40,000 and counting…

Sometime last night, “Writing from Merida” received its 40,000th hit. This means that in the course of just over a year, my site has been clicked on 40,000 times. This seems unbelievable to me.

Thirteen months ago, I did not even know what a blog was. At the San Miguel Writers’ Conference, I heard the term for the first time. CM Mayo, a well known writer in Mexico suggested blogging as a useful way for new writers to get themselves known.

That sounded like the ticket to me. I had three books on the go and no contacts. I wanted people to know who I am so they’d be interested in my writing. My first step was to contact my friend Debi. I knew she had a blog. I must confess though, I had never even seen it.

Let it be stressed that I am NOT a technically inclined person. I know almost nothing about computers. Using Word, e-mail, and the occasional internet search comprised my experience with the Web.

Debi sat down with me and in one afternoon, “Writing from Merida” was up and running, courtesy of WordPress, the free server I use. Since then, I have been absolutely blown away by all that my blog has done for me.

Now I realize that many blogs receive 40,000 hits in very short periods of time. I attended a workshop a couple of months ago where Bill Belew gave us his amazing statistics. Millions… yes, that’s right… millions of readers go to his sites every year. He actually makes a healthy living from blogging. I aspire to nothing of the sort; I blog because I like writing and want to reach new readers.

I use my blog to inform readers about issues I believe in, for instance, the sustainable economic development project in the town of Santa Elena. I’ve informed readers about interesting events, personalities, trends and, on occasion… I have voiced my opinion about controversial topics. Something I enjoyed writing about was the lead up to Mexico’s bicentennial celebration. I’ve posted pictures of the flowers in my garden and recipes I’ve created. I’ve told about very cool events I’ve attended and I’ve written travelogues when I go on trips.

One of my happiest blogging experiences occurred last July… I had written a tongue-in-cheek post about how the publishers of the world were not exactly beating a path to my door and fighting over my manuscript. You could have picked me up off the floor when I received an email message from Richard Grabman that said, “I am the acquisitions editor for Editorial Mazatlan and I want to see your manuscript.” Four months later, my book “Magic Made in Mexico” was published. Since December 2010, it has been available in bookstores, on Amazon and as a Kindle book.

Through “Writing from Merida” I have made many new friends – other bloggers as well as readers. With two other Merida bloggers, Theresa and Debi, I organized a local conference that was attended by about 20 other Latin American bloggers. We had fun and learned a lot!

For me, blogging has opened up a host of new possibilities. From my little corner of the world, I can communicate with people in all the other corners… Unreal!

So… is there a downside? I would say there is. I do feel “pressure to post.” After a few days have elapsed and I’ve not put up something new, I get feeling like a slacker. And blogging regularly does take time away from my “real” writing, Nonetheless, I consider the hours spent on my blog, as useful writing practice… something I do nearly every day that improves my “real” writing.

By my own standards, I have written some “good stuff”. I have also put up “filler.” Throughout these past 13 months, readers let me know when they enjoy my articles and they graciously forgive the not-so-good stuff.

I thank all of you for visiting “Writing from Merida.” I hope to continue here, courtesy of WordPress, for a long time to come.

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17 Comments

Filed under Vida Latina, Writing

17 responses to “40,000 and counting…

  1. And as editor and publisher of your book, Magic Made in Mexico, I’m so very happy that you started blogging so we could “discover” you. Keep it up. Maybe we can “discover” your next one too!

    • Thank you very much David. I am very happy you “discovered” me. We’ll see what happens when the next one gets finished!

      • Hi Alinde, I agree that blogging is a satisfying activity whether or not you have a lot of readers. But if you are blogging with a specific purpose in mind, it is satisfying when you get the results you’re after. I, for example started ‘Writing From Merida’ so that people would get to know me and my writing… where we live is not the easiest place to make it as a writer! So, I am thrilled this objective is being reached. However, once I started the blog, I found so many other reason for liking it. One of them is certainly the interesting people I’ve met… like you!

  2. Kris

    wow…I had assumed you’d been blogging for years, as you seem the total professional.
    well, it’s encouraging for me. And I do love your blog, & have already learned a lot from you.
    Your latest post on the Casa De Cultura group, & the place, are something I’m filing away. thanks. -kris

  3. Thank you for posting your blog, I have enjoyed reading it. I have just finished your book ‘Magic Made in Mexico’ and have to tell you that it is fabulous! My husband and I are new to Merida and your book explained so much about the culture here.
    We haven’t met too many expats in Merida yet, hoping to though. My husband is an author (has one book published and is working on two and three), but really wants to talk to you and your husband about the school that you started. He has done a lot with tourism in the US.
    Maybe one day we will meet. 🙂 debbie

    • HI Debbie; welcome to Merida… it is a wonderful place to live. I’m very glad you liked my book and that your husband also writes. I’d be pleased to meet you both… we’ll be in touch.

  4. Congrats. It’s fun to watch those numbers add up. After all, if nobody’s reading, what’s the point?

    • Exactly Felipe… sort of like laughing into the wind. You have a great blog. I hope some of my readers enjoy mine as much as I do yours.

    • I will take a tiny exception here, Zapata–even less popular bloggers probably get a lot out of the effort. Writing itself is often rewarding, whether it be for improving one’s writing skills, or for the value of self-reflection. And there’s the “exercising the brain” plus as well.

      So, please don’t become disheartened, you lesser-read bloggers out there.

  5. Hola Joanna,
    I must admit that when you started the blog and mentioned it at our ladies weekend last year here in Techac Puerto, I wasn’t all that interested. I must now tell you that I am an avid reader of yours. I love your variety of topics, the fact that they are short-ish, and I admire your writing style.

    Thank you for the bits and bobs of interesting information that I start many of my days out with.

    Judy

  6. You jumped right in and never looked back, I’m glad you joined the blogger world. Congratulations on your 40k click!

  7. Dear Joanna, What a delight it is to read this post! Muchísimas feclidades! I am so glad to follow your blog, and know that is is having so much success. Viva! Blog on!

  8. louise

    As one of those readers – I love reading these blogs! I dont get to spend enough time in my new home away from home but feel connected to it through sites like yours and debi’s. Very Jealous too! keep writting….

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