I started my own website, eriksmith.com, back in January of 2002, to be a place where I could easily display all of my photos, specifically those I had taken while traveling. Having no practical computer education, this website was not designed to be ‘professional’ looking in any way (Take a look- I believe I have accomplished that). In 2004, after purchasing my first laptop & digital camera, I learned how to publish my website on the road using wifi while actually traveling. It was so much easier to publish my photos on the website to show people, rather than incurring the expense of printing the photos and having to carry around huge albums everywhere with me. It also allowed people to check the pictures out on their own pace, which saved many of my long-suffering friends and family members from having to politely smile and flip pages in photo albums while pretending to be interested. To be completely honest, I knew that posting all the photos would really be exciting for only one person- me.
I launched my first blog, imaginatively titled Erik’s Blog, on Memorial Day in 2008. For the first year, I was pretty good about publishing photos on it everyday, as well as writing an occasional article. I also used it to publish pictures & posts from my cell phone while traveling on my September 2008 New England trip and my June 2009 Out West trip. I also used it to write long posts about myIsrael 2010 trip, which were the first real articles I had written for the blog. Upon returning from that trip in June of 2010, I wrote the remaining Israel articles I had yet to do, finally finishing them in August, then I didn’t post again for over four months when work and personal concerns occupied much of my time. That wasn’t all though, I’d gotten tired of putting so much effort into the writing to have so few views. It was obvious from the statistics that people weren’t really looking at the daily photos, and precious few were reading the articles.
|Blogging in Israel, 2010|
My New Year’s Resolution in 2011 was to start a new blog, find an interesting title, keep in within the travel theme, to publish at least one article every week, to publish a photo everyday, and to find out if there was an audience of like-minded people who might find my writing interesting enough to read the articles I worked so hard on. The process has been a slow one. After even worse numbers than my old blog in January, February, and March, I was pointed to Twitter by a blogger friend. Since then, my numbers have almost doubled every month. I have started networking with many of the bloggers whom I have been a fan of for many years. I have written a few guest posts on other blogs, and have had some of those blogs also refer to my articles. I am immensely flattered by all of this, and more grateful to these people than they will ever be able to know and I will ever be able to express. I have already booked a ticket to TBEX ’12, the top American Travel Bloggers Conference in Keystone, Colorado in June. I know I am a novice compared to 90% of the bloggers that will be there, but I hope to use the opportunity to network and learn for those who have been successful in developing their audience. Unlike many of them, I have no intentions of ever monetizing this blog. It is more important to me to develop an audience who my ramblings and photos can bring some sort of enjoyment to. This makes the blog truly a hobby, and it also takes lots of pressure off me to make it a living.
The name, On My Feet or In My Mind, is a reflection on how I feel about travel. As the subtitle says,I’m always traveling. It is the truest way I have to explain my addiction. Most of the people I know, including my wife and many of my friends, have trouble understanding why it is so important to me. They marvel at the amount of time I spend reading guidebooks like novels, looking at pictures online, researching trips I’ll never take, and faithfully attending to the over 130 subscriptions to travel blogs I have in my Google Reader application. It has been therapeutic to work on this blog, and since I’ll never be able to travel enough to quench the unquenchable thirst for it, this is a way to help keep me occupied while not on the road.