So Xmas time pretty much marks the 6 month anniversary of this site. The last 6 months have been cool, I’ve met some really nice people, both on and off line. I’ve read and lot and written a lot. Most of the articles and posts I’ve read have been pretty awesome, the stuff I’ve written I’m mostly happy with … kinda. But even after 6 months of posts, analytics updates, comments, resized images, research, tweeting, facebooking, SEOing … I really still don’t feel as if I have that much of a clue as to what I’m doing. HELP!
I don’t really have that much of a plan with the site, and maybe that’s my first mistake. It’s fun, it’s a hobby, I like the online backpackers community feel and I like the London travel meet ups. I make the odd bit of cash through advertising and maybe one day someone within the travel industry will actually want to employ me, but for now I’m just trundling along and writing whatever comes to mind in the hope that it might inspire someone out there, or at least spark a conversation.
Have I inspired anyone? Maybe, hopefully. I get re-tweeted on twitter and I get comments on my blog, but there’s still this feeling that if I knew more about travel, blogging, seo and ultimately knew more people within the industry, I could be doing a lot better than I am. But what exactly is better? How is better measured? What is the norm after 6 months? Someone grade me or something, i cant deal with not knowing if I’m on the right track or making a total hash of this blogging ting.
I worry a lot in general, so maybe I’m just being stupid, and it’s only been 6 months for Christ sake, but there are some things I just can’t get out of my head.
- Does my site look like a travel blog?
- Do people disregard my site as I work 9-5 in cubicle hell?
- Why don’t all my posts get comments, is my stuff boring?
- Why is the average viewing time on my site only 2mins, again is my site boring?
- Why do I only get 10 hits on some days, is my SEO rubbish?
- Are most of those 10 hits from my mum and dad and in reality I don’t really have any readers?
- Will my girlfriend ever stop buying shoes? … sorry wrong list.
- Where exactly should I be at this 6 month point?
- Where were other bloggers at the 6 month point?
AM I HAVING FUN?
Ultimately I suppose I need to ask myself am I having fun, beacuse thats what matters right? … and the answer would be yes, of course, travel and writing are something I love. I may not be great at the writing part, but with practice hopefully I’ll get better. I may not know where I’m going exactly, but writing this blog is something I find a lot of fun. Should the stats really matter, probably not, this isn’t a computer game where if I don’t get the required number of site hits per month I’ll lose a life, and losing 3 lives won’t mean its game over and that I can never blog again … but it’s always nice to know people are reading your work.
Well I carry on don’t I, slightly blind as to where I’m going and what the future holds, but I shall not be stopping any time soon. Why would I, as I said I’m having fun. I’ll have ‘bad’ days where I check google analytics only to find that just two people have visited my site on that day (hi mum, hi dad), but i’m trying to learn (slowley) that its not all about stats. I think a lot of newbie bloggers fall into that ‘trap’, they want to know what people are reading their work and reading it NOW. They need a way of measuring how they’re doing compared to the big boys. I think the sooner I personally learn to get through a 24hr period without check my klout score or number of facebook likes, the sooner i’ll be happier all round with the way my blog is working out. I cant let stats ruin my mood or put a dampener on the work i’ve done so far.
I’m not exactly sure what next year will hold (hopefully Grenada and Istanbul), but whilst I’m still seeing different parts of the globe I shall try my damn bestest to help and inspire, even if I do get some (probably a lot) of things wrong in the process.
Part of the reason the site is what it is today is because of the people that have helped, encouraged and inspired me. This isn’t much, but I’d just like to say a few thankyou’s to some awesome people I’ve got to know this year. I really have no idea what I’m doing but thank you for reading and helping me and getting me to where I am today in this blogging universe.
@25travels – for just being cool and helping me start out as a blogger. Advice, support, banter he’s got it all. Someone you should get to know.
@Pckyourpassport – Inspiration for my ‘You sound like you’re from Laaaadan (London)’ post, making me feel better after sh*t days at work and for creating a blog that constantly reminds me of great my time in Oz was.
@bckpackerbanter – Inspiration for my ’2012 – uni or gap year’ post, great photo’s, surf chat and great all round banter … as you’d expect with a name like that.
@travmonkey – for footy chat, a friendly face at london blog meet ups and blogging encouragement.
@HikingHaven – for the most insane amount of RTs.
@Beatthebrochure – for my first ever blogging award. THANK YOU!
@xpackers – for getting me drunk and talking to people at my first travel massive meet.
@girlandtheworld – for inspiration and memories … ah Sri Lanka.
@ytravelblog – for publishing my first ever guest post. Felt like such a massive step.
@kelaussie29 – for great chat, interesting links and numerous retweets
@allytoullec – for rugby and Oceana related banter.
@thehogga – for making me laugh with her cool and slightly traumatic comics
@NEFootsteps – for sharing your ever so entertaining hostel episodes you constantly seem to be finding yourself in.
I’ve a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’ve missed someone, or maybe more than one person. But a huge thank you to anyone that I’ve spoken to this year regarding travel and blogging, I mean that and I hope we get to do it all over again in the new year!