It’s a year since I kicked this thing off. Time to look back.
Flight sectors: 20
Airlines: Qantas, Emirates, Iran Aseman, Olympic, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand
Airports: CBR Canberra, SYD Sydney, DXB Dubai, IKA Iman Khomeini Tehran, THR Tehran Mehrabad, SYZ Shiraz, SIN Singapore, MEL Melbourne, ATH Athens, ITR Santorini, WLG Wellington, IVC Invercargill
Countries: Australia, Iran, Greece, New Zealand
Road trips: Shiraz to Yazd to Isfahan to Kashan to Hamedan to Tehran, Athens to Delphi to Itea (and return), Canberra to Gold Coast (three times)
Sea voyages: Piraeus to Santorini, Bluff to Oban (and back)
Highlights: Persepolis, Delphi, Santorini, Stewart Island. And travelling First Class on Emirates, of course.
Page views: 2 196
Top post: Ninja Gig at the Bell Tower
Another year, and I’m back on the Gold Coast, visiting family, sheltering from the heat, enjoying a water view, eating and drinking far too much. Writing another post that few but me will read.
I’ve written a lot, uploaded a bunch of photographs, researched a heap, and maybe a handful of people a day read my stuff.
Kind of discouraging really.
On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed myself, and I’ve worked out things that work and things that don’t.
The biggest factor in success, it seems, isn’t how brilliant my writing is, or how dazzling my photographs. It’s whether or not a post somehow finds a way to a wider audience. Fully a third of my year’s pageviews came from the one post that was mentioned in Amanda Palmer’s blog. Add in two more that were picked up in some way by others, and that’s more than half of my traffic in three posts.
I’ve spent a lot of time looking over other travel blogs. So much effort and talent put in, and yet they all seem to be much the same. Bright and bouncy travel tips, perfect itineraries for this and that destination, photographs of churches and meals and beaches. And there are literally thousands of them. How can I possibly stand out from the pack?
I tried something different a few months ago when I was researching my trip to Santorini. I hunted up a few blogs, found some that were packed full of solid information, and quoted three of them. This seemed to work out well.
More recently I’ve refined this model. If I find a piece of travel news or a blog post that I like and fits in well with my own travel experience or philosophy, I’ll link to it with a paragraph, a low-res image, and a few hundred words of my own text. One of these was my second most viewed post.
I’ll continue to write my own posts, but I think I can provide a far more useful resource through curating a stream of interesting, useful, and above all non-boring travel content.