October 20, 2017

Six Months In “My 7 Links”

Being a new travel blogger, I was honored by the invitation to participate in the My 7 Links project I received from Cathy of Traveling with Sweeney.  The timing of this actually coincides with the 6 month anniversary of European Travelista so it is a great time to take a look back at some of the posts I’ve published.  It was much harder than I thought to choose the posts to include even though I only have 6 months to sort through!

But I jumped in and here are My 7 Links .  .  .

 

Most Beautiful – Italy’s South Tirol: Wine and the Dolomites

Majestic Dolomites South Tirol Italy
Majestic Dolomites from Suditirol Marketind/Frieder Blickle


Spurred by a wine tasting my husband and I enjoyed in Avila Beach, California this post has relit my interest with the Dolomites.  I just can’t get over how dramatic and beautiful this region is.  This is where I can combine some of my favorites:  quaint villages, dramatic mountains, outdoor activities and wine!

Most Popular – Rocamadour – A Miraculous Village

This post could have also made it in the Most Surprising category!  At the last minute, I put up a few pictures I had taken while in Rocamadour France for Travel Photo Thursday.  I wasn’t very happy with the photographs but was out of time so that is what went up.  Who would have known it would be so popular!  I still can’t figure it out.

Rauchbier Spezial Bamberg, Germany by Ethan Prater, on Flickr

Rauchbier Spezial Bamberg, Germany by Ethan Prater, on Flickr

Most Controversial – Bamberg plus Beer equals Dilemma

Well I’m not sure this really fits in the most controversial category but I really don’t write about controversial things.  But this could be controversial, right?  I mean if people get all upset because of a sporting event someone could get real positional about a beer or brewery, don’t you think?! ?  Go with me here on this one 🙂

Most Helpful – Baroque: The Emotional Style

I have written a series on the different architectural styles you will find in Europe.  So far I have covered Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque and Rococo but chose Baroque because it was my personal favorite.  I’d like to think this series has helped us all learn a little more about the styles we see so often when traveling.

Most Surprising Success – Rhine Falls – Europe’s Biggest

Who knew everyone loves a waterfall?  I sure do now.  This one is another submission to Travel Photo Thursday and I never really expected such a reaction.Olivier Magny O Chateau Paris France

Deserved More Attention – Wine Tasting in Paris with O Chateau!

This was my first and only interview I have ever done and I was so excited to share O Chateau with everyone.  I really enjoyed putting this together as I was really tickled by Olivier’s sense of humor and  I like wine (in case you didn’t know 🙂 )!  It didn’t totally bomb but I was surprised it didn’t get a better reception.

Most Proud Of – Welcome to European Travelista. . .

This was the very first post I published on European Travelista.  I am most proud of this one not because it is an example of exemplary writing or because the topic is so grand but because it was a huge step forward for me to launch this blog.  By pushing the “publish” button I stepped into a foreign world and I am so glad I did!  I have learned so much from you all and appreciate your camaraderie even if we have never met.  So thank you all for a great 6 months!

 

 

My nominations for the My 7 Links project are:

Sensible Travel Advice

Quirky Travel Guy

Lisa Overman

Quiet Wanderings

Travel To Sun

Facebook Advertising. . . Does It Work?

First let me start by saying, I don’t win anything!

So I was surprised when I received an email from John Rampton at Techiemania telling me I had won their contest of $50 in Free Advertising from Facebook.

This was very fortunate timing because Facebook was one of the items I needed to work on.

Before we get into that, let’s go back to the beginning. . .

European Travelista, the blog, showed up on the web mid-January 2011.  When I started this blogging adventure, I included a twitter account, Facebook fan page and a StumbleUpon profile.  Why?  Because that’s what I was told to do and I follow directions usually very well.

I had no clue what twitter was about or how to tweet.  No real clue what to do with my Facebook fan page and what is StumbleUpon??  So during these last few months I have set out to learn about each of these and for this old blogger, I had to do it one at a time.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I started with Twitter thanks to a challenge given by Steve Roy from Ending the Grind.  Twitter √.

Then low and behold I won $50 in Facebook advertising, so it looked like Facebook was next!

Facebook Ads is very similar to Google Adwords.  You design an ad, set a daily limit you will pay per click, set a daily total amount you want to spend and then set the time frame you want to run your ad.  You also get to detail the type of person you want to see your ad.  I selected an age group and then a list of all the interests I wanted to include.  Using this information and the users Facebook profile and interests the ad would show up on those pages until the limits I had set were met.

It is very easy to set up, budget for and monitor.

Here is the ad I ran:Facebook Ad

So what were the results of running this ad for 5 days spending $10 per day?

My ad was shown 274,833 times, resulting in 56 clicks.  Of these 16 people took immediate action by “liking” my page and an additional 4 “liked” my page within 28 days of seeing the ad.

When the ad began running, there were 5 people “liking” my page.  At the end of the ad term, I had 27 “likees”.  Today the number of people “liking” my page has risen to 30.

So was this a success?European Travelista Facebook Page

I feel the answer is yes.  My “likees” increased by a whopping 540% (that sounds better than 22) due to the ad and there seems to be more people coming by and finding me.  I am not 100% sure at this point what this will mean to me in the long run but I know the whole goal is to have more people finding my blog and it does seem to be doing that.  I also don’t have a clue as to what the number of people “liking” my page should be for a new blogger.

Will I run another ad using my own money?

I’m actually considering it.  I am still struggling with posting regularly to my Facebook page and finding interesting things to include in these postings, so I will probably wait until I overcome this blockade.

 

Have you run a Facebook Ad?  What were your results?

If not, would you consider a Facebook Ad?

 

One more thing before you go, if you feel so inclined go to my Facebook page and Like Me!

European Travelista – Month 2

Month 2 of this little adventure has been a whirlwind of activity: writing blog posts, learning about twitter and figuring out how to get more traffic to my site, European Travelista.

Blog Picture

by digitalrob70, on Flickr

Since I am only capable of tackling one task at a time, I chose Twitter as my challenge for the second month.  Starting out I had no idea what Twitter really was, how to use it, what hash marks are or what the heck #TTOT was!  Thanks to a couple great bloggers I settled in and decided to overcome my fear of Twitter.

Follow eurotravelista on Twitter

First off was reading a post by Steve at Ending the Grind.  In his post he explained his 30 Day Twitter Experiment and challenged us readers to do the same.  Knowing the power of Twitter, Steve embarked on building relationships and meeting new like-minded people by setting goals of actually communicating with you folks.   So I decided to follow his lead and set Twitter goals for myself and jumped in.  In the 2 weeks I have been following Steve’s experiment my Followers on Twitter have rose 630%, comments on my blog are up over 200% and I’m actually having fun!

The other blogger that REALLY helped me gain a better understanding of Twitter was Gillian and Jason at One Giant Step.  Their recent blog on “What the heck is twitter” really answered some of the confusing parts I was struggling with.  Through their series of blogs on Twitter I became more comfortable using Twitter.  I still have a ways to go but appreciate their timely posts.

So where am I going?  I need to focus on getting more traffic to my site and that will be my main focus for the next month.  Currently I am in the process of tackling the Facebook side of things and trying to come up with some unique ways to keep content fresh at that site.  I also will figure out how to get more visitors to my Facebook page and actually “Like” me (I feel like Sally Fields – “You like me, you really really like me!”)  Any suggestions or tips for Facebook?

The next item on my list is to increase readership of the  blog at European Travelista, get more comments and more subscribers to my RSS Feed.  This is where I’d like to gather some of your opinions.  What could/should I do to increase readership and comments on my blog site?  I am opening myself up and asking that you please be honest with me. . . I promise to not hold it against you 🙂   I really mean it when I say, I look forward to hearing your suggestions to improving my blog . . . from you all.

So here’s your chance,

I am asking you all to critique my blog and make suggestions I could implement to increase readership and comments!

What are your ideas or suggestions?

Who Inspires You? Inspirational Blogs

EuropeanTravelista has been live for a month and boy have I learned a lot in a very short amount of time.  Since I first decided to start this new venture last fall I have had to learn how to write (??), about WordPress, Studiopress templates, widgets, SEO, how to market a blog, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and more.  Most of this list is still very much a work in progress and some I really have no clue what it is – hello StumbleUpon and Twitter!!  But I am learning . . . slowly.

Personal Development Blog

Inspiration by photosteve101, on Flickr"

Since I started reading and reading and reading travel blogs, I have found an amazing amount of people who have stretched themselves and set out to do the seemingly impossible.  I have spent time being afraid and more time being inspired.  This little endeavor has stretched my limits. . . Yes at 52 years old I am stepping out of my comfort zone and it feels good!

I just finished reading a post by a very inspirational blogger and it got me thinking about the blogs I have discovered and how they have inspired me.  So here is my list of inspirational blogs.

Where is Jenny?

Living your dream is hard.  It takes strength of character and a fortitude that a lot of us don’t have to stand up to family and friends that think your dream is irresponsible or selfish.  The reactions received when our dreams don’t stack up to the “norm” are difficult to face but Jenny is doing just this.  She is willing to take a deep look inward to figure out her life.  She shares this introspection on her site.  Check out her “Bucket List”.  It may just inspire you to make one of your own and then go after it!

Breakaway Backpacker

Jaime is young man that was forced to grow up pretty quickly.  One night, he made a mistake but the great thing about Jaime is he learned from it.  I admire Jaime for being strong enough to face the challenges and being so willing to share it on the web.  His honesty is something we all could learn from.  Jaime is taking off on his “Breakaway” journey in 5 short days.  I for one am looking forward to reading about his adventure as it unfolds.  Bravo Jaime and Happy Travels!

World Travel for Couples

I just read their blog “Making the Decision: Why We Went on a RTW Trip” and that was the inspiration for this post.  I have found a lot of blogs focusing on Round the World travel but this one has spoken to me.  My heart is still pounding from reading their most recent post.  I have known for awhile that I need to travel.  I have even known for awhile that I need to spend an extended amount of time away from home exploring some portion of this world.  I just have not gotten up the guts to actually do something about it.  It is still just in my mind.  Thanks to Adam and Megan I am now ready to put my dream on paper and attach a date to it!  Then I will set deadlines so that I am ready when that date arrives.

Thank you to all you bloggers out there who have inspired me.  Whether you have inspired me to travel or to be a better writer, you have all inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and reach for more!

Who inspires you?

Welcome to European Travelista. . .

. . . the blog for you if you love traveling to Europe! I am excited to launch this site with this first blog to tell you a little about me and what will be coming.

I was bitten by the travel bug after my first trip to Europe way back in 1982. I was 23 and set off on my own for my first ever adventure outside the USA. My mother must have been dying inside but to her credit she never discouraged me or told me how afraid for me she must have been.

Enjoying a beer in Englisher Garten's Munich

During my 3 weeks touring Germany, Paris and England I learned that I could get around in a country where English is not the language and I do not speak theirs! I ate, rode trains, got to the airport, didn’t get lost, could live within my means, learned to pack light and encountered some amazing people along the way. I also learned that the world, even back then, was a very small place as I ran into people who knew people I knew while waiting for the video to start at Dachau! This was my first trip and they have not stopped since.

This trip also introduced me to Europe and the love affair has stayed with me to do this day. Plain and simple, I love Europe! I am captivated by everything there is: history, art, architecture, people, the transportation, food, traditions, nature, art, culture, drinks and the stunning scenery. Everything is an education! I love talking about it, planning trips to visit and learning about new areas, cities, villages, sights to see, and more. I get an excited feeling all over when I see pictures of Europe. Maybe I’m a European at heart. . .
My goal for this blog is to share with you my experiences and learn about yours. I realize we all have a different way to travel but I believe we all share the same goal. That is to travel and we can learn from others even if we want to camp or prefer staying in luxury hotels. I will share my tips, knowledge of hotels, adventures I’ve taken, interesting facts I learn and adventures I want to take. I hope you will share your comments with us all. There is so much to learn and if everyone contributes we will all be richer for it.

Thank you again for stopping by. I hope to see you often as this journey takes off . . .

On the steps of Hohenschwangau