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)
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.
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.