I'm celebrating a few blogging milestones today:
  • The Outlandish Observations page on Facebook gained its 500th follower today! (Thank you, whoever you are!)

  • The site has had more than 10,000 visitors in February (the first time that's ever happened, in the 3 1/2 years since I started this blog) and there's still two days left to go!

  • The average number of visitors per month is up at least 54% from what it was a year ago (!)

  • Just in the last month, the site has averaged more than 370 visitors and 670 page views per day (compared to an average of 233 visitors and 376 page views per day in February 2011).
Needless to say, I'm delighted by all of these developments. <g>

What's caused this recent spike? Well, I can think of a few things:
  • Since Diana Gabaldon's official Facebook page was launched in September, 2011, I now have a vastly greater potential audience of fans who might be interested in my blog. (Thanks very much to those of you who found your way here as a result of a link on Diana's Facebook page, by the way.)

  • The weekly Friday Fun Facts feature that I started in January has been very popular, and I'm very gratified by the positive reaction to something I decided to do more or less on a whim. <g>

  • I joined Pinterest a few weeks ago, and that seems to be bringing some new visitors to my site. (If you're one of them, welcome!)

  • I have finally gotten over being shy about talking about my blog where Diana can see it.
Some of you may be surprised by that last item, considering that I'm in communication with Diana on almost a daily basis on Compuserve. A little background might help. I started this blog in 2008, and for the first two years, I made no effort at all to draw attention to it on Compuserve, out of a lingering sense of....embarrassment? shyness? not wanting to appear like a gushing fangirl in front of Diana? (A combination of all of those things, actually, particularly the last one. <g>)

But ever since Diana's new website was launched last year, with my photo and a link to Outlandish Observations included on the Links page, I've gradually become less self-conscious about mentioning my blog in front of Diana. These days I have no hesitation at all about sending her links to posts that I think she'll find interesting, like the one about the symbolism of everyday objects. And I've been very gratified by her reactions. I get a thrill whenever she retweets one of my blog posts on Twitter, or comments on something I post on her Facebook page, because I know it's being seen by many thousands of fans.

Thanks so much to all of you who follow my blog and take the time to post your comments and reactions. It really means a lot to me. I hope you're finding this site interesting, entertaining, and full of useful information.

I was one of the first to create a successful OUTLANDER blog, and I'm always happy to help other OUTLANDER bloggers by sharing links and spreading the word about anything interesting that's going on in the OUTLANDER fan community. I hope that those of you who have OUTLANDER-related sites or Facebook pages will continue to do the same for me. I have said many times that I think those of us who have OUTLANDER fan-sites should support each other. We all have one thing in common: our love for Diana Gabaldon's wonderful writing and unforgettable characters. <g>


Lara said...

Congratulations, Karen! I for one love your site and you are always my go to Outlander expert when I have a thought or question. Most of the time I can find the answer on your page without having to ask you or Diana directly. It's like my own personal Outlander encyclopedia. You do good work!

PS. I completely get the fan girl shyness... Maybe when I see her for the 3rd time I'll be able to do more than stare and giggle. :)

Faith said...

Karen, I've said it before but I'll say it again--you're the best :)

Unknown said...

Congratulations. You are one of my favourite Outlander sites for sure. In fact, I have your button on a blog roll on my book review blog.

All the best.

PS - now personally Im looking forward to reading your blog posts about your future Scotland trip. I just may plan a trip around your blog posts LOL

Karen Henry said...

Lara - Your own personal OUTLANDER encyclopedia? I'm flattered. :-) I keep telling people on Compuserve that they don't have to have an encyclopedic knowledge of Diana's books in order to post there. Just keep in mind I do make mistakes sometimes.

Faith - thanks so much!

Michelle - Oh, I'll definitely blog about my trip to Scotland! Guarantee it. :-) But you'll have to wait until July!


Purgatory Carol said...

Good for you, Karen!! You deserve it! As I mentioned on MOP chat...when I need Outlander info of any kind, I come straight to Outlandish Observations! You run a great site!! Keep up the amazing work! :)

Adeer1 said...

Congratulations Karen! I am very appreciative of your blog and your Outlander knowledge. Many thanks for all you do and share!
Fawn (aka Damhnait)

Cathy V said...

Congrats! How exciting!! I came across this blog a few months ago, I'm not sure how, and I have been a fan since day one :)

Anonymous said...

I think the word to describe your initial reluctance to promote your blog may be 'humility' - a very underrated trait!

I have to say, as someone who only discovered your blog a few months ago and who now checks in every few days because it's such a well-written, entertaining and informative site, that I wish you hadn't been quite so humble for quite so long :)

Congratulations on a very well earned success and I look forward to reading many more of your blog posts.

Susanne said...

Dear Karen,
I found your blog and your facebook page by following the link in the books and writers community.
'Cause you wrote "thank you, whoever you are", i just wanted to say - "you're welcome" ;)
When i read the outlander series for the first time, i always had an atlas beneath my, in the meantime it's my laptop and google maps/earth to find out where everything happens.
Thank you for all your efforts and best wishes from Europe/Austria!

Karen Henry said...

Carol - thanks, I really appreciate that! :-)

Fawn - Thanks so much! :-)

Cathy - Thanks, I'm really glad you've been enjoying my blog. :-)

Anon - no, it wasn't humility or false modesty or anything like that. I was just very shy about mentioning my blog on Compuserve for a long time. Back when I started, I knew nothing about blogging, I didn't know of any other OUTLANDER bloggers, and the idea of saying to Diana, "I have this blog, Outlandish Observations, and it's all about, well, you, and your books, and yes, that means I'm taking my OUTLANDER-addiction to a whole new level, but really, I do have a life, I swear I do!" was just too much to contemplate. So I didn't talk about this blog in front of Diana until I'd built a solid following and had some confidence in what I was doing as a blogger. I'm immensely gratified to find that she enjoys it!


Karen Henry said...

Susanne - thank you very much! It's amazing to me how many people from all over the world have found my blog. I'm glad you're enjoying it. :-)


Outlander Kitchen said...

Congratulations, Karen! As one new to the Outlander blogging "scene" I have very much appreciated your welcome!

Here's to many more years of sharing DG's stories (and each others links from time to time). :)


Karen Henry said...

Thanks, Theresa! I'll drink to that, definitely! :-)

I'm amazed at how quickly your Outlander Kitchen site has caught on. I keep having to remind myself that it's not a competition. Thanks for all your efforts. One thing I've learned is that having an active blog like this takes a fair amount of work! But it is also a tremendous amount of fun.


Christiane KYPREOS said...

Hello Karen!YES of course your site is so interesting, entertaining and full of useful inf., just what was needed for us, the Outlander addicts all over the world!Keep up the good work! thanks a lot. Christiane K

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations, Karen! I love having you as Czarina on the Forum [g] And your blog is so fun and detailed and organized.
I know how you feel - even now, I get such a thrill when I see Herself has replied to me.

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