Several blog posts ago marked my 200th post, yay! And while no one really liked those montages that sitcoms from the 90s would air when they hit the 100-episode mark, I didn’t want the occasion to go unmarked, so humor me as I present a wee little blogtage.
I’ve been writing this blog since 2012, when I got married and moved to Yemen. I started it mostly to keep my family and friends apprised of the new life I was living. As I said back when I hit my 100th blog post, this blog has done more for me than I ever thought it would. No, I make no money off it, no I don’t have a ton of people reading, although that number grows steadily each year. But it’s consistently been something that keeps me engaged, connected, and gives me – a lazy creative type – a little of that zing of actually creating something.
This blog has had a number of iterations – YemenEm, The Dame in Spain, Em in Jerusalem, and now and forever more The Next Dinner Party. I’ve blogged all around the world on topics including how to make scrambled eggs using the steamer on an espresso maker from a hotel room in Yemen, how Spanish people hate feet, and whether getting an MFA in creative writing is worth it.
For reasons unknown to me, the single most popular and enduring blog post is about hikes around Madrid, which brings dozens of people to the blog on a daily basis and has tens of thousands of all-time views. I hope these folks are getting out there and exploring some lovely Spanish hikes based on advice from me, a person who suffers from map blindness and shouldn’t really be in the position of giving anyone directions. I tried to capture that same magic with a hikes around Jerusalem post but apparently there wasn’t as much of a need for this information among Jerusalemites. Very distant runners-up in popularity are posts on our Sleek and Modern Jerusalem Apartment, How to be a Vegetarian in Spain’s Foodie Capital and a post on our sofa, which I still believe to be The Most Beautiful Sofa in the World.
In the past year, my most popular new post was on Eating Your Way Through Jerusalem’s Shuk (thus leading me to conclude that people in Jerusalem are more interested in eating than in hiking and I cannot blame them for that) and also my post from earlier this month on how Transitions Are Hard. Because they are!
People have accessed my blog from 186 different countries, including some where I didn’t even think Internet existed. But most people who read are in the United States or Spain, followed by the United Kingdom, Israel, and Canada.
And the vast majority of people who read my blog are coming to it from Facebook, which means either I know, or know someone who knows, many of the blog’s visitors. So, hello friends of friends!
One major and noticeable improvement from the first 100 to the second one hundred: Thanks in part to the husband gifting me a nice camera for my 31st birthday (which was quite some time ago), I’m loads better at taking photos now, and I think the blog has improved because of it.
Goals for the next 100: More frequent posts! I’m aiming for a blog post just about every week in 2019.
Done, montage over. Back to regular scheduled blogging. Thanks for reading.
Obviously, as a fellow blogger, I am biased and loved reading this. BTW I actually think the reason the hiking post didn’t do well is not that Jerusalemites don’t like hikes but that there is so much info about hikes. Even before I lived in Israel, I went on a ton of hikes, it is a big Israeli past time. Food, on the other hand, is something everyone loves to read about, especially in Jerusalem!!!! I am often so surprised by which of my posts do well and which don’t but as long as people like them, then something must be working. Keep up the great work!
You’re probably right, Debbie. I actually wrote the Spanish hikes post because I couldn’t find any information in English on hikes in Madrid. So once my Spanish got good enough where I could read, I took the Spanish info, and what I learned from going on hikes, and turned it into an English post. Still, I didn’t find a ton of English language info on hikes in Jerusalem, but you’re right, it is out there. (And I’m assuming there’s a lot of info in Hebrew, too). My food posts in Jerusalem always did well. (I only WISH the food in Morocco was half as delicious).
I second Debbie’s comment. You did a great job of capturing the joys of blogging. It’s always fascinating to see what resonates with people and what doesn’t. I wrote a review of a 1918 novel no one has ever heard of and it did really well, so I figured people liked book reviews, and then I reviewed a fairly famous 1918 novel and it’s one of my least-red posts.
To the next 200 posts!