Exactly one year ago, I was sitting in my short term rental house in Cape Town, staring at the website I had created over the past 10 days. It was a nerve-racking moment as I wasn’t sure if my blog was ready to be unleashed onto the world wide web.
I had been contemplating starting a blog since 2013, but I was always too scared to take the first step. My 2 month trip to South Africa last year finally gave me plenty of time to think and prepare the blog I’ve always wanted to start.
So, this week marks a full year of blogging. It’s been an amazing year where I learned so much about the blogging world, and I have to admit: I love it!
I love this little space where I can document my travels and expat adventures and inspire my visitors to travel around the world. I have a full-time job (which gives me the opportunity to live in different countries around the world as well as travel quite a bit), so I’ve been a part-time travel blogger, trying to work on my blog every free minute of the day.
At times, it’s been a huge challenge and there have been plenty of moments where juggling my day job and the blog was extremely overwhelming, but I wouldn’t give up my blog for anything in the world.
The blog started out small and now has over 66 posts and 21577 unique visitors. I was a finalist in 2 categories at the Bloggies 2015 and gradually started working with brands in 2015, such as Viator, City Wonders, East Sussex tourism board and I recently became a Tinggly ambassador. Working with brands has been an eye opener and it’s made me more determined to take the leap and go professional.
Year In Stats
Stats are always interesting to check, so I included my blog and social media statistics that I’ve accumulated in the past year. Twitter has been the easiest social media platform to gain followers on. Facebook and Instagram were the hardest. I’ve only just started an account on Vine and Youtube, so those stats are pretty low (Youtube is 0).
Number of posts: 66
Number of comments: 220
Number of Unique visitors: 21977
Vine: 25 (just starting out!)
There are not too many ‘official’ achievements. I do count an interview, being featured and being asked to write as well as partnerships with brands as (personal) achievements, however, I’ve only included ‘official’ achievements here (awards).
- Nominated for best new weblog and best-designed weblog – the Bloggies 2015
- Nominated for the Liebster award
Things I’ve Learned After 1 Year Of Blogging
When I started this blog, I had no clue what was in store for me. I just registered my site, bought a template, personalised it and published my first post. These are 5 things I learned in the past year:
- It’s harder than you think! Content is not created in 1 hour. It takes hours of research, editing photos, proofreading etc… I can sometimes spend days on 1 post.
- It’s not enough to just create content. Social media is incredibly important, and you’ll spend even more time trying to grow your following than creating content for your blog.
- There are so many great blogs out there, it’s now harder than ever to stand out. I’m still trying to find my own niche in travel and a way to stand out. (Luxury adventure travel with a focus on photography)
- Blogging events are not only fun, but incredibly useful to build your brand and get your name out there. I’ve only managed to attend 1 blogging event (Traverse in the UK), and met some amazing people as well as learned so much through the numerous seminars.
- It’s always good to have support from friends and family. My boyfriend has been a great help and supporter throughout the year as well as my parents and sisters. It’s maybe a little awkward to tell your family and promote your blog to your friends at first. However, having people out there that believe in you and help you get your name out there is a huge help and I appreciate it tremendously.
I’ve started creating videos after my boyfriend gifted me a GoPro, so you’ll see more videos pop up on the site!
I’ll also start writing more content, as I’m now only posting less than 4 posts a month. I also have some exciting partnerships with some amazing brands coming up, and I can’t wait to share it with you!