Greetings from Azerbaijan!
The longer I travel, the more quickly these monthly update posts seem to come. I swear I was just writing about being on the road eight months and, here I am, already writing about nine.
I’ve gotten gushy and emotional quite a bit over the last few months, talking about lessons I learned in Armenia and speculating as to how much longer I will be on the road. So I thought I’d change things up a bit for my nine-month update and talk a little bit about this blog – where it has been and where it is going.
I started this blog over two years ago, in January 2010.
At that time, it wasn’t much more than a poorly planned WordPress blog called Katie Goes Global. By August 2010, I decided to get a bit more serious and I invested in a domain name and switched to self-hosting (in case you’re wondering, www.katiegoesglobal.com was not available – hence, the switch to Katie Going Global). But even then, I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing. I had already dreamed up the idea of my current career break and I wanted to blog about it, but I didn’t really know what to do in the meantime. Those first few months, I perhaps posted once a month and I was lucky to get a couple visitors each day (seriously, in September 2010, I had 93 unique visitors the entire month).
By this time last year, I was starting to get a bit more into a groove.
I decided to attend the Travel Bloggers Exchange (TBEX) Conference in Vancouver and I was preparing to give notice at work and announce my current adventure to the world. In May 2011, I had around 1,100 unique visitors during the month and 2,500 page views.
One year later, I just saw my highest traffic month ever, with over 4,600 visitors and more than 10,000 page views.
So before I go any further – THANK YOU to all of you for reading and commenting and sharing my posts with others.
Knowing you all are out there reading and hopefully enjoying what I am writing makes everything worthwhile.
What does this all mean?
Well, it means I am in a place now that I never even contemplated back in 2010. For one, I am making a small amount of money from advertising and affiliate sales on the site. While I don’t anticipate that this would ever be enough to make a full-time living travel blogging (and that’s not really what I want anyway), it is a nice supplement to my current travel budget.
I have also been fortunate to start partnering with some great companies – typically, they provide me with something (a tour, accommodation, etc.) on a complimentary basis and I provide a review on my blog as well as promotion through Twitter and Facebook. You may have noticed a few of these recently – a couple tours I took with Context Travel in Istanbul and reviews of the hostels I have stayed at in Georgia, courtesy of Hostelworld. Even though I am getting the benefit of the free tour or place to stay, I assure you that all opinions I share will be completely honest – I will only recommend things to you that I believe in and would recommend to my closest friends.
What lies ahead?
I will be in Azerbaijan until next week as I work on getting my visas for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Then I will stop through Georgia (I think the border guards may soon get sick of me!) on my way back to Armenia for a week to see more of the country and catch up with some of my fellow volunteers who are still there.
On June 17, I fly to Tajikistan. I will spend a day in Dushanbe, the capital, before heading to Penjikent, near the border with Uzbekistan and close to an area called the Zerafshan Valley. After a day of training there with the Zerafshan Tourism Development Association (ZTDA), I will head to the mountains for a month to work with local families, teaching them English and coaching them on hosting Western tourists. I will also work with ZTDA on their marketing and fundraising efforts. I think this could be the most challenging, yet fulfilling, endeavor I have pursued on my trip and I am really excited about it!
While I should have internet access while in Tajikistan, I have no idea how reliable it will be (likewise with the rest of Central Asia). I am going to try to schedule several blog posts in advance, but bear with me if I don’t respond to comments, tweets or emails right away.
Finally, although I can’t go into details yet, I have committed to doing something in the United States in mid-October, which means I sort of, kind of, have an end date to this trip. Stay tuned to my Facebook page for more on that soon!
And even though I will be back on American soil this fall, I will definitely continue to travel as much as possible and to keep up with the travel blogging – just because my current trip will end doesn’t mean this blog will.
21 thoughts on “A State of the Blog Post (a/k/a My 9 Month Update)”
“Knowing you all are out there reading and hopefully enjoying what I am writing makes everything worthwhile.”
Yes we are and offering prayers and encouragement for your safe travel. When we have used all of our abilities and know how to help us through a situation and we find ourselves still having dought about the way forward comfort maybe found in faith. Faith of whatever you truly hold nearest to you. Sometimes all we need is one more block to stand on so that theview is clearer.
Thanks Serone – I really appreciate it!
It’s amazing the unexpected directions a travel blog can take you! Volunteering with the ZTDA sounds like a fabulous, but challenging experience. Look forward to hearing about it.
Yep, should definitely be interesting! I’m getting excited/nervous…
I can’t believe you’ve been gone 9 months! That’s insane. This past year has really flown by. It’s great to hear that your blog is growing nicely, and I can’ wait to read about your next adventure in Central Asia!
I know, it has gone so fast! I look ahead and think I have just about 3 months left and it seems like so little – I feel like it will be over before I know it!
Katie — reading your blog, seeing your photos, and finding your locations on a map has been wonderful and inspiring. I am looking forward to your next adventures.
I didn’t realize we both started our blogs at the same time, it was a good time in travel blogging 🙂
Can’t wait to hear about your upcoming plans.
Really? I thought you started quite a bit before me – or at least you were doing more with yours sooner. 🙂
Contgratulations Kate on what you have achieved so for. I have enjoyed reading your posts. It is a source of inspiration for me.
Cool to see how your blog has grown! Must feel good when hard work pays off. 🙂 Happy continued travels. 🙂
Congrats on the blog progress over the years. Amazing to think TBEX Vancouver was about a year ago. Congrats also n 9 months on the road.
Thanks Andy! I know Vancouver seems like just yesterday but at the same time seems sooooo far away! 🙂
Wow, Katie, nine months! I can’t wait to hear about what your announcement is back in the U.S.!
Thanks Kim! Beware, you’ll be at 9 months before you know it too! 🙂
Congrats on making it to 9 months and thank you for recapping the development of your blog…its helpful for those of us who are starting out. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your travels and hope to see you in the US when we’re both back later this year.
Thanks Nailah! Hopefully we’ll cross paths in LA!
Sounds awesome Katie! I’m excited to hear your news about what you’re doing in October!
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