Blog Update - July 2017

OK, I'm writing this on 26 August 2017 looking back in time as to what I have done over the month of July. The idea going forward is that I write a short monthly update outlining what I've done over the month with regards the Best Travel Books website in a more timely fashion. At this stage I'm intending to post more of a stats update, but I'll assess this over time and adjust accordingly.  So what did I do over the month of July?

Accessing the Blog Analytics page provides the following monthly breakdown:

May: Unique Visitors 14, Visits 27, Page Views 167
June: Unique Visitors 55, Visits 103, Page Views 431
July: Unique Visitors 117, Visits 144, Page Views 294

On the face of it, it looks like more people are visiting my blog!  Word is getting about the amazing awesomeness of Best Travel Books. It's only a matter of time before Best Travel Books is rated in the top 10 travel blogs of all time and I'll be wading in cash!  Or maybe not.

Turns out, every time I visit the website due to cookies being turned off, the analytics are treating me as a unique visitor. So really, all the analytics page is showing is that I'm visiting the website more often!  Oh well, at least its highlighting that I'm putting in my effort! I'm sure there's a way to fix this, so I'll look into it.

In terms of posting, I've written 7 book reviews, one each book I've read over the month, as listed below:

Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw by Will Ferguson (2004) - 4.5 stars
Surrender or Starve by Robert D. Kaplan (1988) - 3.5 stars
In Search of Solomon's Mines by Tahir Shah (2002) - 3.5 stars
An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof (2003) - 3.5 stars
The Nile: Downriver Through Egypt's Past and Present by Toby Wilkinson (2014) - 4 stars
Kite Strings of the Southern Cross by Laurie Gough (1998) - 3 stars
Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston (2017) - 4 stars

A real mix in here comprising two books I already owned (Surrender or Starve and Kite Strings of the Southern Cross), one book I had to physically order due to not being available on Kindle (Beauty Tips From Moose Jaw) and five new books purchased on the Kindle. The standout over the month was Ferguson's Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw detailing various trips he took around Canada and which is infused with plenty of humour and historical background. This definitely won't be the last I'll be reading of Ferguson.

I've also been plugging away at Pinterest and getting a bit more familiar with how that works. As a result I've organised my Boards a bit better to reflect different groupings of books.  To date, the best repin I've got is for the 20 Best Things to Do in Niue blog post - fairly ironic given the website is supposed to be about travel books rather than travelling!

On the downside, somehow the image map I created enabling people to click through on various regions (e.g. Africa, South America etc), seemed to fall over and without the time and patience to sort this out again, I've reverted to simply having each region written out in order to allow people to click through. In this case one step forward and two steps back. :-)

July finished off with my me and my wife taking a week long trip to Bora Bora and Tahiti for our 10th wedding anniversary. Thanks to family help, this also was the first time we've had any extended period away from the kids together since the were born (over eight years ago). I've subsequently written a post on this during August and will talk about that as part of August's update.

I'm pretty happy that good progress that I've made fleshing out the content on the site. I'm also still coming with new ideas to improve the overall look and feel which will provide me with plenty to do over the coming months.