Last Updated on: July 11th, 2017
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!
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!
This screenshot shows the Wording Well stats for monthly page views in 2014, in a table:
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!
My global Alexa ranking, however, improved.
The following table contains stats:
|Alexa Ranking for Lorraine Reguly’s Life|
|Date||Global Ranking||Rank in USA||# of sites linking in|
|July 17, 2013||1 588 132||676 420|
|Sept. 16, 2013||754 990||173 498||227|
|Oct. 21, 2013||596 144||165 917|
|Nov. 2, 2013.||557 867||176 745|
|Nov. 21, 2013.||461 124||109 448|
|Dec. 15, 2013.||415 436||136 311||334|
|Jan. 12, 2014.||375 317||132 248||364|
|Feb. 4, 2014.||330 335||122 797||400|
|Feb. 10, 2014.||305 952||107 187|
|Alexa Ranking for Wording Well|
|Date||Global Ranking||Rank in Canada||# of sites linking in|
|Feb. 2014.||5 550 705|
|Feb. 26, 2014||1 569 022||33 754|
|Mar. 10, 2014.||1 197 056||28 574|
|Mar. 19, 2014.||885 814||238 093 (in US)|
|Mar. 24, 2014.||710 998||214 359 (in US)|
|April 30, 2014.||350 069||130 925 (in US)|
|May 20, 2014.||302 751||95 350 (in US)|
|June 9, 2014.||267 846||98 736|
|July 1, 2014.||235 617||87 628|
|Aug. 13, 2014.||183 864||58 035|
|Sept. 26, 2014.||182 300||78 944||425|
|Dec. 1, 2014.||201 020||168 809 (in US)44 730 (in Canada)75 664 (in India)119 979 (in the U. K.)|
|Dec. 23, 2014.||227 963||165 279 (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!
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
- William Ballard
- Tom Bentley
- Christy Birmingham
- Crystal Nay
- Harleena Singh
- Brian Morris
- Joe Warnimont
- Ali Luke … and
- Corinne Kerston (who gives you a sample contract!)
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!
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!
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.
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).
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. 🙂