In the middle of having lunch today, I received a tweet:
Whoa. SEVEN years.
Surprised? Yeah, me too. But just a little.
Holy Smithereens as a travel blog/brand is only 2 years old, but I’ve been blogging since 2006.
Tweeting for 7 , and blogging for 8. Years.
In blog years, that makes me very, VERY old.
This blogging journey has always been personal. I first started to blog so that my friends and family can know of my whereabouts.
And then, come 2006, I found myself getting married, so I joined an online group for wedding preparations ( Travel bloggers have nothing, and I mean nothing, on the frenzy of bride-to-be-bloggers!)
I tried to blog about wedding stuff and moving to a new country, but I found I didn’t really have a lot of gusto and enthusiasm to detail every wedding supplier booked, or the types of hairstyle I’ve tried, or which type of tulle / silk to use for the gown.
Then I moved to Australia in early 2007. Now this is abit of a ‘reveal’ as you most probably don’t know that I started a book review site, (now that, I was quite OC about!) Mainly for myself, as I like to recall things that I’ve read and enjoyed.
Then it started getting more hits than my personal travel blog. Students were using it to write their book reports! I kept that site for years. I received an invite to write about Gen X authors, but declined it as I don’t think I’m a master at the topic! I just loved reading books and keeping it personal.
And then there’s this psycho “author” who, after I’ve written a not so flattering and honest review of her “tongue-in-cheek” (somehow this term is used like a pass to be excused for being lousy) memoir, started a word war with me in the comments section. She demanded me to take down the review, and I refused of course. It’s still there, but I won’t link the page as it’s a waste of everyone’s time. Now that I think about it, it almost seems like a big joke!
I continued the site for abit more until all my travelling took over and I just couldn’t find the energy to write every single time I finished reading a book.
And then I sort of dabbled into prosthetics / special effects makeup. And injected abit of that into the blog.
But the main constant theme throughout the evolution of this blog is travel. All the other interests were fleeting. Travelling has always been a way of life for me.
So in 2012 I formally made this personal blog into a dedicated and official travel blog. Holy Smithereens, as you now know it.
I’ve read that most blogs don’t last a year. I personally don’t know any (ex) blogger who has only done it for a year or so and then quit.
But I think the key to why I lasted 8 years, is that my blogging is fueled by personal reasons.
Even now, after Holy Smithereens had more than tripled in views since I formally “launched” it, I still ensure that I only ever write about places I have personally been to. Because I don’t want to mislead that I’m recommending a product or a place that I haven’t even seen/ been to. This is why you don’t see guest posts, though I’ve been told that if I did (open up to Guest Posting) , Holy Smithereens will be more successful than what it is now.
I certainly don’t blog to gain popularity because if I did, I’d have taken every offer that came my way. I may be foolish to have turned down some opportunities but I like to keep things personal, and not too commercial.
I always disclose the sponsored trips and products we get, and at that, we only take those that we know will have value to readers, and also trips and things that we will personally spend on.
The thing is, I’m not blogging in order to be successful. Blogging makes me happy. It just does. But not as much as travelling.
Sure, this blog has opened a lot of travelling doors for me. But I’m a traveller first and foremost, before a blogger. And as a blogger, I like to keep things personal.
I enjoy the personal emails that I exchange with a number of readers, and we just talk about travel – their travel plans, my recommendations, Their recommendations. Not everything has to be publicized. It is those types of relationships formed that I cherish most. I don’t see readers as “fans” (oh, please.) We are all travellers, and this is why we are gathered here, to celebrate the type of travel we all (ok, most) enjoy – luxury with a dash of good
And knowing that I’ve helped some of you travel abit better, or gave you ideas how to enjoy travels more, genuinely makes me happy!
So thank you all for following the blog in its journey. And if you’ve been around for the last 7 years, and witnessed how Holy Smithereens came to be?
Oh, and for the record, this was my VERY FIRST Tweet:
My, my. Now we’re getting abit too close and personal.