Reader’s Q & A: How do I grow my readership

Hola everyone!

Welcome to the April edition of Reader’s Q & A. Spring has finally sprung and I am so glad that snow is finally gone for good and bright, sunny days are back. I just LOVE natural vitamin D, don’t you? :)

As you know, I am very grateful to be considered as a resourceful, trustworthy and knowledgeable person. That is why I am flattered when I receive messages from readers around the globe telling me how they enjoyed reading a certain post or how I inspired them to go to a place I recommended and that truly makes what I do worthwhile.

Now I recently received an email this week that grabbed my attention and knew that I needed to reply in a long form instead of a short reply via social media.

The reader asked:

“Hi Karla,

I love your blog and I’ve been following you for a few months now. I started blogging earlier this year but on some days I just feel like giving up. My numbers are not improving as fast as I would like them to and they are nowhere near as yours. Sometimes I feel as if no one reads or is interested in what I write.

I would love your advice or opinion on the following…

social media, blogging, readership, how do I grow my readership. reader's q & a, TS76

I sure could use some tips or pointers. Thank you so much for your time and help.

Marta”

 

Here is my answer:

Dear Marta,

First of all I would like to thank YOU for taking the time to visit and read my blog! It is greatly appreciated. I am happy to read that you find it useful and entertaining which is what I am for!

Please know that I know EXACTLY how you feel because I too have been there before and it is not a pleasant feeling or a good place to be!

The good news is that it is only a matter of time before you see things turn around in your favor and notice changes take place.

Remember that in life there are times when there are periods where you think that everything comes to a standstill, nothing moves or improves.

What you must do in the mean time is to keep yourself busy and press forward. Learn as much as you can, work on your growing your network, establish honest relationships with other bloggers and keep writing!

As far as your blogging is concerned, let me ask you a few questions.

Do you have a plan set in place or do you just go with the flow?

Do you use your blog as a diary or do you want to become an expert in a particular destination or area by writing great and original content about it?

What is your ultimate goal of the blog?

What do you want to accomplish?

I am asking this because it is truly important and it helps you know where you stand, what you need to plan, execute and monitor all your efforts to get where you want to.

Can I be honest with you?

When I first started blogging 4 years ago, I did it to keep my family, relatives and friends back home updated on my many (mis)adventures and trust me I wrote for myself at the beginning (first couple of months) but little did I know that people in other countries (my first follower is Eira from England!) started reading my stories and became interested in what I did in the land of the not so calm (South Korea).

I have always written because that’s what I love to do, even though I kind of hold back a bit since I know that the time span on the internet is pretty short!

Fortunately, by the end of the first year I had been seen in over 100 countries and that’s when I realized that I needed to take blogging seriously and give it a new direction! That changed everything.

I started learning more about how to be more active on major social networks (Twitter is by far my favorite) Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram etc.) as well as marketing, networking and SEO (it plays a major role in your rankings).

Since I am a passionate teacher and student, I always say: “never stop learning” That is why the best tip or suggestion I could possibly give you is to read and learn something new Every. Single. Day!

I have signed up to various sites regarding technology, blogging, social media and receive almost every day powerful, informative and inspiring content which makes me want to improve my skills and knowledge on a consistent basis.

Here are a few examples:

Social Media Examiner

Kim Garst

Mark Schaefer

Rebekah Radice

Guy Kawasaki

Peg Fitzpatrick

Jeff Bullas

Amy Porterfield

Ian Cleary

The SITS girls

And many, many more!

The invaluable and useful information provided is just amazing and best of all? It is absolutely FREE!

I also sign up to as many free webinars offered by these great social media influencers but also by sites such as:

Social Media Today

Andrea Vahl

Social Media Marketing University

Social Buzz University

Among many great sites, you can always research on Google and you will find lots to choose from :)

 

Now you mentioned that you are a travel blogger as well. These tips apply to anyone in any niche!

I invite you to read some of my previous posts about

How to get more followers on Social Media

Getting more followers on Twitter

How to get more post shares

Tips for new bloggers

They include more details that will help you on growing your followers.

I just believe that if you write awesome, fun, educating, entertaining and original content, accompanied by high quality photos or video and if you promote it actively (and help others in return), it will help you get more recognition and people will notice you.

People (readers) are very smart, intuitive and know when writing is very good. If they like it they will gladly share it and follow you because:

  • No one is begging or forcing them to do so
  • No one twists their arm or pay them to share or visit your site

AND

(most importantly)

  • You provide valuable information which is always appreciated and being authentic is what you project!

 

I am forgetting something very important that you mentioned in your email. Please, do me a favor…NEVER EVER compare yourself to anyone because that is like putting yourself down and will doubt yourself, your abilities and your talents!

You are special; you can do something that we simply can’t, so don’t ever under-estimate who you are as you’ve something unique to offer!

Instead of focusing on numbers and impressions or thousands of website hits, concentrate on being the very best you can be! You are in a race against yourself, not someone else who has impressive numbers (who knows maybe they have purchased likes, followers, website visits or all, trust me that is something you should never do).

Do what makes YOU happy and feel proud of what you accomplish one day at a time! Always keep in mind why you started, why you are doing this and keep your goal in sight (Add that to your résumé ;)

Supporting others going through the same situations is ok but never let anyone take advantage of you. I’m just being honest here.

Ah, also don’t just focus on one group in particular. Be diverse and reach other groups or audience that are completely different from what you do. As I mentioned earlier, I LOVE learning and trust me I have thanks to DIY, foodie, lifestyle and social media marketing bloggers :)

There are some very brilliant minds out there and it is great to connect with people who infuse you with great humor, enthusiasm and who know how to make you see some things you otherwise would not have been able to see on your own!

In summary, be a great learner, disciplined, never give up and just have fun! You have built your blog and they will come. Just have patience and keep pressing forward.

I hope you found my reply useful and put it to practice!

I wish you all the best and many happy travels!

Tashi Delek,

Karla :)

 

P.S: Did I miss something? What would you add or suggest?

We’re all eyes and ears!

Bucketlist Destination: Turkey

In my ever-growing bucket list (see no 76) there are several destinations that I truly want to visit in this lifetime and one of them is Turkey.

I have seen some spectacular scenes in movies such as Skyfall, The Accidental Tourist among others) and read detailed descriptions (even cried tears of laughter) in Lisa Egle’s hilarious travel memoir Magic Carpet Seduction.

It makes me wonder why I haven’t been there yet! Fortunately their national airline has just started flying out of my city, so who knows, it might be sooner than I think :)

In preparation for that day, I’ve done some research and made a list of the

Top cities I would like to visit in Turkey.

Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey, travel, photography, bucketlist

Rainbow over Istanbul. Photo Credit: christheisen

This European Capital of Culture draws millions of visitors yearly for many good reasons. Not only it is strategically located between two continents, it also oozes mystery, is so rich in history and clearly a delight for the senses.

I would personally go wander around the city and try not to use a map. I want to be guided by my own GPS, find the Blue Mosque, enter the Grand Bazaar, go on a ferry on the Bosphorus and take the beauty all in.

bakery, cafe, Istabul, Turkey, travel, photography, bucketlist

Traditional bakery and café. Photo Credit: christheisen

If I feel tired, I sure will not have a problem going to a café, sit down and enjoy the moment. I’ve been told you the city can cast a spell on you and quite frankly, I won’t mind ;)

Ankara

The Capital of Turkey is the second largest city and also the political center. So much of the country’s history was decided there.

Dikmen Vadisi, Ankara, Turkey, travel, photography, bucketlist

View of Ankara from Dikmen Vadisi Park. Photo Credit: Jorge Franganito

 Today it is a busy metropolis where tradition meets modernity. There are many attractions and remnants of the past such as the Roman Ruins, the Anit Kabir which was built in honor of the founder, Atatürk, who helped shaped the great nation.

Castle, walls, Ankara, Turkey, travel, photography, bucketlist

 Castle walls. Photo Credit: peace01234

I am an archeology and history fan as well as a museum lover, so there is plenty to choose from! One can enjoy the best of both worlds :)       

Antalya          

Located on the Turkish Riviera, Antalya has everything you need for the perfect holiday on the Mediterranean.

marina, Ankara, Turkey, travel, photography, bucketlist

Kemer Marina. Photo Credit: hannatour04

Sun, sand, hotels, restaurants, fun, nightlife? Yes to all.

If those aren’t enough good reasons, I can go back in time by walking the cobble-stone streets of the old town known as Kaleici, passing through Hadrian Gate, and stand before Hidirlik Tower or perhaps be mesmerized by Düden Fall.

sunset, Antalya, Turkey, travel, photography, bucketlist

Sunset in Antalya. Photo Credit: 564907

or simply relax, unwind and recharge batteries under the Turkish sun. Oh yes ;)

Izmir

They say that life is better at the beach and Izmir is no exception. Facing the Gulf of Izmir, it is another spectacular city.

aerial view, Izmir, Turkey, travel, photography, bucketlist

Aerial view of Izmir. Photo Credit: 31774

Moreover there are plenty of festivals, sport events as well as main sights such as külltürpark, Konak Meydani and go for a stroll on The Kordon!

waving flag, Izmir, Turkey, travel, photography, bucketlist

View of the city from Kadifekale. Photo Credit: 31774

Göreme, Cappadocia

This town in the rocky and mountainous region in Central Turkey is almost taken out of a fairytale.

The rock formations, called fairy chimneys, are the main attraction.

Uchisar, Cappadocia, Turkey, travel, photography, bucketlist

Uchisar, Cappadocia. Photo Credit: Mario555

Underground cities, houses, churches, monasteries, restaurants and even hotels were built by cutting and carving the rocks.

There is one thing in particular that I really want to do and that is to go on a hot air balloon ride at sunrise and admire the entire splendor of the area from the air. Now that would be one of my ultimate dreams come true.

hot air balloons, Cappadocia, Turkey, travel, photography, bucketlist

Aerial view from a hot air balloon. Photo Credit: Cattalin

As you can see there is so much to see and do in Turkey that I am sure that it will require more than a week and a few return trips to truly appreciate all that it has to offer.

Now it’s your turn!

Tell me…

 

Have you ever been to Turkey?

If you have, where did you go and what did you like best?

If you haven’t, which one of the cities mentioned above would you like to visit?

 

Tell me all about it in the comments.

Until next time!

Happy travels, mutlu seyahatler

All the best.

K :)

 

Top 5 favorite travel movies

“Movies touch our hearts, awaken our visions and changes the way we see things.

They take us to other places.

They open doors and minds.

Movies are the memories of our lifetime.

We need to keep them alive.”

– Martin Scorsese

They  say that an image is worth a thousand words…

Well a movie, especially travel movies, really make you feel as if you’re in that exotic location, they take you directly to another dimension!

I have always been curious and wanting to travel the world from a very young age.  Hence I got to travel for the first time when I was 7 years old and I think that very first experience changed my life…forever!

After graduating from university, I went to Europe for 2 months and that was a major turning point in my life.

I haven’t stopped travelling since then. I have been to several continents and there is still tons of countries I would like to visit. All in its due time right?

In the meantime, I love day dreaming of those faraway places thanks to the magic of movies.

I’d like to share with you my

Top 5 favorite movies of all time

In no particular order. Let’s start with

1- The Motorcycle Diaries 

The young Che Guevara and his friend Alberto leave their home and belongings to travel throughout South America which will eventually transform both of their lives and they will become important figures in Latin American history, especially the Che as you know. We witness his transformation as the film and the story develops and we kind of understand why he took it to heart and fought for those who had no voice and resources.

The scenery is simply spectacular: from the Argentinean country side, to crossing a lake on the way to Chile, to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru to Colombia and finally Venezuela.

What I loved most is how the people he encountered helped shape the man he would later become and what ideals he would be fighting for.

The movie really left a strong, lasting impression & never get tired of watching it over and over again! It’s a must for everyone who loves adventures and history ;)

2- Casino Royale

Let’s be honest here. I had never seen Daniel Craig in any movie before this one. So I did not know what to expect. Boy was I pleasantly surprised!

Ok I admit I am a 007 fan and have been since I was a child. My dad has the entire DVD collection *which he received from someone I won’t mention her name ;)* so I have seen pretty much all of them and was always fascinated by all the incredible locations he wast sent to.

Talk about incredible adventures in stunning locations around the world! (Turkey, Jamaica, Thailand, Brazil, Russia, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong etc). Nothing prepared me for this.

I was literally on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. There are some amazing scenes filmed in the Bahamas, Montenegro, Talamone, Venice!  It certainly deserves a spot on my list!

I was, am and always will be a 007 fanatic ;)

3- L’Auberge Espagnole

The Spanish Hostel, is the story about 6 Students coming from all over Europe and live together in Barcelona.

Their lives are intertwined and they are all very interesting. This movie is hysterical and it sure helped me understand many things even before I went there and experienced it myself (I lived in Italy for a month & had Greek, Thai and Mexican roommates). You must see it!

4- Under the Tuscan Sun

It’s a really moving story, of personal transformation with the help of different persons coming into your life at the right time and what better place than Under the Tuscan Sun!

I call it a renewal of the human spirit and faith. Things get better and better as we age, difficulties are just necessary to our development! I love Italy even more and cant wait to go back.

What I love the  most is the phenomenal locations where it was filmed, particularly Cortona, Roma, Positano and the always colorful Amalfi Coast!

Love always finds a way, even when you least expect it :)

5- Eat, pray, love

I first read the book “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert and I swear I could not put it down. I had to read it from the first page to the last. She really knows how to capture the reader from the get go and makes you an active participant.

I just laughed so hard when she described the atmosphere at the Italian football stadium (calccio) and made me salivate when she talked about that delicious Margherita pizza in Naples.  I wasn’t too crazy about the part in India but did enjoy Richard from Texas’ intervention in her life and those bumper sticker quotes like this one:

“If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind.”

Now the movie came out and I thought it was a condensed version of the book. The images of Italy, India and Bali are stunning. I literally fell in love with the island! I really have to go there and see for myself. It is definitely worth it! Julia Roberts just illuminates the screen, so it’s much more fun to watch.

So there you have my Top 5 favorite travel movies!

Now it’s your turn!

Tell us,

What is (are) are your favorite movie(s)?

I just can’t wait to read all about it!

Until next time,

Happy travels

Karla ;)

Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge

 Praise the bridge that carried you over

George Colman

 

One of my absolute favorite cities in the world is the big apple, the capital of the world, the one & only New York City.

Manhattan, New York City, NYC, skyscraper, Empire State Building, travel, photography

I’ve been there so many times that I actually lost count! Not only it is such a dynamic, fierce, entertaining and educating city, it is a place where anything is possible.

Have I ever told you I actually lived there for a month during the summer? I lived in the borough of Queens which is across from Manhattan and that only helped me solidify my relationship and love for the city that never sleeps!

Believe it or not I had always been there with a group of people (family, friends and others). Only a few years ago I was actually able to go there all by myself and what a difference, night and day as they say. I couldn’t believe I could actually go anywhere I wanted and do what had been on my bucket list for years!

They say good things happen to those who wait and it was well worth the wait ;)

I was organizing my many photos stored on SD cards (yes I am still old school and keep it there but mind you I am going to copy them into an external HD) and found these I captured while I was in NYC and remembered that bright sunny day when I finally got to walk on one of the most iconic and spectacular structures that connects lower Manhattan, over the East River, to the borough that bears the same name: The Brooklyn Bridge.

Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, structure, suspended bridge, travel, photography, TS76

Originally built in 1883, it was the longest and oldest suspended bridge in the state and country. It is 1596 feet long (486 meters) and was the very first bridge constructed with steel wires.

Millions of vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists cross its lanes and passageways to and back from work. It simply is an incredible experience. The view of Manhattan is breathtaking but so is the walk over the river.

I remember clearly that I was really up for a challenge that day, so I decided to make it to the other side. Talk about a power walk!

Come along as I take you on a visual tour.

Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, structure, suspended bridge, travel, photography, TS76

Brooklyn Bridge close up of the cable arrangement which looks like a web

Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, structure, suspended bridge, travel, photography, TS76

Admiring this view of Manhattan skyline

Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, structure, suspended bridge, travel, photography, TS76

View of Lower East Side

Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, structure, suspended bridge, travel, photography, TS76 Crossing the bridge

Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, structure, suspended bridge, travel, photography, TS76

Pedestrians and Automobiles

It was such a pleasure and a feat reaching the other end, Brooklyn and admire the city of skyscrapers. That was definitely one of the best memories from the trip to the big apple and I sure can’t wait to return over and over again :)

 

Hope you enjoyed the photos!

Now over to you.

Tell us,

 

What is your favorite bridge?

Where is it located?

 

 

If you have images, include them in the comments section below or send me the link. I will certainly check them out!

 

Until next time.

Tashi Delek, All the best.

Karla

Colorful Street Art in Montreal

“Life is a great big canvas,

throw all the paint you can on it.”

Danny Kaye

I believe it is no longer a secret and you sure know by now that I am simply obsessed with street art! I’ve already shared with you some amazing and colorful creations I’ve found right in my own backyard.

No matter where I go, whether I am actively looking for it or not, they seem to pop out and stop me. I simply must capture them!

Believe it or not, it is a fun activity and since the temperature is slowly warming up, I decided to go on a walk under the glorious sun and found the following artistic creations. By the way, they were all taken with my smartphone, Samsung Galaxy. Yes it take good shots!

Enjoy :)

street art, art de rue, mural. photography, montreal, montreal street art, Canada, TS76

Bear and Cake

street art, art de rue, mural. photography, montreal, montreal street art, Canada, TS76

Colorful mural

street art, art de rue, mural. photography, montreal, montreal street art, Canada, TS76

It takes two to tango

street art, art de rue, mural. photography, montreal, montreal street art, Canada, TS76

Duality

street art, art de rue, mural. photography, montreal, montreal street art, Canada, TS76

First nations Mural

street art, art de rue, mural. photography, montreal, montreal street art, Canada, TS76

Mouse painting

street art, art de rue, mural. photography, montreal, montreal street art, Canada, TS76

The future is here

street art, art de rue, mural. photography, montreal, montreal street art, Canada, TS76

Tweet tweet

street art, art de rue, mural. photography, montreal, montreal street art, Canada, TS76

Two by two

street art, art de rue, mural. photography, montreal, montreal street art, Canada, TS76

Two faces

Hope you enjoyed this urban cultural adventure!

Now over to you,

I’d like to know…

Do you like street art?

When was last time you saw some great murals?

Let us know and if you have photos or links, share them with us!

Until next time.

Tashi Delek, all the best

Karla :)