This month I managed to put out 4 new articles, with the first being a booming success! The others just fizzled, but weren't travel related, so I wasn't surprised that they didn't do too well.
This month, my most popular article was 50 Images that Showcase Regina, which was written in anticipation of the Instameet later in August. That article was read 211 times last month, which was about 7 times a day! Not bad at all!
My next most popular article this month was actually from a few months ago. It was 8 Places to Visit in Regina. Sadly however, I think I'll have to redo this article as one of the locations, The Civic Museum of Regina, was closed due to lack of funding at the end of the month.
After that, the next popular one was The Bombing of Saskatchewan. This article wasn't possible without help from the Saskatchewan Military Museum. It discusses the events in early to mid-1945 where the Japanese attempted a full-scale bombing of North America in a last desperate act to change the course of the war. The Allies first believed these bombs were bio-hazardous and issued a media wide blackout regarding them and their origins. It was only after a family in Oregon had been killed in a fiery blast that the blackout was lifted and the public was informed. It's one of my most favorite articles I've written so far because I knew nothing about it before I spoke to the Military Museum!
My fourth most recent article was My Airbnb Experience. This article was about my time using Airbnb on my trip to Quebec this past summer. Airbnb is a service that rents out space in somebody's house for travelers to spend the night instead of a hotel. I was surprised to see that most of my readers had had a very different experience then I did, as they didn't have to share their dwellings when they used it! I never even thought about that when I booked my place!
Three spots below that, as my 8th most popular article this month, was Remembering Seneca Village. This article was written after I learned about Seneca, the African American community that existed where Central Park is today. There wasn't a whole lot available online as it had been erased from history after the courts threw out the case again razing it, and it was destroyed. I found the story fascinating!
I also made my way onto Tourism Regina with The Return of the Capitol, an article about the rebirth of the 1920s theater that once trumped the Regina skyline and the way it's reviving downtown almost a century after it was built. This article proved pretty successful, so I have another one already slated for October, and this one is about (what else?) the paranormal!
All in all, my blog has been read 1,732 times this month, which was a nice bump from the 1,435 the month before, and the 1,185 a month before that. At this rate, I think I'll be getting 2,000 hits a month soon!
Last month I also did a bit of a redesign on my site. I wanted better access to my articles other than just having them all together on the Blog page. However, because I am fast approaching almost 50 articles, putting them all in my navigation would have ballooned it, so I redesigned the navigation and moved it off to the side. I also changed how the articles were displayed, going from one-third width boxes to one-half. Also, to promote other articles, I have set up my blog to load in "similar articles" inside the content. I'm hoping this will increase traffic.
This past month has also seen a huge growth on my Twitter and Instagram, with around 1,000 people following me on both. This is much much higher than the 300 Twitter followers and 700 Instagram followers I used to have, so thank you so much! It's great to see my blog growing and getting more attention!
This upcoming month I decided to try something different with my blog, and on the 14th I'll be writing my first of thirteen articles about Canada. I am doing two articles a week for the next 7 weeks that will showcase Instagram images taken of Canada from the eyes of the average person. Some of these will be professional photographers and others will be tourism companies, but I'm hoping the majority will be images taken by the average person. As I said, the first article I'll be doing for this series will be on September 14th and will be about the province of British Columbia. For the past few days I've been watching the hashtags #exploreBC, #skiBC and #helloBC on social media, looking for the best images. After BC, I'll be doing Yukon, which will be incredible as winter is fast approaching and the pictures coming out of there are gorgeous!
My tentative schedule for these 13 articles will be as follows:
14 British Columbia
24 Northwest Territories
15 New Brunswick
19 Nova Scotia
22 Prince Edward Island
26 Newfoundland and Labrador
I've also been slacking off on the newsletter bit, so I'm sorry for all those wondering why I haven't appeared in your inbox the past few months. I am thinking of setting up a script to auto send emails to people with every new article. I know before I was only going to do a newsletter once every two months or so, but I keep forgetting, so for the sake of convenience, I may just build a script to do it. Ahh, the ease of being a developer!
I think that's all I have for this month. Another successful blog thanks to my loyal readers like you, and I'm looking to try something new this upcoming month. Who else is excited!?
Thanks for tuning in this month for my update, and thanks for reading my blog so much. Every page view, Facebook like, Twitter retweet and Instagram heart (is that the correct term?) means the world to me, so thank you so very, very much.
And, as always, keep on 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.
When I was younger, I really loved winter. I loved sledding, snowball fights and building snowmen. One of my favourite pastimes was visiting a little outdoor ice rink a few blocks from my house. Every winter my friends and I would climb over the walls of the rink and goof around on the ice. When we weren't falling over our feet, we'd play hockey with whatever snow chunks we could find. As these events became more frequent, we often talked about playing real hockey on the rink. Eventually, we would end up playing hockey, but we'd settle for the street in front of our houses instead.
Beyond childhood, the only other time I went skating was in high school. Everybody else's ice skating skills had improved with age, but mine were still that of a fourth grader. I remember standing in the rink, struggling to shoot while holding my balance, only to have a classmate swoop in and steal my puck! Ever since then, I've stuck to floor hockey.
As I got older, my love for winter dwindled. Now I find it cold, icy, dark and sometimes miserable. My blog usually slows down in the winter for this very reason. I've been trying to get out and enjoy our longest season of the year, but it's hard. Most days I just want to stay inside.
I was recently asked if I preferred my time in Montreal or Quebec City more, and while Montreal is a gorgeous city, decorated with thousands of green copper spires, hosts incredible festivals, has some of the most fantastic food I have ever tasted, and is spotted with beautiful parks, there was just something about Quebec City that spoke to me. Being over four hundred years old, Quebec City is one of the last remaining "walled cities" in North America, and is the only one north of Mexico. Quebec City was the location of some of the greatest conflicts in Canadian history, including the Siege of Quebec by the British.
Belonging to three very different countries (France, England, and Canada) in its four hundred year existence, Quebec City is a mixing pot of old traditions, new ideas, cobblestone streets and modern architecture. Since there is so much to see in Quebec City, I figured I would narrow it down to a couple and let you discover the rest! Here is "8 Places to Visit in Quebec City".
Several months ago Ford Canada approached me to review their 2017 Ford Explorer. I wanted to see how it handled grid roads, so I took it to a variety of ghost towns, abandoned houses and empty villages around Saskatchewan. I had a lot of fun with the article, and I guess Ford liked it too because a few months later they invited me to go out to the Sunshine Coast to try out a few other vehicles.
There were a few differences between this trip and the one I did around Saskatchewan. The first difference was that this was in the wooded forests of British Columbia and not the flat prairie of Saskatchewan. Instead of having the vehicle for a week, this would be a 2-day trip from Vancouver to the Painted Boat Resort and back again. Also, instead of traveling solo, I'd be travelling with several lifestyle and travel bloggers from across Western Canada – including the 2015 Saskatchewanderer Ashlyn George from The Lost Girl's Guide to Finding the World.
The vehicle we got on the way up to the resort was the same red Ford Explorer I tried out earlier this year. This worked out great for me as I was already very familiar with the vehicle and its quirks. On the way back Ashlyn drove a white 2017 Ford Edge.