March ended with a lot of uncertainties, especially when it came to advertising and the direction my blog was going since I'm not traveling and since I've run out of places to talk about (40 posts went by faster than I expected!). I also said a big project was coming up, but didn't say much. I'll give more hints about that in this entry, as well as what to expect this month.
First of all, as you may have noticed I have ads on my site again. There are six ads: one at the top before the content, one below the content and four at the bottom. These ads are generated via AdClickMedia. If you read my last update, I mentioned RevenueHits, which is apparently the best alternative to Google Adsense. AdClickMedia is similar to RevenueHits, but I feel their ads are better and they are more relevant. Some are still sometimes "out there", like weight loss pills, but nothing misleading that I've seen, so far.
Along with those, I also mix in ads from Commission Junction. Those ads work how they sound: if you buy something from the site, I get a commission. Some companies offer higher commission than others. For example, some of the Contiki ads offer a 35% commission. That means if somebody books a $2,000 tour from my site, I make $700! Not bad, except my site doesn't have nearly enough traffic to consider than a main method of income. Not to say there isn't traffic, however. This month we passed our 7,000th page view, and had our 1,300th unique visitor!
Another company I'm using for advertising is called Spoutable. Spoutable ads only appear when the script they provided feels the reader is trying to leave the page. (For those who speak tech, it's when the document loses focus.) They offer similar articles around the web, like other places to visit or tour to, or fun things like cute homes or gardening tips. Spoutable seems like a pretty small company, so I don't see a huge variety in their ads, but so far they're doing alright and I haven't heard any complaints.
Today, after having this set up for two weeks, I can happily say I made my first dollar! I'm officially at $1.09! So far this set up seems to be working!
Moving on, having run out of places to write about that I've visited, I have begun doing "Top X Things to See" posts. These have been pretty popular so far, so I'll probably keep doing them for a while. Between them, I've been doing more personal blogs, like "My Travel Bucket List" and my "Why Traveling Solo Is The Worst", which kind of went viral the day after I posted it, generating the most traffic in a single day February! So, thanks for that! I've done a few posts about Europe now, so I am planning a couple about Asia. Some upcoming blog posts will be "10 Things to See in Hong Kong" and "The Justification Behind Bombing Hiroshima", for those who are interested.
I also have been working on a huge post, which has had me on the road almost every weekend. This is coming together really good, and I'm thinking late next week I'll be posting it. It's about a city I know very well, and one that was, at a time, was the richest and more prosperous places in the world.
In March I was nominated for the CBC Future 40 contest. Although I didn't win, it was still really exciting to hear and read about all the people in Saskatchewan that are making a difference for the future. It was also great to know I'm friends with some of the winners! Congratulations to all 40 of the winners, and the 5th grader who won the Consolation prize!
Also, back in February I approached Pacific and Park about being a guest author. They were more than happy to have me write for them, but I haven't had time yet with the move and everything. Being said, I may take a week off this month to do an article for them. They have some great content, and I'm really excited to be a part of them, so be sure to check them out!
I guess that's all that's new this month. I'm making money again, my site is hitting new record numbers, there's some cool articles coming out soon on this and third-party websites and I didn't win the CBC Future 40, but I'm really proud of those who did.
That's all for now. Until next time, keep traveling!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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Although the hot summer days of July are long behind us, 2017 is still Canada's 150th year. In honour of Canada's sesquicentennial birthday, I decided to put together a list of 150 things about Canada. This list talks about our quirkiness, our strengths, our weakness, and our legacy, for better and for worse. There are some sad facts, some odd facts and some facts that will probably make you open another tab to look into for yourself.
Hope you enjoy this list, and I hope you all had a great 2017!
1. Canada's two official languages are French and English, but only 20.6% of Canadians speak French.
Long before I started my blog, many, many years ago, I visited Innsbruck, Austria. I was on a Contiki trip through Europe and visited a plethora of locations such as Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Lucerne and Innsbruck, just to name a few. It was an incredible experience and one that I think was a transformative moment in my life.
Off the record (or, on the record now, I guess), of all the places I visited, the only one I didn't like was Innsbruck. I couldn't get into it. We visited it in late March, so the weather wasn't the best. The trees didn't have any leaves on them, the grass was brown, and everything had a post-winter grey look to it. After visiting Munich and spending the night in St. Goar, my mind wasn't thinking about Innsbruck at all. Instead, I was more excited to go to Venice the next day, and the Vatican the day after that. My time in Innsbruck was uneventful, and all I wanted was to get back on the road.
That was in 2011, and now it's 2018. Has my opinion on Innsbruck changed? I would say yes. I'm more mature now and if I went back, I would better appreciate what I was seeing. As I've gotten older, I've been less impressed by the massive buildings and more enthralled by the history that created them.
Just over a year ago I wrote an article about the glockenspiel that once stood in downtown Regina. I had fond memories of the glockenspiel as a child and was sad when they took it down to renovate the park. I was even more sad when they didn't put it back up, and I was angry when I discovered it was sitting in a junkyard (sorry, outdoor "storage facility") for the past ten years. That article got a lot of attention, from both the public, the city and the press. Today, efforts are being made to restore the bell back to its original location.
I'm telling you this because preserving heritage – may it be a 25-year-old bell, or a fourth century building – is important. Without heritage, we lose who we are. Often, the desire to move society forward steps over the heritage and causes it to get lost. As impressive as tall glass buildings might be, nothing is better than a smoky red brick structure.
Saskatchewan is beginning to realize how important this is – and thankfully it's happening now and not in a few decades after everything is gone. But, our neighbours have been on the heritage preservation band train for several years now, especially in Alberta.