The Best of ProbablyRachel in 2013

As this year wraps up, I’d like to share with you some of my top moments and posts.

2013 was a big year for me blog-wise.

  1. First, I transferred to self-hosting to be able to steer my blog better, I also own my domain now. I still use (and love!) WordPress. In the process, I only broke my blog once. It was for about 30 minutes and that was two weeks ago.
  2. I joined the Refashion Co-Op to share my projects with other upcycling seamstresses. It didn’t seem like a huge commitment when I joined, just one contribution per month and I’ve made some great friends. Now I find myself wishing that I had more time with my sewing machine and Sally.

  3. ProbablyRachel got a Facebook page. It’s about freaking time! I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to like it since in my head most of you live on Twitter. But I found a pretty good audience on Facebook and I can put out more of those random things that aren’t really blog-worthy but I still want to have conversations on.
  4. Most notably, I went viral. It was a cool experience and I learned a lot from it. Only a few people yelled at me for my opinions (in a year-old blog post), overall everyone was pretty cordial.

Without further rambling, here are my top 10 blogs from 2013: Continue reading

How to Go Viral

(aka: Do what everyone wants to do while not actually doing anything.)

As a communications professional, social media enthusiast and blogger, I know that many have the goal of going “viral” and getting their name and content plastered all over the internet, being discussed in coffee shops and at water coolers all over the country world.

Everyone wants to go viral, but there’s no way to make your own content go viral. The virality of a blog post, video, picture, meme, whatever is up to the jury of the social public… and in the case of my own viral blog post, the media.

Here’s my story about going viral:

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a blog post about why people should take their shoes off in my home. It was infused with exasperation, sarcasm, fact, humor and a little bit of science. Shortly after writing the post, I got a few comments and one site reblogged it and that was the end of it. The post faded into the archives for many months. In fact, I had sort of forgotten about it. (I’ve published 452 453 posts on Probably Rachel along with numerous posts when I was a wedding blogger, several posts on my company blog and client blogs and a few guest posts… after awhile you don’t remember every single piece your write!)

A couple of months ago, I found out that an editor was doing a holiday story on the little shoes-on vs. shoes-off debate and was looking for some input. I sent her some answers and remembered the blog post when I was writing them, so I sent her a link as a little more explanation of what I was saying. A few weeks went by and I heard nothing. Then she contacted me and we talked about the article. She liked my post and wanted to know if she could quote it. She also asked if I could take a picture of my mud room.

The day that the AP released the story, I saw a big spike in blog traffic. That evening while Brad and I were out to dinner, I got an email asking if I would do a radio interview the next morning. I agreed and was on WBAL radio for about 1 minute that morning and they replayed my interview that evening. At the same time, an online news outlet decided not to reprint the story and instead talked about my specific blog post and linked to it, they claimed that it had gone viral.

At the time disagreed, simply based on the sharing and traffic. Sure there was a spike, but not viral by any means… after that article the post really did go viral. Large blogs shared the general story, a local news outlet shared the story but I think they intentionally left me out of it. I knew that I had gone viral when my friend saw the story posted on her cousin’s Facebook. A cousin who had no idea who I was!

I attended the Midwest Social Media Summit yesterday and going viral was mentioned once with the example of a 4-year-old video that went viral because it was “evergreen content.” This is content that is interesting or entertaining now as well as interesting or entertaining in a year, in 2 years, in 4 years and will probably still be interesting or entertaining in a decade.

Going viral comes about in many ways. For me the journey was this:

Write a funny post > forget about it > remember the post and use it as background for an interview > get quoted > interview on AM radio > have a news outlet across the country call you viral > actually go viral > get yelled at on the internet by a bitter old lady > then write a blog post about the experience > carry on with your life.

Brad keeps telling me to write a good blog post so I can go viral again next year. My dear husband has achieved viral status himself, quite some time ahead of me. A client snapped a picture of something at his desk and posted it to the internet and it spread more quickly than the flu.

Things that go viral are typically not marketing messages. They’re usually good content of some sort, be it a funny sign at your desk or a list of reasons to take off your shoes.

By the way, congratulations to Jess who won my Level Foods bundle and thank you to everyone who entered!

October Best ‘Betes Blog Awards

I’m super excited to share the October Best of ‘Betes Blog Awards with you today! Reading all of the nominated posts made picking a little bit tough because all of the d-bloggers out there are amazing.

Without further ado, here are some of the best posts from around the diabetes community: Continue reading

An Anniversary and a Facebook Page

Before I tell you my news about Facebook, I need to tell you why today is special…

Seven Years

Today marks seven years that Brad and I have been the couple known as “Brad and Rachel.” More or less, it’s been seven years since Brad told me that we’re humans.

Us in Cleveland in 2008. Long before we knew we’d get married and move here.


We don’t celebrate our dating anniversary specifically anymore, but I feel that it’s important to acknowledge that our relationship started long before we got married. Because of the way our life together played out, we dated for a long time and were engaged for a long time before we actually tied the knot and just because we’re Mr. and Mrs. now those years shouldn’t be forgotten.



It’s kind of a policy of mine to only be Facebook friends with people who I really know offline. Although I consider many people from the internet my friends, it’s just a personal preference.

After connecting with many blogs on Facebook and seeing how people connect with bloggers on that platform, I’ve decided that it’s about time that had its own Facebook page. Continue reading

Friday Five: This Week’s Tidbits

I’m extremely excited to announce that I am hosting the October Best of ‘Betes Blog Awards. I’ll be posting the winners on November 4th, so be sure to check back. I can’t pick winners without nominations though, so be sure to send in as many nominations as you’d like, as long as you don’t nominate yourself, by November first. You can email your nominations to, send a DM on Twitter to @bestbetesblogs or fill out the form at, be sure to include:

  • Your name and a link to your blog if you have one
  • A link to the specific post you’re nominating
  • The category you’re nominating for

Here’s a link to the info, category list and a history of the Best of ‘Betes Awards: One NEW thing that’s being tested out this month are Commenter Shout Outs. If you have received amazing comments on your blog from someone or have seen amazing comments around the DOC, shout those people out. You can submit them for a shout out by sending them in like a nomination, Submit that person’s name and link to that person’s blog, Twitter, etc. if you can.  Here’s an example of a shout out submission that I might send:

Rachel ( wants to shout out Sprinkles (link to Sprinkle’s blog/Twitter/Profile) for awesome blog commenting.

The blog posts that get nominated each month are awesome, but so are the conversations that are generated in the comment sections by other people, even if they don’t blog. The idea of comment shout outs isn’t to drive traffic back to your own blog post, but to recognize each person who strengthens the conversation. Need to nominate a great blog you’ve read? Go here. Need to find a great blog to nominate? Check out my blogroll, there are some fantastic writers there. I can’t wait to check out all of the nominations!

This Week

Here are some tidbits from this week:

  1. I have exciting things happening on the blog, including hosting the Best of ‘Betes Blog Awards on November 4th. I have a couple of giveaways coming up, one of them starts next week! Continue reading