Monday, August 8, 2011

Blowing my own trumpet (and 10 other peoples!)

In the second and final part of my reflective expat blog posts, I thought it would be a good time to recap some history of my British expat blog and give some of the positives that have occurred over this time.  Despite having blogged extensively in the past on sites such as Myspace, I wasn’t actually sure what or where I would go with this blog when I started out.  I did want it to have some sort of definite theme that I could hang my experiences around, rather than just writing a general blog about whatever random thoughts came into my head.  I flapped around in some of the early posts, looking for a style and plan.  

For instance, I tried writing about my experience of the K1 fiance visa process as posts, but after a while I decided that they were too dry for a general consumption (unless you have gone through, or are going through the process, you really don’t want to know about the relationship proof requirements for the I-129 Petition, or the financial support documents needed to support an I-485 Green Card application).  In the end, I put my visa experiences in in their own separate blog which I imaginatively named: My K1 Fiance Visa Experience.

Titles were also something that I toyed around with.  The “From Sheep to Alligators” name was actually the third title I tried, but I felt happy with it enough to make up a unique banner header using an old alligator picture and Adobe Photoshop.

Features and Blog Award

My expat blog about living in Florida has featured online in various websites and online publications, including 'The smart-insegors Daily', the online publication of the expat website for professionals, Insego, which I would heartily recommend as a friendly place to visit if you want an intelligent debate, information and advice or just a place to fraternize with other expats.

Australian blogger, Robynne from Robynne's Nest gave me a versatile blogger award, which I will display here below (I guess the term ‘versatile’ maybe fits, as I tend to mix up my blog with humour, trivia and serious discussions).  I am not quite sure what I am supposed to do with the award, but I do appreciate it.  Do I award it to someone else after I’ve finished with it, or just leave it to gather dust on my virtual mantelpiece?


Early on, I got into putting links to some of my posts on the Social Bookmarking site, Reddit.  Two of my humorous posts got voted up the rankings and each received over 3,000 straight after they were posted.  I enjoyed the rush of 4 digit viewing figures, but I must admit that I felt a pang of relief when the party was over and my blog stats returned to their normal 15-50 visitors per day!

Google Traffic

I must admit that, unlike blogs that I have written in the past, I have deliberately courted Google traffic with this one, picking my keywords and tags carefully.  The nice thing about Google traffic is that people come to your blog even when you haven’t written anything new for a while (if I was ever to cease writing, I would probably continue to get 20-30 views a day from Googlers). 

The Blogger stats tell me how people have reached me.  It is amazing how many people want to know about Lake Alice, brown sauce and bacon butties!  There are also some strange ones.  Because I have written about the different names for underwear in Britain and the USA and my blog is called From Sheep to Alligators, I get visitors coming to my blog who have typed in Google searches for “sheep knickers” and “alligator underpants”, which strikes me as a little, urm, unusual.

The Google searchers are usually casual strangers, however.  So they crop up in viewer stats, but don’t tend to write comments.  I still like my loyal followers, the ones who like to comment and make some online banter, some of whom I know or have known in person, but many of whom have come from cyberspace and the blogosphere.

Pimping: Top 10 Best British Expat Blogs in USA

Last but not least, I pimped some of the other British expat bloggers in my Hubpages article: Top 10 Best BritishExpat Blogs in USA.  Keep on writing folks!


  1. Well thank you kindly sir. Here I am popping over to the link, not expecting to see my blog listed there. And thanks for your visits to my place. Onward and upward!

  2. Cool! Congrats on the award! I have got to check out those other bloggers :)

  3. I have been away from the computer so just read all your reflective posts in one go, interesting points. Congratulations on your Versatile Blogger Award :)

  4. @Expat mum - Thanks for your comment and dropping by! I always enjoy reading your blog! :-)

    @Texa - I always enjoy reading you too - you live an interesting life, a different country every year it seems, and your blog is always vibrant!

    @Lindy - Thanks! I think I've done enough navel gazing for now and will return to the expat blogging! hehe!