A New Year and a New Focus

A New Year and A New Focus!

Another year is over. Wow. Where did the time go? It went fast, I tell ya. 🙂 In looking back over my goals from 2013, there are many goals achieved, and of course, some that weren’t. In many ways it was a year of growth. I got through two semesters of college and I only have about two more to go! Andrew grew in many ways and accomplished a lot in homeschool. We moved and added a new addition to the family by way of a  dog (we are actually picking him up tomorrow, New Year’s Eve).

Blogging was another story. Classes took up a lot of my time and so the blog suffered post wise. It was what it was and I am okay with that. However, now in looking ahead, I feel called to go in a slightly new direction with the blog. I feel the Lord is calling me to use this blog as a form of ministry to busy Catholic women. I want this blog to be a place of refreshment and spiritually uplifting to women who are pulled into many directions on a daily basis. I also feel the Lord is calling me to challenge women to grow in their faith and in their relationship with Him.

How this new focus will look like in the coming months, I’m not sure. The Lord has been nudging me to share my faith and faith journey is a more personal way. That’s hard though, isn’t it? There is a risk in letting oneself be vulnerable, in showing one’s true self, but if it is what God wants, it is worth the try. 🙂 I also want to find ways to encourage women to read the bible more and will probably offer up my own reflections on scripture from time to time.

One thing for sure, there will be less “filler” posts. I won’t be posting much  about Andrew’s homeschool, recipes or home management tips unless it relates to what I am writing about. I will be sharing about those things on Facebook and Pinterest, though, so if you aren’t following me there, please do! By the way, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign up for email updates. I will be sharing exclusive content with subscribers on a regular basis that you won’t want to miss (as well as the free ebook “Six Unique Ways to Find Time for Prayer” you receive when you sign up). To subscribe, fill in your name and email address in the box on the side bar or under this post.

As far as the blogging schedule, I will probably focus on one or two posts a week. Classes start up January 20th so I will feel less pressure (a pressure I put on myself, I know!) to blog or feel (unnecessarily) guilty if I miss a post or two.

My desire for 2014 is to be more intentional, purposeful and to grow and be all the God wants me to me. I want this for you, too. My prayer for each of you during the New Year is that you be filled with all the blessings, joy and peace that only God can bring!

(P.S. If you are regular reader/subscriber to Simple Catholic Living, THANK  YOU! If you commented on the blog or emailed me during the year, THANK YOU. I truly appreciate the opportunity to share with and connect with each of you. 🙂 )

 

Simple Catholic Living Monthly Check-up (December 2011)

Like I expected, my stats went down in December (20% to be exact). I didn’t post or link up to other sites very much, so it wasn’t a surprise. My demographics were pretty much the same they had been over the past few months. So, all in all, I don’t have tons to report this month.

google analytics dec 2011

This month’s top referrers: This has been the biggest change except for Google and “search engines” continuing to be my biggest referrers.

We are That Family (Works for me Wednesday)

Conversion Diary

This That and the Other Thing

Oh Amanda

Ehow

I also got a small amount of traffic (4 – 10 visitors) from KathleenBasi.com/blog, catholicmothersonline.com, and sarahsdeals.net

This month’s top posts: (Besides the home page which gets the absolute most)

How to Make a Spiritual Bouquet

Slow-Cooker Ham and Cabbage Recipe

Words to Live By: Life Lessons

Ten Fun Craft Ideas from Pinterest

Ten Family Game Night Ideas

A few honorable mentions include: Ten Reasons I Love my Husband; 10 Prolife Charities Worthy of Donations this year; Our Ten Favorite Christmas Movies.

Monthly (and yearly) goals:

I am keeping my goals for this blog very  modest this year. Like I mentioned on Tuesday, I am going back to school to finish getting my bachelor’s degree. This endeavor is going to suck up a lot of my time and energy, so my main goal is to maintain my almost daily posting schedule and current readership. Of course, I’d love to increase my readership, but my goals in that area will be minimal.

As for other goals, I want to write 4 e-books this year: one each quarter. My plan is to spend 30 minutes a day writing so achieve this goal. I also want to a weekly series of posts based on a monthly theme.

 

Simple Catholic Living Monthly Check-up (October 2011)

I’m so glad November is here. I love Thanksgiving. Just wish October did fly by in such a blur. 🙂

This month’s Top Referrers are identical to last month’s (even in the same order!):

We Are THAT Family (Works for me Wednesday)

Wordless Wednesday

This That and the Other Thing (Sunday Snippets)

Google (search)

Oh Amanda (Top Ten Tuesday)

Other referring sites worth mentioning: Facebook, Money Saving Mom and Pinterest.

This month’s top posts include: (Besides the home page which gets the most views)

Ten Quotes about God’s Mercy from St. Faustina’s Diary

Ten Fun Craft Ideas from Pinterest

Ten Ways to Honor the Lord’s Day

Giveaway: Handmade Crocheted Snowflake Ornaments

Other posts worth a mention are How to Make a Spiritual Bouquet, Our Ten Current Family Read-Aloud Books, Ten Family Game Night Ideas and Slow-Cooker Ham and Cabbage Recipe. (As you can see, Top Ten Tuesday posts gets quite a bit of attention. 🙂 )

Top Site Demographics:

As usual, most of my visitors come from the United States, Canada, Philippines, United Kingdom, Australia, India and Germany. I’ve also had a few visitors from South Africa, Malaysia, and Singapore and 13 visitors whose location was “not set”.

Other Stats:

Last month my readership was up 2.18% from the month before. This month my readership jumped up 40.66%! This is very exciting, but I need to figure out how to decrease my bounce rate which was 80.10%.

Google Analytics October

Short and long term goals for Simple Catholic Living:

I didn’t spend much time at all in social media this month due to some health issues my husband had to deal with. I did make some progress in my goals, though, not in the way I expected!

My long term goals include: increasing my traffic and decreasing my bounce rate; participating in more blog hops and link-ups; guest writing for other bloggers; inviting others to blog post here; being more consistent in networking (especially Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest); updating and adding to the Free Resources section; creating videos and writing some ebooks.

My progress: My traffic increased, but so did my bounce rate. I participated in a couple of new link-ups that did make a noticeable change. I still need to make more of effort to get involved with social media, adding to my free resources section, writing ebooks and videos.

My short term goals for September are to find two new blog hops and link up to them; write at least one blog post article and find a blog to seek submission as a guest blogger; spend five minutes per day on just one of the social networking sites listed above. I also want to finish writing and scheduling a series on Virtual Assistance I started (have just a couple of posts left to write about this).

My progress: I succeeded in this goal and I will continue to participate in those link-ups, but also look for 2 more. I did not have any time to write or seek submission as a guest blogger; however, I was approached by one of my readers who wanted to guest post here on Simple Catholic Living. (If YOU want to be a guest blogger, here, I’d love to have you! Here’s my guest post guidelines.) I’m just about finished with the VA series, just one more to go. My new goal for this is to do another weekly series, but not sure of the topic yet.

How is your blog doing? What are your short and/or long term goals for your blog? If you’ve written your own blog checkup post, feel free to link it in the comments so we can take a peek!

Simple Catholic Living Monthly Check-Up (August 2011)

I’m still in shock that the month of August is over and we just celebrated Labor Day. Boy this summer went fast. It was interesting August, to say the least, with lots going on: including some wacky weather, an earth quake and Hurricane Irene!

This month’s Top Referrers are almost identical to last month’s (except in slightly different order):

We Are THAT Family (Works for me Wednesday)

This That and the Other Thing (Sunday Snippets)

Facebook

Wordless Wednesday

Oh Amanda (Top Ten Tuesday)

Other referring sites worth mentioning (all though not tons of traffic are coming from there): Google, Twitter and Pinterest. I’m excited about that because Pinterest has quickly become my favorite social networking site. 🙂

This month’s top posts include: Besides the home page which gets a lot of views)

Ten Fun Craft Ideas From Pinterest

How to Make a Spiritual Bouquet

10 Quotes About God’s Mercy From St. Faustina’s Diary

Protection and Healing Prayer

Slow-Cooker Ham and Cabbage Recipe

Other posts worth a mention are Top Ten Scripture Verses to Memorize With Your Children, Ten Simple Ways to Beat the Heat, and Prayer for Discernment and Mango Salsa Recipe.

Top Site Demographics:

It is no surprise that most of my visitors come from the United States; but, I’ve also been visited by people from Canada, Philippines, United Kingdom, Australia, India and Germany. I’ve even had a few visitors from South Africa and United Arab Emirates!

Other Stats:

Here’s a snapshot of my Google Analytics Stats. As you can see, I don’t get a ton of traffic, but I’m getting there. My readership is up 2.88% from last month, so I won’t complain. 🙂

August Google Analytics Data

Short and long term goals for Simple Catholic Living:

I have a lot of goals for this blog, but I am finding that I am not working on those goals because they are just ‘there’. Up until now I haven’t broken them down into concrete, manageable steps, so I am going to start now.

My long term goals include: increasing my traffic and decreasing my bounce rate; participating in more blog hops and link-ups; guest writing for other bloggers; inviting others to blog post here; being more consistent in networking (especially Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest); updating and adding to the Free Resources section; creating videos and writing some ebooks. I also want to

My short term goals for September are to find two new blog hops and link up to them; write at least one blog post article and find a blog to seek submission as a guest blogger; spend five minutes per day on just one of the social networking sites listed above. I also want to finish writing and scheduling a series on Virtual Assistance I started.

How is your blog doing? What are your short and/or long term goals for your blog? If you’ve written your own blog checkup post, feel free to link it in the comments so we can take a peek!

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (August 14, 2011)

Here’s this week’s contributions to RAnn’s weekly Sunday Snippet meme  (As always, come check out other Sunday Snippet posts, or join in with your own):

This week was kind of stressful since my husband was in the hospital. Thankfully he is home, feeling much better and back to work!

Also fortunate, I had my first monthly Simple Catholic Living Blog check-up  and my Wordless Wednesday (Friendly Rabbit) posts already scheduled, since I did zero blogging this week! (Except to ask for prayers, of course.)

Simple Catholic Living Monthly Check-up (July 2011)

This post is inspired by Angie @ Many Little Blessings who did a top ten post with reasons bloggers should do a monthly recap post. 🙂 In future recap posts I will also give peek into “behind the scenes” and sharing goals and states.

Top Referrers:

We are that Family (Works for me Wednesday)

Facebook

Wordless Wednesday

This That and the Other Thing (Sunday Snippets)

Oh Amanda (Top Ten Tuesday)

Other notable referrers are Google, Twitter, Share My Bliss, and Equipping Catholic Families.

Top Posts

How to Make a Spiritual Bouquet

Housekeeping Tip: How to Clean Your LCD Computer Monitor

Ten Simple Ways to Beat the Heat

Slow-Cooker Ham and Cabbage Recipe

10 Scripture Verses to Memorize with Your Children

Other notable top posts are Ten Places to buy Modest Swimsuits, Protection and Healing Prayer, 10 Random Purple-ly Things I Found on Pinterest,  and How to Pray the Scriptures.

 

Check out my Interview for Simple Catholic Living!

One of my fellow Wordless Wednesday participants, Jidhu Jose, asked to interview me for his blogger interview series. You can check the interview out over at Jidhu’s Reflections.

Whatcha think? 🙂