100th Post: Looking back at 3 years of blogging

Drumroll please…

This is the 100th post on this blog! I’m super impressed with myself.

I would be more impressed if it hadn’t taken me two and a half years to do it, but that’s okay. Quantity is not the goal here. (I’m not entirely sure what is the goal here, so don’t ask.)

Let’s have a look.

I started this blog in June 2014. Technically that means we’re reviewing 2.5 years of blogging here, but that’s a bad title, and anyway, it’s three calendar years.

The most popular posts by far are about teaching English in France – the same posts show up over and over again in the top three every year (maybe I need to shake things up!) In fact, only three of the top ten posts this year were written in 2016.

(WAIT! Before we start, you have to promise not to judge me for awkward old posts. I mean, I’d rather you not judge me for awkward new posts either, but at least I’ve got the orange oversaturated photos under control.)

Top 10 posts in 2016

  1. Things I Wish I Had Known About Teaching English in France (2014) By far the most popular post of all time! 
  2. Preparing for the TAPIF Language Assistant Program in France: What to do, and what not to do (2014) Fun fact: I HATE writing the phrase “Dos and Don’ts” because it looks weird, but “Do’s and Don’ts” is grammatically incorrect and I can’t handle that either. Hence the roundabout title of this post. 
  3. TAPIF: My Favorite ESL Games and Lessons (2015) I should write more lesson plan posts.
  4. Best Boulangeries in Lyon (2016) Ah, my true area of expertise.
  5. How to Live and Work in France (2016) All my knowledge and resources in one place. 
  6. Two things you should never say to your French boyfriend (2015) My only post about the French language that anybody likes. 
  7. How to get a visa and teach English in France (2016) From the title, this seems redundant to #5, but it’s actually about how I got my visa and job each of my four years in France. 
  8. Working in France: Lectrice Q&A (2015) I wrote the post I would have wanted to read before I was a lectrice.
  9. Falling for Montpellier (2014) For some reason, this one is more popular than the post on Montpellier with actual information.
  10. Updated: Seven foods that need to go mainstream in France (2014) I had to update this, because some of these foods actually have started to go mainstream in France since I wrote it. 

Top 10 posts of 2015:

It’s the exact same list… plus three posts that were dethroned by new ones in 2016.

  1. Things I Wish I Had Known About Teaching English in France  (2014)
  2. TAPIF: My Favorite ESL Games and Lessons (2015)
  3. Preparing for the TAPIF Language Assistant Program in France: What to do, and what not to do (2014)
  4. Two things you should never say to your French boyfriend (2015)
  5. Working in France: Lectrice Q&A (2015)
  6. Falling for Montpellier (2014)
  7. Seven foods that need to go mainstream in France (2014)
  8. Paris Cheap Eats: International yummies for 10 euros or less (2015)
  9. Best of Montpellier: Visit, Shop, Eat (2014)
  10. Coucou! (and other French mistakes) (2014)

Top 10 posts 2014:

Now I have to go back and fix all of these.

  1. Preparing for the TAPIF Language Assistant Program in France: What to do, and what not to do
  2. Things I Wish I Had Known About Teaching English in France
  3. Coucou! (and other French mistakes) This is one of the first posts I wrote just to say hi to readers. It’s less stupid than some other stuff I’ve written. 
  4. Falling for Montpellier
  5. South of France: Best of Sète How did I make such a beautiful place look so ugly?
  6. Wine Tasting in Vouvray: Domaine Pichot This was one of my favorite experiences in the Loire Valley. Has anyone read it since 2014?
  7. Best of Montpellier: Visit, Shop, Eat
  8. Riding the Metro in Paris: 7 things you should know In principle, good advice, but cringe. 
  9. Giant forks and mini-desserts in Switzerland A little snippet from a beautiful wedding weekend in Vevey.
  10. On Solo Travel & Being Alone True then, true now. 

Most Commented Posts of 2016

Interestingly, only one of these is among the top ten posts of the year. 

  1. The Prettiest Places for Tea in Lyon This one got a lot of love from the #AllAboutFrance link up hosted by Phoebe at the Lou Messugo Blog.
  2. Goodbye France, Hello California Thanks to everyone for your comments and support on the big move!
  3. How to live and work in France Sometimes people have questions I can’t answer, but I try… please don’t sue me. 
  4. La Campagne à Paris I linked this one up to #AllAboutFrance as well. I am crazy about this hidden neighborhood in Paris and I’m so glad you guys liked it too.
  5. Why do you blog? Sometimes I feel like I have to defend why I blog “wrong.”

Search Terms

The vast majority of search terms that lead to my blog have to do with teaching English in France/Paris. But I found a few fun ones in the mix…

"couscous french 'term of endearment'"

Couscous, I’m home!

"do the French have tacos"

Define “taco.”

"why is France so bureaucratic"

Hell if I know.

Countries

The majority of my readers have always been in the U.S. and France, but it’s a thrill to see the list of countries get longer each year. Last year the majority of readers came from France, but this year it was the U.S. by a significant margin. 

2016: 131 countries. Top 3: United States, France, United Kingdom

2015: 84 countries. Top 3: France, United States, United Kingdom

2014: 38 Countries. Top 3: United States, France, Canada

Although my radius on the internet is certainly a small one, my blog has still grown exponentially each year. I just like seeing the bar graph get fatter. It’s the little things.

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-21-50-pm

What now?

I like having my little blog corner and being part of the blogging community. If I had unlimited time and resources I would design a self-hosted blog, write many more posts, and produce higher-quality images. However, I haven’t chosen to make blogging my main priority, so it is what it is. That’s good enough for me for now.

Thank you for reading and commenting and sharing my blog! My favorite thing about blogging is you.

Is there anything you’d like me to blog about in 2017? What kind of posts do you most enjoy reading? Let me know!

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9 thoughts on “100th Post: Looking back at 3 years of blogging

  1. Quality over quantity any day (though if I didn’t stick loosely to a schedule I don’t think I’d ever get round to posting anything!) Looking back into the archives is almost certain to bring up a few cringe-worthy posts of the past, but we live and learn. Those ‘search terms’ are hilarious, especially the last one – I doubt anyone (French or otherwise) would know the answer to that mind-boggling question! I’ve really enjoyed browsing your posts on Lyon (gives me inspiration for places to visit and a nice reminder of how lucky I actually am to be living here) and also those on less mainstream travel destinations (if that makes sense?)

    1. Thank you Rosie! I really appreciate that.
      🙂 I enjoy reading about Lyon and lectrice life on your blog, it is so cool to me that we were in such similar positions a year apart.

      1. The world is a small place – I imagine those posts must be like a blast from the past for you, in much the same way that reading others’ experiences teaching English with the British Council is for me.

      2. Oh yes, I love reading about lectrice life! There were some things I absolutely hated but it was overall I lovely time and I’m really nostalgic for it 🙂

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