14 March 2008

The 200,000th visitor

There was a milestone of sorts yesterday. The 200,000th visitor came and went, so who knows where we'll go from here. I don't always comment on the milestones because they are only figures indicating readership. I think the real success in my blog is the friendly and helpful community that has developed here. But I have to confess, when I saw that figure this morning, I did smile and reflect back to the morning I was wondering if I should blog, what name I would use and who on earth would read what I wrote. In the end I decided that a blog would create the perfect journal of what I'm doing here. A journal where I could look back and see photos of harvests, where I could record recipes and ways of doing and, if there ever were any readers, a way of sharing how we live.

Who knew.

A number
of you who have been reading for a long time will know that I started writing a book about simple living, then, when I couldn't find an interested publisher, I turned my attention to ebooks. That fizzled out too because, after the conversion rates in each country, I would have had to charge too much to make it worthwhile. I sometimes feel like sending the address of my blog to those publishers who sent rejections because they didn't think there was a market for this kind of information. Now, excess is out of fashion, financial awareness is growing everyday and simple, sustainable lifestyles are seen as a viable alternative to over-consumption. Maybe the tide has turned, maybe there is a place within modern Western culture for lives to be pared back to the bare essentials and where excess is embarrassing. Read about it here in USA Today.

It takes a certain kind of person to want to conserve rather than consume, and it takes thought, care and a particular mindset to stick with it. Simple living is not one big thing - it's many small ones. It's easy to start simplifying, there are many small choices that you can make that, when added up, make a difference. Changing your light globes, a few at a time, to compact fluros is an good small step. Stop buying bottled water, cups of designer coffee and magazines. None of these actions is earth shattering alone but, when done over a long period of time, make a huge difference - to your wallet, your attitude and your environment. Make shopping totes and refuse plastic bags and over packaging. Start monitoring your electricity and water usage. Cook from scratch. Budget. Start saying no to meaningless activities - spend your time on what you're passionate about. Think about your life, make deliberate decisions about how you want your life to be - then plan how you will make that happen.

I have been encouraged in my efforts by many of the comments made here, and I am often overwhelmed by the generous and kind thoughts sent to me in emails. This blog has become a validation of sorts, it helps me stay focused and aware, and it's become more than a record for me; it's also a map of where I'm going. I want to thank each and every one of you who read, who comment, who help - like Sharon and Lorraine, who write the occasional guest post - like Bella, as well as all those lurkers out there - thank you for visiting and leaving behind your visible and invisible impressions.

For those of you interested in the figures, here are the graphs as they stand this morning. They change frequently during the day, in the early morning, like now, my Australian numbers are very low, later in the day they overtake the UK and US figures. Clicking on the graphs below will enlarge them.



  1. 200 000 visitors, that is amazing in such a short time. I for one am glad that you started and have continued with your blog. It is always a place of inspiration and where you feel welcome no matter what life stage you are at or what your views are.

  2. Hi Rhonda, I'm so pleased you blog, and share what you're doing. The combination of your warm and wise writing and your readers generous comments remind us that there is a simpler way of living.I love this shared community. The simple life may not always be easy, but it is enriching. It reminds me to be 'present' in my actions and the choices I make. I may not get it right all the time, but I try, and it's worth it. Thank you. Diana x

  3. Wow Rhonda, that's awesome! Congrats!! I don't often comment because other comments seem to say it better than I can most times :) but I read regularly.

  4. Well done!

    And I must admit I held my breath when you were listing - designer coffee, magazines in your frugal sentence.

    Whoop whoop you didn't say fat quarters this time - my weakness LOL

    Love Leanne NZ

  5. Congrats Rhonda-your blog helps us all on the road to a simpler life and gives us a an island of calm we can come to when our simple life is sometimes not so simple at all!

  6. Congratulations! Isn't it wonderful and affirming to know that there are others out there interested in simple living.

    Thanks for your generosity in sharing !

  7. Congratulations, Rhonda Jean. Quite a year! I've noticed an amazing number of new sustainability blogs lately - lots of new ones just since January even. I think awareness is really spreading, as is an economic need to be more frugal during harder times.

    I look at my stats too, because I like to make sure people are reading, that I'm not just writing into thin air. It's a good feeling, knowing you've made an impact. And you definitely have!

  8. aCongratulations Rhonda...Slowly but surely the message is getting through. The success of this blog is in your easy way of passing the ideas on and not making people feel guilty for their erring ways - well maybe just a little!

    Keep up the good work - we love it!


  9. Wow Rhonda thats am impression visits total. Congratulations.

    I wish you did have a publisher for your book, because even though I have read and re-read all your current and past posts, It would be sooo lovely to curl up in bed and read your valued wisdom leisurely rather than being cramped up at the computer. (How lazy am I ? :-)
    If there is a way to get my hands on your unpublished book, please spread the word, I am sure you would have MANY takers.
    Lv Steph xx

  10. Congratulations Rhonda, I remember you posting an entry when you reached 50 000 (I think).

    Your blog is a calming, reassuring, thought-provoking, challenging, humourous, generous reflection on life. I'm not sure whether you were referring to me in your post (shy face)...I have a natural inclination to be a hermit and do not have a blog, so at times feel a twinge of guilt at the generosity I receive from your blog. So thank you for your life-affirming blog!

  11. addit
    LOL, I read Bella and lurker in the same sentence and so thought it was me!! Feeling guilty :), but pretty sure you were referring to the other Bella!!

  12. I too always love reading your blog and all the comments. It is a great community you've set up.

    I really hope the tide is turning in a big way regarding what we as a society consume. Western culture desparately needs to move towards sustainability and it's all the individual people in society that can make it happen. Big business continually strives for increasing profits, which means increasing consumption, which means total disregard for finite resources. Living frugally to save money is a necessity, but even if I had a million dollars to spare I'd want to live this way. I want this planet and my children to have a future. And for me personally, I find the greatest meaning and satisfaction in living simply. Bless you Rhonda for your bolg. You are providing so gererously with time, information, kindness and a means of feeling connected to a way of life that I like to live, but which is scant in my immediate surroundings.

    Kindest regards, Marilyn

  13. Congrats!! I am a regular reader of your truly inspirational blog. I love it. You write so well and I hope you have success in getting your book published..I would certainly buy it. :-)


  14. Congratulations Rhonda! I'm proud to be one of your UK regular readers. I love the fact that your readers come from all over the world. Thanks for giving so much of your time and yourself.

  15. Congratulations on building such a great blog. I, too, am on the path to Simple Living and I love reading about your days and how authentic you are in your homemaking and life choices. Keep up the good work!

  16. How thankful I am that you started writing and sharing with all of us how special a simpler way of living can be. You have a sweet way of encouraging us to think about all aspects of our homes and daily lives. Keep up the great work!

  17. Congratulations Rhonda! I truly enjoy your blog and can relate to you & your endeavors on so many levels. Take care!


  18. Congratulations! It's a wonderful blog and so I'm not surprised so many others like it too. Keep up the great and most inspirational work. :-)

  19. Congratulations Rhonda. I too think the tide will turn since the media is now showing frugalness/caring for the environment etc in a positive light. Before it was all about spend, spend, spend, you've never had it so good and that's what everyone aspired to.

    The changes in the weather/climate change and food/fuel shortages have awakened many. What is really needed is blogs such as yours that still hold and collect the knowledge of how to do things without buying in from the supermarket. Like you I'm old enough to remember life before convenience foods and products and like you, I'm not that old. It's something that happened so quickly but has left 2-3 generations with no idea how to survive without the convenience store.

    Sorry that was a bit longer than it set out to be, I find I'm getting more saddened every day by people who won't consider a life other than convenience. As you say you don't have to change everything and live in a field with nothing and small steps all mount up.


  20. Congratulations on your 200 000 visitors! I love your blog, it's the one I always go to first. I haven't made any big changes - which is odd, because I'm the type of person who gets fantastic ideas and changes everything only to not follow through in the end - but I realised lately that I've made lots of baby steps. I think that my way of looking at the world has changed subtly. Thank you for that!

  21. 200.000 visitors is a number!!! ... you're really doing a great job and it's very interesting to come by and read your posts - thanks for sharing
    Greetings from Spain

  22. You are a superstar in the UK! Wowsers! Congrats Rhonda Jean.

    You know you can self publish your own book to sell??? You can even do it apparently through Amazon.

    That's what I plan to do one day if I can't find a publisher. Even if my book only sold through my blog / website or craft fairs, that's ok because its getting the message out there that is the important bit. I don't expect to self publish and become a millionaire overnight.

    Something to think about?

  23. Only two from the NL? At least I'm one of them! Love your blog, Rhonda!!! Keep going! It's the first I read every day. :-)

  24. What an amazing achievement. You are such an inspiration, and if only a fraction of the people who read your blog adopt your simpler lifestyle that is still an enormous number. While I still have a mortgage and two children to support I have to continue to work full time, but I am looking forward to the time when I can spend my days growing vegetables and baking my own bread. It will happen!
    Thanks for all your wonderful warm and inspiring words.

  25. Hooray, Rhonda Jean :) What a lovely reason to celebrate! I thank you, too, for sharing down---to---earth with us. I enjoy visiting with you SO much :)

    By the way - the "goldfish" are little multigrain cheddar crackers shaped like fish - LOL! I can't wait to share your note with my sweeties. They have heard me talk about you and call you "Mrs Rhonda Jean from far away". Love, Q

  26. Congratulations, Rhonda. You deserve every success that comes your way!

    As the economy continues to tighten I think you might find even more are interested in simple living.


  27. Dear Rhonda

    Congratulations on a truly marvellous blog. You inspire, educate and entertain and for that I am enormously grateful.

    Your wisdom seems to permeate everything I do in my daily life and as a result I seem to be much less stressed and more able to relax. I am also learning to give more and to expect less.

    Publishing is just a numbers game and no doubt, with the numbers of people who read your blog, it is only a matter of time before you have a book deal. From my own selfish point of view, I too would love to have a book with your writing to curl up with rather than to be in front of the computer.

    Thank you! Mel

  28. Hi Rhonda,
    Just coming out of lurkdom to say 'Hi' and that I have been here reading your blog everyday for about 2 months now. You inspire me so much and I've already made quite a few changes and will continue to do so. I never thought that I'd feel not consuming was exciting but it is ! Thanks so much for sharing your life with us.

  29. Congratulations from a regular French reader living in Greece!

  30. Congratulations on the 200,000th visitor! I think the desire for simple, sustainable living has been building for a long time and will continue to do so. Best wishes!


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