If you woke up today and thought “man, the world feels a little different” I know why. Today is the fifth birthday of Andy’s Travel Blog!
It all started with a trip report from a mistake fare to Israel. My brother and I packed as much as we could into 3 days on the ground and had an unforgettable time. Sharing the stories from that trip paved the way for five years of fun, excitement, and travel. (by the way, check out the Trip Reports page if you haven’t before!)
Let’s talk stats
In the past five years (two of which were on the WordPress.com platform before I moved to the BoardingArea network of travel blogs) the blog has seen the following:
- 1,400,000 million pageviews
- 700,000 visitors
We’ve welcomed visitors from (per Google Analytics) every country and territory in the world with the exception of two: North Korea and Niger. Hopefully someday someone from Niger will visit, not holding my breath about any visitors from Pyongyang!
60% of my traffic comes from the USA, of which I’m quite proud. I try to write for a worldwide audience and the relative percentage of USA traffic to the rest of the world has greatly improved over the years.
- 672 posts
- 3500 pictures
- 3170 comments
Let’s talk photography
When this blog started I had no idea about the finer points of photography (some would argue this is still the case), was shooting pictures either with my phone or the Fuji X10 camera, and really fell way too much in love with HDR imagery. Travel and blogging sparked my interest in photography and now I’m really happy to use Sony cameras and have sold my images across the world. I literally would not be a photographer without this blog.
Since I started taking a serious interest in photography, I’ve taken over 200,000 pictures, of which you see only the best. One of the many reasons I love this blog is for what it’s given me: a love for photography.
Let’s talk friendships
Traveling the world leads to meeting some incredible people. I’ve met some of my best friends in the world because of this blog and countless other good friends who would drop what they’re doing to take care of me if needed. I’ve been given personal recommendations for tour guides, restaurants, and places to visit, and each one of those have led to amazing experiences. I feel like I’m a better friend and have resources all over the world because of this blog.
Let’s talk blogging
When I started this blog my intention was to be a miles and points blog similar to Ben’s, Gary’s, or Brian’s. I wanted to get credit card affiliate links of my own and make some serious side income. It took me a while to find my voice and I think this blog is very different from when it started. I’m the main character of the stories now, and I still like talking miles and points, but the blog for me has become a platform to share information, photography, and a bit of my heart with the world. I think in my own way I’ve found a consistent voice and that my readers can always count on me to share unique, interesting, informative, and sometimes funny posts. The stats tell me it’s working 🙂
Let’s talk the future
I think most of you know that this blog isn’t my full-time job. I’m a strategic project manager for a financial software/services company, which is part of the reason I travel so much (I’m writing this post from Singapore). I’ve tried a few times adding writers to the blog and it’s been a bit tough getting traction there. I think the reason for that is my readers like hearing from me, and I mean it is called Andy’s Travel Blog after all. I know I’m missing out on sharing lots of information with you, I’m trying to plan some time to generate some great and helpful content to help me stay on track. Part of that will be getting some help in the form of an editor, which I’m hoping to do early next year, and the other part is just making more time to blog! Either way, I have no plans on stopping anytime soon and enjoy the blogging life more than ever.
Let’s thank my mentors/guides/team/helpers
Thanks to Randy Petersen, king of the frequent flyer industry, Founder of Flyertalk, Founder of BoardingArea, Founder of Prior2Boarding, Founder of InsideFlyer, Founder of TravelUpdate, Founder of…well you get the idea. Randy took a chance on a small blog which had some great content and introduced me to the amazing team at BoardingArea, who took my vision and are always there to help make it a reality. Randy, Heather, Meagan, Jerry, Josh, Mark, Denny, you are incredible helpers and make blogging such a joy for me.
Thanks to my fellow BoardingArea bloggers. People like Gary Leff and Ben Schlappig were mentors of mine without even knowing it and they along with other BoardingArea Blogging Buddies have been incredibly generous with feedback, encouragements, and industry contacts when needed. It’s great knowing other bloggers as well, like Brian Kelly and JT Genter from The Points Guy, they run a phenomenal operation and are pushing this niche into the mainstream, no doubt.
Thanks to my family and friends who politely listen when I get going about travel and airplane types even when they’re not particularly interested in it.
Thanks to my photography mentors, Mike Kelley, Brian Braun, and Elia Locardi, who have been more than generous with advice and encouragement.
Let’s thank my readers
Finally I thank YOU. Without you this blog is just me yelling into the vast emptiness of the internet. You‘ve made this blog what it is, you‘ve helped me decide direction and vision for content and become a better writer and photographer. You keep me going. Without you I’m just a dude who travels a lot and probably spends too much on photography equipment. This blog has my name on it but it’s for you.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Here’s to five more years of Andy’s Travel Blog, the world is waiting, let’s go see it!