Two hundred and fifty weeks is a long time. That’s how long my Photo of The Week series lasted.
I’ve loved this series for allowing me to connect with you guys and share snapshots of my weeks as they happen. But all good things come to an end, and it’s time for the sun to set on this series.
I realize there are many readers who might not even notice me phasing out an old series, but for those that have followed along loyally since the beginning, I do want to give an explanation. When I first started blogging I wanted a way to check in often in “real time” with casual and easy updates outside of my wordy, photo-filled blog posts that are a labor of love and come out weeks or months after I return from a given trip.
That sounds a lot like what social media is for, right? At the time, I had a personal Facebook account and not much else. But these days I have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even Snapchat (well, when I remember to use it that is). Lately, I find myself struggling to organize/create enough “real time” content for all those channels plus my trusty old series Photo of The Week.
My love for Instagram and Facebook is growing every day, and I want to focus more on those channels without worrying about repeating myself or “saving” the best photos for Photo of The Week. I’m really excited to be much more active on those channels now.
There are other more business-oriented reasons as well. Photo of The Week posts are fun to read in the moment but have little information that is relevant in the long term, which leaves them clogging up my archives and homepage with little traffic from social or search sources, which hurts the overall search engine rankings of my site. They often confuse new readers about where I am, and they stress me out when it comes to creating an editorial calendar.
So basically that’s the long version, here’s the short one:
• Removing a weekly feature gives me more flexibility and freedom in post scheduling
• It frees up time and content to redirect into my social channels
• It will (hopefully) overall improve my site search engine optimization and rankings
• It gives me the incentive to FINALLY kick start a project I’ve been wanting to do for ages…. a newsletter!
That’s right, I’m launching a newsletter! This has been on my wish list for ages and I’m so excited to be checking it off. Not one is it something I’ve personally been itching to do, it’s also been a frequent request from those who like to follow Alex in Wanderland via email but find my automatically-dispatched posts every few days to be too frequent. That said, I know a lot of you love that feature, so I’m keeping both options open. (And by the way, HUGE thank you to my designer dream team at Further Bound for making the logistics work out for me. If you’re looking for a site redesign, you’d be lucky to have them on your crew!)
What to expect from the new one? Every Sunday I’ll be sending out a personal, real time update like you’re familiar with from Photo of the Week, followed by links to the week’s blog posts, an inspiring travel quote, as well as some of my most popular Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest entries. And who knows what else? A mean blog comment of the week? A sassy take on the latest travel news? Pictures of random baby animals doing cute stuff? (Okay, I’ll try to hold off on the last one.) This is all new to me and I plan to have some fun playing around and finding the right fit. Suggestions are welcome!
If you’re already signed up for latest posts, you’ll have to sign up for the newsletter separately. If you’re not signed up for either yet, I’d be honored to have you onboard. Sign up here, and give yourself a big ‘ol high five for me! I’ll be kicking things off this coming Sunday with an update on my arrival in Brazil.
In the end, I think this will be a positive change on all fronts. A more personal, heartfelt weekly email update to the inner circle who want it most, and more frequent, substantial content here on the blog for those who want that most. Me? I want both. And I’m so grateful, as ever, for you guys picking up the love I’m putting down.
Excited to hear from you guys on this! Let me know what you think in the comments!
Looking for new travel blogs to obsess over? Curious about new content? Searching for the perfect gift for the wanderluster in your life? Each month, I’m sharing an inspiring selection of travel blogs, travel projects and travel shops right here! Not only are these fellow entrepreneurs following their passions and creating beautiful content, they’re also supporting Alex in Wanderland by advertising in my sidebar this month — please support them back by checking out their sites and cheering them along. (From here forward, these featured bloggers will be announced in the first newsletter of the month.)
Now let’s shine the spotlight on Alex in Wanderland’s featured bloggers for April!
Caroline of Backpacking in Heels might just have one of the coolest day jobs on the planet (and I say that as someone who is often accused of having one of the coolest day jobs on the planet!) A documentary producer slash director with an incurable case of wanderlust and penchant for storytelling? You just know this blog is going to be good.
Why I Love This Blog: Can we talk about pun fun? Post titles like Goa Hard Or Goa Home keep me clicking — and wishing I was more clever when it came to naming my own entries!
Korean American blogger Nie Nie of Adventures with Nie Nie hails from California and has many passport stamps due to her military family upbringing. She names the diverse countries of Philippines, Korea and Italy as her travel faves, and reflects those varied destinations in her colorful posts.
Why I Love This Blog: As someone who just spent 50+ hours in transit, I appreciate her practical posts like How To Stay Entertained on Flights.
Rachel Elizabeth is an English-teaching, flying-phobic travel addict who was transformed by travel. Her blog Blond Wayfarer follows her travels in Europe, North America and beyond.
Why I Love This Blog: She’s brutally honest about the tough stuff, like cancelling a long-awaited trip for personal reasons. As someone who has done the same thing, I appreciate reading someone else’s thought process.
Long time Alex in Wanderland readers might recognize Sky of Sky Vs. World from the comments section –and now I’m so excited to have her in the sidebar too! A small town Pennsylvanian with a love of all things Central America and a bravery for stepping outside her comfort zone, you’ll be cheering her along with every post.
Why I Love This Blog: Frankly, I see so much of my own journey in Sky’s — a young girl fired up to do something totally crazy and out of both her own and her community’s comfort zone, and equal parts scared and determined to do it.
Natalie of Gad About the Globe hails from Idaho, but her travel history allows her to call many places home — she’s worked in Europe, studied in Asia and Latin America, worked for the Peace Corps in Madagascar and for Americorps in Los Angeles, and traveled extensively inbetween!
Why I Love This Blog: All those smarty-pants accolades are put to amazing use for posts like Five Ways Politics Affect Travel, interspersed by the usual colorful travel tales.
Interested in becoming a featured blogger or shop? Read more here. Limited spots still remaining for July and beyond.
I like photo of the week, but I do understand why you are stopping it. I keep up with your posts via Feedly but I am subscribing to the newsletter 🙂
Thank you so much Erin! That means a lot to me!
Sorry to see Photo of the Week ride off into the sunset, but you’re right – 250 weeks is a long time, and you’ve been amazingly consistent. Congrats on the newsletter – continuing to move forward is so important. Enjoy the next chapter, and have a great time in Brazil! Cheers –
Thanks Paul! It felt like a great number to cap off with.
Makes sense Alex! It seems that is the way things are moving these days. I’m all signed up for the newsletter 🙂
Thank you thank you thank you Sonja <3
I’ve signed up for your newsletter! It seems like an excellent replacement for Photo of the Week (which I also loved 🙂 ) Looking forward to the first edition!
Yay! So excited to have you along Karlijn!
I loved photo of the week, but I signed up for your newsletter right away, and can’t wait to see how that appears! Have safe and great travels!
Thanks Cate! I’m sure it will be a work in progress at first, appreciate you joining!
I’d love to see a real life on the road section…like an unfiltered photo of reality. I always laugh when I’m taking a photo laying on my back slanted at a weird angle to make everything look perfect… you know what I’m talking about haha
Ha! Yes, I do post that kind of thing every once in a while in my roundups. Newsletter might be a great new spot for them 🙂
I’m gonna miss Photos of the Week being a long-term follower but I trust that the Newsletter will bring fresh ideas! So long…
Thanks Gally! Appreciate your faith in me 🙂 Let’s do this!
That seems like a pretty good idea! Besides, there are people like me who know zero things about photography and couldn’t really appreciate the Photo of the Week posts 😀 The newsletter is an awesome idea, I’m gonna go sign up for it right away.
Thank you so much Ijana! <3
250 weeks?! I’ve never done anything consistently for that long 🙂 Curious if you’ll notice any changes with the new Instagram feed going to algorithms. I feel like I never see your Instagram posts, but then again I only remember to browse it once or twice a week.
Ugh yeah the Instagram engagement levels plummeting across the board has definitely been a little sad. I know it’s happening for everyone but I’m still addicted to those likes! 🙂
I’m gonna miss the photo of the week. but with the Newsletter i hope it will give us more cool ideas soon.
Thanks for signing up!
Change is good! I killed Photo Friday maybe two years ago after doing it every single week for nearly seven(!), and I haven’t looked back. =)
I remember it well! Yeah, time for fresh ideas and new energy 🙂
Ill be sad to see Photo of the Week go, but looking forward to your newsletter! 🙂
Thanks for your support Ashley! 🙂
Oh sad times! Can understand your decision though. See you over on social media!
I’ll be spending a lot more time over there for sure 🙂
I’m a bit sad to see Photo of the Week go, but you’re totally right that social media are able to fulfill its role these days. Excited about your newsletter by the way 😉
Thank you so much for signing up Lisa! <3
Aww… I’m sad to see it go, but I understand why. I don’t always have time to read lengthy posts, so your photo of the week posts are my favourite because they are quick and fun and easy.
Hopefully Facebook and Insta can fill that same function from here on? Hope to see you over there 🙂
This totally makes sense! Everything has to come to an end and change is a good thing!
Subscribed to the newsletter and look forward to reading it! 🙂
You’re the best Ellie! Gracias!
Awww. I was very sad when I saw this blog post title. Then I read the post. Makes complete sense and I’m excited for your newsletter! Kudos to you for recognizing when it’s time to make a change!
Thanks Cat! I know, it makes me sad too. But change is good… right?! 🙂
Thanks for the great information. I just started a blog, and I post weekly photos as well. I never knew this could hurt SEO, but it totally makes sense. If you had to start your blog over on day one, would you have ever initiated the weekly photo segment…or do you see this as simply a natural evolution of your blog?
At the time, in the past, it was the right choice for me. But if I was starting over TODAY I would probably focus on social media instead. By the way, definitely not an SEO expert, so take everything I say with a grain of salt 🙂
Aw, I’m sad to see Photo of the Week go but it’s totally understandable. Plus, it definitely seems like it’s time for a newsletter. I’m looking forward to reading them!!
Thanks for sticking with me Justine! You’re the best 🙂
Awesome pictures. What amazing sunsets Alex.
In Koh Tao we’re spoiled with them! (As long as the clouds ease off.)
Totally makes sense why you are stopping – I love checking my Instagram and seeing what new adventure you are onto next…it’s an inspiring start to my day 🙂
Aw, thank you Amanda! That means so much to me to hear. I LOVE Instagram!
I’ve really enjoyed your photo of the week and will miss it! (even though I’ve never commented on it…actually I’ve just been lurking since Adventurous Kate linked to you, hi!). I do understand why you’re changing it up. And I’m really excited about your newletter! I enjoy getting the few that I’ve signed up for and I’m sure yours’ll be fantastic.
Hi Sophia! I’ll have to thank Kate for sending you my way 🙂 Thanks for the kind words!
I am a reader and generally not a comment-er (unless I am talking to your Mom), but I want to tell you how much I have enjoyed your Photo of the Week series.
I thought the series singled out and showcased your photography skills and I loved the sometimes randomness of the photo’s.
However, change is good and your reasons are logical.
While I will miss the series, I’ll look forward to following your adventures in a different way!
Thanks for saying so, Michelle! It was definitely a tough call to make. I am excited to shake things up a little bit though, and challenge myself to make a change. Appreciate you following along!
Not gonna lie I am a little diappointed in you, Alex. You always talk consciously about nature and animals and their welfare and yet you support a travel blogger (adventureswithnienie) who supports riding on elephants and talks about it like it’s is a good thing.
Quoted from her instagram where she sits on a seat (!) on a elephant:
‘While many people may think these elephants are being mistreated, these elephants are dependent on tourists and donations to be provided with food, water and medical care. Because there are no longer jobs for the elephants, trekking tours provide safety for elephants from those that hunt them down.’
Aren’t your values important in this matter? Or is just getting the money enough? For me, because you support this blogger you also (indirectly) support their content.. I have always respected you for your love of nature and animals and I really hope this is something you weren’t aware of. I would find it very interesting to hear your view on this matter?
Hey Lucy! Appreciate you sharing this concern, though I am slightly smarting from the accusation that I’m a sellout (ouch). In fact, I didn’t know about that particular instagram — while I always look through the blogs of those who request to advertise, I can’t possibly monitor every single post they make on social media or even on their blogs. And to be honest, I’m not sure I’d police them if I could. Obviously, I’m not going to allow elephantrides.com or animalcruelty.org to advertise with me, but if another blogger makes the personal choice to do something that I disagree with, I’m not sure I’d ban them from partnering with me for doing so — because where do you draw the line? I’d have to wrestle with that for a while.
When I talk to friends and fellow travelers in real life, I find the most effective method of sharing my ideas about something like elephant riding is a casual tone and a friendly sharing of information. (“Oh, you’re planning to go elephant riding? I did that my first trip to Southeast Asia as well. To be honest it was pretty uninspiring and I’ve actually learned a lot since about how cruel it is for the elephants. I’ve recently visited some non-riding sanctuaries and the experience was so much more rewarding. Can I write down the names for you?”) Most people don’t change their minds based on bullying or shaming. When I see others riding elephants or doing things I disagree with, it’s a reminder that I need to double down on my efforts to share all that I’ve been lucky enough to learn. So maybe that’s what this is — and again, I appreciate you bringing it to my attention.
Thank you for your thoughfull comment, I very much appreciate that! Perhaps I came of a little too harsh, sorry for that. I find it very painfull to see people still supporting animal cruelty even after awareness and let’s just say sometimes my repsonses are (in the moment) passionate. Ofcourse I understand it is impossible to monitor the blogs and all their content so I agree with you on that. That’s why I was interested hearing in your view of this matter. Personally, I would still not support a blog if I was aware of content which contain animal cruelty or such but I do unsterstand your point of view!
No worries Lucy! I understand being passionate about something like this, especially when you’re speaking for someone who can’t speak for themselves <3
I love your photos, no matter where they live!
Thanks becky! You da bomb <3
Amazing Photos of Sunset….250 weeks?? wow its long time.It’s sad hear that Photo of the week is going to be off….
Hoping you can join us for the newsletter, Maggie!
Beautiful pictures of sun-sets. Thanks for sharing such great pictures with us.
You’re so welcome Alina! Thanks for reading!
This is incredibly well thought out from both a personal & business point of view. I think it makes a lot of sense and I look forward to both aspects in the future!
Thanks Lauren! Excited to have everyone onboard 🙂