I hope you all had a great festive season and I wish you all a Happy New Year! We had a great party on Saturday night with Danish, Indian, American and Irish friends, and even ended up singing our own national anthems. Looking back, that was a bit strange, so let's blame the alcohol, shall we? In pure Danish tradition, we jumped from the couch at midnight, and we moved onto the Venezuelan one, sticking wishes on the bottle of Champagne we just drank. We had to write my 5 years old's and well, he wished for penguins in the house, so I don't know about that one coming true. I guess we'll just have to wait and see...
Tomorrow is back to reality so it's time to close the door on 2016 and have a little round up of my blogging year.
My most read post
I wrote "Why is it hard to make Irish friends" back in April, and it has stayed on top of the list since. In a way, I knew many expats would be able to relate, but I didn't expect that much reaction. It was a bit like I said out loud what everybody thought but didn't have the courage to say. The most interesting part is that I got many positive reactions from Irish people as well, so I guess the post had a very broad appeal.
My least read post
Surprisingly, it's the Irish movie "Brooklyn" review. I honestly didn't think it would fare so badly, considering the subject. This movie, even if it was set in the 50's can still resonate with expats so if you are still on holidays or have nothing to do, give it a try, it's worth it!
The unexpected hit
Sometimes it takes me days or weeks to come up with a good post idea, and writing "7 reasons why I enjoy living in Ireland" was one of those that took a long time to be published. So needless to say I was very pleased with the reception it got!
The one I enjoyed writing the most
That's going to be a bit of a cheat, but I loved experiencing with infographics for "The expat holiday: expectations vs reality". I knew it would be better to show what it's really like with images than words and it really worked.
The most controversial
I've learned a thing or two with that one. First, that I am not the controversial type. Second, that I am not cut to write these type of posts and handle the flood of bad comments. Third, that there are some twisted people out there. The post was "Why are the French rude and judgemental?" (I can't actually share the link because it had been reported to Facebook at the time which means I cannot share it ever again, which is probably a good thing!) and if I had to do it again, I don't know if I would write it. This is my own fault, with a title like that, it was obviously a click bait. I was a stressed for days with this one, thinking about what readers were going to comment. I am not going to put myself through that again. Lesson learned I guess.
My personal favourite
I really enjoyed going back in time to write "Back to the beginning", which is about how I ended up in Ireland 14 years ago. In a way, it made me remember where I come from and what I have achieved since I arrived. Sometimes we tend to focus on the negative and this post made me see that all the problems I had to face at the beginning shaped me into the person I am today.
Those are the ones that are in the top 10 most read posts:
My biggest achievement
It's probably when someone called me by my blog name while in the queue waiting to meet the French president. Also that day I met people I didn't know but who had read my blog. Sometimes it's nice to have a little recognition because let's face it, I'm writing for pleasure. I don't make any money out of it (except a few cents a week from Google ads). Of course it would be a lot more rewarding to write for money but I haven't found the magic formula yet.
My biggest disappointment
The Blog awards again! This time I didn't even make the shortlist. It's a bit ironic that the first year I was blogging and didn't have that many readers I made it to the final and now I don't even make the cut! I think I have missed the social media train as well. Some bloggers put so much time and effort to promote their blog it's crazy. I just don't have the time and energy to look into details on how to grow my audience, have my own domain name and all that sort of things. I suck at Twitter and I don't have even have a Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat account.
Plans for 2017
I have finally written a plan for my book, a structure that I think is the best way to put my experience across. Now I just have to write it. It's fine, I'm not really in a rush, after all, the ideas have been sitting on the computer for 4 or 5 years only...On a more serious note, I really want to get stuck into it this year. I have a lot of material with the blog, so maybe it's time to tie it all up.
That's it, I wish you all a wonderful year, filled with joy, health, happiness and laughter and I hope all your projects and dreams come true.