Sunset over Mole Hill. The view from our back yard.

Last January 17, with help from my daughter Kate and the good folks at PlumbMedia, I launched the website that houses this blog.

So today, on the exact anniversary of that date, I am pleased to share the summary of the year as WordPress described it for me.

According to blogging guru Derek Halpern there are 164 million blogs currently around the world on the Internet. He thinks most of these blogs get fewer than 1000 visitors per month. This one averages over 4,000/month. Not that I check those stats obsessively. 🙂

For those bloggers reading this post in 2015 and thereafter. You might be interested in this free guide on how to start a blog.

So it was exciting to get a report that flattered my little blogging ego by comparing my blog to 12 film festivals the size of Cannes! We know better than that, of course, but why not celebrate anyway?! People from 147 countries have stopped by in the last year. I still find the Internet amazing for this reason.

It’s fun to see the top blog posts and the top commenters in the report. Thanks, Richard Gilbert, Tina Barbour, Kathy Pooler, Sonia Marsh, and Linda Gartz. All of these people are excellent writers and bloggers. Please help me thank them by clicking on their names and visiting their fascinating blogs.

One of the surprises of this year is that, in addition to the lists of top memoirs people have always loved in the past, my two-year-old post about our blessings at our daughter’s wedding was the most popular single post. Apparently lots of parents want to bless their children. I’m so glad if our words have helped others find their own.

So cheers!

And thank you, one and all. You are my best teachers.

What do You want from this blog? I really want to know. Which kinds of posts do you like best? Any that irritate you? Or that you could do without?

Shirley Showalter


  1. Tina Barbour on January 17, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Shirley, congrats on the anniversary! I love your blog and never fail to learn something and be inspired after reading your posts. Thank you for your generosity of spirit and for sharing your wisdom.

    And thank you for the mention.

  2. shirleyhs on January 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

    You are most welcome, Tina. Thank you so much for adding your thoughts and caring to this community. Blessings!

  3. Kathleen Pooler on January 17, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Congratulations on a banner year, Shirley! It is well-deserved. I love your inspirational and entertaining blog. It is a pleasure to follow you. And thank you also for your generous mention and link.

    I know you will continue to shine on in 2013.:-)


    • shirleyhs on January 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Thank you, Kathy. One of the pleasures of 2012 was getting to know you better and to admire your amazing generosity on social media. You have inspired me greatly, and I know your book and your community are going to have a wonderful 2013. Thanks again.

  4. Ray Evans on January 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Hey! I’ll bet most folks would be extremely pleased at your success as a blogger! I’m just a beginner, of course but I get really lonesome on my blog. Hardly anyone knows I’m there. I’ll just keep plugging away though, sooner or later I’m hoping folks will find me.

    Here’s hoping that next year will be an even bigger success for you!

    Have a great year!

    TOG, (the Old Geezer from Geezerville)

    • shirleyhs on January 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Hi, Ray, I know how lonely those first months and even years can be. Thanks for your comment. I’ll go see what you are up to and try to cheer up your day. 🙂

  5. Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living on January 18, 2013 at 12:23 am


    And there I was thinking how I don’t comment enough on my friends’ blogs. What a nice surprise and Congratulations to you on your new blog Anniversary. Thanks Shirley, and happy blogging.

  6. shirleyhs on January 18, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Happy to prove to you that you are a very faithful friend, Sonia. Not that I needed to. You are doing amazing things with Gutsy Indie Publishing. I really enjoy and appreciate the community you began there. I predict even more good things in 2013 for you.

    • Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living on January 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Thanks Shirley, and I can feel the birth of your book is approaching fast. All the best and we are all here to help one another.

  7. Rachel Nafziger Hartzler on January 18, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Hi, Shirley!

    It was great to see you several weeks ago and to compare notes on our writing projects. I have something I would like to discuss with you and wonder if you would please send me an email message.


    • shirleyhs on January 18, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Thanks, Rachel. Have done!

  8. Richard Gilbert on January 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I’ve really admired your site and blog, both appearance and content, as well as functionality. So it’s great to get this peak into the nitty gritty.

    I enjoy your posts, maybe best of all the ones where you write about your own writing process.

  9. shirleyhs on January 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Thanks, Richard. For all your responses and for this one. It’s about time to do another writing process post. Very helpful feedback. I’m here whacking away my darlings in revision. Maybe there’s something to say about that . . .

    • Richard Gilbert on January 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm


      I’ve realized I have a question about your site/blog: I had presumed your site and blog are now totally self hosted, but your post might imply the site is self hosted but the blog within it is still hosted by WordPress. Am I correct?

      The reason I ask is that I have been thinking of going to self hosting, but am leery of losing some features I like on the blog, even if I use WordPress software. For instance, I love the “Quote” feature on my template (it puts whatever I decide to excerpt in a little shaded box) and might have to learn to get along without that. Etc….

  10. chris on January 21, 2013 at 12:14 am

    I love an anniversary of any kind and reflecting on the time it marks. Thank you for so generously sharing your time, spirit and expertise, and hearty congratulations on your success. What a new year it’s going to be!

    • shirleyhs on January 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks, Chris. I loved reading your flash memoir on your site. Thanks so much for the good wishes. And I extend the same to you.

  11. Linda Gartz on January 21, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Hi Shirley,
    Congratulations on the wonderful stats your blog has deservedly accumulated over the past year — and thanks for the link to my blog. I had no idea I was one of the top commenters, but then, there’s been so much wonderful content to comment on! You’ve certainly created a blog that satisfies a lot of people. “If you build it, they will come.” So it goes. Good luck this following year and with book.

    • Shirley on January 21, 2013 at 9:10 am

      Thanks, Linda, for your kind words. I certainly have enjoyed your creative approach to family history on your blog also and have learned from you. Let’s keep learning and growing together.

  12. Shirley on January 21, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Richard, I will need my daughter’s help to answer you. Perhaps I can put the two of you together so that my limited knowledge doesn’t end up confusing you or sending you down the wrong track.

    I’ve always been on WordPress. My first blog was hacked, so I went on for hosting for a while.

    When Kate helped set me up a year ago, we chose one of WordPress’s premium themes for the website itself and still use WP for the blog also. However, I am no longer on Hope that helps.

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