I can’t believe this blog is turning 2 already. I feel like pinching it on the cheek and telling it how much it’s grown.
I’m making it an annual tradition to do a blog audit on each blogiversary. I know the work ‘audit’ sounds kind of serious and boring, but it’s actually rather fun to put into perspective all the things I achieved over the past year.
So I’ve spent the past few days analysing absolutely everything about this blog. I also took a look through my year one blogging roundup to compare this year to the last, which made me notice how much the blog has evolved (much like a Pokémon).
Here are some stats and my thoughts on everything that’s happened with AGWT in the past 12 months!
New York City, 2015
A few thoughts on the past year:
When AGWT turned one, I was frantically trying to sort out my move to the US.
Our initial move was a bit of a disaster, and I was feeling rather frazzled. Robert and I spent an unexpected month in Barbados, and I finally got my head back in the right place after we made it back to NYC in late August.
Living in the US has made it much easier for me to do more travel throughout the US and Europe. I went to Florida for the TBEX North America conference, did a bunch of weekend trips to cities all over the US, and just returned from a 3 week trip to the Nordics which included TBEX Europe.
There have been a few times over the past year where I’ve felt unsure about blogging, mostly because I just don’t know how long it will be before I can make it my full-time job. Luckily, my attendance at TBEX Europe resulted in some great ideas for monetisation strategies and a rough plan for the blog’s future.
In April, I also decided to take a Digital Marketing course with General Assembly in an attempt to get some training that might help me use my current blogging skills to get marketing work. I learnt loads in this course and am hoping that the hefty course fee will pay itself off sometime soon!
SOME STATS FROM THE PAST YEAR:
- Total pageviews: 328,532
(this is 2.5 times the pageviews from year one)
- Unique visitors: 219,788
(fun fact: one of these is you!)
- Reader demographics:
USA 59%, UK 7%, Canada 7%, and Australia 5%
- Social Media count: 19,500+
(this has nearly doubled from year one)
I didn’t really concentrate on growing my social media channels nearly as much as I did in my first year – mainly because I wanted to concentrate more on the quality of the content that I was producing rather than the amount of followers I had.
I think that was a smart move on my part. My pageviews increased by over 200,000 views, which I am absolutely stoked about, and I believe that it’s mostly because I made an effort to create posts with more valuable content. Content is king, as they say.
MOST POPULAR POSTS:
- How to make travel your career
- 12 essential activities for a weekend in Boston
- 12 essential activities for a weekend in San Francisco
Strangely, the same post that was number one in my first year held first place for the second year, also. This assisted my decision to change the blog direction a bit in the coming year (more deets on this later in the post!).
Number 2 and 3 were both weekend guides to US cities that I posted in the first half of 2016. This is an interesting insight to my audience, I think – last year, 49% of my visitors were from the US, and this year that number has grown to 59%. It may be because Americans often travel domestically that these city guides appeal to them the most.
The majority of my traffic has come from my Pinterest account, and these top 3 posts are so popular because they keep getting pinned. As Pinterest has been working so well for me, I’m making the platform a priority for me over the next year.
WHAT’S COMING UP FOR AGWT:
During my blog audit, I went over what’s doing well, what could be improved, and what I probably should drop.
From now on you’ll be seeing less of these:
- Photography posts
- Blogging and Social Media posts
- My stories and opinion posts
And more of these:
- City destination guides
- Country destination guides
- Travel planning tips
- Work + Travel posts
I know some of you might miss the blogging and photography posts, so I won’t be cutting them out completely, just posting less of them. I want to create content that is relevant and long-lasting, and it seems that my work + travel posts, travel planning tips, and destination guides are what the most people want to read.
Something else I’ve been thinking about doing is creating more of a community. Now that I have a more focused niche, I’m considering creating some sort of group for people who are interested in working in travel.
I may also start taking guest posts or do interviews with people who have some insight on working in the travel industry so that I have more content that fits in the work + travel category (do you currently work in the travel industry? If so, give me a shoutout!).
As for my Etsy shop, I’ve phased out the wedding stationery designs and instead I’m going to design more travel-related products. I think this is something I should have done a while ago as I really should tie together my two online businesses!
Thanks a bunch, peeps! I hope I get to see more of you all here on AGWT over the coming year!
You might also like:
Latest posts by Ashlea Wheeler (see all)
- Things to do in Newtown: Sydney’s coolest neighbourhood - 15/05/2018
- Why you should drop everything to travel in your 20s - 01/05/2018
- How to score freelance Travel Writing jobs - 17/04/2018