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What would you like to see more of on this blog?

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It’s a tricky business, this blogging malarkey. Why do I do it? Partly because I enjoy it, partly as I’m a bit of a geek, partly as I hope it might encourage the odd person, be in some way motivational. But I also do it -frankly- because, as a 21st Century ‘Adventurer’, blogging is one of the best ways of blowing my own trumpet and -hopefully- selling more books and getting more speaking gigs.

In order to do that I need to have an interested and growing audience. The bar chart above shows the number of visitors to my site per month. So it’s heading in the right direction! But some days I do think “does anyone care about this stuff except me?” It’s a lonely world, sometimes, sitting at my messy desk working away until the next time I can get out on the road. From time to time then I email people who have commented on my blog to ask them how they think I could improve the site.

One suggestion came from Timon in Scotland. A simple idea, but a good one. And that was to ask my readers directly what they would like to see more of.

So, what would you like to see more of on this blog? Equally, what would you like to see less of?
In fact, any suggestions how I could improve the site at all would be really gratefully received*.
I’ll send out a few signed copies of 10 Lessons from the Road for the best comments posted or emails I receive as a way of saying thank you for your help.
Or you can just click on the option you prefer in the poll below. Thank you.

(*Except for Andy – as one of my most loyal yet mocking readers, I don’t want to hear your opinions!)

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Comments

  1. I would like to choose more options from the survey. Actualy, I would like to see more from all the things you have listed in the survey. But if I should describe them in few words, I would say that I am seeking for “Inspiration, Motivation, Encouragement, Living Fully” posts. But it can be writings from your life, another one adventures, training tips, exciting photos.. anything, just let it be motivating.. I know, it’s hard to done sometimes 🙂 Thank you very much for You being You and doing what you do.. I have found your blog few days before.. after returning from my first biking trip to Ukraina 🙂

    Reply
  2. Over the years i have been very interested, one could say obsessed with several blogs. Then after a while I get bored with them and the unread posts pile up. And these are blogs that are written by interesting people who write and present information very well about topics that I am still very much interested in (cycling, photography, etc). Most of the blogs I actually pay attention to these days are ones that use multimedia. Most things that are too text heavy get a quick once over before I move onto the next thing.

    I think the trick is to keep it short and sweet and unpredictable. Keep us guessing. Try using different technologies like http://www.audioboo.com to easily make instant podcasts that you can embed into a blog post.

    Reply
  3. oops – I guessed wrong on that URL.
    Here’s the real one http://audioboo.fm/

    Reply
  4. Alastair, one can only click one option on the vote. It is sort of a collection of all of the choices that makes me read the thing, so “tick” to all of them. From my humble perspective it is the …. what is the word.. sort of blog rabbit warren that i like best. One reads an article on your blog, hyperlinks across to another and then another and before you know it you have gone from a watermelon via a tree house to a menu for fresh water eels. Or such like.
    Another essential is actually the cross pollentaion of many facets of adventure; the photography, the eye on explorers past, the info on current expeditions, and the nod towards future ambitions and plans.
    I think twitter is really complimentary to the blog as it dangles a carrot. I do not think that time spent on the blog and on twitter is wasted, however, purely commercially you would “need” to see some association between blog / twitter time and resultant book sales or lecture bookings.
    The breadth of your blog relevant to the time spent on it is very good. I know people who spend hours daily blogging and Twittering and have no readers (not me !!).
    Oh, and the only bits i would add (expedition planning, gear issues, technical bits) are covered in more depth in the books.

    Which i guess is a long winded way of saying keep up the well above averagely good work. Thanks.

    Reply
  5. Rob CHambers Posted

    I agree with ? above. I especially enjoy the odd bit of photography and looking forward to your future plans.

    I’d like to see a bit more on the planning side if possible? Probably because i’m a bit of a geek and i’m intrigued.

    What about a series of more in depth articles on your India walk? (or better still, a book with a number of these walks in?)

    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  6. I think the content is great, I rarely skip over a post, and you’ve got something like 7 years of content now, which is great.

    It might be worth threading everything together a bit more. Your posts are individually strong as they tend to be concise and poignant (unlike my waffling essays) but sometimes I find myself thinking “I wonder what happened to this that or the other idea/project/train of thought?”. Someone following an adventurer’s blog likes to know how the random musings fit in with the next and last adventures.

    On another note, a fresh new design, while not really necessary for the casual follower, would really help with the professional gigging image.

    Reply
  7. I really enjoy your posts Alistair and I think your site is great. I like reading about your adventures, thoughts and speaking events.

    Here are a few ideas for your site:

    – Why don’t you link your blog posts to your twitter up-dates so every time you write a new post it lets us know in Twitter. You could also link you twitter up-dates to your facebook page?

    – Put your twitter feed in the sidebar of your blog this way you page will nearly always have up-to-date content on it.

    – You could also create a separate page and geo-tag your tweets. Then your readers would know where in the world you are ‘tweeting’ from.

    – Similarly. You could also geo-tag some of your photographs. So people could search your adventures spatially as well as by expedition.

    – From all of your blog posts. Why don’t you pick your your best five posts and feature them in an ‘important posts’ section. You could change this monthly? This would remind new readers of more historical (but equally important) content. I think this is different to the ‘popular posts’ section that you already have.

    – Consider increasing your tags and displaying them as a tag cloud.

    – Put the email subscription box right at the top.

    – Also I agree with Rob it would be great to have some more logistic type posts.

    I have no idea if this is any help? But I’m looking forward to following your next adventure.

    Kind regards

    Ollie

    Reply
  8. Clarissa Posted

    Well, i started reading your blogs back in Los Angeles months ago. They have been both an inspiration and motivation for me to do more. I think it is interesting to know how Alastair the World Adventurer is at home. I could hardly believe you sit at a messy desk wondering if you are motivating the odd person out there. I couldn’t stop laughing. Are you kidding me? That may be the British way, so humble yet so talented and driven. Your river pictures have me getting up every morning to go run down by the river by my home. Before I was just running around the blocks. There is so much natural beauty out there to enjoy.
    I loved the channel crossing with Phil Packer. I was trying to imagine how you guys did it. If you can do that, I can run up the hill instead of walking. Pushing myself to be better.
    I see you have some long-time followers on here. I am a dedicated new fan and log in everyday, especially Friday for the Photo.
    Don’t make me pick one thing on your list! Of course, I picked motivation. Everything is great.
    July traffic was phenomenal.

    Reply
  9. I read a lot of blogs, so tend to just dive in if a subject interests me. Tweeting about your posts makes me come visit your site more, plus it’s then easy to retweet to tell others. I think quite a lot of people read your blog for inspiration and to look at photography. I personally look at your site to motivate myself not to be lazy. I did enjoy the guest blogger though – more of that please! You know lots of interesting, inspiring people, and we’d love to hear from them as well as you. Plus that gives them the opportunity to expand their following, and hopefully they’ll reciprocate and allow you to reach new people. Good work on the stats, Mr. Humphreys!

    Reply
  10. P.S. Definitely not less posts!

    Reply
  11. Hi Alastair,

    I’m not sure what you can do to increase hits on your website. Personally I have an RSS feed to your website, so whenever you update I get to read that post, but alas I rarely jump to the website itself especially as I’m a bit comment averse.

    I will say that I love the frequency and length of your posts – every day there appears to be something for me to read, but not it’s not too long. I was reading Nick Weston’s blog (after you linked to it) and whilst I found it very interesting, it was bit long for a sneaky read at work (although I know why he’s done it like he has).

    Also, your multimedia posts rock too.

    I’m sorry I don’t have any advice, but I will say that I do like what you’re doing!

    S.

    Reply
  12. Hi Alastair,

    I have been following you since 2003 during you epic round the world. I am but a humble blog reader, but the things that I like the most is the photo friday sessions. They are great. Don’t stop those.

    The random emails with links to things that interest you this week is a good insight to what your thinking about and gets me to look at other sites on the interwebular (hope that makes sense)

    Suggestions, which might help improve book circulation, is to perhaps publish a photo from your travels, with an exert from one of your books. This will not only please me (as i get more photos) but should get your reading audience more exposure to your materials, which might lead them to get off their a**es and buy your books.

    Another thought that I had was what about people that have responded to your motivation (I would call it “humphreycation” or not) and done something about their lives through the motivation that you have inspired. Most surely that is the best self propagation possible. This will drive even more people through your site and potential sponsors. You have inspired me to do more and I am doing exactly that.

    Hope that helps, now back to the cubicle for a while.

    Reply
  13. I’ve always been interested in what sets adventurers apart or people who follow dreams that most people think are unatainable. I guess the question is not just why you do it, but how. Do you think there is an adventure gene!retoricaly speaking? It seems that there are many people that let their dreams fall by the wayside, and I would be very interested in knowing what drives you to follow through where others didnt.
    For instance was it anything do do with your upbringing, a love for nature or maybe just becuase your slightly mad Al ;)I guess this falls under the “thoughts” category.

    Cheers, Joshua

    Reply
  14. I’ve been reading for a couple of months and really enjoy the breadth of the blog. It’s the fresh ideas and perspectives of living life and pushing limits that I find really engaging. I particularly like it when you connect with other ‘adventurers’ and share their stories such as the channel crossing with Phil Packer or the last blog about tree-house living.

    I spend too much time looking at the computer so I like listening to stuff when I’m commuting. How about a podcast version of you reading your second book? or I’d pay to download a version of that … thanks for all of the inspirational stuff.

    cheers, tom

    Reply
  15. Iain Forbes Brown Posted

    I’d definitely like to see more motivational stuff on the website, some of it can be really inspirational. Ofcourse I would obviously like to hear about your upcoming adventures you’ve got planned.

    I also enjoy the links you put up, in particular I loved the piece you did about ‘Living with Lions’: http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/2008/11/this-is-your-everest/
    It got me even more excited about the Lions series (which we should have won).

    As for getting more popular, my advice would be to tweet ’til you fingers bleed and make sure it’s as controversial as Darren Bent and the Aussie cricket team rolled into one.

    Lastly good luck SOUTH, have read you’re having a bit of trouble with it but it looks like an amazing adventure so don’t give up.

    Regards

    Iain

    Reply
  16. I think you should just write about the stuff YOU are interested in it. If you find/do something intersting, share it with us. Because if you are interested in it, it will come across and it will make me interested in it as well.

    I run a blog also, so I understand the need to keep the audience happy, but at the same time I think you have to do a lot of this for yourself. If people dig what you’re doing because they can see that you are passionate about it, they’ll keep reading. (I know I will!)

    Just keep up the great work. You’re doing an incredible job.

    (My only real suggestion is that if you keep doing the photo Friday post, be sure that you include a description of some kind with each of the photos. I know that takes a bit more time, but it would really help. keep it up!)

    Reply
  17. Richard Posted

    It’s shame we can’t pick a top three with a associated score to each placing? Think this is an excellent and well balanced blog. Recently started following your blog via RSS feeds and am probably one of the small reasons for the increase in traffic.

    I’m planning my own expedition and am having panic attacks about leaving the comfort of my job & home etc. This blog is a true inspiration is helping me to adjust to living life rather than being concerned about material possessions and keeping up with the Jones’s.

    Reply
  18. wow – thank you all so much for taking the effort to comment. I am taking action on lots of the points you have all raised; I really do appreciate it…

    Reply
  19. Really fantastic info can be found on weblog . “The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw.” by Havelock Ellis.

    Reply

 
 

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