Looking back on Garden Betty's greatest hits (plus a reader survey)
Random Thoughts

Looking Back on Garden Betty’s Greatest Hits of 2016 (Plus a Reader Survey)

I’m a little late to the “2016 round-up” game, but I want to dive in before the first week of the New Year is over, take a look back on the previous year, and see what you most enjoyed reading and learning about on the blog.

Based on organic traffic to these posts from regular readers and search engines, and the amount of shares across social media, the following were the most popular posts that I wrote in 2016. Some of them surprised me, and some I wholly agree with!

Most Popular Posts of 2016

  1. Common Gardening Mistakes and What I’ve Learned From Them
  2. Welcome Home, Gemma Lumen
  3. A Tour of Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
  4. Get Preserving Ideas From This Interactive Canning Map
  5. I Planted My Placenta
  6. If You Like Good Food in the Great Outdoors…
  7. The Superhydrophobic Surface of Nasturtium Leaves
  8. Anthocyanin Powerhouse: Pusa Asita Carrots
  9. Four Months, Four Thoughts
  10. Adventures in Pregnancy (Or, How I Balance an Active Life With a Growing Bump)

What this tells me is you like relatable gardening tips, interesting tidbits about the seeds and plants in your garden, and profiles on heirloom varieties you may not have known before. Do you agree? Let me know your thoughts!

I also introduced a new section on my blog last year, Parenthood. While I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it turns out quite a lot of you related to my more personal posts about pregnancy and parenthood. I don’t intend for this type of content to overtake the blog’s focus on gardening, slow living, and adventure traveling, but family and friends are very much a part of my story, as they always have been — and with a little one in the picture now, I hope to continue to share the good (and occasionally the bad) in an effort to build community, spark inspiration, and offer encouragement to other people, parents or not.

Aside from the new content posted in 2016, there was also “vintage” content from seasons past that truly stood the test of time, remaining relevant year after year thanks to strong search engine traffic and timely repostings. These are the top 10 evergreen posts that have “beat out” all the posts above in terms of pageviews and social shares, and they continue to be classics on Garden Betty.

Most Popular Posts Overall

  1. 4 Ways to Pickled Green Tomatoes
  2. Garden Betty’s Homemade Whole Grain Chicken Feed
  3. Southern Sweet Tea With a Secret Ingredient
  4. Chimichurri the Way an Argentine Does It
  5. Fresh Homemade Pasta (Using What You Already Have in the Kitchen)
  6. A Guide to Curing and Storing Garlic
  7. Why and How to Ferment Your Chicken Feed
  8. Poor Man’s Capers: Pickled Nasturtium Pods
  9. How to Make Your Own Seed Starting (and Potting) Mix
  10. Homemade Whole Grain Chicken Feed… Updated and Now Corn-Free!

Highlights for Garden Betty

Last year, I called 2015 my best year yet, but 2016 has swept that title on all fronts, from personal to business.

It started with a snowboarding babymoon in Oregon, two baby showers hosted by family and friends, and the birth of my daughter on the vernal equinox (a fitting birthday for a baby we’d nicknamed Sprout), and snowballed into a second book deal, a feature in the inaugural issue of Green Side Up magazine, and an official ambassadorship for a company whose products I love and use all the time, Ball Canning. (Do you remember the day my Facebook followers helped me raise $1,000 for a nonprofit that builds edible school gardens in Los Angeles?)

I spent most of the summer traveling with my husband and our newborn (and camping along the way — yes, with said newborn) while writing and shooting the book, which you can read about here and here. All told, we covered 11 states in the west and cooked on everything from camp stoves to burning coals, gas grills to wood fires. The manuscript is close to being sent to print (I’m looking over the last round of edits this week!), and the next few months will be spent scheming up some promotional ideas for its release in June. I have so much to share from behind the scenes of the book, so stay tuned for that!

Moving Onward and Upward (Hopefully!)

As we head into a new year and I gear up for a few site improvements (including better navigation and finally changing the categories to English!), I’d like to find out what’s working for you and what’s not. There’s a quick reader survey at the bottom of this post if you’re so inclined to offer a little insight into who you are and what you enjoy, so that I can assess your feedback and fine-tune the topics to be in line with what you’re searching for. Your constructive comments (whether here in this post or submitted in the survey) will help me figure out where to put more of my energy in this blog, and devote the right resources into creating content that you like enough to share or come back to, again and again. (If you’re reading this post in your email or mobile device, you can click here to fill out the reader survey.)

Thank you for giving the blog its highest traffic numbers yet in 2016! I owe it to you, my awesome readers, for clicking and sharing on my posts week after week and helping Garden Betty grow substantially across so many genres and demographics. I have no doubt that more good things will be happening in 2017!

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  • I haven’t been here in awhile but it looks like you’ve had a wonderful year! Happy 2017! Can’t wait to see what you do with your new camping book!

  • Looking forward to the new book and to seeing the changes you have in store for the site in 2017. But I have to say, I kind of like the categories the way they are; I use them to practice my Español. : )

    Happy New Year to you and the family, Linda!

    • LOL that’s good to know about the category names! 😉 Thank you for being a longtime reader and for always offering such positive feedback, Deb! Happy New Year!

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