45 Blog Posts
659 Total Users
133 Instagram Posts
85 Instagram Followers
0 Sponsored Posts
These are all items meant to qualify how “successful” our blog and Instagram have been in the past six months. By most standards, these numbers are pitifully low.
But let’s back up for a bit to talk about where we started, and then we can move forward to talking about where we are today.
We started this blog back in April of this year (our first post was April 2), after completing much of the site setup in March. We wanted this thing to be truly organic; we’ve never “bought” Instagram followers or interactions, never hired photographers or any assistance to “curate” this space, and we’ve never even shared that we were doing this with our friends and family to garner traffic.
We’re clearly not experts on this whole blogging thing.
And that’s okay.
Our goal is not to spend hours of our travels photographing things solely for the blog, nor is it to travel places just to write about them. We’re not trying to gain the attention of brands just so they’ll send us free stuff or sponsor a post. We both have full-time, Monday through Friday jobs, and that combined with our love of travel and other hobbies doesn’t leave much time for carefully planned photoshoots or pages-long content. We started this blog with the intentions of sharing what we’ve learned while traveling, and also what those things mean to us when we return home. Ultimately, we want authenticity to fill this space.
We’ve learned quite a bit over the past six months; some of it surprising:
Blogging is time-consuming. We knew of course that it would take some time to create content, set up the site, and manage our Instagram, but we’ve found that it takes up more time than usual. Diving into the past and reliving our travels for posts has been the best unexpected perk, and totally worth all of the time invested.
I’m reading more blogs than ever. This probably comes in a close second to getting to relive our past travels. I love reading posts from a variety of bloggers all over the world, particularly style blogs, as I love to get a sense of what others are wearing for when we travel the world. I’ve also found that there is a great, warm community of bloggers out there who are doing wonderful things.
Our most-viewed posts have less to do with travel. This was surprising to me; some of our highest-reaching posts include wish-lists, packing-lists (yes, this is travel-related, but heavily clothes-oriented), and our post about moving.
Photography is as important as writing. It makes complete sense, so I’m not sure why it surprised me. With our attention spans getting shorter we need to grab a potential reader’s attention quickly; a photo is much more engaging than words on a page. This is something we plan to work and improve upon over the next few months.
Readers from all over. Since we love travel so much, this has been the most exciting part of reviewing our site analytics. From the beginning, we’ve had visitors from over forty countries reading (more countries than we’ve ever visited!).
Consistency is key. While we never want traffic solely for the sake of traffic, we do want our words to reach people, rather than just floating off into the abyss of the internet. Having a Monday and Thursday posting schedule helps keep me accountable and also allows me time to write over the weekends. Consistency also seems to hold true on social media as well, particularly on Instagram.
Comments are exciting. I definitely get that feeling of excitement when the email comes in from WordPress asking me to moderate a comment. Comments mean that people are actually reading (i.e., the whole point of being here).
What’s to come in the next six months? Time will ultimately tell what happens, but here’s what is in the planning stages:
Participating in a 10×10. As I understand it, Lee of Style Bee and Caroline of Un-Fancy will be kicking off another 10×10 Series this Friday, October 6. 10 articles of clothing will form 10 outfits worn over 10 days. I typically pack similarly to this formula when we travel, but I often will repeat looks since we rarely see the same people twice in a new city. I’m looking forward to the challenge of doing this at home, where I will need to make sure each outfit is completely different. I’m still selecting my garments, but I think I will do this over ten working weekdays. I would actually prefer not wearing workwear, since it doesn’t always feel like my style, but it is what seems most realistic when wearing things at home.
Site features. We’re working on adding a map showing all of our travels and also some quick links to good coffee shops and restaurants we’ve visited. Down the road, I’d like to put together some city guides, but those won’t be ready for awhile.
Holiday gift ideas. It’s getting close to that time! A little later this season I will be sharing some travel-related ideas to get your loved ones.
More packing list posts. These are some of our most-viewed posts, and these are the types of things I search for when I visit a new city (especially a less-touristed one). I’ll be sure to let you know how my clothing choices work out for me in those cities.
Additional recipes. We’ve got a few yummy ones in the works, including a couple of simpler ones and a weekend project or two.
Travel product reviews. There are some products I’ve purchased for traveling that I feel I can’t live without, and others I’m ready to replace. I’d like to share my thoughts on these occasionally.
Home and home-life posts. We are actually home pretty often, and we’ve put in a lot of effort into making our new home cozy and perfect for us. We may add a post here and there with updates on how things are going.
What we’d really like, though, is feedback. We’d love for you to leave a comment letting us know things you’d like to see in this space, or any questions you may have (plus it will make me really excited, remember?).
Seriously about the feedback! We’d love to hear from you, either here if you’re shy or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you Friday for a 10×10 closet preview!