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.
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For many of us in Saskatchewan, summer means it's time for an Alberta road trip. Although the endless stretches of prairie have their appeal, there is nothing quite like seeing the mountains rising over the horizon.
One challenge that comes with taking a summer road trip is the heat. Much like on this side of the border, it isn't uncommon for summer temperatures to get to the extreme. I know a few people who have had car problems in the heat, and my family is one of them. Nothing ruins a trip more than an unexpected visit to the mechanic.
Thankfully, Alberta has a myriad of places to go swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding or fishing. This not only gives your vehicle time to cool off, but also gives you a chance to escape the heat as well.
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.
When I started my blog, I wanted a place to tell stories. I wanted a place where I could keep memories and show them off for people later. My earliest entries on my blog are from 2011 (published in 2014), right after my trip to Europe. They're messy, they lack detail, and they are full of inaccuracies. Not the mention the wretched photography.
So, there's only been a slight improvement since then. Hahahahaha.
Four years later, my blog has become my hobby, my joy, my escape and my work. I spend hours writing content for my blog. I spend hours editing pictures, researching details, and adjusting content for SEO (search engine optimization). It's a full-time gig, and just the other day I published my 200th article. After 200 times of doing something, you'd think the articles would get easier, but they really don't. Each one is unique unto itself, and each one is a special time in my life that I shared with my readers.