Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Expat Blog of April = Me!!

This month has been a good one for English Girl Canadian Man (for the blog that is, not for Luke and I as the visa saga continues). I got paid real life money to write a blog post for HiFx (link here) all about my expat top tips. This was exciting! I don't actively seek ways of making money through my blog as it is a hobby, but I was super happy to have been given that opportunity. Luke and I are ever frugal and this is the first time that I have ever made money through one of my hobbies. Well apart from a time I earned a tenner translating a French letter for someone.

Additionally, this month our blog was chosen to be 'Expat Blog of the Month' by Expat Blog. I was asked to do an expat interview, which can be viewed here in their newsletter. I always love completing these interviews. They really give me a chance to get into the nitty gritty about how I feel about being an expat.

This also drove more readers to my blog. Again, I don't actively seek readers, I much prefer the one-to-one intimacy of having a few people who comment on here with whom I have built relationships, however it is nice to look at my statistics and to see how far the blog has come since 2013.

When I think about the future of this blog, I have a few areas for development:

1) I would like to change the blog header a little. I got this blog header from Happy loves Rosie - a blog that I just adore! I love her style and I think I would like to commission a few more blog headers that I can change seasonally. I have tried making my own and I like it, however I am not sure I can capture the frivolity I would like this blog to reflect as well myself.

2) I would like to home in on what this blog really is about - is it an expat blog? A travel blog? A craft blog? A lifestyle blog? What could it be. At this time, I really don't know. I have experimented with a few things and continue to dabble in all areas! What do you guys prefer to read about?

3) One thing I know for certain is that I want to travel more myself. I have been limited by time and means in the past year and a half. Perhaps if I do manage to secure a work permit I could travel more of Ontario and then maybe the rest of Canada. It seems sad that I have been here for so long and have only ever stayed within a three hour radius of Hamilton! 

4) I would like to up my game with photography. I have a Nikon D50 that I can't use properly and most frequently only take photos with my phone - simply for convenience. But my Nikon takes some amazing photos and I would really like to learn how to use it a little more.



What do other bloggers think for the future of their own blogs? Any hints or tips for me?

19 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your big step! It is great to receive money for something you love to do. Wishing you good luck with you plans :)

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  2. Oh Holly you keep doing exactly what you are doing I Love reading your stories tips and the love story of you and Luke. I like that header with the falls it is incredible and your designer one I have always liked. Congrats on getting paid for a blog oh yes my dear you are doing wonderful maybe you should be giving me some tips:) I do have a tip go by train to Vancouver in coach you will NEVER forget it for the views and the people you will meet. HUGS B

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  3. I actually don't think it would do you any good to limit the themes of your blog. It's clear that you like talking about knitting, about Luke and your family, about life in Canada, about your pets, about visa issues, etc. etc. I personally like the stories about life in Canada the most because I like to see life in my country through a foreigner's eyes, but I really like how your blog is well-balanced and you talk about a variety of topics that interest you (and it shows).


    A lot of Canadians don't explore further than a few hours from where they live. Canadians don't have a lot of vacation time, airfare is expensive and they like to go down south to escape winter with what little vacation they have.


    As for me, I am one of the laziest bloggers in the world. Weeks go by and I think about great things I would love to talk about on my blog, but I only get around to writing when one day I suddenly get this urge to write. Then there is no stopping me! I don't care that much because like you I don't want to have a lot of followers, just a few loyal followers is enough for me. I don't make any effort at all with my blog because I don't want anybody to find me. I just want to share experiences with other expats and learn about culture and languages.


    Great interview, by the way, but I don't understand the issue with the apron. What is an apron to you? To me it is something you wear to protect your clothing while you are cooking.

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  4. Good job! Getting paid to write is pretty much my dream :lol: Glad you were acknowledged properly.

    I find the current header is charming and cute, much like you. But change is good sometime!

    I did redesign my blog a few times (once every couple of years I guess) to keep up with the latest technology (i.e. integrating social media) and to make it look fresh. No big plans for it for now, just keeping on writing.

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  5. I've been thinking about this stuff too. I just recently got a new blog design which I love and now I'm struggling with if I want to pay for a domain name and how that will affect my feeds.

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  6. Milam Tourbez23 April 2014 00:39

    Don't change a thing, girl! I like it just the way it is. Keep it real! The possible header is nice, especially the phrase, but I'm still partial to your current one.

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  7. When i retire in June I hope to spend more time on my blog - it would be helpful to make a little money from it but i haven't really explored how.

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  8. anexactinglife23 April 2014 16:14

    I like personal blogs that cover a lot of topics, so I enjoy your current format!

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  9. Thank you! It was a fabulous feeling!

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  10. Cheers B! Vancouver is on our list, hadn't thought about doing it by train, but that does make sense really! You would get to see so much more of this country doing it that way.

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  11. I like your current blog header, but it is my opinion. I like the quirkiness of it :) When all this immigration bull is over, you have a standing invitation to our house so you guys can explore Ottawa and Picton (where my father in law currently lives ) :)


    As for the future of my own blog, i am pondering redesigning the header too but my pregnancy brain is a bit out of whack so i am giving myself a few weeks to regroup. I wish i had any tips for you, but i am such a newbie :)

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  12. Thanks for your feedback! You are right - airfare is so so expensive here, which is ludicrous considering how far away everything is! You are right - that is what an apron is! Here they call them smocks though!

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  13. Oh, I had no idea you only update things every few years - you recently updated and I thought perhaps it was a yearly thing!

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  14. Yeah, you are one of the blogs I aspire to be like - I love how fresh you keep everything and how 'on topic' you always are! It does look awesome! Good luck finding the perfect new home for your blog, I am not nearly ready for hat move yet!

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  15. Thank you :) it seems a lot of people are. I am glad that I made he right choice!

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  16. Yeah, it is not something I have explored. I would need to get my readership up first too.

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  17. Thank you :) I like personal blogs too - much more so than the bigger, more professional, less personal ones!

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  18. Woohoo! Thank you! I still feel like a newbie too, in coo parison with other bloggers!

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  19. Well thanks for the positive feedback. I actually just switched to a .com and it was so easy actually. Let me know if you need help. I've been toying with the idea of offering it to people but I'd need to do a few freebies first.

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Thank you for commenting :) it makes me happy!