Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


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Finding My Place in the Blogging World

Here comes a 4am brain dump… Prepare yourselves.

I have blogged on Girl Meets Bulgaria for nearly a year and a half now and I’m starting to feel in a bit of a rut.

Here’s the thing: I have more to write about than ever before.

As the name implies, I started this blog to document my journey to, and life in, Bulgaria. Well, it’s finally on the horizon but some days the last thing I want to do is blog about it. And it certainly isn’t due to a lack of time. I happen to have LOTS of that at the moment!

I read lots of blogs (probably too many) and I am starting to feel slightly inadequate. Between: Not Me Mondays, Wordless Wednesdays (oh, but to confuse things, sometimes they have words) and Scavenger Hunt Sundays; linkups and giveaways; sponsors and buttons;  challenges and surveys, I am starting to feel like this blogging thing is a bit… well… overdone. Add in Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr and don’t forget blog hops and memes (exactly what is a meme anyway?) and it’s no wonder my head starts to hurt when I spend more than a few minutes on Google Reader.

Don’t get me wrong, I use a lot of the things mentioned above, but I am starting to drive myself crazy wondering if I should also be posting a Wordless Wednesday or A-Z of Me. Hell, there is some mass-blogged topic for every day of the week. People don’t really have to come up with anything original anymore. Just find a linkup and you are good to go!

But here’s the thing, there is no rule book for blogging. Maybe my readership would improve if I did a giveaway or shared a button. But part of me wonders… why do I care about the number of people who read my blog? As long as my family and friends have a place to go to stay up to date with what’s going on in my life, isn’t that enough?

Well, no. If I am being honest with myself, it isn’t. Any blogger who says their readership numbers don’t matter to them even just a little bit is lying. Otherwise, they would be writing with a good ole’ fashioned pen in a handy-dandy thing we call a diary. If they weren’t trying to write to an audience why post on the World Wide Web?

I have done far better (in readership numbers) then I ever expected I would. I am flattered that people care what I have to say, especially considering I am not even in Bulgaria yet and a large number of my readers are Bulgarian. It truly makes my day to log into my WordPress account and see a couple of hundred people have read my blog that day or posted a thoughtful and supportive comment. On the flip side, I get super bummed out when I see only a few dozen views for the day. Sigh.

At this point, I am not doing this to make money (and probably never will). I don’t want sponsors. I won’t do reviews of products so that I get free stuff. I will just continue to post the happenings in my daily life with some photos thrown in for good measure. If that means that my blog doesn’t “do as well” as others, then so be it. I don’t know why I feel like it’s a competition anyway.

I’ll probably be eating my words in a few months time when I suddenly think it’s a great idea to start posting a Wordless (who’s kidding, mine would have words) Wednesday or photo challenge. For now though, I’m not into it (and I certainly mean no offense to anyone who is).

For the time being, I will focus on improving my blog for me not in order to keep up with what everyone else is doing. I’m considering a move to a self-hosted blog on WordPress.org with my own domain name. I have also thought about focusing more on a photo blog (which I stated months ago but have yet to post to). That should keep me busy!

Do any of you other bloggers out there ever feel overwhelmed and a bit inadequate? Sort of a “keeping up with the Jones'” vibe in the blogosphere?

Maybe it’s just me.

Hm.

I should get some sleep. Everything looks brighter after a solid 8 hours!

W.


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One Year “Blogiversary”

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Girl Meets Bulgaria.

A year ago when I was posting my About Me page and first post, I truly never thought I would stick with it as much as I have. I tried a few times before on other platforms, but never seemed to post more than a few times. This time around however, I am really enjoying it and never seem to run out of things to blog about (which is the key, I think). This is especially true now that I am finalizing plans for my move to Bulgaria.

I started this blog a year ago to chronicle my journey in getting to Bulgaria (marriage, visa process, immigration process, becoming an expat, etc) and to share my observations and experiences once living there.

Obviously, at times the posts have had little to do with Bulgaria and more to do with the random happenings in my life. Which, as it turns out, is completely fine by me. My family is able to keep up with what I am doing, I have a platform to share my photography (which I am working on daily), and I can work on my writing skills ( or lack thereof sometimes).

The next year in this blog will surely be a productive one. I will finally be blogging from Bulgaria later this year. IT IS SO AWESOME TO BE SAYING THAT!

The long, tedious and frustrating visa (and one day, immigration) struggles lie ahead and I hope my insights and advice help others who, like myself, are in relationships with foreigners and attempting to wade through the bureaucratic mess on both sides of the ocean.

Once all that is done, I hope my day-to-day experiences make for an interesting read as well!

So here are my stats for the year. A little under some of the goals I set, but hey, I am still ecstatic with how far I have come.

  • 100 posts (this one is the 100th!)
  • 8,880 all-time views (short of my goal of 10,000)
  • 425 views on my busiest day
  • March 2011 was my “busiest” month
  • 264 comments
  • 10 subscribers
  • 35 categories
  • 213 tags

 

I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for me!

W.