Now that I have been doing this blog for 3 months (fine, I started mid February, but I would hate to remember that) it is time for an update. While I am not an expert in blogs, or website building, I didn’t start this blog just out of the blue. I did it with a goal and intent in mind, a “masterplan” if you will. However, as time progressed, I have found it necessary to modify some of the original plans (so much for ‘master’) to better fit the needs of my readers (all 5 of you) and my own physical limitations (explanations coming up). This is a no-frills (read: no pictures) list of the technical and stylistic updates since the inception of this site on Feb 13, 2013.
1) The website got its own domain in mid-March (www.travelworldheritage.com). I thought it would help my credibility, and have seen more traffic since! It might also be that I have more posts to choose from, but either way, it was a good move. I thought of doing this much later, but I am impulsive sometimes.
2) The “Kingdom Animalia” series will be discontinued after its fourth picture on May 4th, 2013. Why? I hate it and it sucks!!! Just kidding. Actually, quite the contrary. Besides Unesco World Heritage Sites, I love to travel to see, and hopefully capture animals and plants with my camera. I have such a stockpile of what I think are worthy animal pictures that I feel the need to share more of them more frequently. But, let’s be honest, this didn’t really fit the overall theme of this website. Long story short, I have decided to launch a new website sooner than expected: KingdomAnimals.com. While I wanted it to retain the “animalia,” that domain was taken!
and with that…
3) www.KingdomAnimals.com will be my secondary, strictly photo blog. If you love animals and plants, I will post 2-3 pictures a week of some cool animals I have photographed. While I prefer capturing animals in the wild, that is extremely difficult (for an amateur like me). However, I won’t try to trick you, and will clearly state where the picture was taken. I hope that this will make it easier for people to choose whether they want to follow a strictly “animal / nature” theme blog (the new one), or a strictly “travel” based one (this one). Hopefully, you will follow both. The website will be up in a week or two from the day of this post’s publishing, so don’t be disappointed if you go now and see nothing.
4) I am obsessed with stats. I don’t think most bloggers do this (because it is depressing), but I have been following the stats of this site since day 1. When I got my first follower (Lesley Carter), I was ecstatic. When I got 10 likes, it was awesome. Stupid, I know, but I am a mathematical person, so these things matter to me. Here are some more stats:
a) When I first checked (a week into the blog), I was ranked #9.8million of most visited sites by Alexa.com. That was then updated to 8.3million, 7.5million, 6.5million, 6.4million, and recently, 3.4million this morning. I actually thought it would slow down, so was surprised and overjoyed by the huge jump. I even follow some established websites (read: 2 websites) with lower rankings than me.
b) I also reached all three viewer goals I set for myself in the first few months.
February goal: 500 views (got 503)
March goal: 1000 views (got 1275)
April goals: 2200 views, 750 unique visitors (got 2215 and 1179 respectively)
c) I now have a page rank (main page) of 29 and a domain authority of 16. Given that I didn’t even know what those meant a month ago (or SEO for that matter), that’s not bad!
5) We are moving, bye!!! Not physically, of course, but this website will be moving, hopefully within this week, from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. I don’t think I am ready for this move, but dreamhost had a great deal I couldn’t pass up. If you have no idea what that means… neither did I two months ago. WordPress.com is a free blog making service which makes blogging incredibly easy. However, they also limit what you can do in your site in terms of plugins and (you guessed it) advertisements. While I have no immediate intent to advertise, I think it is best I move the site now and learn before it becomes too big.
6) Travel Tales: This ‘series’ with a single post is one of my favorites, so hopefully, I will continue to write more. It is harder than I thought to recall something I did years ago thought.
7) Watermarks: I will start watermarking my personal pictures with my website URL. While I personally try to give credit to pics I get from google, I know a lot of people don’t. This is not an ethical dilemma to me. To be honest, I don’t know the legal ramifications of me using someone’s pictures or visa versa. However, I am hoping to get two things out of this. I hope that it will be easier to differentiate between my real, personal pictures, and ones I just grabbed from the net (in case I forget to give credit). Secondly, I could use the free promotion.
which leads to…
8) I don’t shoot RAW, I don’t really know how to modify RAW pictures, and I don’t intend to. My favorite painting genre is “hyper-realism” which should tell you a think or two about me. While I know the benefits of being able to modify my pictures, when it comes to travel reviews, I honestly don’t believe in it. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite, travel based websites like “Stuck in Customs” are largely based on modifying their pictures. However, on this site, I think to myself “if someone was going to visit a place based on my recommendation and pictures, will they honestly be able to see this with their own eyes?” When it comes to modified pictures, the answer is ‘no.’ It is my hope that some day, someone will see my site, choose to go somewhere, and say “it was exactly how I saw it on that travel something blog.”
9) The frequency of posts has been reduced. I used to post every other day. I schedule my pre-made posts because I feel that a consistency is important, but maybe that is my OCD again. Now, I have toned it down to every 3 days. Why? I can’t do it. I have a day job which goes from 10am-8pm, give or take. This means that I do most of my blogging after work. I have put in hundreds of hours, and to be honest, I am burned out by ‘every other day’ posts. I don’t have the free time of some other “full time travelers” so for now, every three days will have to do.
10) I won’t post on location. It is very popular for many bloggers to post when they JUST did something or are DOING SOMETHING RIGHT NOW. Sorry for the caps. However, since I have a day job, this means that I have a set amount of vacation time, which I really don’t want to waste in a hostel blogging. If I end up traveling long-term, this will change, but for now, no on-location posts. The second reason is that I need time to properly evaluate the impact a location has on me, longer term. It is easy to be wowed in the moment, only to realize, it wasn’t that amazing. Or, the opposite is also true. I do however, have a compromise. Starting my June trip to Peru (which of course means, Machu Picchu) I will blog about locations soon after I get back. Furthermore, since I schedule posts, I will have a list of pre-scheduled articles which will go live while I am away (consistency!)
11) Top 10: I don’t follow many sites, but Listverse.com is one of my favorites. I just love top 10 anything, especially travel. They, unfortunately, don’t appreciate their travel category that much, so I will continue to post top 10 or top 5 or top anything countdown style travel posts.
12) Youtube: I shot some videos recently with the intent to launch a youtube channel for this site. This will hopefully be up within a month. I have read that youtube fans are super loyal, and I am super loyal to youtube, so it’s a perfect fit. I have also shot videos in the past about some of the sites I have visited. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is sometimes worth a thousand pictures. That’s nuts, I can’t believe I said that, and I actually don’t believe that, but sometimes, a video is nice :).
13) Facebook and Twitter: I am surprised by the loyalty of these (however few) fans I have on Fb and twitter. Thanks guys.
14) I am obsessed with updating: I know I forgot to mention something in this update, which reminds me, I update WAY too much (and have used way more caps than usual). If I missed something super important, I will place an update later at the end of this post. Otherwise, I will restrain myself from updating past posts. It wastes too much time that could be spent posting something new.
15) Thanks: A huge thank you to everyone who has commented (like 5 of you) on a post (especially Samuel and Audrey), liked this site on Facebook, followed us on twitter, liked a post, or made a smoke signal to share this site with a nearby tribe. Thank you.