Parenting Teenagers Stinks, and 7 other things I learned while blogging

You can learn a lot about people by what they read online. For reasons that are not entirely clear to me a significant number of people actually read what I write. Thousands of people to be exact, which is pretty amazing. A quick visit to Google analytics revealed what posts they read and lead me to reach some very non-scientific conclusions-

1-      People struggle with parenting teenagers. It was just my 8th post, but my post “5 principles for parenting a teenager” took off and has been viewed 2,644 times. It was shared on Facebook by people and physicians around the country, which tells me that there are a lot of parents looking for help. I hope they found some in the blog.

2-      Marriage still matters. It matters enough that posts on marriage, “6 Things a Married Person should Never Do” and “Don’t Make this Mistake in Marriage” were the two of the top three posts for the year.

3-      Sex still sells. My post on “Why Have Sex” comes in at number 5 on my most viewed list.

4-      Shared suffering resonates with people. My posts on being disowned by my father and being abused as a child both were in the top 10.

5-      I am terrible at predicting what posts will attract interest. I thought some of my post titles were really clever and would attract a lot of interest, only to see them get almost no notice at all. Two of my personal favorites were “Is Your Church as Good as a Bar” and “Great Advice from Wheel of Fortune.” Both were seen by fewer than 50 people and did not even crack the top 100 of the year!

6-      The Blog has allowed me to help people in ways I never dreamed. A woman from Chicago sent me a heart-breaking message about her dad after reading my post on being disowned. We exchanged several emails and I was able to help her with her perspective.

7-      The blog has truly gone around the globe. Canada, The United Kingdom, Brazil, Egypt, Australia, India, Belgium, Japan and the Philippines are among the countries that had at least 30 different visits to the site. Amazing!

8-      The ability to have an impact through a blog is remarkable. In the first year 17,439 users have totaled 23,948 visits. Very humbling indeed!

Thanks to all who have read the blog, and a special thanks to all who have shared it with their friends. I am especially thankful for those who take the time to comment or share their thoughts. So often I think about quitting, wondering if it is worth the effort, without fail it is then that a kind word comes.

Here is hoping for a successful second year!