2014: A Year to Remember #yearinreview

Last Updated on: October 13th, 2018

2014 Was A Year To Remember

No doubt about it. 2014 was a year to remember.

I learned and accomplished a lot in 2014. But there were a few bad things I endured, too, which I’ll share with you today.

I’ll also let you know what’s coming up in 2015, for Wording Well, for you, and for me.

The Beginning and The End of 2014

I hate to start off on a negative note, but my year began with me having surgery, which sucked!

It sort of ended on a sad note, too. In November, our family lost Prinnie.

January and February 2014

Side note: This post gets better (for you) in a couple of months. Because I’m a stickler for chronology, I’m going in order, from January to December. So please bear with me, as the first part of the year can be perceived as a bit of a yawn. I might be jaded, as I’m not a techie gal; you might find my early months simply fascinating. Who knows?

January was filled with doing a ton of research. The fruits of my labour yielded an awesome, in-depth web-hosting guide, which contains multiple page jumps — something I learned how to do and wrote a tutorial about (so you could learn, too)!

February found me severely stressed out about making the decision to get my own, self-hosted site. I was nervous and had many tech questions, but received a lot of help from my internet friends. When I finally realized that my stats indicated a move was needed, I decided to take the plunge!

Note that the next section of this post contains statistics, which many people find boring, but I wanted to include them here to show you how slow (or how quick!) blog growth can take.

I also wanted to provide some proof to back up my claims, and so have included some screenshots to do so.

The rest of the post, I can assure you, is not as dull, and so I hope you continue reading until the end! I’ve also spruced it up with some neat images… so read on!

This image is a screenshot that shows my blog stats as of January 2014.

 

Based on the things I learned about owning your own site, Wording Well was born and went live on February 14, 2014.

About nine months later, my monthly visitor count more than tripled!

stats for WW as of Dec 1 2014

 

This screenshot shows the Wording Well stats for monthly page views in 2014, in a table:

This screenshot shows the Wording Well stats for 2014 by month.

When my site was called Lorraine Reguly’s Life, I didn’t know much about global rankings on Alexa. I can say, however, that, in July of 2013, when my free blog was only 7 months old, my global ranking was 1,649,626 with the rank in the United States of 637,788.

That’s pretty bad. Even I can see — and say — that now!

This screenshot shows good metrics for Alexa, according to Connor Rickett.

My global Alexa ranking, however, improved.

The following table contains stats:

Alexa Ranking for Lorraine Reguly’s Life
DateGlobal RankingRank in USA# of sites linking in
July 17, 20131 588 132676 420
Sept. 16, 2013754 990173 498227
Oct. 21, 2013596 144165 917
Nov. 2, 2013.557 867176 745
Nov. 21, 2013.461 124109 448
Dec. 15, 2013.415 436136 311334
Jan. 12, 2014.375 317132 248364
Feb. 4, 2014.330 335122 797400
Feb. 10, 2014.305 952107 187
Alexa Ranking for Wording Well
DateGlobal RankingRank in Canada# of sites linking in
Feb. 2014.5 550 705
Feb. 26, 20141 569 02233 754
Mar. 10, 2014.1 197 05628 574
Mar. 19, 2014.885 814238 093 (in US)
Mar. 24, 2014.710 998214 359 (in US)
April 30, 2014.350 069130 925 (in US)
May 20, 2014.302 75195 350 (in US)
June 9, 2014.267 84698 736
July 1, 2014.235 61787 628
Aug. 13, 2014.183 86458 035
Sept. 26, 2014.182 30078 944425
Dec. 1, 2014.201 020168 809 (in US)44 730 (in Canada)75 664 (in India)119 979 (in the U. K.)
Dec. 23, 2014.227 963165 279 (in US)44 982 (in Canada)132 298 (in India)442

What do all of these numbers mean? Ha. Not too much, really.

But if you like analyzing stuff, you’ll likely find this data interesting.

Moving Onto the Rest of February

Okay, I think it’s time to make this post a bit more exciting!

February 2014 was exciting for me for another reason. I had one of my true stories accepted into an anthology!

Plus, I won the only short story contest I ever entered!

February had its downside, though, as I also wrote my first negative book review.

But I made sure to kick-off my new site with a post that I thought would help thousands of people. I know it has helped quite a few already. It is a post that has nothing to do with writing, freelancing or blogging. Instead, it has to do with suicidal thoughts, which I had for a long time. I Want to Kill Myself – What Should I do? is one of my top posts.

March 2014

March 2014 proved to be a mixture of good and bad, too. Initially, I had trouble figuring out if my new posts were visible, and then had two major problems once my old site was moved and the new site was created.

The best part about March was the publication of Interview With a Blind Man.

(Coincidentally, the best part about December was the publication of Interview With a Blind Woman.)

Another great thing that happened in March 2014 was that I was able to share with you How to Highlight Text in Your Blog Posts: 4 Easy Methods as well as teach you how to build not just a blog, but a brand.

April 2014

April Fool’s Day was no joking matter to me. I was quite serious when I published My 2013 Reading Accomplishments + My New Goodreads Friend, Author Lisa Jackson. I was even more excited when Lisa Jackson sent me an autographed book!

Readers, however, were more excited when they found out they could get some social media buttons for free. 😉

May 2014

May is a month of renewal in the city where I live. Spring is finally in the air, the snow is gone, and moods are brightened. I think that is why I wrote a post about colors that month!

Nice weather always rejuvenates me, and my productivity levels usually increase. The

The bursts of energy I felt gave me the courage to move forward with the publication of my first book, beginning with some feedback on the covers.

 

Ebook Cover - Risky Issues by Lorraine Reguly

June 2014

June was a great month, both online and off. I was able to give my mom a special gift for her birthday (practically a new kitchen!) and I  published my first book on Amazon, Risky Issues.

I also created an author website, Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There and was paid for my guest post Two Simple Things You Can Do to Kick-start your Writing Success, which appeared on Be A Freelance Writer.

Because I was so busy with my book, I even accepted a guest post or two. The first was from another author: Dialogue + 4 Things #Authors Should Consider Regarding What Your Characters Know? The second was from a blogger and book reviewer who is currently developing an interactive project to promote awareness and media representation for people with disabilities. Her post is: Characters with Disabilities: Does YOUR story have any?

May and June both had their downsides, too, because my son was in a bad motor vehicle accident. I still have a hard time believing he walked away without severe injuries every time I look at the pictures.

This is a picture of the vehicle my son was driving when he was in a car crash.

July 2014

Because I published my first book on June 28th, 2014, and noticed that I needed to make one final change, I re-published it on July 1st — on Canada Day. I announced that it was out and then spent some time marketing it.

I wrote guest posts about my book for others.

I gave a few copies away, and asked for reviews.

I was interviewed, too, by my Indie mentor.

I did take a time-out to go camping, however. Getting back to nature and taking a summer break from blogging was exactly what I needed!

July had its pitfall, though. Because I’m a Canadian author, I have to submit my book to the Library and Archives Canada, as part of the Legal Deposit process, and so had to do a ton of research about CreateSpace and Taxation Information.

I have received the first proof of my book from CreateSpace, but still have to fix a couple of formatting issues, and so one of my goals for 2015 is to make my book available in print. And submit to the Canadian archives, of course. 😉

August 2014

August brought more book marketing and guest posting.

The Good and the Bad of Being a First-Time Self-Published Author was published on Indies Unlimited, Meet Guest Author Lorraine Reguly appeared on Chris the Story Reading Ape’s site, Risky Issues is a Book of Short Stories New on the Market appeared on fantasy author Yvonne Hertzberger’s site, and Fiction Friday with Lorraine Reguly was another interview I did, which was published on author Jamie Lynn Miller’s site.

this is the well from which I will draw the winner!

At the end of August, I had an idea to grow the readership of Wording Well: I’d offer my readers free editing! I also wanted to gain new clients.

My mission was successful; I ended up editing an ebook written by The Blind Blogger, Maxwell Ivey, called Leading You Out Of The Darkness Into the Light.

This is the final cover for Max's ebook, Leading You Out of the Darkness Into the Light.

 

September 2014

September was a busy, busy month.

First of all, it brought more book marketing efforts.

How Cats and Social Media Brought Me Together With Other Writers appeared on Raani York’s site. I was involved in another interview, on author Vashti Quiroz-Vega’s blog, and I made an appearance on The Fiction of Owen Thomas.

Reviews for Risky Issues started rolling in, too, like this one (written by a teenaged girl).

Secondly, I also began a 3-part blogging series on Dear Blogger. Part 1: How to Overcome Your Shyness was the first post.

Thirdly, I won a guest posting slot on Aha!NOW, too, and so I spent a lot of time on 8 Action Tips For Guppy-Bloggers In An Ocean Of Sharks and it’s follow-up post, 30+ Blogger-Sharks Spouting Oceans of Knowledge.

Freelancer In The Spotlight Series logo

Fourthly, I began the FITS (Freelancer In The Spotlight) series on Wording Well. Because I had been busy writing for everyone else, I had the idea of having others write for me. Because Wording Well didn’t have many freelancing posts, the FITS series kicked off with a bunch of posts published in consecutive order. FITS posts, however, will now only be published once a month, on the first Monday of each month.

So far, the following freelancers have been featured:

Fifth, I received my first AdSense earnings payment. I also received my first royalty payment from Amazon for my ebook sales. Because I’m actually a disability recipient (I’m on ODSP), I’m allowed to earn X number of dollars before deductions are made from my monthly living allowance. I had not told my case worker that I was freelancing, so I did. Fortunately for me, working for myself is treated differently than working for someone else is! I was then referred to another program, PARO, which is specifically for women entrepreneurs. To be accepted into this program, I had to complete a business plan. This entailed doing a lot of research, a lot of work, surveying dozens of people, collating the findings, and doing everything I could to make Wording Well completely legit. An incentive of a $2000 start-up fund helped me complete all the components of my business plan.

The last great thing that happened in September was that I received an editing recommendation from a couple of authors I know, and those testimonials have been included in the private pages of BookVetter.

Like most months in 2014, September had its downside, too.

I was really sick in September. I had somehow run myself down and gotten a bad cold, which carried over into October. I had also started another renovation project at my parents’ house. Ugh!

October 2014

Still ill, I had no choice but to continue with a project I had begun at my mom’s house. The walls were finally washed and one of the smaller bedrooms had been cleaned out. Painting supplies had been purchased, and the weather was getting cool. Cold, actually.

Breathing in the cleaning chemicals aggravated my throat and lungs. The paint fumes caused me further breathing problems. My asthma was out-of-control, but I soldiered on.

We finally finished painting the room. With a neighbour’s assistance, carpeting was installed. I even covered an ugly pipe using my creativity!

This picture shows the final product, which is a tree!

November 2014

I already mentioned that November was a horrible month. My dad was assaulted and robbed, and then our family had to put Princess out of her misery. Grieving took its toll on me. To top it all off, my best friend went MIA. She was dealing with issues of her own, and I was unable to get ahold of her.

December 2014

Although the beginning of the month was grief-filled, things improved during the second half.

My brother’s long-lost son came for a visit, my friend finally contacted me, and I received a beautiful card from one of my faithful blog readers, Jo Ann Plante (who has struggled with Lupus, allowed me to interview her, is a new author, and considers me as her mentor).

This is a picture of the card I received from Jo Ann Plante.

This is another picture of the card I received from Jo Ann Plante.

 

I also found out that I was approved for the PARO program and will be awarded a $2000 start-up fund. This money will help me with business expenses, and I have plans to do some local marketing of the services I offer.

What Is Happening in 2015 

2014 certainly has been a year to remember, and one I’ll never forget!

You might be wondering what’s happening in 2015 on Wording Well, and with me.

Here’s the scoop:

I have regular clients already, run two self-hosted sites, and am going to busy in 2015, especially when I obtain more clients. Because I’ve not really had a proper vacation in quite some time, I’d like to take some time off (if I can) in the new year.

I want to do some work on my websites, and change their themes. Please bear with me while I make adjustments to the overall look and feel of them.

I have to do some work on my business, too. I have a long list of things that need to be done! I might even use an assistant for some things; I’ve used Angela Shirley already. She does great work!

I have a ton of book reviews to post on my author site, too, so please follow it if you are not doing so already! 

Of course, I’ll also be catering to my clientele. I put their needs first. Always.

 

As for all the other stuff? I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

4 thoughts on “2014: A Year to Remember #yearinreview

  1. says

    Wow. This is a lot. 🙂

    It’s amazing how much gets smushed into just one year, when you are able to look back on the time. Well-put-together summary you have here. All the best in the year to come.

  2. Hi Lorraine,

    So sorry for the loss of Prinnie. I too have a pet dog and I fear losing him as he is quite old now. But that’s how life is, meetings and partings. I hope you had a successful surgery and are in the best of your health now.

    Its surprising to know that your blog isn’t even a year old but looks like we’ve been interacting for a long time. It’s good to see it grow. Well, as for the Alexa ranking, they do fluctuate and I’ve a full post about it on my blog (if you read it)

    Congratulations on winning the short story contest. It’s a good thing that you write posts about the things and tricks you learn in blogging, in order to help others. And thank God your son wasn’t hurt much because from the looks of it, the car was severely damaged.

    I was honored to host your guest post on my blog, and it was quite a hit too. Also, thanks for featuring me in your FITS series. And hey, you showed your courage and fighting spirit and congrats for competing the project at your mom’s house. That tree is really a great creative idea!

    I’m sorry for what all you went through in November. But great that you now can put wings to your business with the help from PARO.

    I wish you all the best for the New Year, but I do recommend taking a short break, it will do you good. You’ve too many things on your plate, and I wish that you be successful in completing all your tasks well. I am taking on now, and will be back to blogs and commenting only after mid-Jan as I need to work on many things, as mentioned in my latest post. 🙂

    Thank you for keeping us updated with your life and happenings at your blogs. I wish you success in the New year. 🙂

    • says

      Harleena, when I was putting together this post, I was surprised at how far I’ve come, too, in the past year! I was thinking I need a break as well, but time won’t allow it. I am, however, going to be making some changes in my life and putting my business first. I’m also going to be (hopefully) redesigning my site, which is exciting. 2015 will be a great year and I am looking forward to it!

      Thanks for your compassion where Prinnie is concerned. Pets are family members, for sure.
      My health is better now, for the most part, and I can turn my focus to my new business, which will definitely keep me busy.

      I have to tip my hat to you, Harleena, for the success you have had with Aha!NOW. Turning it into a platform was a novel idea and I’m happy for you that it’s flourishing!

      Enjoy your break, and see you when you return! I wish you continued success in 2015, too! 😀

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