Blog Referrers: DesignSponge vs. WordPress

First off, welcome new readers! I’ve seen a big jump in readership over the last two weeks due to being featured in the Crafts/Home section of’s Recommended Blogs. Thanks so much for checking out and following my site.

Additionally, Design*Sponge featured my dresser-to-tv stand project as part of their Before & After series.  (You can see their post here and my original post here.)  This was super exciting as Design*Sponge, I think, is the best mainstream channel for design blogs.  It’s like if a YouTube video you posted of your cat jumping into a box was aired on HBO before Game of Thrones.  It felt pretty major.

It was awesome to read Kate Pruitt’s description of the project as well as the comments from readers.  Several of my friends have asked if the D*S post led to a huge increase in blog traffic, and I will admit that I thought it might – turns out, not so much.  My experience was that Design*Sponge doesn’t lead to a lot of click-through traffic.  Which is understandable: the “big reveal” appears on D*S, so there’s no motivation to see more of the project.  Also, my dresser may have received less exposure because it appeared after the jump (“below the fold” to use a phrase that won’t mean anything to anyone in ten years when all the newspapers are gone).  And, of course, it’s not like I made anything earth-shatteringly great – just a simple, practical modification that maintained the original look of the dresser.

In contrast, when this here blog appeared on’s Freshly Pressed page back in August (which I didn’t even know existed until it happened), blog traffic skyrocketed.  By ProjectPalermo’s standards, of course – this isn’t a YoungHouseLove-scale operation.

The benefit of DesignSponge, however, is that my project has been indexed in their Before & After section and will thus continue to drive a small amount of traffic as long as it’s there.  Freshly Pressed is short-lived glory.  To be specific, it’s the difference of hundreds of referrals from DesignSponge and thousands from WordPress.  I greatly appreciate the exposure from both.

Oh, yeah: there’s also Pinterest.  After the D*S post I saw my dresser pinned from there, and there are also a few dozen pins directly from this site.  It doesn’t push a lot of traffic, but it’s cool to see all the same.  (By the way, you can follow me on Pinterest, if you’d like.)

No one is coming at me with sponsored post offers.  (Seriously, Howard Restor-A-Finish: let’s talk.  I am also open to sponsorship deals from: The Home Depot, Roku, Mitsuwa Marketplace, Rust-Oleum, Subaru, 3M Command Strips, Target box wine, United Airlines, Muji, Uniqlo, The Container Store, and pizza.  I will endorse any pizza.  Call me.)

Kidding, of course.  I don’t have any hopes for monetizing this blog.  It’s just fun to write, and fun to have you folks read it.  I’ll continue to work on better original content, improve my photo quality, tackle more projects and hone my DIY chops.  To that end, please check back soon for posts on building raised garden beds and installing a backyard shade canopy!

Welcome, new readers!

I was excited to see my bathroom makeover featured on’s Freshly Pressed today. If I had known this would happen, I probably would have learned to use my new camera’s white balance function before posting pictures. Nevertheless, I’m very happy you’re here and really appreciate all of the nice comments.

This is the first time people who don’t know me are reading my blog, so I thought a short introduction might be appropriate. My husband and I live in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, where we rent the top floor of a two-flat. I started blogging at our last apartment, where we lived for only a year, but have doubled-down on the blog since moving into our new place (described here, seen here, and floor planned here). I like to keep myself busy with projects, which I finish with varying levels of success; a few examples of projects that landed in the “Victory!” category are the catio portal, tv stand and recent kitchen makeover (not finished yet, but seen in progress in parts one and two).   Let’s see… what else? I post a few times a month. I cuss occasionally in those posts, but nothing that would make a sailor blush. I’m anxiously awaiting my first hater. I think that’s it!

Thanks for checking out my blog!