August 2014: Recap and Updates
We are starting the month of September so I found it apt to do this Summary Post.
I really should be doing this every month – A Recap and Update on Things Happening in Our Life and On the Blog.
Summary of June – August 2014 :
June to August 2014 were productive months for us as we finished up posts on our Sydney Trip in May 2014 and finally on Aug 20th, Europe Trip 2013. I feel it’s incredible that we managed to finish writing detailed entries about eight countries in a year (Aug 2013 to Aug 2014)!
Believe me, it was lots and lots of hard work. I work on a post for hours most of the time, trying to beautify photographs into collages and still find information from sources to make my posts informative. Vin contributes but I had to help check his writing and put in the photographs for a visually pleasing post.
When we started this blog, it was for us to record our travel memories in stories together. We meant it to be a casual blog with personal experiences that could help readers with useful information too. Therefore, even if we could take it easy with just one photograph and one or two sentences in a short post, we rather enrich each post with “How to get there”, “What is the history/info about the place?”, “Where to find the official website and pricing” and “Our Tips”.
Because of our productivity and Vin sharing on travel forums, our readership has grown a lot since the time we started Travel.Snap.Stories Blog in April 2013. Most of the blog visitors still come for our Taiwan 2012 posts but I hope some of them would read our posts for other countries or stay on for future ones.
Google Analytical Stats So Far (1 Year 4 Months):
As a comparison on how our site has grown due to content posts, publicising on travel forums and social media, we could take a look at “Users” – Visitors that have had at least one session within the selected date range and “Page Views” In A Month.
Pages Views: 14,038
Pages Views: 17,586
Pages Views: 22,643
Pages Views: 20,740
Looking at the stats (149,317 Pages Views in slightly over a year), I was amazed. Really. I’m so thankful that blog visitors enjoy our travel posts and for the many views generated in a month. We do hope readership continue to go higher as we come up with more posts on our old and new trips! Racking my brains constantly for ideas!
It’s not about popularity as I don’t blog consistently enough. It’s that fuzzy, good feeling I get when I know someone out there enjoyed our writing and benefited from it. I’m glad to receive emails and kind comments from readers too. Everyone loves a pat on the back when they had put in so much hard work, me included!
Kind Mentions of Our Blog:
Travel.Snap.Stories boosted readership due to a few websites linking to us too. Thanks for helping us!
Discover.Book.Travel: We were listed on their Singapore Best Travel Blogs Page with several other travel blogs after they started a thread to collect travel blogs. I love this initiative as I got to read other travel blogs in Singapore. Bloggers are Readers too! Due to this, I got to know of their blog and started reading useful itineraries and ideas on where to go.
Mitsueki.com: She’s a pretty blogger with a large following but she kindly mentioned about us in a post on preparing for her Taiwan Trip, where she found my idea of using $2 pack-it bags from Daiso useful. Check out her travelogues!
Blue Mountains Official Website: We were contacted by them for two blog posts we written about Blue Mountains Australia. The posts Leura Village and Scenic World are up on their “news site” with several blogs all over the world. They extracted most of the blog post with pictures and linked to Travel Snap Stories.
Got A Blog Award in July:
Readership grew in July also because of an online blog competition we entered, the annual “Singapore Blog Awards 2014“. We were happy to be selected as one of the ten finalists in the “Best Travel Blog” category (out of more than hundred entries) and Omy.sg helped us a lot by putting our blog high up on the list to vote for.
Well, we didn’t win and we kinda expected that since our peers and relatives are not into blogging (hard to get them to vote) and even if we won, we couldn’t travel singularly which is a requirement. Still, we made an effort to rally for votes so thanks to everyone who voted for us! This award was a great boost to my confidence and fired me up. That moment, I felt it was a recognition for the hours I put in!
However, my computer broke down twice during June and the third time in July the night before our status for the Award was announced! It was frustrating for me to deal with all the computer problems and I was starting to give up, thinking maybe blogging is not for me.
New Comp For July
Things looked up as ‘someone’ thinks I should continue blogging because I was offered a new comp for replacement! Apple Care Support was truly awesome in helping me out. That’s why I fully support Apple Products. We are an “Apple Family” and owns two iPads, two iPhones, one iPod and one Macbook Pro. It has been a breeze doing my graphics and blogging on this new computer. Every process is so fast!
More Followers For Facebook Page
From June to August, we also manage to up our Facebook Page Likes to 59 from only 20+ before. I remembered I was thinking then, “Could the numbers be nicer and go over 30 so I can view some insights?” The next few months, we started getting new likes now and then!
Obviously, this is a small number but I’m still happy about it. Since I used it mainly to post Blog Update links, travel status and share links to articles I found interesting, this small progress is significant to me. It takes time to build a social media following and we need constant content. I need to think more about the materials I would like to share on Facebook.
1) August 30th: New Camera!
We finally got a new camera for our upcoming travel. This has been a plan for a few years since we discovered that our Panasonic GF-1 is falling behind in taking good detailed shots of scenery far away. The pictures are still great but most of the time, it’s due to me enhancing the lighting using Photoshop. Scenery pictures are often not detailed enough with some distortion in the background. As we are not blogging with large pictures, we thought it was alright to continue with our 6 years old camera.
Lately, it got worse when lines started appearing on the LCD screen, obstructing our view of the picture. We finally decided to get a new one yesterday. After one whole day of visiting four locations, talking to many people and getting a feel of the choices we have, we upgraded to a Nikon 5300 DSLR kit with zoom lens 18-140mm! We were glad for the advice given by the sales staff who was knowledgeable and helped us made the choice. In addition, we bought a prime lens 50mm so we could get clarity in low light.
The important thing now is learn how to use it and get more practice before our end of the month trip!
2) Those Side Stories: Bali
After thinking hard on how to share our past travel stories, we decided to share them as “Short Travel Stories” with some photographs taken and place them under “Those Side Stories” category. I made this category to write short travel tales of interesting things we experienced.
- September: I would be sharing travel stories of Bali (ten years ago) on alternate days. Look out for them!
3) Photo Essays
Photo essays are great to show photographs from past travels with minimum information. This suits my sharing since we couldn’t remember what we did exactly in details but we remembered the feelings about the place. It had been too many years.
- Photo-essay short posts coming up: The Natural Sights of Bali and Temple Tour in Bali.
4) Japan Travel Memories
I did a simple travel scrapbook for our couple trip to Japan in 2007 and it is still preserved very well now with our travel thoughts written.
This was a memorable trip as it was the first time we planned our own itinerary thoroughly for the seven days we were there. It was the precursor to several itineraries that we built for recent trips.
I thought it would be nice to type them out as blog posts and share the interesting photographs we took in Japan. As it was 7 years ago, some data might not be as accurate so I rather put them as “Travel Memories”- online copies of what we wrote.
Sharing Every Friday:
- Travel Scrapbook of Japan- Tokyo and Hakone
- Japan Memories #1: Flight to Japan and Hotel Stay
- Japan Memories #2: Akihabara Impressions
5) Video Posts
With iMovie, it’s easy to create a collage video of our travels and I hope to do a video montage each of our Europe Trip and Sydney Trip (Yes, we do take videos!). Otherwise, I might just share some short clips we took.
Lastly, I would like to thank you readers, for reading our posts and supporting us. We aim to write more engaging stories and travel tips for this blog as much as we can!