Wow, where did that year go? A lot has happened, a job change, a family wedding through which I’ve gained a wonderful daughter in law, I spend far too much time away from Mrs E 😦 but through all this I’ve kept the blog going!
When I started a year ago, I really didn’t know if it was something I’d stick with, but the blogging combined with a new interest in photography has really inspired me, and made me more aware of things going on around me – so many times I’ve found myself thinking,”that’s a great shot, where’s my camera?” or “this could be a blog idea”.
However, as I look forward, it seems a good time to think about how the blog has gone, and whether it heading in the right direction.
A few facts and figures – I’ve made 39 posts, so this will be number 40; disappointingly I only have 27 registered followers, so I’m not really in a position to monetise it yet! But whilst my viewing numbers are not so great, (I average around 35 – 40 views per post), I do seem to reach a global audience (note to self – need to make friends in Russia):
Perhaps not surprisingly, until recently, the most viewed post was the very first one, but that one aside, the top views have been for:
But storming in above all these has been my most recent post 57 Hours, and so much to do! which as of this week leapt to the top spot!
The interest in the Greenland post is something that I’ve been particularly excited by – whilst it didn’t get a lot of views when I first posted it, its the one post that crops up regularly in my viewing stats – I guess there are not so many articles about Greenland in general, so there is less competition, and it is easier to find. Conversely there is a plethora of posts about my most featured subject, Dubai, so to get noticed becomes a great deal harder (for anyone wondering, as yet I don’t dabble in SEO).
My personal favourite is probably the ‘Mind your language‘ post – as the contents really do reflect my work experiences throughout my career; certainly if I could have given advice to my 17 year old self as I started work, it would have been to study languages for sure.
A close runner up would be 40 years of Atlantic crossings, which I posted after a trip to the US in November – I really enjoyed piecing this together from memories of many visits to the States over the years.
As for photos, they are a big part of the majority of my posts, and I’ve become very engrossed in the whole photography thing. My favourite picture from the past year would probably be this one from the Walking Edinburgh post. Edinburgh Castle was such a stunning subject, and the Spring colours combined with an active, early morning sky made for a very pleasing result.
This would be closely followed by this one taken in the Italian Town of Crescentino, from the recent post Home for the Holidays | Part 3, Out and About, I just love the colours and detail.
One major thing that I have realised is that whilst the original intention was to write articles inspired by my experiences as an expat, the reality is that this has played quite a small part; the real focus of most of the posts has been around my travels, so it has developed into more of a travel blog than an expat lifestyle blog, with a small diversion into guitars.
So what about taking expatsteveblog forward, where should the focus be? I do spend time looking at other blogs, especially travel ones, and find that most are written by travellers who are far younger than yours truly, so perhaps there are opportunities to look at travel for the not so young. The same goes for more general lifestyle topics – as I’m soon to hit my next major milestone birthday, I’ve been researching blogs aimed at guys of my vintage, and to be honest there really aren’t many. There are quite a few for women of my age, but men seem more reserved in this area, or the ones that are there are dedicated to fast cars or Harley’s, and if you have read my second blog post, Comfort or Speed?, you will know that neither of those are of interest to me.
There’s also the look of the blog – I’m hosted on WordPress, as it offers great templates, is easy to use and totally free, however a few months back I upgraded from their free package to a paid one. The instant impact of this was that my URL dropped the reference to WordPress, so that now it is just expatsteveblog.com. But I also gained access to a greater choice of templates and the ability to be far more creative with the look and feel of the site, although as yet, I haven’t had the time to delve into that aspect, but it’s on my ‘roadmap’ as we say at work.
So I have ideas, although time is always a challenge, but I’d like to think that over the next year, I can develop the blog further and build something that visitors will find both interesting and entertaining.
But to close this review of my blogging year, I want to thank Mrs E for putting up with my new hobbies, we can’t go anywhere now without me taking my camera! I also want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on the blogs, whether friends, family, bloggers, or people who have just stumbled across my pages by accident; your interest and time is very much appreciated; I hope to welcome you back to expatsteveblog again soon!