Dec 282014



Reflections on a year of blogging: 2014


As one year comes to an end and a new one approaches, many people take time to reflect on the year that was before making plans for the upcoming year. As I look back over my year of blogging, I discover many happy memories and am amazed the year has gone by so quickly.

Over the course of 2014, readership of Destinations Detours and Dreams has more than doubled. I’ve become active in two online blogger groups: LinkedIn’s Bloggers Helping Bloggers and Facebook’s Boomer Travel Bloggers. I’ve connected with wonderful bloggers through these groups, read a variety of interesting articles, and even met two of my colleagues in person. And near the end of the year, I launched my new author site.


Meeting other bloggers

Left: I meet Doreen Pendgracs who blogs at Wizard of Words and Chocolate Travel Diversions Right: My husband and I meet with Carol Colburn and her husband Bill. Carol blogs at Generation Z: Cruising in an RV

Bloggers are interested in readership statistics, but statistics can be tricky – easy to manipulate and difficult to interpret. I keep this in mind when I look at my statistics. Depending on how the statistics are collected, they may or may not accurately represent the number of humans who have landed on my site. Sometimes access by search engine web-crawlers and other automated programs are included. An old post shows a ridiculously large amount of page views on Blogger’s statistics. It’s not that the post went viral. For some reason that post became the target of spam programs. 

Even when the statistics accurately represent human readership, there are a variety of things beyond the content which affect how much attention a particular post gets, including when, where, and how I promote or publicize it.

All that being said, here are my most popular posts of the year, based on reader engagement.

The following posts generated the largest amount of reader feedback in the form of comments:

Images of Vancouver

Feast on Foot in Historic Winnipeg

Arizona Lighthouses

Human Rights Museum

Museum Musings: Could I Live There?

The following posts received the most shares on social media sites:

Butterfly Exhibit

Travel Then and Now

Chocolate for Dinner

Scottsdale On and Off The Trolley

Making Money at the Royal Canadian Mint

Inside Human Rights

Hopping On and Off Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi

I had planned to add a list of my personal favourites of the year, but found I was unable to pick. Throughout the year, I’ve enjoyed exploring around me, both the familiar and the obscure, wherever I was: at home in Manitoba, wintering in Arizona, or somewhere else in the world.

Do you have a favourite Destinations Detours and Dreams 2014 post? What was the highlight of your year?

  44 Responses to “2014 Year In Review”

  1. Well I’d say it was a good year Donna. I’ve really enjoyed your posts and look forward to reading you in 2015! Happy New Year!

  2. Too much work, Donna, to compile those statistics! To each her own, of course. Good thing you are willing to do it. I’m happy to have completed a year of weekly blog posts and love getting comments a lot! I really love when my ideal clients not only read my articles but also take the time to comment. I count that as success!

  3. Happy New Year Donna – may 2015 be good to you. I enjoy all your posts but the one that I remember best is ‘Pierogies in the Desert’ followed by the Human Rights Museum,

  4. Donna, you were one of the first cross-over travel bloggers I met on line (travel and demographic). I also got to meet a few of my on-line Boomer Travel Blogger friends IRL (in real life) since I started blogging: Irene Levine (More Time to Travel), Mike Hinshaw (the Nomadic Texan) and Elaine Masters in Toronto at TBEX; Dyanne Kruger and Nancy M in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Doreen Pendergracs, Catherine Sweeney and Mary Jo Mazanares (in Hawaii!); Kristin Henning and Tom Bartel (Travel Over 50) and Clarissa Milne (in Philly); Billie Franks (in Santa Fe) and Monika Fuchs in Munich. Maybe someday, somewhere, our paths will cross. In the mean time, Happy New Year. Write on!

  5. Congrats on picking up your readership and connecting with many new blogger friends and networking contacts, it really is a fun and supporting group. Wish you a fantastic 2015 New Year.

  6. Congratulations to a wonderful year blogging, Donna! Let’s see what next year with a new design will bring! Happy New Year!

  7. Its great to know that you are now connected with wonderful people and met few personally. It is nice to have a review of year. I have enjoyed every post by you that I read. I think that you have a unique and wonderful way of expression. The way you tell us about things in the language of pictures and take us on visits of different amazing places and share the tips about starting our journey, all are amazing and all were expressed with beauty.
    I wish you a wonderful year 2015. I hope we will stay connected and I will get the chance to read great posts by you in coming year as well.

    Thank you for sharing .

  8. My highlight was meeting you in person, the first travel blogger I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person! Hope we are able to link up more with the Winter Writers Workshop!

  9. Sounds like you had a great year of travel. Here’s to a great 2015 on the road!

  10. Hi Donna, and thanks for this post. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the post I enjoyed the most was the one you wrote about the chocolate dinner we shared. What a fun evening that was! Thx again for profiling Chocolatour with your readers. I hope you have a fantastic winter in AZ and look forward to your new posts over the next year. Cheers, and Happy 2015!

    • The chocolate dinner was indeed a fun evening. I’m so glad I attended it. I hope you enjoy your time in Osoyoos. Wishing you all the best in 2015. Maybe we will meet up again sometime in the summer.

  11. I also looked back on my blog posts for the year and at which posts had the most traffic and engagement. Especially when I looked at views, the posts that I thought were the most interesting and the best written where not at the top of the list. This is for some of the reasons you mentioned but also because of how I shared these posts on social media. In that realm, one good picture beat out 1,000 great words.

    • It is interesting (and sometimes frustrating) to see what gets attention and what doesn’t. I guess there are a few lessons to be learned from this on how to promote posts. Don’t give up on great content though. I enjoy your posts and find your current series on vacation history fascinating.

  12. My favorite post of yours was the “Inside Human Rights” about the opening of the museum in Winnipeg. It’s funny what readers like though, as I’m always surprised at the posts that generate the most comments and views. I, like you, have really enjoyed interacting with other travel bloggers in our group and looki forward to reading many more of your posts in 2015!

    • Inside Human Rights was a favourite of mine too (even though I said I had a hard time picking favourites). When I get back to Winnipeg in spring I’m looking forward to going back to the museum and seeing all the exhibits open. Interacting with the travel bloggers group has been fun and I look forward to reading more of your posts as well.

  13. Always fun to look back on the highlights this time of year. Here’s hoping 2015 is just as fun and exciting!

  14. I’ve enjoyed following your life as a snowbird….Snowbirds, like expats, see a place through a unique and interesting perspective. Every good wish for the coming year!

  15. Donna I’ve enjoyed reading your blog posts. I look forward to reading more in 2015. And also thank you so much for taking out time to read and comment on my blog posts.
    Wishing you a health and prosperous 2015.

  16. Your post is inspiring me to do a similar post. 🙂 I’ve always thought it was odd that my most popular blog post overall is a super-short one about something I didn’t personally experience,
    and my almost viral youtube video seems to be so popular because there is so much to see (that I didn’t realize was there when I shot the video) in just a few minutes!,

  17. Congratulations on a successful 2014 and continued success in 2015.

  18. You had a fantastic year! I can see why you would hav a hard time picking!!

  19. Lovely recap, Donna! Glad I came across you & I look forward to following you in 2015 😉

  20. Sounds like a great year. Well done, and here’s to 2015!

  21. Kudos on a fantastic 2014, Donna. I agree with your sentiments on statistics. You’re a seasoned blogger (pun somewhat intended), so I’m sure you fully understand how to interpret them. I sometimes struggle with over-checking my site’s stats in hopes of improvement.

    But for now, I wish you the best in 2015. May your posts be numerous and your statistics be eye-popping!

  22. I do agree that to many bloggers it is all a matter of readership numbers. I am not so concerned with the numbers, as much as someone likes my writing on my blog. Of course I just do it for fun, and this would probably be different if I had any stake in that.
    Thanks for sharing, as usual, you blog is always entertaining and a joy to read.

  23. Congrats on a wonderful year. 2015 will be even better!

Leave a Comment