On a chilly Boston day last winter, the idea for a collaborative blog for women was dreamed up. With a small handful of eager writers and a committed editor, On the Willows published its very first blog post on January 10, 2012!
We weren’t sure what to expect. Links to Willow articles were spreading all over Facebook, and there was certainly a buzz. After a couple weeks of publishing about 3-4 blog posts per week, I decided to check my statistics page. I was shocked to see that hundreds of women were already reading the blog! In March, the Affari Project sponsored our blog and gave us a great new website. Also, our website had a facelift with a beautiful new willow sketched by Sheila Lam!
At first, we started with around 10 contributors. They did a fantastic job at writing meaningful articles, and sharing their life stories and life lessons with us. Some shared their art or crafty creations. Now, there are about 25 Willow Contributors! Thank you to all of our contributors for sharing your work with everyone!
With over 15,000 hits, and an average of 1,000 individual readers per month, here we are 6 months later! We are so humbled by the response we have had. Women all over Boston have stopped me to say that they have loved reading the blog! Ladies in Northern California and all over the U.S. have Google chatted or emailed me to say that the articles have been a “blessing” to them, or that an article came at “just the right time”, or they felt so compelled to “share an article with a friend who needs to read this”.
So, thank you to our contributors, to our dedicated editor, Lyndsay Wilkin, and most of all, to YOU, our readers! Please continue to send feedback and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you know, On the Willows loves to publish a diverse range of topics to include women with a variety of interests! Here are a few highlights from the past 6 months!
Most viewed article ever: Such a Girl, by Stephanie VanTassell. This article was hit 869 times within the first two days of publishing!
In this article, Stephanie discusses how “being such a girl” is viewed as weak in society. And as girls, we can be insecure about embracing femininity. From the article, Stephanie writes, “The strength of a woman is now viewed as her weakness. A woman’s great strength is her vulnerability. This is a delicate, deep and important revelation to wrap our heads around. My strength is my softness.” Be sure to check out the full article if you have not yet read it!
Most Viewed article on first day of publishing: Tangible Grace, by Lyndsay Wilkin. This article was hit 500 times on the very first day! At the end of day two, there were 672 hits.
This article was published on January 17, the anniversary of the day that Lyndsay was diagnosed with leukemia. In this article, she shares her story of denial and shock at first, then the pain she endured, but the grace she was given to handle it all. In her article, Lyndsay wrote, “. . . I was desperate for God’s mercy and grace in a tangible way like I’d never been before. Mercy: there was literally nothing I went through during that time that I absolutely could not handle . . . That may seem trite to some, but for me it was supernatural mercy.”
In this article, Lydia shared a series she painted for a Valentine’s Day art show. She called it “Let Love Rain”. Each painting in the series has an explanation by the artist. In her third painting of the series, “Rush of Love”, she describes it as, “If you have ever been in love you remember the exciting start where you could feel it coming . . . like wind rushing around you (the smell of rain). There is nothing like it . . . when you find that someone who might be the one.”
#1 Top hit of the summer: Facebook is Not Real Life, by Kristin Dwyer. Within the first 3 days of publishing, there were over 400 hits!
In this article, Kristin challenges the reader to not compare herself with what she sees on Facebook. People always portray their best side, which may be real . . . but not the whole truth! Kristin quotes Steve Furtick, saying, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
#2 Top Hit of the Summer: Baggage Claim, by Stephanie Brubaker. Whenever Stephanie publishes an article, there are almost always about 200 hits by the end of the day!
Stephanie Brubaker, of Catch and Release Parenting, shares her insight and wisdom on parenting in a handful of articles she has published at On the Willows. “We must approach them ready to address and lovingly respond to their needs. It is remarkable how many unnecessary problems we can create by operating out of our past, and in our attempt to fix it, overcorrect and overreact.”
Last, check out a frequently published and well-loved contributor, Faith Gong. You will be entertained!
We look forward to an exiting new season at On the Willows this coming fall!