Today, the 22nd, marks a year since I started writing this blog. Happy Blogaversary to me!
I'm not sure what it is about this time of year that makes people want to start writing, but there have been a number of Blogaversaries over the last few weeks. Perhaps it's the holidays coming up, the cooler weather in the northern hemisphere, sudden inspirations before Christmas... who knows?
It's also a year since I started playing again on a US server. A year ago, Mr Ang and I rolled two Druids and began our leveling journey again. In the last year I've leveled three characters to 80 (one to 85!), raided with two of them and killed a Big Nasty with one. I joined a lovely bunch of people in my current guild and really enjoy playing with them. I've explored the amazing World of Warcraft and tried to share a bit of my enjoyment of a beautiful game with you.
In blogging terms, this year has been very enjoyable! I've been able to have an outlet for my urge to write and even though it was pretty bad early on, I like to think that I've improved over the year. I've tried to create a site that provides some helpful and topical information, plus a bit of entertainment. In the spirit of keeping light-hearted and friendly I generally try to stay away from strong topics and drama, although you may have seen me tweet about a few of those times along the way. In any case, I hope you've found something here that was useful or that made you smile.
I've gradually grown a nicely-sized readership, currently sitting at about 300 feed subscribers and plenty of people visiting each day. In total, I've had just over 50,000 unique visitors! Thank you all so much for visiting me!
I do owe readership growth to a few people and events:
- Firstly, Lissanna from Restokin who was my Secret Admirer for the Love is in the Air event way back in February. She featured my blog in a post and suddenly, I had more than 10 readers! Thanks Lissanna <3
- The two events I organised activities for attracted readers too - the Noblegarden Egg Hunt and the Harvest Festival Bake-Off, both of which had a brilliant response from the blogging and reading community and were great fun to put together.
- My third major growth provider is Twitter. I highly recommend new bloggers to get involved in Twitter if you're not already part of it - the amount of support, networking and downright hilarity that comes out of Twitteroth every day just continues to amaze me. Thank you Tweeties, love you all!
- A massive Thank You to everyone who has linked my guides on their blog or guild forum, especially the Gems for 4.0.1 post and especially Vixsin of Life in Group 5. Wow, that was a big week.
- I probably haven't been as involved in the community at Blog Azeroth as much as I should, but it has provided me with help and inspiration on a number of occasions now and I'm very grateful for that.
- One more thank you to the folks at MMOmeltingpot, because they have linked me a whole lot recently and made me feel special.
There's a bit of a theme running through all that - Community! Sharing and plotting with the people who also write blogs has certainly been my favourite part of writing one myself. I know it's been referred to as a bit of a circle-jerk but I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you all, especially my fellow Resto Druid bloggers :)
I also like to think of it as a bit of a (possibly dubious) achievement that the Community (blogs and links from guild forums) has provided all of the growth. R&R has never been linked on WowInsider. There are two reasons that I can think of for this: a) They don't know R&R exists, or b) They think it's rubbish and not worth linking to. I suspect the answer is a, but there's always that little voice whispering about b, you know? Never mind, the support around the community has been awesome and more than I could have asked for.
The next year will see some ups and downs I'm sure. You may or may not know that I'm expecting in March, so the blog will either go on hiatus for a little while, or ramp up as I get bored during maternity leave. I'm certainly not intending to give up just yet, although my WoW time will most likely be reduced. Watch this space ;)
- Druid stuff - Basically everything in the Resources page has been a labour of love and I do attempt to keep it all up to date.
- Creative stuff - Sorry about my fan-fiction. It's trash, I know, but I love writing it so you're going to have to put up with it.
- More creative stuff - Poem for Secret Admirer project, Song for the birthday of two of my favourite gnomes, Ode to my Kodo, a song for Anea
- Explorations - Tips for Screenshots, Azshara, Changing Seasons, the Azeroth Photo Tour series, my Gallery page
That's enough patting myself on the back! As always, if you have any suggestions as to what you'd like to see on R&R or even just to say hi, feel free to email me or poke me on Twitter.