2018 In Review - Swimming Pool Steve
I like to write a year end recap every year. This one more than any other year I have good reason to make attempts to bring my readers up to speed on what is going on with me and the Swimming Pool Steve Blog. I am continually amazed with the growth of this blog, and how many readers I am able to reach with both the blog as well as the Swimming Pool Steve YouTube Channel. For example, last year I posted about how my YouTube channel reached 1,000,000 views which was a pretty big accomplishment. It took almost three years to reach a total of one million views...well in 2018 alone I had almost 1.5 million views - things sure are heating up around here!
In addition to record numbers on my YouTube channel, a similar situation is unfolding with my Swimming Pool Steve Blog. The readers of my website directly have more than doubled from last years numbers which safely puts this website into the top tier for biggest and most trafficked swimming pool websites on the internet - very cool! Readers of my pool product reviews went on to purchase over $650,000 USD of products from Amazon.com which I think is impressive considering this only counts people that bought items within 24 hours of reading my product reviews. Likely the real referral numbers are many times this value when you factor in people who took longer than 24 hours to purchase. I think I can say without question now that I am an authority for swimming pool and spa equipment referrals and recommendations at this point.
One of the biggest highlights for this year was competing in the 2018 Pleatco Perfect Pool Guy Contest. I was very honored to end up winning the 2018 Industry Leadership Award which included a trip to Las Vegas to the International Pool & Spa Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center over Halloween. It was an amazing experience as well as an honor to be selected by Pleatco, as well as being voted for, and nominated by, hundreds of my peers, friends and family members. Thank you to everyone. I intend to carry on with creating more of the same content that you love and has made this blog so popular in 2019...however there is some dirty business we need to discuss.
With The Good Comes The Bad
Of course with karmic balance being what it is there needed to be something bad to counteract the otherwise amazing 2018 for me. I am continually taken aback and genuinely impressed with how many people read my blog and reach out to me to express their appreciation for the content that I have created. Through these interactions my social circle has widened considerably and I am now on a first name basis with hundreds of pool owners and pool industry workers from around the world. I appreciate and value these relationships and in a way I feel an obligation to let you all know about some things that I have going on in my life that are distracting from my ability to work on, and even write about, pools and spas.
If you are a regular reader of my blog then you probably already know that something is wrong with my health however I do not specifically discuss this at any point in the 800,000 words of content on this website. Unfortunately I received some news this year that was not great, but at the same time brought a great deal of clarity in an otherwise confusing and overwhelming situation for me. This year I was finally diagnosed with something called mixed connective tissue disease. MCTD is an overlap autoimmune disease with no known cause and, unfortunately, no cure either. While this is not exactly the news that I wanted to hear it was an answer for a lot of questions that I had.
I have been dealing with some fairly difficult problems stemming from this disease which has prompted me to make aggressive lifestyle changes. I chronicled these events and I have started another blog about healing through healthy eating as well as what it is like living with mixed connective tissue disease. MCTD is rare and I have yet to meet another person (including doctors other than internal medicine specialists) that knows what mixed connective tissue disease is or has heard of it before. Please take some time to look at this website and learn about MCTD. Every person who I can introduce to MCTD is a win for me. It is pretty isolating to have an incurable and debilitating disease that nobody has ever heard of before.
In short this new blog is about my struggle with mixed connective tissue disease and how I was able to somewhat reduce my symptoms by changing (drastically) the way that I eat. A lot of other people with autoimmune diseases report similar findings from changing their diet but this is still emerging medical science, and the type of diet that you need to try is incredibly limiting. This is one of the main goals from this new blog which is to show people how to cook AIP safe food that is also delicious.
AIP stands for autoimmune protocol which is the name of the elimination protocol developed by Dr. Loren Cordain, founder of the Paleo movement, that seems to help some people with autoimmune diseases. As one of the most restrictive diets you can imagine it sure was hard to get started cooking AIP safe foods and I hope this new blog will help other people like me. Feeling isolated and hopeless is a real problem with MCTD, or any incurable disease I would imagine, and I hope that I can spread both humor as well as healthy and delicious recipe ideas with other people in situations similar to myself.
Thank you for being a reader of my blog. I have no idea what I would do with myself if I did not have this. If you enjoy my Swimming Pool Blog and are wondering if my new blog is something you will want to read, I suggest you start with some familiar ground...and learn about these things you should NEVER say to someone with MCTD. I think you will enjoy the familiar flavor of my writing style.
Thanks again - See you next year!
6 Things you should NEVER say to your pool guy
Customer profiles you will encounter while working in the pool industry
Common personalities that work for every pool company
Famous people who could have been great pool builders
Celebrities who would be terrible at maintaining their own pools
Common mistakes that pool owners tend to make
Swimming pool myth VS. facts
If you want to continue learning about pools and spas from an industry expert follow swimming pool Steve on acebook , twitter and youtube