NatureCoaster has its best year ever in 2022: Here’s a recap

By Diane Bedard Posted on December 29, 2022

What a year 2022 has been. We have had sickness and health, fun and work, and lots of growth and great things happening at NatureCoaster.com – thank you for joining us.

Our readership (users) grew to over 207,000 and our pageviews grew to nearly 250,000! These numbers are nearly double what they were in 2021, which makes us really, really happy.

We culled our email subscription list, removing those who haven’t interacted with our content much and it has resulted in some great open rates (28-33%+) and click through rates (8-13%).

NatureCoaster.com Site Design Improvements

We had our site redesigned to help you find more of our content, including moving featured events to the homepage and adding a Video of the Week section, thanks to our wonderful web design firm, Kelp. Kelp is a local web agency in Brooksville that built, improves, and maintains NatureCoaster.com so I can concentrate on our purpose and mission.

We updated the Search functions to help you find more things when you are here and improved the Directory Search Function so you can get what you’re looking for quickly and easily.

We have added a full page of Photo of the Day here.

And now we have Video of the Week, which is included in the sidebars too!

YouTube video

We added ad slots to help us grow so we can stay financially viable without outside advertising or ad services. It is time-consuming and expensive to retain inside sales, but it gives us more control over the quality of ad content, which is part of maintaining the quality of the overall experience of NatureCoaster.com.

Partners of NatureCoaster.com support our Mission

We have had some amazing partners join NatureCoaster, as well as renewals and increased partnerships by nearly all of our partners. These include the Southwest Water Management District and the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, Discover Crystal River, Florida’s Adventure Coast, the Tampa Bay History Center, Justin Noe Real Estate, and the best businesses, events and organizations on Florida’s Nature Coast.

Our advertisers and partners are having wonderful returns with an average of over 100,000 views of NatureCoaster.com partner ads monthly, and 5,000-10,000 views per individual partner.

We invested in a better server mid-year, which has sped up the site and improved our numbers dramatically. Thanks again to Kelp for facilitating this.

We Bought a Mermaid!

We made an investment in our community, by sponsoring a mermaid on the Mermaid Tale Trail, which will debut January 12 at Weeki Wachee Springs and then be moved to its permanent home in Anderson Snow Park. Jesse Simon was the artist who painted Nico and the Band. I can’t wait for you to see it!

NatureCoaster.com sponsored a mermaid statue for the Mermaid Tale Trail to be unveiled January 12.

NatureCoaster Feature Writers continue to Win Awards

Last, but not least, we continued to bring you AWARD-WINNING features by quality writers. As members of Florida Outdoor Writers Association, we entered several of our 2021 features in their Excellence-in-Craft competition and won!

In 2022, Diane Bedard won 1st place in Conservation with Leaving a Natural Legacy in the Family Tradition: Heartwood Preserve. Sally White won 1st place in Family Participation in the Outdoors with Hidden Creeks, Secret Springs: A Baird’s Adventure on the Chassahowitzka River and Diane Bedard won 2nd place with Finding Fossils in Florida – A Peace River Adventure. Sally White won 1st place for her photo Curious Manatee at Crystal River Refuge and Diane Bedard won 2nd place in Outdoor Human Interest with What’s Happening at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park and 3rd place for All About Captivating Crystal River.

It’s Time to Get out and Festival!

Sally White and Diane Bedard were giving away Nature Coast regional maps and NatureCoaster.com stickers at Art in the Park March 13, 2022. Image by David Collins.

We printed a Map and Area Guide in 2022 and went to several festivals to hand them out and raise awareness of NatureCoaster.com, signing up new NatureCoasters, selling hats and giving out stickers with the maps. It’s been rewarding meeting you and welcoming new people into the fold, so we are going to do it again. Plan to visit us at the following festivals in 2023:

  • Florida Manatee Festival, Jan. 14-15
  • Kumquat Festival, Jan. 28
  • Floral City Strawberry Festival, March 4-5
  • Art in the Park, March 11-12
  • Brooksville Blueberry Festival, April 29-30
  • Florida Emancipation Celebration, May 20, and the
  • Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival, October 28.

NatureCoaster’s Most Popular Feature Stories from 2022

We exist to connect you with the best of Florida’s Nature Coast and our feature stories are the foundation of how we do it. These are the most popular feature stories from 2022 for your reading pleasure.

Thank you for making 2022 our best year ever! You ROCK!

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