A few weeks back I asked you all to help me with my 2016 reader survey. I closed it yesterday and decided to write a quick post on what the general consensus was, and how this will affect the blog.
You Are All Way Too Kind
First of all, I want to thank everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. Part of me wondered if anyone would reply as it wasn’t like I was offering you the chance to win a holiday in the Maldives in exchange for your efforts. So I was so pleasantly surprised when the responses started rolling in – so, thanks again. It is much appreciated by this humble blogger.
Secondly, all of the responses made me smile. In all honesty, I was bracing myself for some criticisms, too. I had opened up the floor for feedback, so I had to be prepared for all kinds of comments. And while I love constructive criticism, I did worry slightly that I’d read things I didn’t necessarily want to read.
But the comments were all so lovely. In fact, some of them were so nice that they really moved me.
When you’re a blogger, you know people are reading what you post, but not everyone takes the time to comment or give feedback, so you sometimes wonder if any of it resonating with your readers, or whether people enjoy what you write. So to have you all give this amazing feedback was wonderful and makes it all so much more worthwhile.
The Things You Love
The thing that made me really happy is that an overwhelming majority of you love my longer narratives that give a sense of place. I do tend to favour long posts that have an emphasis on storytelling, and I’m glad that you enjoy them so much as this is my favourite style of writing – so expect much more of this in the future.
Many of you also commented on how you like the fact I make my posts personal. And the truth is, I do like to explore both my inner and outer journey through this blog – how my experiences around the world help to shape me as a person, too.
Some of you commented on how much you love my photos, too. I feel I have a lot of work to do on my photography, so I’m happy that I’m now in charge of the photos on the blog as it gives me the push to practise more and more!
The survey also revealed that you like my honesty. I don’t sugarcoat things, so if I’m having a bad time, you’ll more than likely know about it through the blog. Likewise, I’m very open about the realities of being a freelance writer, as I think it’s misleading to try and paint this lifestyle as being all rainbows and butterflies.
Over the last few months, I’ve been contemplating which direction to take the blog in, which is why I also wanted your feedback. When this ceased to be a couples’ blog back in August, the natural answer was for it to fall into the category of a solo female travel blog. But, as many of you pointed out in the survey, there are many solo female travel blogs now, so I knew that this isn’t the sole way I wanted to define this online space.
I, therefore, started playing with the idea of focusing on the notion of travel being transformative – how it can help us to learn, heal, be inspired and connect with others. So expect to see more posts like the one I wrote on ways in which we can make our travel experiences more meaningful. As part of this direction, I also wanted to start including a lot more wellness posts like this one that I wrote on meditation. So I was happy to read that you’d like to see more wellness posts on the blog – they’re coming soon!
City guides are also something you hope to see more of, and I’ll definitely be working on more of these this year. I’ll only cover destinations that I’m very familiar with, though – for example, while I’m in Berlin I’ll be able to put one together easily, as I’m staying for at least a month.
Some of you are also interested in food guides that cater to specific diets such as gluten-free and vegetarian. As someone who eats a mainly healthy and vegetarian diet, I know the usefulness of blog posts that point you in the direction of great food establishments in any given town, so it’s certainly something I’ll be adding more of to the blog. I love to eat, you guys want to know where to eat, so it’s a win-win situation!
More On My Novel
The most surprising thing that came across from your responses was the fact that many of you are extremely interested in finding out more about the novel that I’m working on. I have blogged about this more extensively over on my freelance writing website but I haven’t really spoken much about it on here. It made me really happy to see that you’re interested in finding out more about it here, so I’ll definitely be providing more commentary on what it is I’m working on and how it’s progressing. Keep your eyes peeled for posts coming up soon!
An Exciting New Era!
I’ve defined 2016 as the year of experimentation for me – that is, I’m experimenting with so many different things relating to my career and where my life is heading, and I’m open to any new opportunities that come my way. The blog is also included in this equation; I don’t know where I’ll be by April as my only ‘concrete’ plan is to be in Berlin for a month and see where the road leads me. And, in accordance with the messy and yet beautiful journey I’ll be taking in the physical sense, the blog is likely to evolve to reflect this.
I used to fear the unknown in many respects, but the older I get the more I realise that every single day on this planet is a gift. We don’t need to have it all figured out all of the time; it’s perfectly okay to take each day as it comes and see where the road leads you. And that, my friends, is the direction both I and the blog will be heading in for the foreseeable future.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for joining along on this ride.
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