Happy Birthday, Ruly! The Top 10 Posts From My First Year of Blogging

"Liam's Birthday Party." Photo by eyeliam. From the Flickr Creative Commons.

I’m actually a day early but it was just about one year ago that I penned the first words that started my blog!

In this first year.  I have connected with so many wonderful people (virtually and in person).  I have learned along with you as we explore aspects of organization in the business  and personal environments month by month. I have enjoyed reading your great comments and e-mails. I have also gained a new respect for the blogging profession and the time and effort that goes into even seemingly “quick” posts.

In celebration of my blog’s first anniversary.  I wanted to share with you the top 10 blog posts by reader traffic (as measured by Google Analytics).  It seems a bit surprising but often the most popular pages on a website aren’t the ones that get the most comments.  Google Analytics serves as a sort of friend/marketing director/oracle, letting you know what keywords people are typing in to your site, what pages got the most views and where your traffic comes from.  (In case anyone is worried, Google Analytics doesn’t tell you the identity of any individual visitor.  So, relax, you are still completely anonymous!)

For a blogger, Google Analytics is also partly a psychological exercise as it gives you the answer to the question:

What makes me unique from everything
(and everyone) else out there on the Internet?

It’s kind of a scary question to have answered.  So, what did Google Analytics have to say for Ruly?

Ruly Readers’ Top 10 Favorite Blog Posts


10.  Minimalism Lessons From My Refrigerator

The fridge!  The starting point for my uncluttering journey.  I can’t tell you how much last November’s Ruly Challenge to eat only from fridge and pantry stores for a month made an impression on me and how much I learned about our consumption patterns from it.  I strongly encourage you to do the same at some point.

While our fridge isn’t perfect at the moment, the same organizational system is in place and it doesn’t take long for us to do a quick straightening to get the system back in order.  This system has really helped us to get our leftover problem under control.  If leftovers overrun the “eye-level space” on the second shelf, we know that we need to eat/clean out/throw out.  Recently, trying to improve our eating habits, I quit buying juice concentrate and bought a bunch of apples.  I put the apples in the eye-level space in the fridge.  They are the first foods we see when we go looking for snacks and it is really helping us to eat more fruit.  I will also tweak my fridge a bit to incorporate our emergency water rotation, putting in 6 small bottles and 1 large bottle of water (probably in the fridge door).

9.  IKEA’s Communication Strategy and the 2011 IKEA Catalog


8.  The 2010 IKEA Catalog is Here!

Readers appear to share my love of all things IKEA.  I will try to incorporate a little more IKEA into my posts.  There is no shortage of organizing ideas there!

7.  Landscaping Basics: Topiary

Topiary is a fun, old-fashioned, fussy sort of gardening.  It isn’t quick and easy but it gives such a lovely effect.  I am glad that there was such great interest in this post.  I am considering adding an evergreen topiary to my front porch to help disguise an unattractive plug.  If that happens, I will post an update.

6.  Ruly Ruth on Fall 2010 Women’s Fashion Trends

Super fun, super energetic Ruly Ruth’s commentary on 2010 Fall Fashion Trends, posted only a few months ago, was a big hit with readers.  We may consider doing a regular Ruly Ruth feature for spring and fall fashion (and what real people think about these trends).

5.  Ruly Mix: Jamie Smith

Ruly readers love Jamie Smith!  His jazz sound for the Ruly Mix has been a big hit and I get a lot of Google keyword searches looking for information about Jamie and his music.  He is an incredible talent!  Thanks, Jamie!  Who knows . . . perhaps Jamie will find his way into the Ruly Mix again!

4.  Perfectionist Parents and Perfectionist Kids

This post gets some of the most heart-breaking Google search terms, particularly from the child’s perspective.  We will do another month on perfectionism next year and give more focus to the issue of perfectionism in the parent-child relationship.  Kids and parents are looking for more information about why perfectionism happens and how a perfectionist does or does not express love.

3.  Working for the Perfectionist Boss and Managing the Perfectionist Employee

There are a lot of perfectionist bosses and perfectionist employees out there and I get numerous search words from both frustrated managers and employees wanting to know how to work with a perfectionist.  We will add this to the list for the perfectionism month.

2.  Real Washington Style: Military

For a relatively recent post, readers have shown great interest in the fashion trends of the U.S. military!  Given the complexity of those uniform guidelines, I can understand why many military members are looking for an easy guide.  We’ll keep the military in mind for future posts.

1.  Budget Patio Furniture Makeover

Far and away, my most popular blog post of the year was the post about transforming my outdated patio furniture for just $126.  My lawn furniture is now world famous!  I owe my traffic primarily to a wonderful surprise feature in Apartment Therapy and also on the Studio G Blog of Greayer Design Associates

So, here I am: budget lawn furniture transformer, fashion observer, perfectionism guide, jazz appreciator, topiary admirer, IKEA fan and fridge organization expert.   What do I make of all this?  I think it’s a great cross-section of the variety in my site and showcases the organizational techniques, organizational theory and motivation I try to combine.

Since my first picture-less post, I have learned so much and know that there is still so much more to learn about and improve.

Going forward into my second year, I will change things up just a little.  Starting next week, I am going to switch from a Monday/Wednesday/Friday posting schedule to a Tuesday/Thursday schedule.  The reasons for this are many but one major reason came from an interesting chart in Tim O’Reilly & Sarah Milstein’s The Twitter Book. Peak usage of the Internet (or at least Twitter) occurs Tuesday through Thursday.  Friday through Monday aren’t nearly as busy.

This is sort of an interesting phenomenon that agrees with what I see in the mom-world here in Fredericksburg.  You are more likely to catch up with people on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday than on Monday or Friday morning, for example.  On Fridays many people are leaving someplace for the weekend and Mondays leave many people scrambling to catch up from the weekend.

So, we’ll try out Tuesday/Thursday and see how that goes.  Of course, if I have too much to say, you might get an extra day in here or there too!

Thank you so much for joining me on this first year’s journey, especially those who have been with me from the beginning!  I hope to continue to earn your interest in 2011 and look forward to living the organized life with you!