Farewell 2013

Farewell 2013 - you were good to me!

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2013 was a great year for me in a lot of ways.  Photographically speaking, it was amazing.  I went a lot of places, shot a lot of things, and shared a lot of photos.  In other words, 2013 rocked!

Here are some key travel stats for the year that I wanted to share:

  • Hit these great cities/regions in Europe: London (3x), Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin, Paris, Loire Valley, and Normandy
  • Visited multiple US cities (some multiple times): San Francisco, Phoenix, Nashville, the Texas Coast, multiple spots in the Texas hill country, Dallas and Ft Worth, Santa Fe, Oklahoma City, and Maui
  • Shot several great spots here in Austin (downtown, Bull Creek, Loop 360 Bridge etc)
  • Made it down to Panama in Central America once too!
  • Flew ~100,000 miles (about the same as 2012, oddly).  Thanks American Airlines!

And here are some blog stats that went along with the above:

  • Blog views up by 40+%
  • Blog visitors up by 25+%
  • Facebook fans up from ~1400 to over 4100!!  
  • Google+ followers up from ~14,000  to ~27,000!!
  • Flickr views up over 125%!  Wow, Flickr went big for me this year.
  • I added several “Top Photo Spots” lists to the blog and they are really popular!

And a few accomplishments:

  • I finally launched a gallery/portfolio site where you can buy prints - and you can find it here (courtesy of SmugMug): http://nomadicpursuits.smugmug.com/ 
  • I completely overhauled this blog to the new version of Squarespace (v6), giving me much more creative control, a responsive design, and many new options that I still need to explore and take advantage of!  Thanks Squarespace!
  • I was honored to be named on this list of the Top 100 Travel Photographers in the World: http://blog.chillisauce.co.uk/top-100-travel-photographers-in-the-world/ 
  • Licensing and print sales were more than 3x that of 2012 (though admittedly the numbers are relatively small), including some recent licenses to a company in Copenhagen which will turn one of my photos into an iPhone cover:

 

 

As far as the blog goes, my most popular pages and posts in 2013 are:

  • Top Photo Spots in Austin
  • Top Photo Spots in London
  • My main blog landing page
  • Top Photo Spots in San Antonio
  • Top Photo Spots in San Francisco
  • Top Photo Spots in Las Vegas
  • Flickr is getting better.  500px is getting worse.
  • Top Photo Spots in Nashville
  • Top Photo Spots in The Texas Hill Country
  • Top Photo Spots in Dublin

 

 

 

 

That list of my most popular pages tells me a few things.  First, people like lists.  Guess that’s common knowledge but wow 8 of my top 10 pages were lists!   Guess I should write more of them!  (And I plan to, but of course that depends on whether I go places enough to feel comfortable writing one.  I currently have 1 in development.)

It also tells me that my article about Flickr and 500px was either controversial or popular (or maybe both), because I only published it in mid-October but it made #7 for the year!  That’s really interesting to me for another reason: I enjoy writing.  It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve really gotten more into writing, but I really do enjoy it, and plan to do more in 2014 (more on that soon - I’m still writing my “2014 plans” post LOL).

And lastly, where does my traffic come from?  This one is always interesting to me, because it lets me know what is working, and I want to double down on things that work as I wrote about here.

  • Google organic search leads the pack by a wide margin
  • Direct traffic (someone typed in my URL specifically)
  • Facebook is 3rd and by far the highest in the social networking category
  • Lightstalking ranks 4th thanks to getting mentioned in the weekly roundup done by my friends at Toad Hollow!
  • Yahoo organic search is 5th
  • From there it falls off a bit: Bing, Google+, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, HDR One, Flickr and a few others... 

Well, thanks for stopping by today, and for all your visits in 2013. I hope that I can continue to create compelling content to draw you back in 2014.  And of course, I plan to continue taking, processing and sharing LOTS of photos in the new year, because I love to do so!

Thanks so much for your support, I sincerely appreciate it.  Happy New Year!

I'll be back soon with my look ahead to 2014, so come back soon!

And since this is the last day of 2013 - or the sunset of the year, if you will - here is a beautiful sunset that I shot earlier this year in downtown Austin.  Enjoy!