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My Three Year Blog Anniversary


Leith Dress  /  Blondo Boots   Photo Katie Donnelly

Leith Dress/Blondo Boots Photo Katie Donnelly

It is crazy to think that the blog is three years old this week. I started the blog because I was homesick for Paris with not much of a plan or direction. I had NO idea what I was doing and I still feel like I have so much to learn. While the original concept was to share how I bring Paris into my everyday life back in Chicago, it has turned into a blog about Paris.

I keep a running list of ideas in a notebook and on my phone of different ideas to write about for the blog. I would LOVE to know what you want to see in this next year. After all, this blog is for you.

Some of the most popular posts of this year have been:

Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Paris

Where to Eat and Drink in Paris

Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers

Budget Friendly Hotels in Paris

25 French Brands You Can Find in the US

My Favorite Walking Shoes for Paris

My first year blogging starting in July, I had 48,000 page views for the year. Now, I average around 60,000 per month. The growth has been slow and steady over the years and I hope it continues this way. I am learning as I go, and I am always looking for ways to improve and grow this space. I really enjoy hearing from readers how I helped plan their trip or how my suggestions for hotels or where to eat made a difference in their trip to Paris.

The biggest highlight:

I have been so lucky to have readers become great friends over this last year. We have had some fun adventures and I can’t wait to see what this next year brings.

My Struggle:

Over the last few months, I have found myself struggle with how much I share about my personal life. The question is where do you put up the boundaries as far as privacy. It may be easier to move the needle being more and more open with my life, but I have become more protective. I know a lot of bloggers share their personal lives and are extremely open which can help to be more relatable with their audience. . After all, Brené Brown encourages us all to be vulnerable, right?

There is really no right or wrong answer. We all have the right to choose what we share. Right now, I am choosing to filter my personal life. This may hurt my readership and growth, but it is a risk I am willing to take. I know in my end of year survey, a lot of people asked for me to share more personal posts. I would love to know what you want to want to read about my life. I am happy to share blog/photography/ business tips in future posts.

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  1. Hi there, I enjoy reading your blog and that you use your own blog to mainly promote your photography business. Your blog seems real and authentic to me. It is your blog though, so you do you!

  2. I have only been following you for the last six months and your blog is so genuine and refreshing! I love your handy tips and when you share about a new place, cafe or shop you have discovered. My dream is to get to Paris and I’m planning to make that happen in the next year. I will be travelling solo and your blog and instagram has made me feel brave enough to do it. Keep on doing what you are doing. I hope that you continue to have fun with your blog and keep sharing Paris with us.

  3. Don’t fall prey to the oversharing trend! Far too many things have access to everyone’s personal details, you don’t have to make it easier for them for a few more clicks. We all love your blog just the way it is — you’re a consistently genuine and unaffected writer.

  4. I think you strike the perfect balance in sharing your personality without oversharing. Love your content whether I am in armchair traveler mode or planning my next visit! Congrats on THREE YEARS!!!

  5. I actually prefer that you share less personally. I find myself getting irritated with the combination of oversharing and sponsored posts from bloggers – the two often times don’t mesh well and then you have an archive of past posts that don’t jive with current sponsors. I much prefer the way you promote products – it never feels like hard sponsoring since you have a history of brand loyalty, don’t inundate with product recommendations, and stay consistent with your style.

    Things that would be fun to see more of: favorite products and books, frustrations of being American in Europe, lessons learned / navigating cultural nuances.

    Things that drive me nuts on other blog sites: anxiety posts, end of year "top content" posts (would rather see a fresh post than linking to the greatest hits that I have already read, being off brand with recommendations, and over-promoting blogger friends and acquaintances.

  6. I appreciate you saying what you were struggling with in your blog. I really understand it would be hard to tell all your personal information. You will not lose me as a subscriber. I just love your blog so much. Even though I’ve never been to Paris yet, I love to read everything about your travels there. Hopefully I will get there one day. Thank you so much for your blog

  7. We live in a culture of over-sharing. You "do" you: if you are moved to share something personal, we will consider it a generous compliment. When you keep the blog more on-task, we will appreciate and respect your discretion and privacy. In other words, we give you permission – so give permission to yourself.