A year in numbers
A year ago I was at home, and bored with the limits put on our travels by the pandemic. Travel outside the UK was clearly going to be off the agenda for a while yet, so what to do? Maybe this was the perfect time to start a new challenge, one I had been considering for a while. I would launch a blog!
The aim was to showcase my twin passions of travel and photography. I had done so in the past elsewhere; photos on Flickr and Instagram, of course, and writing on the now-defunct Virtual Tourist and on TravellersPoint, a blogging site. But now it was time to spread my wings and develop my own site.
I called it ‘Travel with Me’, a strapline previously used on my Virtual Tourist homepage, and on 30th August 2020 published my first post, Meeting Leo. Little did I know then that the blog would become something of an obsession, and that the theme of encountering interesting people on my travels, like Leo, would run like a thread through many of my posts.
- I have published 252 posts including this one
- Received 3,333 comments
- Acquired 259 followers (241 on WordPress, 18 email subscribers)
I discovered the world of blogging challenges a few months after that first post, in October 2020, and since then:
- I have participated in 15 different blogging challenges
- Posted 180 individual posts in response to challenges
- Guest-hosted 1 challenge (Bird Weekly)
- Become a co-host of 1 challenge (Friendly Friday)
Some more numbers:
My most popular post to date based on likes: My love of travel https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/my-love-of-travel-some-special-moments/, with 46 likes
That’s also the post to have received the most comments to date, 34 (I’ve subtracted my own replies from the total of 64)
The next most popular are:
2. Birds with long tail feathers https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/bird-weekly-52-birds-with-long-tail-feathers/
3. Yellow big and yellow small https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/gallery-yellow-big-and-yellow-small/
4. Reflecting on birds https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/gallery-reflecting-on-birds/
5. Welcome to my wonderful world https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/gallery-welcome-to-my-wonderful-world/
But if I judge posts by the number of views, a different pattern emerges:
1. Carnival parade in Praia, Cape Verde https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/carnival-parade-in-praia-cape-verde/ (boosted by a strange flurry of interest from Cape Verde residents!)
2. In for a penny: a visit to Kew Gardens https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/in-for-a-penny-a-visit-to-kew-gardens/ (a very recent post, so surprisingly high)
3. A warm welcome in the Thar Desert https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/a-warm-welcome-in-the-thar-desert/
4. My ‘Who am I?’ about page https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/who-am-i/
5. Mountain, desert, jungle or ocean https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/gallery-mountain-desert-jungle-or-ocean/
I have written posts about 36 different countries, from Belize to Zimbabwe.
My blog has been visited by people from 139 different countries. The ‘top ten’ are
2. United Kingdom
9. South Africa
Single hits have come from as far afield as Fiji and the Maldives, and closer to home from Jersey and Latvia.
And if Google Analytics are accurate, I have had nearly 20,000 page views since I started the blog!
So that was the first year – let’s see what the next has in store …
Greats Stats Sarah, well done. I’m not sure if I’m up to doing all that maths on mine! Anyway always enjoy reading your posts.. keep calm and carry on blogging 😁
Thank you Alison 🙂 WordPress stats are a good source of info like this. And I’m a bit of a spreadsheet nerd – I have a list of published posts and keep track of likes and comments so I can assess what is popular. Having said that, I usually just post what I like to share rather than what I think people want to see, so I’m not sure what purpose it serves other than to make these sorts of calculations possible 😂
Haha, well you’re doing a good job. I find my shorter posts are more popular, maybe people just like to skim through them. It must be hard if you have so many followers to go into each of them every day I suppose
Oh I don’t go into all of mine every day – do you try to do that? Quite a few of mine are people I’ve never interacted with. I guess they have just followed me in order to get me to do the same but I only do so if they interest me 😉 I read a good post from Hugh (https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2021/07/26/looking-to-save-time-when-blogging-here-are-5-things-that-worked-for-me/ – read point 4) reassuring me that I needn’t feel guilty if I didn’t read everything that everyone else wrote! But I try to check in with my main followers’ blogs at least every few days 😀
Yes I read Hugh all the time, I go into most likes I get and have a look at their website, although O do have some very bizarre followers that I steer clear of.
I find it very odd that people like comments I’ve made on other people’s posts and not on the post itself. Very bizarre
Yes I find that odd too, and it tends to be the same one or two people most of the time. I just ignore them!
Congratulations, Sarah!! You have shared your wonderful photography and such fascinating travel stories. I started my blog last spring also (replacing an older website and blog) and it has been great fun. So happy to meet other bloggers like you – inspiring and interesting. Keep up the good work!
Thank you Ruth 😊 I’m so enjoying getting to know you and all the other friendly bloggers I’ve ‘met’ over the past year!
Congratulations on your incredible accomplishments, Sarah!! It couldn’t happen to a nicer person! And, by the way, I also love your camel and desert sands photo too!
That’s very sweet Sylvia, thank you 😊😍
Congrats for the big numbers, Sarah. Keep it up …I am enjoying the ride with you!
Thanks Teresa – likewise ❤
Thats big numbers for your first year, keep it up! 😁
Thank you, I will – it’s a bit addictive isn’t it?! Although with the prospect of at least some travelling on the horizon (off to Paris on Thursday 🙂 ) I may slow down a little …
Congrats on a great year! Glad you came over here, it’s been fun reading your various posts!
Thanks Anna – glad you enjoyed reading them! But when might I see more posts from you?!!
Lol I know…. I have all of our family Spain trip to write up but I’m just not in a creating mood lately. I am enjoying reading and learning so much more! Any spare time I have I read blogs of interest and I’ve been studying Spanish as well. Also just enjoying reading “real” books these days. I will get back to my blog one day I’m sure but for now I’ll read! X
Who knew the desert sand could be so picturesque? The camel photo attracted me the most. Well done on your blogging progress, Sarah. So far in just 12 months. Very well done!
Ah, that’s one of my favourite photos Amanda 🙂 Thank you for the nice comment, and also the encouragement over the past year, and welcoming me to the Friendly Friday team 😍❤
It is great to have you on board the FF team! You have already been a great asset!
Thank you 😍
Congratulations Sarah. You have a lovely blog and I have enjoyed many of your travel posts and hope to enjoy many more in the year to come!
Thank you Jude, that’s much appreciated 🙂
Congratulations, Sarah! May you blog for many more enjoyable years.
Thank you Janet 🙂
Congratulations Sarah! I know I’ve been so glad to find your blog and follow your adventures. You inspire me!
Wow, thank you Rose – the feeling is mutual! 😊😍
Congratulations Sarah! Seems like it’s been more than a year. The numbers show quite an accomplishment.
Thank you Sandy – it feels like more than a year to me too!!
What a first year – and it’s a 10 from me
Thank you Malcolm, and for all the help and advice along the way 🙂
I think you sussed most of it out yourself Sarah. It seems like you’ve caught the bug, which, as you know, can be both frustrating and rewarding, but at least you’re in control of what you want to do if the technology permits 🙂
I’ve definitely caught the bug! Even though at the moment I’m having some frustrating technical issues with pingbacks not working 😡😡
I’ve disabled them because they popped up when I didn’t want them. If you want to use them it will be frustrating I assume. I take it you’ve looked on the WordPress and Jetpack helplines.
I really could do with them working now I’m co-hosting a challenge, to help keep track of people who contribute (so I can thank and feature them). I’m way beyond consulting helplines and forums!! I’m currently working with a Bluehost engineer to provide specific examples so he can investigate as so far both he and the Jetpack team are stumped 🙁
Well done Sarah!great stats for a first year of blogging
Thank you Tanja, and again, happy sixth anniversary to you!
Well done – a great first year, and I’m glad to have discovered you early on. There was a time when WordPress, at the end of the year, would collate all the insights you’ve so painstakingly put together, but that was then, apparently. They haven’t done it for a few years now. I’m reminded that it also makes its own decisions about whether to follow my instructions about emailing me new blog posts by bloggers I follow. I’ve realised from your post that I haven’t seen any Bird Weekly posts in a while, and one of my commenters today has also dropped off the list. Grrr. Still, the blogging world is a good place to be, isn’t it, and you’re a great member of the WP team!
Thanks so much Margaret 🙂 It’s been great getting to know you over the past year! You’re right about the vagaries of WP but you can’t blame it for the lack of notifications of Bird Weekly posts as there haven’t been any. Lisa has been offline for a bit – I think she’s had lots of stuff going on. I did offer to host again but haven’t heard back from her as yet.
Ah! Poor Lisa. I’ll wait for her return then.
Hi, Sarah. Congratulations on your first year of blogging on WordPress.
Thanks Don , and for the initial encouragement and support 🙂
Incidentally, I’m not having to sign in by inputting my email address, my full name and my website URL! I notice then that my photograph doesn’t come up when the comment is uploaded (and I have to wait maybe a minute for this to happen).
Very odd isn’t it? Thank you for persisting, and for the congrats comment below 😊
And didn’t you do well! Congratulations on a great blog.
Anne Fraser @theplatinumline.blog
that is amazing, well done
Thank you Anne 🙂