It’s 2015, y’all!
2014 was…well, pretty great. It started out less than ideal. I was morose at the beginning, wallowing in my own failures, as I am prone to do on New Year’s. And things just went downhill in the first couple of months. But it got better. Way better. It was a steady rise. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted, but a lot happened. There was so much happiness and love. And I have you, my readers, to thank for a lot of it.
The pageviews on the blog tripled this year. Like, we’re talking, the number of visitors to the blog from its inception in May 2011 until January 2014 (over two and a half years) is now more than three times what it was at the beginning of 2014. That’s incredible to me.
The blog’s Facebook page went from less than 1,000 likes to over 3,000 likes. (I guess I should probably apologize for the number of italics in this post. But I just feel like this post deserves a lot of emphasis in places. So there are more italics coming. More.)
My Instagram follower count went from like, 600 to over 1,300.
My Twitter follower count went from around 800 or so to over 1,400.
I know that in the grand scheme of internet reach, these numbers are mightily insignificant. Still, I’m proud…especially when I think of it all in terms of Ozarks numbers. My Instagram follower count alone is six times the population of my hometown in Missouri. When you look at it that way, it seems pretty cool, right? And I feel like I’m bragging, but I didn’t do any of it. It was all you.
In part because of all this, I’m starting out 2015 with a sense of excitement and anticipation. At the beginning of 2014, I felt sad, but I had hope that good things were coming. At the beginning of 2015, I have faith that good things are coming…and that feels a whole lot better. Thank you for being a part of it.
Okay, so…enough with the sappiness and reflection. There are a few new features around this here blog scene that I want to chat with you about.
First of all, there’s the shop. As you know, the shop has been up for awhile, and I want to thank all of you who have made a purchase so far! You’re awesome. And every time I got an email last year notifying me that someone had made a purchase, I grinned like a goober. True story.
And here’s hoping there will be more goobery grinning in 2015, because the shop is now, like, crazy stocked. Where there was once just logo items with the Saudi and American flags, there are now also items with Saudi-Canadian, Saudi-Australian, Saudi-French, and Saudi-British flag combinations. (These were the combinations most requested to be available in the shop. If you have a flag combination you would like to see available, send me an email and let me know about it! If I get multiple requests for it, I will add it. And no, it doesn’t have to include a Saudi flag. I’m about recognizing everyone’s bicultural relationships. Worldwide, baby.) There are also a few cheeky pinback buttons in the shop, as well, and there will probably be more coming, in addition to some other goodies. So keep an eye on the shop.
Secondly, you’ll now see a clickable section in the menu bar that says “Partner.” This feature has been in kind of a soft launch for the past few months; you may have seen a sponsor or two appearing in the sidebar. But now it’s official–I have a media kit ready for anyone who might be interested in becoming a sponsor of the blog. I’ve been thinking about putting ads on the blog in some capacity for a long time (I mean, any blogger who tells you she doesn’t want to get paid for blogging is totally lying–everyone can agree that an ideal life is one in which we get paid for doing what we love, right?), but I didn’t want to let anyone advertise on the site unless I could absolutely recommend the products, services, etc. of my sponsors in good faith. You, reader, are important to me, and so is anyone who might want to partner with the blog. We have to be able to make sure it’s a good match, right?
So, yeah. If you have a blog, business, or brand that you think I and the readers of The Same Rainbow’s End need to know about, click here to request a media kit and get details about how to become a sponsor. Let’s talk.
Finally, in celebration of the arrival of 2015, I’ve got a giveaway for you guys! My mother-in-law went to Mecca with her friends a few weeks ago, and in addition to bringing back gifts for Lavender, me, and Mr. Mostafa, she brought back six of these little plastic camera toys; when you look into the camera and press the button, you see different scenes from the cities of Mecca and Medina. It’s kitschy and adorable. And when my mother-in-law handed them to me, she said, “Nicole, give these to your friends and your family.”
So, naturally, one of them is going to a blog reader. All you have to do is click here and like the photo on Facebook in order to enter–you don’t have to like the Facebook page (although you can if you want, if you haven’t already), you don’t have to follow me on Twitter (although again, you can if you want), and you don’t have to follow me on Instagram (although…aw, heck, you know where this is going). You just have to like a photo on Facebook. You can be anywhere in the world. A winner will be chosen at random on January 10.
So…thank you again for reading, and here’s to a spectacular 2015 for us all!