Looking Back at 2016

My mother once told me, the older you get, the faster time flies. She was right. The time between October 1st and the New Year gets shorter every year. It’s as if I blinked and we’re on the precipice of Valentine’s Day.

This is my first real post since taking a medical leave just after Thanksgiving. I owe big thanks to all my Cow Pasture Contributors and guest authors for helping to keep the conversations going while I was away. I hope you enjoyed their excellent posts.

I’m not at a hundred percent, but I’m getting there. In the meantime, I thought the best way to get back into the groove was to take a look back at 2016 in the Cow Pasture.

For the last couple of years, WordPress did a great job sending out an annual year-end review for WordPress bloggers. However, this year, they decided against it. So, I decided to do my own.

Mine isn’t as artistic as the one offered by WordPress, but it was definitely enlightening.

The Numbers:

In 2016, there were 167 posts published; growing the total archive of this blog to 480 posts. The most popular day for posting- Friday and the most popular time – 9:00 am.

Traffic to the Cow Pasture almost doubled with 10,086 views; 5,543 visitors. My longest streak was in the month of April when I participated in the A-Z Blogging Challenge – posting daily for 30 straight days. The busiest month of the year was July with 2062 views.

The most popular post was Dark Cloud Hovering, with the most views in one day, 341 and a whopping total 977 views. This post continues to be very popular with more than 1742 views on Stumbleupon. The post receiving the most comments: My Top Twenty Websites for Writers – 56 comments and 196 views.

How did they find Me? The top referring sites in 2016 were:

Reaching the World – One Word at a Time.

The Cow Pasture Chronicles reached more than 100 Countries and regions.

To all my readers, Thank you, and, particularly, those who took the time to comment, interact, and share. Feedback is the lifeblood of the blogging community. I encourage each of you when you read something helpful, inspirational, or thought-provoking- speak up, say something, comment and even debate. Communication, after all, is what brings us together.

Here’s to an even bigger and better year for all of us.



I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation. Talk to me or tell me your story. I’m all ears.

Keywords- Why are They Important

Day 11:  

All Bloggers are, theoretically, familiar with the term keywords. If you’re like me, understanding what they are and what they do for our blogs is still a mystery. I’ll admit, this is one area of blogging, I haven’t gotten a complete grasp on, yet.
Keywords are words or phrases used in search engines to find the information we’re seeking. For example, place any word or phrase (best is 3-5 words) into Google, Bing, or Yahoo and a list of content reflecting your topic will appear. Keywords are either short tail (one word) or long tail (a phrase). Every article or blog content can be reduced to a few key topics. The trick is to choose your keywords carefully. Common keywords will receive thousands of clicks per day, others a few. As a blogger, you want the find and use the keywords that increase traffic to your site.

How to Find the Right Keywords:images-15

  1. Research keywords.
  2. Keep track of your keywords in a spreadsheet – include the number of clicks per day.
  3. Don’t spam – using keywords arbitrarily.
  4. Write great content that people want to read.
  5. Once you find relevant keywords, place them where they’ll give you the biggest bang.

4 Keyword Mistakes:

  1. Too many keywords – best for search engines to use one per post.
  2. Using exact phrases – Google understands related words and phrases. Don’t be so rigid.
  3. Not using keywords in photos – photo optimization is essential.
  4. You don’t research keywords

Resources for Finding Trending Keywords:

Hubspot Download your SEO template to organize keywords
Google Adwords Keyword Tool
SEMrush.com & Market samurai – find out what keywords are competitive.
Keyword Finder

Where to place the keywords:

  1. Title.
  2. Heading and subheadings.
  3. Introduction sentences.
  4.  Concluding paragraphs and meta descriptions.
  5.  Title tag.
  6. In the text, you hyperlink to other pages.
  7. When you use photos, include keywords in the file name
  8. When you reference other links.

Want more information on keywords? Check out these articles:

  1. Blogtyrant : How to Easily Find the Best Keywords to Write About (and How to Activate Them).
  2. HubspotHow to Do Keyword Research for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide by  Rachel Sprung | @
  3. Shout Me Loud: The Importance of Keywords in SEO: A Beginner’s Guide by 
  4. Moz: Is Optimizing Photos More Important Than You Think?

So, what about you? Do you have a grasp on keywords?

A2Z-BADGE 2016-smaller_zpslstazvib

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilagood, and Contently