May 26 was the day in 2012 that I first published a post called "Starting Out" on litepacker.blogspot.com. In this first year, I have learned much about blogging and some about hiking, have hiked a lot of local trails and have successfully backpacked as an ultralight backpacker for the first time.
What a year! My monthly readers are now averaging about 2400, and with the total people looking at my blog over the year equaling 15,602. I have worldwide readers logging in from Poland, Austria, Germany and the UK too. Thank you so much!
Now maybe all those page views actually were not people. I have to assume MOST of those numbers are people, and I'm very thankful for the audience. It has been very rewarding to see these numbers increase, but I do understand that I will need to increase my current weekly page views by thirty times or more to have what is considered a "successful blog".
I also write a couple other bi-monthly blogs, one about Bicycling over 50 and another about Family Micro-Gardening. And I read several blogs about backpacking, bicycling and the outdoors, plus just about anything I can get my hands on - I love to read!.
I'm also thankful to bloggers like Phillip Werner at Hiking-Blogs Directory. Phillip created this site to show ultralight backpacking blog pages and it sets us up on a level playing field. Please drop by and vote for my site, it will increase my site rankings and move me closer to the top of the list. Also thanks to Rebecca Garlock and Joe Wolf at the Outdoor Blogger Network for accepting my posts. Being part of a larger community is great and my readership increased significantly with both sites.
I did recently setup my site for an RSS feed and am working on making it actually function.
Thanks also to the Florida Trail Association Central Florida Chapter and especially to Rachel and Lou for their tireless work and trail maintenance, and for allowing me to post and write about the group on my blog.
Thanks to local outdoors author Sandra Friend with FL Hikes for offering me an opportunity to assist her by transposing her hike recordings. Sandra then took them and finished the text for publishing. It was neat being in her "ear" while she walked the trails, learning technically how she documents her work and gets it to print for you to read. She also published a blog of mine on her web site, which brought me some readers. I am forever in her debt!
Many thanks to Ben at the Sierra Club Tampa Bay Group for allowing me to join their backpacking trip, and for leading such a successful backpacking trip. I'm looking forward to joining the Central Florida Sierra Club group over the summer and traveling with Ben and crew on West Florida backpacking trips next fall.
An even bigger thanks to my wife for allowing me more than my fair share of time on the family computer this past year to write these blogs, and for proofreading and offering suggestions to improve my writing. We've also hiked several of the trails together that you have read about and even more that you haven't.
Just like last year, I will slow down writing my posts during the hot Florida summer heat, picking up again when the weather cools a bit this coming fall. It is like the seasons are reversed down here, the summer being so very hot that you cannot get out and enjoy the outdoors. When the temperatures here reach the upper 90's you get burned just getting into your car. Where up north, it is the winter season when you can't get out because it is too cold. Winter is typically very mild down here, and that's when I'll be backpacking, bicycling, kayaking, getting out and writing about it.
And the most thanks go to you for reading my blog. I really appreciate it. And thank you for a great first year blogging!