I honestly cannot believe that in just a week or so I will have been blogging for six months here on Darrian Michelle. I won't go into all the details because my About Me page really sums up the last couple of years, but I'm no stranger to the blogging world. However, this platform has been the most successful blog I have ever had and it has only been six months. SIX! That's crazy. I owe every ounce of this success to each and every one of you that continues to come back to this blog over and over again.
It is hard to put into words exactly what the minor success of this blog means to me. I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember and while being a writer is pretty different from blogging, the fact that I'm now writing regularly makes my soul happy in some kinda way I can't explain. In the past six months you all have helped me reach the following (incredible) goals:
- 1,000 followers on Instagram
- 1,000 page views in one day
- 1,000 page views in one month
- Over 15,000 page views in less than 6 months
These are obviously just a few of the things we've accomplished together in the last six months. I say we because this truly is a joint operation. As a blogger, sometimes it can feel like you're just typing rapidly into a void that's why I wanted to thank each and every one of you who reaches out to me on social media, comments on the blog, likes posts on Facebook, and participated in the 2017 Reader Survey! Here's a little more information on what y'all had to say:
It was seriously SO much fun going through the answers to each of the 24 responses I got. Also, can I take a minute to say that I was BLOWN AWAY by the number of survey responses that I got. I have a tendency to downplay my success and the fact that so many people took the time to complete my rather lengthy survey seriously just put everything into perspective. I also enjoyed getting to know more of what you all want to read as well as your goals and needs for 2018. Here are a few key takeaways from your answers:
- There was a resounding cry for more West Point and Military Life content. Those cries have been heard so you can expect more of that starting in 2018! I'll be doing West Point/Military related posts at least twice a month now (Military Monday's, anyone?).
- We love the same type of blogs! This was so exciting for me to see. I love knowing that some of your favorite blogs such as Lonestar Southern Gal Meets Glam, and more are the same as mine! Understanding the blogs you like to read helps me to be able to better know what type of content you like!
- You miss the vlogs! So many people said that they missed watching our vlogs so you're in luck because those are coming back too!
- You need things like tips for paying off debt/student loans, prioritizing your mental health, creating a healthier lifestyle, finding a solid support system, and help to adjust to transitional periods in life. You can expect all of these to appear as topics on the blog in 2018, along with a few other special things in the works (like maybe a Facebook group... wink, wink).
There were also a few fill in the blank questions where I asked you to comment specifically on the blog or just leave a comment in general! Here are some of my favorite responses (that literally had me in tears, y'all):
Why do you continue to read Darrian Michelle?
- "To read genuine, relatable content with a clear and unique voice."
- "Blog posts are so relatable and it feels like a friend is talking to me."
- "You seem so authentic and real- I feel like I can relate to you better than other bloggers!"
- "I enjoy what I read, so I continue to do so. I also like how diverse the posts are. If there's a post I'm not interested in, I know another one will be up soon and it could be completely different and something I'm excited to read about. I also like how personal Darrian is in her posts and her support/encouragement when I reach out to her."
My biggest fear is coming off as inauthentic or fake. These are just a few of the many responses I got saying that my opinion of what everyone thinks of me is the exact opposite of what people actually think.
Anything else you would like to add?
- "I really love reading your blog! Sometimes I'm a few days behind, but I always end up reading every blog post. However, I would recommend using some sort of spelling/grammar checker. For example, I use the free version of Grammarly which picks up on comma/apostrophe errors, spelling, and to/too or there/their/they're issues. I've noticed that there are usually a couple grammar issues in each of your posts, so I think using a checker (or just having a friend proofread) would make your blog more polished!"
Thank you, seriously, to whoever left this feedback and called me out on this. I have a very bad habit of not rereading my posts before I hit Publish and because I type SUPER fast I often make mistakes. I've already started using Grammerly as of Friday and I LOVE it.
Finally, I got a lot of feedback about leaving comments on blogs so I will be doing a fully dedicated blog post on how to comment on blogs! I have already changed the way the comments are done here on the site so I hope this will get you guys commenting more!
Once again, thank you to everyone who participated in the reader survey and who makes me want to keep blogging and to work harder for y'all. I can't wait for you guys to see the exciting things coming in 2018!