WOW!! I can’t believe it’s been one year already since I published my very first post on my first blog ever. It’s been quite a journey, lots of work but also a ton of fun, especially when I get nice feedback from you. So, if you are new to my blog and would like to get a snapshot of what I’ve been up to during the last 12 months, read on…
Even though my first post on April 10, 2013 kicked off Live Work Travel USA, the ground work started about a one month earlier. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts about how to start a blog and how to use WordPress for it. Thanks to my day job as a graphic designer it was a little easier to come up with graphics, even though I paid for a WordPress template* that I really liked. All I wanted was to just start blogging and not waste too much time on design and details. And I picked my blogging niche pretty broad with lifestyle, working and traveling topics, so that I won’t run out of things to write about for a very long time. Nothing is worse than running out of ideas.
While blogging in German would have been a lot easier for me, I wanted my blog to become a resource for all expats, not just people who speak German. It was also a great learning experience and I could practice my writing and English skills. So the first priority when coming up with new posts was to write about things that all expats have to do after they arrive in the USA, such as getting your driver’s license or applying for your Social Security Number. I know – boring stuff to write about, but new expats are super grateful for guides like that. To make it a little more fun for me to blog, I started to mix it up a little with things that I’m interested in like Travel Hacking, Affiliate Marketing or tools that I often use, such as taking advantage of credit cards and cash back services. Other topics that I have a lot of fun with are my personal experience with the American culture or my article about being Americanized.
One of the fun projects that I started pretty soon is to interview other expats for my Success Stories series. My goal is to interview expats from every single country in the world, and who moved to the U.S. and started a new life. So far, I’ve interviewed 19 people from 16 different countries. Pretty good, but still a long way to go and it’s only getting tougher to find nationalities, that I haven’t added to the series yet. If you are an expat living in the U.S. and would like to be interviewed for my series, please email me at info[at]liveworktravelusa[dot]com!
A big part of blogging is making sure that people find the stuff that you write about. So pretty soon after my launch I started posting on Facebook on a daily basis. It was a pretty cool outlet for all the little things that I experienced in America, that are not enough to write a whole article about. I also like to share interesting and funny stuff that I find online. Pretty much everything worth mentioning about the U.S., although I try not to get political on it or try to always post the latest news on it. I’m not a newspaper, so I don’t have to keep up with the latest. It’s more like a fun USA page. If you haven’t seen my Facebook page yet, make sure to check it out and maybe you even “like” it.
After Facebook kept messing with their algorythms and my reach suffered, I started looking into other Social Media channels to promote my blog. I fell in love with Pinterest and the way you can organize your content. So I quickly started up a Live Work Travel USA Pinterest page and fed it with both personal photos that I’ve taken during my travels as well as cool USA shots that I found all over the web. I even began to create infographics, because I heard that this is highly sharable content on Pinterest. Check it out and follow some of my boards, if not all of them!
My posting frequency over the last 12 months varied a lot. First I tried to stick to a 3-4 days schedule, but eventually had to reduce to once a week due to other time consuming projects I started to work on. I just didn’t want to post articles for the sake of posting, but rather concentrate on quality articles. That’s also a reason why I started to accept guest posts on my blog, if they fit my audience and have something worth sharing. Something that’s not already covered on my blog. One of these guest posts is about living expenses in New York, which was very interesting not only for me, but also for future expats who are planning to move to NYC. Are you interested in writing a post on Live Work Travel USA? Please contact me!
Last but not least, I quickly started to send out email newsletters, so that people who like my blog don’t always have to remember visiting it, but can just wait for my email to stay in the loop and not miss articles that they might be interested in. The list has been growing and at some point I created a couple incentives for new subscribers: The Ultimate USA Tipping Guide, which goes beyond my article about tipping. In late 2013 I reached out to 9 other expats and put together “Expat Cuisine” – an eBook with recipes from back home. That was a lot of fun, because every expat came up with a recipe of something that they miss from home. All recipes are made with ingredients that you get in the U.S., so everybody can try them out. Just sign up for my newsletter at the end of this article and get access to these two awesome eBooks.
These were the highlights of the past 12 months and now you know a little more about how it all started. Thank you all for reading and joining me on this journey!
Now I’m just going to enjoy my virtual birthday cupcake, scratch off the icing and delve into another great year of blogging.
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Title photo credit: Theresa Thompson / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)