It is official… as of May 14th, Kikolani celebrated it’s first year anniversary in the blogging world.
Year in Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are the top 20 posts during my first year blogging:
- Haiku Poems: Examples, Tools, and a Contest – the spark of my interest in writing haiku through a contest on Twitter.
- People Come Into Your Life for a Reason – a story that I was sent via email once about the different people who become a part of your life, either temporarily or permanently.
- Twitter Lingo & Tips for New Twitter and Facebook Users – also my most Tweeted post
- 9 Ways to Use Social Networking for Blog Promotion – also most commetned and most Dugg
- How Artistic Types Express Themselves – a personal favorite about the different ways artists express their feelings to the world.
- Using Demotivators to Find Motivation Again – written at a time when I was lacking the motivation department.
- Comprehensive Guide to RSS – covers many uses of RSS subscriptions for anyone.
- 8 Reasons to Use Delicious Social Bookmarking – saving and sharing great finds on the web, creating action plans, and more ways to use social bookmarking with Delicious.
- 25 Social Bookmarking & Link Sharing Browser Bookmarklets – great for anyone looking for a faster way to bookmark and share links with others without the hassle of add-ons and multiple toolbars.
- Hummingbird Nest with Babies – Photography and Nature Haiku – definitely the accelerator of my interest in photography – the discovery of hummingbird nest right outside my office.
- Fetching Friday – Inspirational Blogging Resources, and more
- Self Discovery Through Blogging – how anyone can use blogging to strengthen their writing skills, interests, education and more.
- Explaining Web 2.0 Features on Your Blog – the benefits to bloggers of clearly explaining the ways that visitors can interact with you on your blog.
- Hummingbird Baby Photos
- My Flickr Meme – Creating a Mosaic
- Dobby’s First Miniature Schnauzer Haircut – our puppy’s first haircut.
- How to Make Social Promotion Easy
- The Blogging Process – an article about what goes on beyond just posting articles in the blogging process.
- Vacation Proofing Your Blogs and Social Networks – how to make sure your site and social networks thrive while you are offline.
- Fetching Friday – Design Inspiration, Blogging Resources, and more
On a personal note, even though they haven’t ranked high in the most traffic list, these are still my favorite articles:
- A Tribute to My Grandmother – written after my Grandmother passed away in October.
- The Life of an Emotional Sponge – how some people can read emotions from others, and those emotions become a part of them.
- Beyond Sight – Appreciating Beauty – ways to appreciate and share beauty in this world.
- Wedding Photos at Soulmateswedding.com – the announcement of the site dedicated to my modern fairytale romance, complete with photos, stories and the love poems that began this site.
- Blogging, Goals, and 101 Things – announcement of the site I created for my participation in the 101 things to do in 1001 days project.
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 Image Search
Traffic from other blogs
- Lifehacker.com – simply from commenting on a few articles a week.
- 1stwebdesigner.com – also from commenting.
- Kimwoodbridge.com – from commenting and being featured in several of her always useful anti-social lists.
- Wassupblog.com – from commenting and being featured in the blogroll.
- Techjaws.com – from commenting, blogroll, and guest postings.
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.
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.
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?