Letter From the Editor: Still Here

I’ve been the head writer, CEO, dictator, queen and editor of this family travel site for two years now. It’s been nice. Mostly.

The best thing about having my own site is that it’s all mine. I know I tell my son he has to share, but there are advantages to being selfish. I get to publish what I want-no matter how silly-without worrying about what anyone else thinks. I make mistakes sometimes, but I also get to do all the learning from those mistakes.

And I have learned a lot about the great, wide world of the internet in these two short years. There are some things I love about the online community, and there are some things I could do without. I’m not one to rant publicly all that much, so if you want to hear my opinions on blogging and social media, I’ll share those over coffee with you some time.

So as I looked ahead to a third year, I had to ask myself whether or not to keep going. I found myself asking the Google gods: ‘why blog?’. They really didn’t give me any interesting answers. Yes, there are limitations to what the internet can give you. (Although I did read a most entertaining article on pest control the other day.) That’s why it is so difficult to stay motivated when it comes to blogging.

I don’t make any money from my blog. And I decided to keep it that way last year. I got offers for advertisements, but turned those down. I wasn’t ready to turn this blog into a source of income, mostly because I didn’t want to deal with making any changes on my income tax returns. I wish I could say there were loftier reasons, but really I’m just lazy (and a little busy).

So if I’m not in it for the money (I’ve heard how lucrative it can be), then what are my reasons for being here? I enjoy traveling with my son and I like to write about it. That’s it. For now, those are reasons enough to keep on blogging.

But while I still have the motivation to keep at it, I do need some goals to keep me going. Otherwise, I may just turn on my laptop tomorrow and get sidetracked by the latest pest control or celebrity pregnancy article. To keep the blog going for a third year, I’ve got to aim high, baby.

I have been working on cleaning up the site, changing the template, making it prettier and a lot more functional for the readers. When someone is searching for ‘geeky things to do along Highway 101′ or ‘furry socal guys’, then I want them to find what they’re looking for goshdarnit.

So you’ll see some changes with the appearance of the blog this year. I’m awful with the technology, coding, and SEO stuff, so it may take me the whole year. Look around, you may see new categories, new links, and hopefully something about furry socal dudes. That last will be the hardest to come up with, I just know it.

Like last year, you’ll probably see fewer posts than my first year. I have decided that I’d rather have quality over quantity. Again, not because of any lofty ideals, it’s just that I’m less likely to burn out when I have fewer posts to write.

I like the focus of my content so far, and I aim to keep it that way. Though I have found that there are limitations to just writing about one geographical area and how to explore it with kids. So if I’m really inspired, I may branch out to start another blog. Keep your fingers crossed.

I do need a place where I can post more current updates, events, and feverish mutterings. I haven’t figured out the best way to go about that, so for now you can check my social media accounts (look up on the right-hand side of your screen). I especially like the Posterous account as the companion blog, so I’ll probably use that more this year.

Thank you for reading along this year. I’m grateful that anyone takes the time to come back and read my ramblings. I’ll work on making the third year the best one yet.

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12 Responses to Letter From the Editor: Still Here

  1. What a great picture! I am looking forward to reading more of your posts next year…I always enjoy them!

  2. Thanks Jen. So about this picture. My kid kept complaining that he didn’t want to stop at the side of the road to take any more pictures. He said it was “too girly”. Boys.

  3. I for one am glad you’ll be sticking around in 2011 – I’m happy to have met you here! Best wishes for an awesome third year.

  4. Ditto that, I’m happy you are still here. With all the reasons to get distracted, I know how difficult it is to schedule in time to write. It is hard to know the impact it has. So let me just mention on behalf of your invisible readers, we are still here too. Happy New Year!

  5. Debi, thanks for the support this year. Right back at you.

  6. Lora, blogging is kind of a weird thing sometimes. I’m so much more of a people person (I need the socializing) so it’s hard to deal with the online community. Thanks for the support.

  7. Amy @ The Q Family

    Oh.. I’m so glad you will stick around. I love your writing and your story. And I totally agree that blogging in basically a selfish outlet. :) I am all for you do what you want on your blog. I’m looking forward to changes for 2011. :)

  8. How nice to know you’re sprucing up your blog — I already
    love reading Kids Go West, and the increased
    functionality-slash-ease of navigation will hopefully get other
    readers to figure out how great this blog is. Happy 2011!

  9. Well you better stick around. I love all the California
    travel gals. You always have something interesting to share and I
    love what you do so keep doing it!

  10. Bridget Smith

    Carolina, I love reading your high quality posts and am
    glad that you’re here to stay! Your son is very lucky to have a Mom
    like you. Funny, I read your post yesterday and it really stuck
    with me. Got me thinking today about what direction I would like my
    own blog to go in. Thanks for taking the time to be reflective.
    Looking forward to seeing your format changes in 2011. Wish I could
    do the same, but like you I am an html dropout, and since I don’t
    make much money off my blog, I don’t have much money to invest in
    fancy templates. Hope we can connect during one of my Northern
    California adventures. -Bridget

  11. Amy, Sharlene, Bridget and Jennifer thanks for always being there with comments and support.
    And Bridget, I don’t plan on doing any fancy templates. It’s whatever is on the free WordPress directory. I already changed some of the look, but it’s so subtle that you can’t even tell. :) I’m going to have to do something more impressive I think.

  12. Pingback: Family Adventure Guidebooks 2011: Beyond the Travel Blog

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