A Year in Outdoor Blogging Land

Sunset & Hilleberg Soulo

It is a year since I started my blog and a revelation it has been. A few years ago I felt that writing an outdoor blog was not what it was all about, that one should be out there walking  in the hills not  talking about it.  In the end I came to the conclusion that a blog would be a useful record of my wanderings and thoughts.  What I didn’t realise is a blog can be a place to exchange ideas, learn new techniques and consider other people’s points of view and of course to meet brand new on-line friends.  These aspects of blogging I enjoy as much as recording my trip reports and gear reviews.

I have not had the opportunity to get out walking as much as I would have liked.  Work at certain times of the year seems all-pervading, but it is one of the downsides of owning your own business (it has it’s benefits as well, but it can suck you in at times). Mary, my wife and at one time many years ago before our children, my walking partner, has had a very tough time for the last 20 months after major complications following a nasty ankle break.  This has meant less time in the hills. No matter, they will always be there for another day.

It is interesting (well to me at least) to find why people visit my blog. I do not have that many subscribers, although it is difficult to know how many people come to my blog now that so many people, including me using Google Reader.  Some bloggers have literally hundreds of Followers (Blogger), but I would estimate that 80% of the traffic to my blog is through Search Engines.  I have been amazed and quietly pleased that many of my subjects that I post on feature very high up on Google listings , quite a few above commercial sites, so I must be doing something right with my tags 🙂

Here are some stats :

Page views to date :  26,490 (at time of posting)

82 posts


Most popular all time  search –  Hilleberg Soulo

Best day for page views : 25th July 2011

There are so many great blogs out there and without trying to reproduce my entire blog list, here are a few that have really been good this year. I have picked a selection which encompass the broad range of styles out there . I am sorry if I have missed you out  and I do hope I don’t cause offence.  I read and comment on lots of blogs, they have great content, just too many to mention here.

Blogpackinglight – Robin’s blog got me interested in blogging in the first place. Amazing amount of gear posts!

Hiking in Finland – Hendrik’s enthusiasm is infectious. Always a good read and his mentions of my blog always gratefully received.

Backpackingbongos – James writes great posts with an easy style

Summit and Valley – Like Robin’s blog, always a great source of information.

Terrybnd  (LOL) – Terry video’s are in a league of their own

Alan Sloman – Alan’s passion for the hills comes out in his writing, excellent and informative posts on the effects of wind turbine madness on our hills.

Journeyman Traveller – Maz, writes detailed and informative posts on many subjects, his series of posts on walking the TMB was highly absorbing.

A Blog on the Landscape  and Staylin’ Alive – Both Alan’s and Richard’s posts on gear are always interesting. Both of them seem to have a nose for finding the less common brands.

Mostly walking – Maria’s blog, I suppose is quite different from many blogs I read. Featuring day walks, often with her young children, but always has photos of nature found on her walks near to Helsinki.

Backpacking in Britain – Geoff’s blog and linked website is just great if you are looking for a route to follow or base your own on – so many to choose from !!

Northern Pies – The only other blogger I have met whilst out and about in the hills ( on top of Great Knoutberry).  I like Mike’s witty posts !

A one final one, a relatively new find for me, another from Finland – Korpijaako.   Jaakko’s three-week expedition to Svalbard, is a great read and he has taken some outstanding photographs.

So what of my second year.  This starts in earnest shortly with a trip to the North West of Scotland, where I will get some walking and kayaking in during our family holiday.  I want to spend some time finishing off the Pennine Way and try to walk a few of the other National trails, including North to Cape Wrath if things go right.  I will still look to review new gear, although now I have upgraded quite a bit, there may be fewer posts on this, and of course catching up with my blogging friends on their trips, thoughts and reviews.

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35 Responses to A Year in Outdoor Blogging Land

  1. Martin Rye says:

    A year, wow. Keep at it and you’re too kind to mention my blogging effort. Summing your blog up Mark so far its been a great blog to read.

  2. Martin, thanks for your comments. Here’s to another year !

  3. mike knipe says:

    Nice to be included, Mark… I think we mainly do it for fun, and the odd free fleece….
    Incidentally, I count traffic partly by sitemeter. I don;t think its very accurate – it doesn;t count RSS readers, for instance, but its consistent. Blogger stats are higher than sitemeter, but only count page views as far as I can see.
    I also find that I get a lot more traffic when the weather is duff…. so watch the weather forecast for rain before pontificating on your favourite subject!

  4. backpackingbongos says:

    Well done on reaching your first blogday Mark. I enjoy reading it when it pops up in my Googlereader. Lets hope you continue long into the future. And thanks for the kind words!

  5. Nice one James. It has become quite addictive, so should be no problem about getting to the next one.
    James, I understand from Terry that you will be at the meeting in the Peak District, me too, so hopefully we can meet up.

  6. Alan says:

    hi Mark,
    Thanks for the mention. There’s nothing about blogging i dislike. I especially enjoy passing on information even if i think it’s trivia it may not be to others. I also appreciate comments both good and bad as long as they are positive.
    I would not have met so many tremendous people without starting the blog.
    We can also get swept away with all the new gear and when budgets are tight it can be a bit frustrating.
    I therefore try and come up with alternatives on my blog and MYOG to counter the expense.
    I have been please with my results so far.

    Keep up your good work Mark your blog is a pleasure to read.

    • Alan, thank you for your kind words. Keep your alternatives coming. I am still trying to get hold of the Delios filter but it is still out of stock. Had to buy a new filter for the Travel Tap instead.

  7. surfnslide says:

    Hi Mark – keep blogging it’s a great read. Like Alan I just like to post what I enjoy and what I’m thinking. If I get one person who gets an idea or provoke some thought then it’s a job well done in my book.

  8. AlanR says:

    Hi Mark,
    I don’t think they expected such a high demand so quickly. Hopefully it won’t be too long. I will send them an email and ask.

  9. korpijaakko says:

    Thanks for mentioning! My blog is relatively new one, a bit over six months or so now… It’s still looking for it’s place in the blogosphere but apparently I’ve got some relevant content up there. More pictures to come. And some day there will be video, some day.

  10. Maz says:

    First of all thanks – both for the mention and for your comments over the last year. It’s been a year for me too – June 8th in fact was my “blogday”. It’s been a strange, exacting period for me – crystallising what I enjoy about my two passions – writing and the outdoors. It’s given me the opportunity to spend some time working out if I want to/am able to make a living out of both of them combined. It’s introduced me to people I never would have met and would like to see on a hill sometime (yourself, as you know, being one of them). I have enjoyed it and will continue to blog, as I sincerely hope you do. Well done and best wishes for 2011/2012…!

  11. swanscot says:

    > it is difficult to know how many people come to my blog now that so many people, including me
    > using Google Reader.

    I use Google Reader, but once I’ve glanced at the new posts there, if I wish to read them I go to the blog. I think it’s because I like to see them in the context of the theme – the layout, header, etc reminds me of the blogger.

  12. hi Mark, well done on a year of blogging and thanks for providing links to these other blogs. Now all I have to do is make time to get around to reading them.

  13. alan.sloman says:

    It seems to me like you have had a pretty good year with your blog – I always nip over if I see you have posted – I only use Google Reader to let me know that there has been a new post – I much prefer then to go to the blog and see it how the writer intended. Yours is a very clean, good looking blog (I hate clutter) with excellent content.

    I probably haven’t commented on your blog as often as I should – that’s bad of me, as I welcome interaction on my own blog. You make a good point about the blogging community – I have met some fine friends on here – indeed, one of them, Darren, has just helped me move house!

    I wish you all the best with your next year.

  14. Hendrik says:

    Thanks for the mention, Mark! Great to see that the three non-UK blogs are all from Finland 😀

  15. -maria- says:

    Well done, Mark, wish you all the best for your next year! I always enjoy reading your posts.

    Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed my blog as well – I guess you were the first one to leave a comment there and that’s also how I found your blog.

  16. Robin says:

    .A bit late, but I’ve been away (not walking). Happy blogday and look forward to the next year!

  17. GeoffC says:

    Even later!. I’ve been up to eyeballs but well done on the first year, always some excellent material to read.
    I wouldn’t pay that much attention to metered stats, the numbers vary wildly depending on how they are counted (4 categories in the standard list now:- lies, damned lies, statistics and site meters!). The only one worth looking at is the number of unique visitors, if WordPress reports it.

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