And what a year it has been!
This is the article where we showcase our accomplishments and thank all of our readers and project participants in Pereira City Guide. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Our Top 5 Most Popular Blog Stories
#1: Sex in Pereira Colombia
#2: What is the Cost of Rent in Pereira Colombia?
#3: Is it Safe Traveling to Colombia? What About Pereira?
#4: La Escalinata Pereira: A Cultural Food Promenade
#5: 5 Unique Bars in Pereira That Will Get You Drunk!
Pereira City Guide has opened many door for us this year in regards to the art, culture, history and tourism of Pereira.
We were invited to participate in a special episode for Telecafe called “Mochileros,” a reality TV show about real travelers that airs Fridays at 10 pm. It was a fun, but so much hard work, walking up and down stairs, around corners. It was required multiple times, speaking in our second language for the duration and keeping our thoughts organized. Whew! We have a new level of respect for the folks who produce TV shows.
We were also invited to visit a special event in the area, Burning Man Colombia. An eye-opening glimpse into the electronic music world of Colombia, you can read our thoughts on it here.
Several restaurants invited us to come and see what they were doing. Some paid us a small fee for our time and equipment, others were written about at no cost because we personally felt like they were doing something special and wanted to tell the story about them. Unfortunately, running a website costs a bit of money, not only on an annual basis, but also on a monthly basis, which helps us pay for our email list, or VIP club, internet, manpower etc. We typically break even with a rare bonus which covers the costs of life for our writer/admin/social media influencer/webmaster/eBook author & publisher/photographer and creative brains, Erin Donaldson.
And why do we do it? We do it thanks to the love and passion for writing and the city of Pereira, in a country we are fond of named Colombia.
If you are reading this and have contributed in some way this year, whether you read a story, inspired a story, sponsored a post or even participated in the eBook project, then we wish to give you a heartfelt “Thanks.” We appreciate you, and couldn’t have made it this far without you.
Our Metrics for 2016
There is something about analyzing website metrics that gives us the warm fuzzy feeling. This is where we go to see if our stories are being received well, if people are coming here and leaving immediately, or even their usage habits. It is here that our WordPress Wizards analyze the raw numbers and try to draw conclusions or make predictions for future content. The following information comes from Google Analytics:
At this time, over 50% of all users are return visits. And, our gender demographics are almost even with 53% men and 47% women. One of the most surprising metrics come from the countries whose citizens visit us. We have Colombia, US and the UK taking the lead, with Russia coming in 4th. Looks like we might have to do some user research, maybe even translate an article or two into Russian!
On social media we have also had some fun and interesting adventures. Many of our most successful stories came directly from user comments and feedback. We even created a scandal or two that resulted in even more publicity!
To date our biggest user view and engagement via Facebook, has been the story about La Escalinata.
Revealing to us that our readers are FOODIES! Good food is in high demand, and Pereira City Guide is the ONLY website available that blogs about restaurants in Pereira, in English. The demand is so high that 50% or more of the stories we publish are about food and restaurants. Plenty more to come!
When I started Pereira City Guide, I put together an eBook with a launch date of July 1st. Not only did we make the deadline, but it has been well received. Here are some of the outcomes we experienced:
Take a look at our eBook, or purchase a copy for yourself here: www.amazon.com/dp/B01HIO4JXE
On day number one and two of being published, it made top 5 for Eco-Tourism Travel:
On day number three of being published it hit #1 in Teen & Young Adult Foreign Language Study eBooks:
Here’s what some of our readers had to say about our eBook:
In the last 90 days a total of 70 copies of Pereira City Guide have been downloaded from Amazon.com. Total sales number just over 150 copies. This is a number that is much lower than our initial estimates. We were a bit too optimistic, and, a few early problems affected the eBook which required us to put together a 2nd edition. Lessons learned. We have decided to go ahead and keep it only on Kindle due to the enormous file size.
Another obstacle is the price. Amazon.com will not permit a price of less than $2.99 per eBook, again due to file size. As we sit down to do the next Pereira City Guide eBook, we are going to try to explore a different format that will allow us to decrease the overall size. We are going to continue to offer it FREE 5 days per 90 day cycle in order to help more people find our website and to drive traffic to our clients who have invested in this project and helped make this eBook possible.
The Year 2017, Where Pereira City Guide Discovers Her Potential!
As we stated previously, we were over optimistic in a few areas, particularly the eBook. What were it’s causes? While we can’t know for sure, here are a few conclusions we are drawing from our experience in 2016:
eBooks are NOT the golden nest egg we all thought they were. That being said, we will proceed carefully and on a much tighter budget in 2017. More time will be spent on content, with less graphic interfacing and design. Again, we will offer space to worthy participants to help outsiders find high quality small locally owned businesses.
Buy Local. Support Local. More so now than ever, we need to find ways to do our part to support all things local. Did you know that most large companies which profit from tourism, are also sending the money to owners in first world countries? This means that if you stay at a hotel like Movich, or eat in a restaurant like McDonalds, you are actually hurting the local economy. Many of these large corporations receive government subsidies and have track records of destroying or overtaxing the local eco-system and environment wherever their processing plants and factories are located. It is more important than ever to take back the economy and give it to the local community.
In 2017, we will be promoting the hashtags: #BuyLocal #SupportLocal and #SupportLocalArtists #SupportLocalMusic in order to promote greater awareness for this issue. If you know of someone who can benefit from this campaign, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Website Content. Content marketing is going to become more important than ever in 2017. People live lives that are now filled with more information than many of us can ever hope to fully process and sort out. In order to help connect the right people with the right information, business owners must educate, entertain and satisfy their customers curiosity in order to sell a product.
Pereira City Guide will continue to grow our content marketing department to continue to create a quality product that reaches a quality audience. If you are the owner of a small, locally owned and operated business, then we want to work with you to get your message out! For more information please email us: email@example.com
Walking Tours and Personalized Custom Tours. This is a new product which we are slowly introducing to the tourism market of Pereira. The idea is that visitors to Pereira will be able to contact us to design the perfect customized walking tour for them. Whether you want to spend 1, 2 or even 3 hours discovering Pereira, we are going to work to bring you the insider experience the whole time.
Now you can draw on our insider knowledge and language fluency (English/Spanish), to discover the hidden secrets of Pereira. Whether you want to experience gourmet coffee, tour the slums, or even find your dream lifestyle with our real estate tour, we will be able to accompany you every step of the way to create a satisfying and seamless travel experience. Tours are conducted on an RSVP basis with 24 hour notice required. For more information please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
All these numbers and ideas are really, really exciting! It means that despite hurdles, people LIKE Pereira City Guide. The website and eBook have proven to be a viable and well-received platform for travelers to discover the Coffee Region of Colombia. As January nears we are going to sit down and prepare to start our second year. I hope you are as excited as I am to see these numbers. Not every blog is able to command this much success in its first year. And, it is no coincidence that this year turned out so successfully as our #1 and only writer spent 3 previous years on our sister blog: www.openmindedtraveler.com, where we first cut our teeth in the blog world.
This is only the beginning.
To everyone who is reading this article, Thank You! Your participation as a reader, your comments and your “likes/loves”, and feedback, have inspired us to go above and beyond the call of duty to make something that locals and travelers alike can be proud of. We hope that this is only the beginning! This new year, 2017, is going to be an exciting year as we begin to discover our potential.