February 16, 2018 marks 1 year since the launch of SimplyLocal.life, highlighting mostly-local experiences enjoyed by a Jamaican woman on a budget 🎉 The decision to create this website stemmed from a desire to regularly enjoy outings in my beautiful home country and share the experiences to encourage others, locals especially, to do the same. Truth be told, the growth of the brand, its following, and its demands are beyond what was initially anticipated. However, I’ve always been up for the challenge 🙂
Top Picks of the Past Year
What to Do:
1.5 Hour Hike & Lunch at Kwame Falls
Where to Eat:
Oceans on the Ridge
Best of the Year
Most Popular Article
Why You Should Stop Consuming Parrot Fish
Most Engaging Article
Living Akashi Guesthouses: Private Island Getaway Relishing Nature
Creating and maintaining a personal brand quickly became much more than a hobby. There were a few aspects of blogging that I wasn’t initially prepared for, and honestly, am still adjusting to. The main ones being:
- It requires investment in money, time, and work:
To post quality content consistently and promote that content to get noticeable web traffic can prove to be quite a task. I honestly applaud writers would are able to produce an article quickly and post consistently. For me, who needs to do at least 3 drafts, 2x as many quality checks, and be critical of the photo layout… an average blog post turnaround time will take 2 business days to complete.
- Gaining readers’ trust
To this day, there is surprise when readers reach out to me seeking advice for their staycation / local outing planning, especially strangers. What I never really considered before starting is, as a blogger, persons look to you not only for insights, but also for inspiration.
- An applause won’t always be heard
Not all your articles will earn a boastful amount of comments and shares. Many of them will only receive views, and while it’s comforting to know persons are interested in your publication, sometimes that 1 added comment or share can make a wad of difference where motivation is concerned. Always write for your satisfaction; you may not always get the feedback you’d like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your work is going unnoticed.
- Interaction makes a difference
As a blogger, many interactions you’ll gain will stem from reciprocated actions versus genuine interest; that never sat well with me. As someone who doesn’t like to read extensively using a computer screen, I admit I’m not the most consistent reader of blogs in general (or any online medium for that matter). I prefer interactions with readers who genuinely like my content, but I also understand and respect how reciprocated engagement builds your overall viewership and network. Through this practice, many have been introduced to blogs they genuinely like, and even form valuable mutually-beneficial relationships. Many bloggers have the same goal, and we can help each other to reach it.
- Build your network
It was always a goal to be invited to a place through my website. In all honesty, I didn’t expect that goal to become a reality within the first year. Now, 1 year later, not only have I been introduced to a number of local venues and businesses, but readers have also been able to learn about and experience them themselves. I’ve been introduced to a number of valuable contacts and quality products in the past year, and must say, it’s truly a blessing.
Thank you to all those who have ever read, commented, and/or shared an article;
Thank you to those who have taken time to personally send encouraging words;
Thank you to those who have accommodated, worked with, and supported me and this website in any way;
Thank you all, for contributing to a great year!