I’m really pleased to announce that I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award by Rosemary of Aussie in France. This isn’t a real “award”, it’s more like a chance to get to know other blogs and let them know you like them. It’s really a sort of virtual chain: you answer the questions put by the blogger who nominated you and at the end it’s your turn to nominate other bloggers. Although the roots of the Liebster Award are unknown, it is an honor given by bloggers to other bloggers which appeals to me; it’s good to be recognised by your peers. The word “liebster” has German origins and can be translated into English as lovely, kind, pleasant and beloved. All rather positive then!
These are the questions Rosemary asked me:
1. When you started your blog, what did you set out to do?
I started writing this blog as a way of letting the guests in my gîte (holiday rental) know what there is to do in the area and give them a bit of background into French culture.
2. Do you think you are meeting your objective? Has it changed along the way?
Oh and some! My guests love my insider tips and ideas for visits, but I have found so do local residents, potential visitors to the area and Francophiles in general. I never expected my blog to grow into what has really become a travel blog on the south of France and further afield. My business (award-winning self-catering vacation apartment) is in pretty much the most saturated and competitive part of the world for holidays so I have to do something to stand out and hopefully increase my SEO. By blogging I’ve increased my internet search rankings enormously and my gîte is very popular. But to answer the 2nd half of this question, yes my objectives have changed as I’ve grown in confidence as a blogger and now no longer see this simply as a tool to increase bookings. I love writing and now consider my blog to be a travel/expat blog in its own right.
3. How would you classify your blog?
Sort of unclassifiable! I like to think of it as a travel blog with extras on expat/TCK, multilingual and family issues.
4. Do you ever wonder whether you should keep it up or throw in the towel? If you do and still keep writing, what stimulates you to do so?
No, so far I haven’t had any negative thoughts, I love writing. I’m stimulated to keep on for several reasons: I love the research when I have an idea and this keeps my brain ticking over! I also appreciate more and more the relationships I’ve made online with other bloggers and my readers.
5. Do you have a writing schedule?
No, I’m very undisciplined! I write when I have an idea, though I do try to make sure I post something at least twice a week and more and more I aim for 3 a week. I tried one of those writing challenges to post once a day a while ago and failed miserably because I couldn’t write to a schedule. I have to be inspired and having to write every day took the creativity out of it for me.
6. Have you met any of your readers apart from your friends?
No, not unless you count other social media followers. I’ve had bookings in the gîte by people who’ve found and followed me on Twitter and Facebook, and have then started reading my blog.
7. What is the best thing about blogging? And the worst?
The best – the contact with other bloggers, the “research” outings and the actual process of writing. The worst – the amount of time I spend at the computer!
Now it’s my turn to nominate fellow bloggers and I have chosen Intrepid Misadventurer, Little Wandering Wren, Eco-gites of Lenault, The World is a Book, and Malaysian Meanders. Here are your questions:
1. What was the inspiration for your blog name?
2. When you read other blogs what is the first thing you look at?
3. What is your earliest travel memory?
4. Where did you experience your most memorable meal and what was it?
5. 1 month all expenses paid, where would you go?
6. Name one thing about yourself that others find surprising.
7. What advice would you give to someone starting out in blogging?
Thanks again to Aussie in France for nominating me! Your blog has been a great inspiration to me and I’m honoured that you chose me.