The Top 10 Posts of 2013

Here’s the thing about blogging:

Oftentimes that post that you think is going to rock the blog-o-sphere and send the masses in droves upon droves to your blog, and who knows, maybe Better Homes & Gardens will want to feature it because it’s the simplest thing but turned out cute-as-a-button, and then before you know it, you’re on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday just like Young House Love and, and, and {wakes up from irrational dream} well…it usually doesn’t happen that way.

Often, the post that goes “viral” on Pinterest or the one that gets insanely high traffic from Google is actually not what you would expect at all.  In fact, I can almost guarantee that you’d never in a million years guess my most popular post from this year.  It is not a craft tutorial.  Or one of my d.i.y. projects.  In fact, I didn’t even make it at all.  {Gasp.}

So, since I got a kick out of looking at my most popular posts from the past year, I thought you might enjoy this jaunt down memory lane, as well, dear reader!

Now, keep in mind, this list was compiled based on pageviews alone…so the term “popular” really just means “highest traffic.”  But one day, we should talk about the value of reader engagement and blogger passion over foot-traffic.  Because I think that’s a really worthwhile conversation.  Like maybe over chai lattes?  After a trip to Hobby Lobby?  Okay, it’s a date.

We’ll start at #10 and count our way down to that surprising #1 spot.  David-Letterman-style.  And to visit the posts themselves, click the titles or the photos.  Ready?  Here.  We.  Go!

The Top 10 Posts of 2013

The Top Ten Posts of 2013!  via thinkingcloset.com

10. Glitter Twine Ball Ornament Tutorial

Turns out I’m not the only one who is obsessed with rustic twine and glittery goodness and believes they should be happily married in tree ornament form!  Maybe we should form a Rustic Glam Club….  Who wants to be my co-President?

Top Referrers:  Pinterest & Spoonful!

DIY {Glitter} Twine Ball Ornament. Easy to follow step-by-step tutorial!

9.  New Mommy Survival Kit

I think just adding tacking the phrase “Survival Kit” onto the end of anything makes it an instant winner.  Whether it’s the Zombie Apocalypse or motherhood.  (They’re practical the same thing, right?)

Top Referrers:  Google & Pinterest

New Mommy Survival Kit!  Great gift idea to go in on as a group!

8.  20 DIY Chalkboard Projects

This is the first of many round-ups in this top ten list.  Clearly, people like collections…especially when those collections involve chalkboard!  (This is a trend that is here to stay, people.  I’m convinced.  So, let’s chalkboard-paint all the things!)

Top Referrers: Google, Pinterest, & DIY Home World

20 DIY Chalkboard Projects | The Thinking Closet

7.  16 DIY Baby Shower Gift Ideas

2013 was definitely a red-letter year for babies.  And clearly, it wasn’t just my friends who were procreating!

Top Referrers: Google & Pinterest

16 DIY Baby Shower Gift Ideas | The Thinking Closet

6.  IKEA Hack: Whitewashed Fjell Wardrobe with Pallet Shelves

This was one of my personal favorites from the year.  In part because its execution exceeded our wildest dreams and also because  Mark and I tackled this one together.  Go team!

Top Referrers: everything etsy, Better After, & Centsational Girl

IKEA Hack: Whitewashed Fjell Wardrobe with Pallet Shelves | The Thinking Closet

5.  Filing Fabric & A Fabric Organization Round-Up

If it weren’t for my blog buddy Hannah who invited me to be a part of her series, “Spring Clean Your Sewing Space,” I would have probably just left my fabric in a disorganized heap in my closet.  But instead, I filed it!  In my filing cabinet.  And I think that sort of perplexes people enough to click over from Pinterest.  {Smile.}

Top Referrers: Pinterest & apartment therapy

Filing Fabric & Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

4.  Practical Gift Ideas for Moving & Housewarming 

Another round-up of gift ideas!  (Are we noticing a theme here?)

Top Referrers: Google, Pinterest, & craftgawker

Merry Moving Kit & Other Practical Ideas for Moving or Housewarming Gifts | The Thinking Closet

3.  20 MORE Punny Halloween Costume Ideas

You have no idea how much it makes me smile to know my family and I aren’t the only ones who appreciate a good pun.  In the days before Halloween, my blog reached record high pageviews simply because of all the Google & Pinterest traffic for this post and last year’s punny round-up.  Even though it almost immediately died down after Halloween, it was enough to garner the top 3 spot for the year.  Now the question is, will I be able to come up with another punny costume round-up for next-year?  Hmmm….  I’ve always appreciated a worthy challenge….

Top Referrers: Google & Pinterest

20 MORE Punny Halloween Costume Ideas via thinkingcloset.com

2.  Burp Cloth Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist

This was a really simple sewing project, but it definitely was a favorite this year for beginners, veterans, and everyone in between.  If you can sew in a semi-straight line, you can do this project.  Trust me!

Top Referrers: All Free Sewing & Google

Burp Cloth Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist by The Thinking Closet

And the number one post on The Thinking Closet in 2013 was…drumroll…

1.  30 Gifts to Celebrate 30 Years

My parents and their amazing 30th birthday gift to me is the subject of my most popular post of all time.  By a landslide.  Not what you expected, huh?  Nearly every day, it’s my most popular post, simply from Google searches alone.  (I guess a lot of folk consider your 30th birthday a milestone worthy of celebrating…and Googling!  Go figure.)  Thanks again to my Mom and Dad for rocking my world and clearly the inter-web with this epic gift.

Top Referrers: Google, Google, and more Google

30 Gifts to Celebrate 30 Years | Creative gift idea via The Thinking Closet

Blog Divider - The Thinking Closet

And now, just in case you were curious…

The Most Highly Commented Upon Post of 2013 was…

1.  How to Revamp Your “About” Page

This post from back in February clocked in at a whopping 237 comments!  Wowza!  I’m in part indebted to The SITS Girls for featuring it over the summer and sending a ton of new visitors this direction.  It’s one of my own personal favorites of the year in part because I got to tap into my love of writing and the teaching of writing.  (Did you know I used to teach high school English?  You will after reading my revamped “About” Page!)

How to Revamp Your About Page - Practical Blogging Tips from The Thinking Closet

And My Personal Favorites…

Here were three posts that didn’t make the Top Ten list that were some of my personal favorites to write!

3.  The Art of the Surprise Note

I originally wrote this one as a guest post on Sweet Athena, but re-shared it with y’all here at The Thinking Closet this past February.  I feel like the concept of showing love in small ways like this is something I could write about for days….  Plus, I quoted Gandalf.  It’s a well-known fact that Gandalf quotes always up a post’s awesome factor.

The Art of the Surprise Note by The Thinking Closet

2.  My Week Unplugged & How It Helped Me as a Blogger

This past summer, we spent a week up in the northwoods of Wisconsin at Honeyrock Camp.  During that week, I committed to being totally unplugged from technology for all but one hour a day.  And it was the best thing I could have done for me and my blog.  In this post, I share what I learned, as well as some snapshots from our week at camp!

My Week Unplugged...and how it helped me as a blogger. By The Thinking Closet.

1.  Choose Your Own Adventure: Fall House Tour

Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure Books of your youth?  Yeah, they were my favorites as a wee lass, and I tried to recreate the same feel of that series, but the adventure was a house tour at our humble abode this fall and the main character was YOU, dear reader.  It took me more hours than I can recount to write this one (and seven different blog pages), but I thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn in the plot-line.  Hopefully you did, too!

Choose Your Own Adventure: Fall House Tour! (It's just like the classic books where you get to choose what comes next in the tour! So cool!) via thinkingcloset.com

Let’s Get Sappy For a Moment

When I study the charts and graphs on Google Analytics, I’m humbled by the growth my blog has experienced in year 2013.  Seriously, sometimes I pinch myself over it.  But the bottom line is this: I’ve been blessed with an audience of kind and faithful readers {like you!} who are the faces behind those numbers.  So, thank you for being such a fantastic audience and for offering a listening ear to my tales and tutorials.  You make this whole blogging endeavor truly meaningful work.

One More Thing

Were there any posts or projects from the year that didn’t appear in this list that were among your personal favorites?  If so, I’d love to know what they are!  My goal is to bring you even more quality content here in 2014, so your feedback is greatly valued.

I look forward to growing together in year 2014.

{You might see me at these link parties.} 

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Lovely comments so far...

  1. Sue says

    Hi Lauren, I am not at all surprised at your number 1 blog for 2013 being the “30 gifts for 30 years” blog. It’s the reason I came to stumble across your blog when Googling in the summer for “ideas for 30th birthday gifts” for my step-daughter. And I am glad to have found you! :-) xx

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Sue! I’ve often wondered if any of the Googlers stuck around for the ride. I’m deeeelighted to know you did! Thanks for your support and kind words. And have a very happy new year!

  2. Mom L says

    Just keep on doing what you do so well! I’m amazed at every post! Looking forward to another year of creativity from The Thinking Closet!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Mom! I so enjoyed all the baking and crafting and sewing we got to do together in 2013. Looking forward to more of that in 2014! More “just leave it” moments. :-)

  3. says

    I personally loved the dollar tree place cards with the animals, and the pirate-themed post, but then again I’m a dork, so what do I know! ;)) Oh, and your MOO Business cards! I swear I have the one you sent me sitting on my nightstand, fingers itching every time I look at it. They are definitely rad!

    I cannot wait to see what 2014 brings on this here blog – you are just so wonderful, Lauren, you deserve all the love and happiness in the (blogging) world!
    Here’s to hoping you have a fantastic NYE, and all the best for 2014!

    xx Johanna
    Dear Life, We Need To Talk

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Those are some of my favorites, as well! Dorks of blogland unite!

      Johanna, getting to know you and grow our friendship over this past year was a true highlight for me! You’re a gem and a half…and your support and encouragement mean more to me than you know.

      Happy New Year’s Eve, girl! And here’s to a new year full of joy and hopes realized. XO

  4. says

    What an amazing year for you, Lauren! It has been a pleasure watching your blog explode into such a mature site! My personal favorite was the choose your own adventure post. I spent quite some time going back and picking different options and thinking how creative you are! It was a real treat to read. Happy New Year and here’s to another wonderful year for The Thinking Closet!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Bethany, you’ve been with me since the early days…so your affirmations mean the world to me, friend. Thank you.

      Happiest of new year’s to you (and I know with your upcoming nuptials, the happiness factor is bound to soar through the roof!).

  5. says

    First of all, no one does delicious surprise like Fran. Second of all I would love to discuss crafty ideas over coffee or tea (let me know when you next in Australia :-) ). I loved the choose your own adventure post. Your blog is very eclectic and you are an extremely hard working woman. I am too so I know. I couldn’t get onto the 30 year link. Could you check your end when you have half a spare moment? i am planning many more knitting and crochet patterns in 2014 some for sale and others for free. I am glad I stumbled apon your webpage. Happy New Year!!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      1. “Delicious surprise” fits Fran to a T!
      2. It’s a date! (Seriously, I would love that. Same goes for when you’re next in Orlando, k?)
      3. So glad you enjoyed the C.Y.O.A. post, as well! I definitely need to do another one of those. It sends sparks flying around in brain to craft such things.
      4. I can tell you are hard working, Sharon. With a heart of gold. Such a stellar combination!
      5. Off to check that 30 year link you speak of! There were a lot of links in this post, so I was bound to mess up one of them. Lol. Thanks for the heads-up, friend. And happiest of new year’s to you!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Aw, shucks. Thanks, Abby! Your encouragements never cease to bolster my spirit, heavy-eyed though I am this Tuesday night (now Wednesday morning). And I hope you know I share the same sentiments for you and Just a Girl and Her Blog! I have a hunch 2014 is going to hold great things for you, friend.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      You’re the sweetest. Thanks, Marilyn! Wishing for you a 2014 full of rest, renewal, and special times with loved ones.

  6. says

    Wow- who knows what will go viral is right! But all your ideas are so This is so creative! I love how it turned out:) Lauren that it could be any one of them! What a fabulous year of projects – I’m so thrilled I found your blog this year and I’m looking forward to what you share with us in 2014:)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Krista, I am SO thankful to have connected with you this past year and to have gotten the opportunity to be a part of your amazing Christmas Party Tour hop. You’re one of those gems I cannot wait to meet in person at a blog conference one day (Haven? July 2014? hint hint) and tackle with an embarrassingly huge hug! Watch out…. ;-)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Annnnnd for the umpteenth time, Thalita gives me the warm fuzzies and makes me feel like I can conquer the world!!! I think I’ll tattoo this to my face for those days I need a boost of encouragement. Thanks, friend.

  7. Marmie says

    Congratulations on an AMAZING year of creativity that splishes and splashes onto all of us….and growth as a true blogger! Your dad and I are so proud of you!

    You know I love every one of your posts and learn more about you, or something new and fun to create, every time.
    I am totally overwhelmed that our gift to you had the most traffic…but it truly was the way YOU presented it that made the difference. I hope the 30 gifts in 30 days is blessing many 30 years old (and those of any ages actually) out there in our world!
    I know your blog and other social media sites are a blessing to MANY so may you be renewed and full of rejoicing as you go forth in 2014!!

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