes me feel like I’m doing something right. As a thank you for commenting on this site, I use DoFollow, CommentLuv, and the Top Commentator list so that everyone gets the benefits of link love with each comment.

Guest Blogging and Interviews
I was also offered some guest blogger and interview opportunities. Unfortunately, as excited and honored as I was to receive them, I haven’t been able to write all of them yet. One thing that many people do not know about me is that my articles take a good bit of time to construct. I am a bit too much of a perfectionist for my own good, so if something doesn’t seem near perfect, it doesn’t make the cut. And doing spots on other sites makes me that much more picky about what I write about.

My first guest post was featured at Life As I Know It, about how the way you admit problems to yourself can make a big difference in how you will handle them. My next two guest posts were both for Techjaws. Both were in relation to my site’s first hack – a script injection that infected more than 3,000 websites during the month of May. These articles came quite easily, as I wrote them right after cleaning them both up.

My first interview about my definition of happiness came a few months after I started blogging at Smile My Day. The second is a comprehensive one about my blogging experience that posted just yesterday at ATM Multimedia.

Fetching Fridays
I decided to do a weekly series that highlighted the best articles I came across throughout the week, and also covered #FollowFriday on Twitter, related site news, previews for the following week’s articles, and more. Fetching Friday has since taken off, and nothing makes me happier than reading about the people who plan on visiting each Friday for the latest.

Popular Posts

Here are the top 20 posts during my first year blogging:

Personal Favorites

On a personal note, even though they haven’t ranked high in the most traffic list, these are still my favorite articles:

Traffic Notes

For those curious about what has worked for my site in terms of traffic generation, here are some interesting stats about where my traffic comes from:

Traffic from social networks

Traffic from search engines

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Google Image Search
  • AOL
  • MSN

Traffic from other blogs

Future Plans

The main plan for Kikolani is to continue providing articles that are informative, useful, and beneficial to any readers who visit this site. I want to open the floor to more guest authors for posts on blogging, social media, personal development and motivational articles, which will in turn give me more time to accept guest blogger opportunities on other sites. I am toying with the idea of continuing the weekly photography posts here, but also having a separate site specifically dedicated to photography as I would like to do more with my photography, such as publish it in a coffee table style book.

Special Thanks

I would like to say a special thanks to my husband, who has been extremely wonderful and supportive of my blogging, not only putting up with my endless hours of pitter patter on the keyboard but also coming up with my current tagline, thinking of new ideas on how to market my site & photography, and sharing helpful design critiques and suggestions.

I also want to thank all of my readers, the ones that have been with the site from the beginning and the newer readers that I gain every week. Thanks to all of those who comment, and who share my posts on their blog or on the social networks.

Your Thoughts

Now, the floor is open to you. What brought you to this site? What were your favorite articles? What would you like to see on Kikolani in the next year?

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Comments

  1. says

    In the 2 years that I have been involved in reading and writing blogs, yours has been extra special to read. You have shared informative and well constructed blogs.

    You’re an asset to the blogging community!

    Frank Js last blog post..Circuit City Is Back

  2. says

    Kristi,
    I’ve been a reader since mid-2008, and one thing has consistently shown through this awesome blog: you are a good person who is friendly and helpful and wonderful to “talk” to. I always enjoy seeing your pictures and reading what you write, and now with all the cool things you’ve learned over the past year, I look forward to learning lots about blogging and social media from you.

    MiscBytess last blog post..Study: Family history does not affect risk of breast cancer with HRT

  3. says

    Congratulations Kristi, you have accomplished a lot in your first year. I think it takes that long just to figure how you and your blog really fit. Blogging is something that needs to be experienced, it’s an unfolding process. I am happy to count myself among your regular readers and look forward to seeing what year two has in store.

    Jonathan – Advanced Life Skillss last blog post..67 Ways to Make Him Feel Super Respected

  4. says

    Congrats for your first year!

    I think you’re more than ready to do this in a more engaging way. I see potential, drive and passion. Those ingredients are usually all that is needed for successful business. :-)

  5. says

    A very hearty Congratulations on reaching your first year! From this review-post (which is the best blog-anniversary post I’ve ever read) you look to be blogging for many years to come.

    My short excursion to your site about you and your husband was a sweet, sweet trip!

    My blog turned One back in March; also started another one then. To me, blogging is Life ;-)

    You’re still in my RSS reader and I don’t visit as often as I’d like–two blogs, writing a book, and building a nutrition business take a lot of time, for some reason…

    Hang in there with your massive creativity and sharing and, again, Congratulations!!!

    ~ Alex

    Alexander M Zoltais last blog post..Disclosure . . .

  6. says

    Congratz on 1 year of blogging. This is one of my favorite blogs to read. Being a perfectionist really shows in your articles. Many times I may not have a lot to say in my comments but you truly are a great writer. Keep it up and here’s to another great year of blogging with many more to come. Cheers.

  7. says

    hi kristi,
    Happy belated birthday to blog. i wish (and i know) it will go a long way. You are a wonderful blogger and a talented person. it’s no wonder that you have reached this position in just one year of blogging.

    I can not control the desire to shout out that “Kikolani first guest posted on my blog…hurray”.

    I have just visited your new blog. it looks great. i’m now going there for a closer look.

    keep blogging my friend.

    peace and best wishes
    irtiza104

    irtiza104s last blog post..Never Say “Never”, Dude!

  8. says

    Kristi – congratulation and happy 1 year anniversary! It has not been that long ago in fact that I celebrated mine on two sites and will in September for EvolvingScenes.com

    Your new look, you new tag line and your new focus are all great! As much as I loved your early site, you have refined your blog beautifully! I like to look at blogging like this too, we give it a little face lift or so and think it is “the one”, but then as we evolve, as our readers evolve, we refine our blogs and they grow beautifully with us!

    So all the best and here is to many more wonderful photos and articles!

    Evitas last blog post..Sacred Silence

  9. says

    Hi Kristi – It’s interesting that so many of us who interact regularly started blogging around the same time :-) I’ve seen the direction of your site change and I think it’s all been for the better.

    And that is awesome that you get traffic from my site – now I know it’s good for something ;-)

    Happy Blog Birthday!!!

    Kim Woodbridges last blog post..Memories for Memorial Day

  10. nenen says

    you know, i really wanted to have a blog of my own. hope you could help me have one. congratulations on your 1st year anniversary

  11. says

    I discovered your blog about a month ago and have only read your blogging related articles. I just took some time to ready your early works and I am very impressed. I wish you continued success.

    Tycoon Blogger@Promoting your Blogs last blog post..Tweepme.com is a scam

  12. says

    Hi Kristi,
    Congratulations and happy first anniversary. I hope during this year you may have good experience of blogging. I start reading your blog from last month I found that your articles are realy good and helpful. Best of luck for future.

  13. says

    Congrats Kristi!
    I am stil new here.
    Give me some time, after I read most of your entries and I will have a better understanding of what I would expect and love to read in the near future.
    Thank you for dropping by Kristi.
    My appology to drop by late.
    Ha…Ha..I will go exploring your beautiful and informative now!

    yoon sees last blog post..Cactus Monday-26

  14. says

    Congratulations! I’m pretty new to your blog, but I have enjoyed reading your articles. I found you by googling something about a “how to on blogging”, which of course I can’t remember. Once I was here, I found your site very informative, technically astounding, and really well written! So I decided to follow you and I have not been disappointed!

    I look forward to many great posts and learning a lot from you. I may even ask a question or two. Perhaps a “Ask Kikolani” day? No pressure; )

    Sounds like you’re as perfectionistic as I have been. My goal is to write faster and better! I’ve only been around for 2 months, so I look forward to my one year anniversary and perhaps you’ll be writing this to me? Hee…hee…

    I hope you celebrate and do something really good for yourself! You deserve it! I’m sure your lovely husband would abide.

    Have a most wonderful day!

    p.s. Don’t give up writing the poetry. Perhaps another blog or a special post? I’m going to go read the ones you’ve already written.

    Beatrizs last blog post..Do you like my Ikea condo in CT?

  15. says

    i remembered the 1st time i discovered your blog..9months ago, time fly fast..happy 1 year anniversary :)

  16. says

    When I first started subscribing to blogs and found yours, you were the blogger that I felt I most related to. Whereas, I would go to other blogs to learn particular things, I came to Kikolani to find a role model for my own beginning blog.

    I still feel this way. Although our subject matter is different, I feel like we are both women and we are both trying to follow our passions. I will have to admit, that I have become very short on time lately (which is why i have been scarce). I am working fulltime and have a move coming up, which I have been preparing for. But, I hope that once I am settled in my new place and my schedule opens up a bit, I will be able to jump back in.

    I also agree with you about being a perfectionist. My limited time has eaten somewhat at the quality of my own content which is why I still have not submitted my proposed guest post to you. But soon enough I hope.

    Anyway, thanks for the update! I will continue to follow.

  17. says

    I think what has made your site a success is that you go an comment on sites of people who drop comments here. That is always a big factor in luring me back and getting into the favourites folder in the feedreader. Also seen you commenting all over the places, which is good for building familiararity.

    For next year, my thoughts would be to build a special content piece that you could be known for. I am not sure what your skills are, but they seem to be quite diverse; so I am sure you can come up with something unique.

  18. says

    Kikolani,
    It’s a beautiful story. It’s a life of an artist, a creative and talented blogger who has her ways with words. I can see you’ve had a great year, and certainly have grown and be at the spot where you are acknowledged by fellow readers. I’ve just joined in your readership not long ago, but I’ve had a great time here. I wish you best sincerely, and there’ll be many more ‘years’ to come where you have blog anniversaries. Keep up the good work, and you should keep writing, the poem is beautiful. ^^

    @wchingya
    social media/blogging

    Ching Yas last blog post..The Best of Twitter Desktop Clients – Secrets Revealed!

  19. says

    Hi Kristi,
    Congratulations for the first anniversary of Kikolony. I’m impressed with the achievement and developement of your blog in such a short period of one year.

    I don’t blog regularly but everytime I visit Blogosphere, I’ve never missed visiting Kikolany and other similar blogs that consist of natural words that flow out from the heart of the owners. When a blog is very much attached to the blogger, reading the posts is like talking to the blogger. I hardly find these kind of blogs with the limited time I spend especially with people blogging for so many reasons and intentions.

    As for the evolution, I could see that the changes has taken place positively and successfully that I think that many of your readers might have not realized it.
    Although you take some time to finish your articles, I’m pretty sure that the end result is something that you deliver with satisfaction for you and your readers. One little advice, do not end up in stress while perfecting your articles :)

    Congratulations again and hope that your future plans will be successful.

    zunnurs last blog post..An unfinished expression

  20. says

    Hey Kristi, it’s nice to see that hubby is taking an interest in your blogging, and I really like the new tagline he came up with, especially as you can still include your poetry, when the next artistic spurt emerges.

    I love visiting your blog, partly for your stunning smile, and the rest for the entertaining posts.

    Sires last blog post..Tools To Help You Get Into The Top Ten Rankings Of Google

  21. says

    Congratulations on the first year. CommentLuv is how I found you, and I’m really glad I did. I hadn’t realized it was your first year; sometimes I think everyone’s been writing their blogs forever.

    I can’t wait to see what’s up in the coming year, but I know that I’m expecting to see that smile lighting things up some more. :-)

    Mitchs last blog post..Archie’s Picking A Bride!

    • says

      @Jaffer: It went fast, but was awesome.

      @Frank: Thanks! That is definitely a great thing to hear. I hope I continue to do just as well for the next year to come.

      @MiscBytes: I’m glad you have been a reader for so long, even through what I call the evolution process of this site. :)

      @Jonathan: It does take a bit to find your place in the blogging world – what you want to talk about and with what audience. Thanks for being a regular reader!

      @Dragos: I don’t know about business, but I would like to ultimately do blogging full time, on a variety of topics.

      @Gennice: Thanks! I plan on it.

      @Peter: Thanks!

      @Ciphun: Thanks… it has been a great start!

      @John: Wow, to get a A+ in my first year… that’s a good thing! :)

      @Alexander: Thanks. I wanted to do this post two weeks ago, but I also wanted it to be a great one, so I held off until I had plenty of time to work on it. Thanks for vising Soulmates Wedding. I know what you mean about time, but I’m glad to still be in your subscriptions. :)

      @Deneil: Thank you. MY writing has blossomed while doing this, and I love doing it!

      @Irtiza: Yes, I was so excited to do my guest post, especially on such an insightful site such as yours. :)

      @EVita: Congrats for your anniversaries as well! That is very true… as time goes on, things change, both in the readers and writer’s lives, and that changes the focus of their interests. I’m glad my site is growing with everyone. :)

      @Holly: My traffic isn’t that impressive, compared to the people who have 1,000′s of subscribers and 10,000 hits a month. It has definitely increased a lot since I began, but the thing I like the most is the fact that the people who do visit usually interact, which is worth more to me than having an article with tons of hits and no comments.

      @Kim: You’re site is always informative and awesome, and I love the personal articles you put in as well. I know I’ve had people tell me that they have come from seeing me on your Top Commenter box, which shows that your readers are very loyal and interested in others in your community. :)

      @Nenen: I can certainly give you some tips or help if you would like. I’ll email you for more details.

      @Tycoon Blogger: Thanks. I’m happy to know that you found even more than you were originally looking for here.

      @Landscapers: Thanks! It has been a great experience so far.

      @Yoon See: I welcome drop-ins anytime! :) Feel free to let me know whenever you’re ready.

      @Jen: I know that feeling… my brain has been mush up until today, which is why I’m just now getting to my replies. :)

      @Beatriz: That’s a pretty good idea actually. Maybe I’ll include that on a seperate weekly post or on my Fetching Fridays. I tried to do the writing faster, but I found that I really enjoyed it more if I wrote with less frequency but more focus into each piece. And I definitely haven’t give up on the poetry. It comes and goes in waves, and maybe with the next wave, I’ll do a new site. Thanks for your wonderful comment!

      @Yogesh: Thanks!

      @LithiumMind: Yes, there is much more to come!

      @Nihar: I’m going to have to go back and see what I did a month ago, because that seems to be the time a lot of people started coming here. :)

      @Stephen: Yes, I still miss them. I’m hoping to take the photos and maybe make a coffee table type of book out of them one day, because I have a ton of photos. You’ve got a great site, and I’m sure you will be even more sucessful by January!

      @Rei: Thanks for staying around, and I love your community at BloggerUnited. It is very unique!

      @Palabuzz: Thanks… and good luck in your next 5 months!

      @Veronica: Glad you liked the photography! I plan on sticking with a nice photography post each week here, and maybe a full blog dedicated to more in the future.

      @Su Prieta: I know how that goes. I was very consumed before my wedding, and there are still things I’m catching up on, a month later. Good luck with your move, and a guest post is always welcome, whenever you are ready. No pressure!

      @David: I enjoy visiting my reader’s sites, because I learn a lot about them. I don’t think a blog can be that successful without interaction and knowing what everyone is looking for in the blogging world. I enjoy commenting to – sometimes I find that sparks a new topic idea off in my mind, or in some cases, a whole new site. I think that my Fetching Fridays are becoming that piece, but I have a whole year to develop something new too. I have a wide range of interest, and with more time, will hopefully find more ways to implement them here.

      @Ching: Thank you. I haven’t felt my artistic side all that much recently, but I’m glad it still shows. I definitely will keep writing when the spark hits me again. :)

      @Zunnur: I think the only stress I have ever felt is working on guest posts. I feel like if I don’t write them when someone asks, the offer will not be around anymore. But at the same time, I don’t want to submit something to another site that I wouldn’t post on mine in terms of quality. I look at is as someone may visit a blog, and if my article is their first impression of a site, I want it to be a good impression. And I’m glad the transition from my old theme to the new one was smooth.

      @Sire: He does actually get excited about thinking about marketing perspectives, and still wants to do some guest writing, maybe on our wedding site. He really did understand what I wanted to do at this site, and really encompassed that in the tagline which was awesome. Thank you for being a regular here! :)

      @Mitch: I’ll have to get an archive going soon, so people can easily find things from the past. Glad to know you’ll be around for the next year! :)

      @Statos: Wow, I’m so glad to know that you have stuck with me since. I know my focus changed, but I’m sure it will come back around again. Glad that you came to comment on this post especially! :)

      @Madhur: Thanks! I’m looking forward to another year of even more.

  22. says

    Hi Kristi, first of all congratulations on hitting the 1 year milestone! Before entering the blogging world myself I read many stories of people letting their blog slide or giving up completely just a few weeks or months in so it’s nice to hear of a success story for a change.

    This is only my second visit but already I’ve seen enough to tell me it is a place I should re-visit frequently (your Fetching Friday posts being a particular draw) so it looks like you’ve just added another 1 to your readership! Keep up the great content and I’m sure you’ll be celebrating another successful year come May 2010.

    Stu@T-Shirt Insights last blog post..Threadless Summer Sale – Cool T-Shirts from $5

  23. says

    Well done and happy anniversary Kristi. I think you have learnt quite abit throughout this 1 year?

    I see your blog is doing really well and people are enjoying what you write. Pretty good job here.

    Ben Peis last blog post..Ben Pei Visits Japan

    • says

      @Sire: :)

      @Extreme John: Thanks… I’m glad to hear it!

      @Stu: I actually took a little hiatus at the end of 2008 because I had ran low on ideas. Then I realized that I just wasn’t writing everything that I wanted just to fit in the theme. Once I let go of that and started writing whatever I felt like, it really started to flow again.

      @Diet Blog: As I said in the comment above, you just have to go with what you want to right, and the rest will take care of itself.

      @Ben: I have learned a LOT in the last year. Sometimes I don’t realize how much until I start talking to someone about blogging. :)

  24. says

    Congrats, Kristi :)

    I enjoyed reading your summary for the 1st-year progress during this year and I wish you all the best. Hereby, I’ve awareded you the ‘Blogger Friendship Award’ so keep up on the good work here ‘online’ and there ‘offline’ :)

    Hichams last blog post..The Blogger Friendship Award

  25. says

    What a year it has been and hear is to another. My one year anniversary is in October, but I eclipsed my 200 post mark in the last couple of months which felt like quite an accomplisment.

    Kiristi, you have created something of value to all of us and also something of which you should be immensely proud. Happy 1 year anniversary!

    Jay Zucks last blog post..Happy Birthday Hunter S. Thompson