What do you know – this is my 500th post! Unlike all of the intrepid daily bloggers out there, it has taken me 5 years to get to this big number. An Exacting Life started on December 26, 2011, so I have a blogiversary coming up soon. I still have readers who have been with me since very early on, so thank you! It is still exciting to get new followers. I thought I would share my blog stats today.

I consider myself very fortunate to have 606 followers: 486 on WordPress, 39 via email, 52 on Facebook, 26 on Bloglovin and 3 on Google+ ! There are people who follow the blog by more than one method (?!) so that’s not 606 individuals, but over 500 anyway.

The total number of all-time views on the blog was 342,000-something as of today and the number of visitors almost 72,000. It makes me happy when someone new comes over and then stays to read a bunch of posts! There are two blogs that refer a lot of traffic my way: Claire’s and Julie’s.  Merci beaucoup! This year, when people click links on my blog, they most often visit Angie, Fiona, Claire or Asian Pear!

One of my posts has received thousands more views than any other: Outdoor Concert Checklist. If someone types “outdoor concert checklist” or “what to bring to an outdoor concert,” into Google, it currently comes up first in the results. The post that generated the most views this year was YNAB 2016 Budget App Review, I suppose because I reviewed it when the version was still very new and people were curious about it. My regular readers liked My Tattoo Regrets best this year.

I’m sure you know this blog wasn’t started with any ulterior motive in mind, such as becoming an “influencer” or making money. When my kid left home, I suddenly had a lot of time to myself. I started reading lots of blogs about frugal, simple and authentic living. I made a lot of changes, concerning green living, food choices, health and fitness, and so on. I knew I couldn’t be a guru in any of those areas. I just wanted to write and maybe see who else was on my wavelength. I love the blog community and I feel like you are my friends! My favourite blog stat is that it has accumulated over 10,000 comments (which is really 5000 since half of them were my replies).

In a world that communicates by tweets and texts, I am grateful that so many of you have stuck with me when I’ve written lengthy posts, often well over 1000 words – yikes! But I write a lot fewer of them after a long-lasting, low-level case of RSI caused by using computers for work, volunteer work and blogging. It has resolved itself now. In 2014, I published 103 posts. This year, it will be 58.

In the new year, I am planning just one change. For several years I searched for photos for my posts that had a Creative Commons license or similar. Then I gave up and just provided a photo credit instead. Now I find too many photos on the web are not attributed so it’s not possible to give the photographer credit. I’ve decided that starting with my next post, I will not use anyone’s photos but my own. Until I develop a good photo bank that suits all occasions, photos may be sparse, or may be repeated. I do care about copyright so it’s time to walk the walk!

I have a question for my Facebook subscribers. I provide links to all my posts, and I assume that you subscribed mainly (or only) to get notification of new posts. So I post updates or links about other stuff very sparingly because I don’t want to annoy you. However, when I do post odds-and-ends, they tend to get a good response. What do you think – would you rather I do notifications only, or include more/less additional stuff?

I also have a request. I hear most often from commenters in Canada, the UK and Australia, but my blog stats page says most of my readers are in the US. If you read An Exacting Life occasionally – or regularly – but don’t comment, I would love it if you’d comment today with your first name or nickname, where you live (country and state/province/region) and tell me the number one thing a visitor should see or do if they come to your area!

I do know that those of you with blogs on the Blogger platform (Google) find it difficult to comment on WordPress blogs, and we find it difficult to comment on yours, but I’m afraid I can’t resolve that rivalry, although I did my best to sort it out here.

Finally, I will leave you with a link to my very first post, which has a grand total of ONE view 🙂


  1. Congratulations on 500! Five years is a long time in the blog world. It’s very cool that you still have some of your original followers interacting regularly. 🙂

  2. I think I might have left a comment or two. 😉 Congrats on your 500th post! 😉

  3. Jamie

    Congratulations. Look forward to the next 500!

    I follow you on Bloglovin’ and Facebook. I would be interested to see you post more on fb, but am happy if others disagree.

    • Thanks for the FB like! I can’t see a list of all my Facebook followers (which is intended to ensure your privacy when you interact with a Page instead of a Person). I was wondering what part of Australia you live in now?

  4. Lorraine

    Congratulations on your 500th post! I enjoy the variety of topics you choose to blog about. This is my first time commenting. I live in northern Utah. Any or all of the national parks in the southern part of the state are worth a visit. Thank you.

    • Hi Lorraine! The pictures I’ve seen of the parks in Utah are breath-taking. I have been to Arizona, and to Nevada briefly, but not Utah. Someday I need to take a long, long road trip 🙂

  5. Fiona

    Congratulations, Dar! Your stats show just how well-loved your blog is. I think you must be one of the very few with such a wide readership who consistently responds to comments and also visits other blogs, which is greatly appreciated. I look forward to the next 500 posts!

  6. Congratulations on the milestone, and on your upcoming blogaversary. (What an interesting date to start a blog!)

    I follow you on Facebook, and I’d love to see you post more often, and more varied things. But I also believe that you should post what YOU want to post, and when YOU want to post it. It shouldn’t be an obligation.

    Hi! My name is Paul, and I live Seattle, in the USA. If you’re ever in town, you should take a tour of the Theo Chocolate fatory. It’s our country’s first all-organic, Fair Trade chocolate company. It’s the best-smelling tour in town, and you get to sample the product.

    • Yes, I started writing on a winter break at home – we get Dec 26 as a stat holiday every year. I would like to put more stuff up on Facebook if it doesn’t cause people to unlike me en masse 🙂 The closest I’ve been to Seattle is the Olympic National Park, Columbia River Gorge and Oregon Coast. But that was a LONG time ago. A chocolate tour sounds amazing!

  7. EcoCatLady

    Congratulations! That is quite a milestone! And that’s such a worthy goal of taking all of your own photos. There are, however, several sites out there that offer public domain stock photographs which you are free to use with no image credit. Anyhow, if you run out of energy for taking pictures, that’s always an option!

    And I agree with Fiona, I love that you always respond to each comment. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much. I feel like part of a community when I’m here, rather than the “me: big important blogger – you: lowly reader” vibe that I seem to get other places.

  8. Kris

    Congrats, Dar! You might want to check out Pixabay for totally free and beautiful photos – https://pixabay.com/.

    • Thank you, Kris! I knew there were such sites but I haven’t visited any. I was trying to get in touch with you ( with no luck) to see if you would recommend a book for me to read. If so, feel free to comment here or send me an email!

  9. Happy blog birthday!

    I check into fewer blogs than I did several years ago but yours is top of my list. Thank you for sharing your stories, for provoking me to think and for seeing different perspectives.

    • Thank you, Lucinda! What I like about reading blogs is that I am initially interested in them because we share an interest, so I think my ideas will be confirmed there, yet I end up being challenged ( in a good way) by the ways in which we are different. I work with people who are very like-minded, so I enjoy exposure to different views. Sounds like you do too.

  10. Well done, and thank you! I can’t recall how I first came across your blog, but I’ve stuck with it because you write so well, you always have a thoughtful and interesting perspective, and you give me an insight into living in a very different place (geographically and I guess in other ways as well). I’m always pleased when I see an email showing that you’ve published another post, I know it’s going to be a good read.

  11. Margie in Toronto

    Congratulations – I have just read your first post and commented in more detail there – answering the question you first posed.

  12. 1066jq

    My name is Janet, I live in Georgia in the southeastern part of the States. We live near Savannah which is wonderful place to visit.

    • Hi Janet, I’m glad you piped up! I have only been to the south a couple of times, once for a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, and twice to Washington DC (not even really south, is it?) I hardly got to see anything and would love to explore.

  13. Jodi

    Hi. My name is Jodi and I live in London, Ontario, Canada. You have already visited one of my favorite places, Toronto and especially the ROM.

    • Hi Jodi, Thanks for saying hi! I would love to see more of Ontario. I drove the North of Superior highway once, and another time, attended a conference in “the Sault.” So much more to see!

  14. Lisa

    Hi, my name is Lisa, and I live in Austin, Texas. Like others have mentioned, I find your posts very well-written with interesting topics and perspectives. If you were to visit in Austin, you should check out our beautiful state capital and grounds–but don’t come in July or August–too hot!

  15. Alice

    Hi Dar! I used to leave a comment or two in the past but I am too busy now being a new mommy. I love your blog and I seldom miss your posts that are always food for thought and a way to enrich my vocabulary in English! Congratulations on the blogiversary! To the next 500!
    I live in Alexandroupoli, GR and the Evros delta is an interesting place to visit but I would strongly recommend the island Samothrace, which is of unique beauty. All the best xx

    • Hi Alice, it’s great to hear from you again and it makes me happy you’re still reading. Congrats on becoming a parent! I can only imagine how beautiful Greece is. And the islands!

      • Alice

        Thank you!!! I really meant to comment some time again and let you know that I still read you- that was the chance☺

  16. jbistheinitial

    Congratulations on 500! And 5 years too!

  17. Anette, Cph, Dk

    Hi & congratulations! My name is Anette, I think I have followed your blog for a couple of years now. I rarely comment, but I enjoy your blogposts and perspectives a lot. I have no idea how I found your blog?!? I owe you the biggest thank you for introducing me to Trello; I started using Trello in May after your post about it and I now use it to organize ALL aspects of my life (grocery shopping, private and work todos, packing lists, sightseeing lists etc). My colleagues now jokingly refer to me as the Trello woman… Weirdly, they haven’t seen the Trello light. Yet. Thank you for the Trello post – and all your other posts!
    Oh, I almost forgot: I live in Copenhagen, Denmark. The number one thing to see as a tourist in Cph: Hordes of people riding their bikes to work in the morning. Find a busy intersection at around 7:45 am on a week day and prepare to be baffled. You could also check out Tivoli, the round tower, the little mermaid statue or one of our old castles 🙂

    • Hi Anette, Thanks for speaking up. I am delighted that you like Trello. I am still using it and I find it perfect for displaying multiple task lists at the same time (such as work, projects and personal). You probably saw that Trello now allows you to mark calendar items as “done.” Well, except for the cost of living, I can’t imagine a better place to be than Copenhagen. I would love to see the castles – Hamlet and all that!

  18. Sonja

    Hello, I came to your blog as a link from another blog..sorry can’t recall exactly but with a little sleuthing could work it out. I enjoy all of your posts but of late posts on travel, decluttering and books provide me guidance.
    Travel planning and budget are useful since my husband has joined workaholic me in retirement —we are traveling and making plans to travel. Dealing now with all the “stuff” I deferred making decisions about while engaged in child rearing with a law career, then return to education and school teacher librarian & technology areas…that’s why your declutter posts resonate. Your posts on books, especially reading down the house dovetail nicely with the “clutter of unread books” in my house, hence my future goal to read down the house—after I get through the local library stack on my shelf!
    I used to, along with another professional, present on well attended sessions on copyright issues for educators. Your concern for protecting rights for the work of others is laudable and worthy. I enjoy your writing and hope you will continue.
    I live in North Carolina, a state boasting of vistas of beautiful mountains and beaches. I should mention the almost year round temperate climate…except for some pretty pesky hot summers—but one can always escape to ocean breezes or cooler mountains. Thank you for your blog! Sonja

    • Hi Sonja, Thanks for introducing yourself! I hear great things about North Carolina and I hope the state will do itself proud by repealing the anti-LGBT HB2 law. It’s great to hear that someone out there is knowledgeable about copyright! Your career sounds impressive and I hope you have recovered from its demands. Good luck with your decluttering efforts and happy travels!

  19. I can’t remember if I’ve ever commented before or not, but I’ve been reading for a few years now. I’m Karla and I’m from northern BC. Right now we’re having a lovely chinook and it’s a balmy -2 but the past couple of weeks it was in the -30 to -40 range! I can’t think of one single thing that’s a must for visitors around here, but the Peace River sure is pretty to go see.

    • Hi Karla! We don’t have chinooks here but I experienced them when visiting Alberta. So far we’ve had 2 days around -17 and we feel we’ve suffered greatly 🙂 I looked up some pix of Peace River. I imagine it is like the forested part of Northern Sask.

  20. Happy Anniversary!! And, I’m in the US, although I do love my neighbors to the north. 🙂

  21. Congrats on 500 and 5 years! I’m in Toronto, ON, Canada. #1 thing a visitor should do is catch a good show, or enjoy the different cuisines (although I think many first time visitors go up the CN Tower).

    • Hi Natalie, I looove Toronto and I visit every year. So much to do! I agree with you – plays, concerts and food are my favourite things to do! I have been to Toronto about 12 times and have yet to go up the CN Tower 🙂

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