I just wanted to keep you posted on changes that I'll be making to the blog over the next few days. If you have any thoughts/opinions/ideas based on what I'm planning to do, please leave me a comment - I take your opinions very seriously!
- A blog design overhaul. It's getting a little boring around here, wouldn't you say? I'm actively looking for a new design that'll fit the ideas I have in my head, and if I don't find a pre-made template that I like, I may give a shot to designing my own template. I have some self-taught HTML/Java/CSS knowledge (albeit most of it a bit rusty) and so I may even look for an open source template that I can tweak. Some design changes I'm looking to make:
- Going from 2 columns to three. The third column would be exclusively for any advertising I put up. I hate that for people to have to see all of my sidebar non-ad content, they have to scroll through ads. I especially hate that my blog roll is so far down, when I think it's so important to display all of you other women more prominently. I considered taking the ads down altogether, but I'm not going to. First, some (although unfortunately not all) of the displayed ads contain relevant information for you, my readers. Second, although I make just pennies off ad images and click-thrus, those pennies are getting to be important. Have you seen what this economy is doing to the cost of gas and food? Now - I am not, not, not asking you guys to visit any of these ads or soliciting for you to buy something you otherwise would not. But for people who may be interested in the ads displayed, I'm going to keep them on my site.
- Changing up my header. I happen to like my header, but it could use some work. Namely, although I still want to make damn sure to welcome all TTCAM ladies to my site because you women represent any sanity I've kept since last spring, I want to make sure I'm not leaving any other potential readers out or making them feel unwelcome. My stats are showing that more and more people are coming to my site either by way of one of the blogs on my blog roll or from a search engine, and so I want to make sure that anyone who gets here feels welcome and stays and comes back for future visits.
- Changing up my content. This started as a very personal blog almost a year ago where I wrote mostly because if I didn't get some of my thoughts out post-miscarriage, I would have lost my mind. I shared it first with the ladies of TTCAM and later with the wider range of women I began meeting who shared my struggles with pregnancy loss and the fact that not every lady gets pregnant on the first try - or third, or sixth or tenth. Now, like I said above, my traffic is picking up significantly. (Keep in mind that the stats displayed are only "unique" page views, which I have locked down to only count an IP address once per 24-hour span of time - most sites count every pageload. If I counted every page load, I'd have 10k visitors logged to date - with 90% of those visitors coming in just the last couple months versus the 10 months this blog has been up. Nevertheless, I feel it is more responsible to only display unique loads.) The keywords shown for how people find my blog through search engines tells me that people aren't just looking for my unique story and personal life history - they're looking for relevant information for their only struggles with pregnancy loss and the agonizing battle that TTC can become. So anyhow, I'm a web content writer with several hundred of ghostwritten pieces produced in the past two years. Why am I not producing my own content on my own site? Well, now I'm going to start. It won't be daily, and it won't take the place of my letters to bunny or stories to share on my life. But I will be adding more posts that have objective information that might just help or perhaps bring comfort to women who are seeking the magical answer for "how to have a baby" - just as I was nearly a year ago when I started this site. If you have any requests for topics you'd like to see me write on, please leave those in my comments.
- What's with the anonymity? I guess it has puzzled some people since I started writing here last July as to why I write as "Future Mommy" instead of under my "real" name. In fact, I write several blogs under my "real name", and the visitors to those blogs have no idea that this one exists! I've always kept my "female issues" apart from the rest of my life. Most people never knew I was pregnant before Bunny or all that's gone on in the past couple years of my life on the TTC end of things. I think that using anonymity on this site has given me courage to express thoughts I might not otherwise feel comfortable express. And once we found out about Bunny back in February, I was deathly afraid that I would somehow jinx myself if I told anyone I knew "in real life" too soon. Afterall, back in '07, I ended up losing that pregnancy almost as soon as we started telling people about it. That left me spooked beyond spooked and it's taken me quite awhile to get over that. But here's my final move to get beyond that superstition and really start celebrating this coming life with everyone - I have an announcement post planned for my "main" blog for early next week, as well as for Facebook and MySpace. (To date, I still have many friends who I've not had the courage to tell about this pregnancy - that whole jinxing thing.) Once those announcement posts are up, I'll be linking this blog back to my "main" blog (which links to the other blog I run as well) and "outing" myself. And I want the faithful readers that have visited me over the past year to know that without your near constant support, I'd never be in a position to really throw open the curtain now.
- Oh yeah, labels. I have never used a label on this blog. Why? I don't know. I use labels like a fiend on my other blogs. (Which, incidentally, two of my other blogs are undergoing major transformations currently as well. Namely that they're being combined back into one blog because the spinoff smaller blog just attracts no traffic and its silly to keep it separate. Plus, my "main" blog is so blah that even though it gets decent traffic, it needs to be beautified to keep drawing readers in.) But now that I intend to start providing non-personal relevant content on this blog, I think labels are in order. I have something like 80 posts here so I'll be working over the next few days to add labels to them.
In case you're wondering, here are some of the keywords that have added 500+ pageviews to my blog over the past week:
- 12 DPO symptoms
- 13 DPO BFN
- CBEFM test stick results
- 7 DPO yellow CM
- CBEFM peak days
- Twinges in abdomen second trimester
- www.howtohaveababy.com <--interesting that they landed here
- ...and about a zillion other keywords. And that's just in the last week!
Other interesting factoids about my readers. First, a majority come from the US, although Canada and Great Britain are tied for second place. Between the US and CD, Massachusetts is the home to the most amount of visitors, with British Columbia in second place.
Ok, let me know your thoughts, and in the meantime, I'll be busily working to make this site better! :-)