The year in review

Today’s the first anniversary of my first blog post on Iowa Girl on the Go: Aug. 29, 2010. It’s been a fun year. When I started out, I had no idea how easy or difficult it would be to find something to write about each week, or even if I would stick with it. To tell the truth, it was never really that hard. Well, maybe a couple of weeks in the winter.

To date, I’ve written a total of 75 blog posts and had 4,797 all-time views. My busiest day was Dec. 6, 2010, after a piece I posted about Nada Silent Night was mentioned (and linked) on the Nadas’ Facebook page. I got 110 hits. Thanks, Jason! Most days I get more like 30 views.

On an average month I’ve posted 5 stories. My slowest months were November and December (3 posts each) because of all the family activities surrounding the holidays. This year I’ll try harder to post something every week, even during the crazy days.

My most prolific month was by far April 2011, with 15 posts. But that was a little different, because I was in Italy for almost three weeks and I tried to post something at least every couple of days so friends back home could follow my travels.

For the most part, people don’t leave many comments on my blog. I’ve received only have 26 approved comments in a whole year (that number doesn’t include all the spam). Sometimes people comment on the blog on my Facebook page.

I’ve been to every quadrant of the state this year: From Okoboji to Lansing, Villisca to Burlington. I haven’t had any trouble finding fun things to write about. I think I’ve hit a lot of Iowa highlights this year (Iowa State Fair, RAGBRAI, Des Moines Farmers Market, the Des Moines Arts Festival, Okoboji, Mississippi River towns) but I have so much left to do! I’ve by no means run out of ideas. I still haven’t written about the bridges of Madison County, the Amana Colonies, Loess Hills, or Field of Dreams, all iconic Iowa locations. I haven’t had to do too many restaurant reviews or talk too much about shopping – both lazy topics I’m inclined to fall back on when I’m busy or it’s snowing.

Two of my favorite Iowa posts were an early one about the axe murder house in Villisca and my fall tour of northeast Iowa in October. Two of my least favorite blogging adventures were the god-awful Wild Rose film festival and Jolly Holiday Lights.

I got out of Iowa a lot this year. I wrote about Minnesota several times, Chicago, Seattle, Florida, Kansas City, Italy, and New York.

January and February were by far the most difficult months to find something to write about. I didn’t want to drive anywhere, so I ended up doing a lot of things in Des Moines and got into a bit of a rut.

In recent months I’ve had blog posts reprinted on the Travel Iowa blog (Kalona, Mt. Vernon, the God Bless America sculpture) and hope to do more for them in the coming year.

I’ve had such a good time with this blog – it’s gotten me out of the house when I would have probably been lazy, and it’s allowed me to see and do so much in Iowa – that when I decided to try to switch to a vegan diet this month, I decided to do a daily blog about that, too: www.veganforamonth.wordpress.com

Here’s to another great year!

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