After a full year of blogging and making videos, I think I have a better handle on my craft. I’ve also had the gift of feedback, through likes and comments and shares, and have been delighted to meet readers and fellow bloggers. It’s a fantastically supportive world out there, and to anyone who has taken the time to read or view my work, I say a huge thank you.
Not everything on the blog works. And not everything I think works, works for other people. But mostly we agree, you and I, on where this blog succeeds, which is why looking back over the year has been so heartening.
So to sign off one year and welcome another, here are the highlights of 2015 – with some shout-outs to some fellow bloggers and readers.
Most viewed post
My eulogy to my father – my Starman – was easily the most viewed post on my blog this year. I didn’t expect that, and I didn’t expect anyone much to read it, if I’m honest. I wrote it for myself, because I have a blog and a computer, and I’m a writer, so what else was I going to do when my father died?
But I’m happy that it seemed to touch so many people in just the right way.
Most popular post
Adding together Likes and Comments, the most popular post was my report on the world’s toughest one-day hike, the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand.
I’m pleased about that, as it darned nearly killed me (the hike, not the writing).
Most viewed video
I launched the Jules Told Me YouTube channel this year, and one of the earliest videos I made is the most popular – Skiddaw Adventure, a mountain-hike adventure through terrible weather to England’s most remote hostel. My advice? Definitely go, but wait for better weather . . .
Best Instagram image
I love the immediacy of Instagram, and the simple platform. An image, a few words and a few tags – and, straight away, engagement with people who like your picture. This is the image I posted that got the most interaction – and it featured in my Kaikoura whale-watching post too.
Featured on Facebook
I found an old picture of the red rocks of central Portugal and posted it on Facebook, thinking it looked more like Australia than southern Europe. Loads of others agreed, because it was shared around more than any other post of mine this year.
Just goes to show – you never can predict what will capture people’s imagination, because I certainly didn’t figure on this being my Facebook No. 1.
Followers and friends
Why do we write? Well, lots of reasons actually, but most of us don’t blog into a vacuum – we write for people to read, and when people like what you have to say and tell you so, well – we love that more than anything.
I’m indebted to everyone who has ever liked or commented on Jules Told Me, but huge hugs to the three most regular commentators on my blog:
Janet at Educated Traveller
Veronica, the incomparable Sicilian Housewife
Cristina from Un Po’ di Pepe
That’s it for 2015, so Happy New Year one and all!