2017 is over and I have finshed my first weekly photo project! For 52 weeks in a row I posted a photo blogpost every Monday. It was a spontaneous decision during the last week of 2016. My website http://www.jensassmann.com was already in place as a landing page and I already posted quite some blogposts under http://www.jensassmann.com/blog, but not on a weekly basis. #52projectJA became my hashtag on my twitter and my instagram account to find this content. Did you check it already?
With this no. 52 of 52 I would like to give you some findings and let you know about what was easy and what was difficult, what was surprising and what expectable. Hope you enjoy this last blogpost of 2017 and you enjoyed this year of content with me. I would be happy to receive some feedback at the end of the article! Have you been a regular reader and viewer of #52projectJA? What did you like, what did you miss? What didn't you like?
Let's dive a little deeper in my 2017 findings.
My first video and most successful blogpost
In November 2014 I started m new position as head of transport, harbour and shipping at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. In order to fully understand the shipping business I wanted to go on a container vessel down the Elbe river. The Elbe pilots were kind enough to give me an opportunity to join. With this blogpost I would like to give you an idea of what it is like to go on a very large container vessel down the river Elbe. Besides shooting pictures I also shot some video that day that become my first youtube upload. Make sure to check this, too! By the way, this blogpost was by far the most successful as you can see from the big spike in the statistic in May 2017.
What a weekly blogpost does to your website - Some statistics
I used google analytics to get some statistics on my website after one year of weekly articles. What does a weekly blogpost do to your website? First: You need more space. I had to upgrade my website in order to keep uploading pictures and so I did. And you get to know your website, its structure and the features of your website host as a plus. I even made myself a logo for my website.
- More than 2.600 sessions this year with 1.600 different users. They checked 2,6 sites per visit and stayed for an average of 2 min on my website.
- 57 % of the visitors from Germany, than US and UK followed by Brasil (surprise for me) and France.
- 46 % female and 54 male
- 46 % direct search as top channel followed by 38 % social and 13 % organic search
- Twitter by far to most valuable social network to refer to my website (68 %) followed by facebook (19 %, another surprise, I don't even have an account there!) and instagram (7 %)
Feel free to check the analytics screenshots down below.
My France road trip and blogposts
If you have seen my #52projectJA project at all you will have noticed that I spent three weeks in France this year. A wonderful road trip in June starting the the wine region of Alsace, then Switzerland and Chamonix with the famous Mont Blanc. Afterwards going south again via the Gorges du Verdon, one of Europe's most fascinating canyons down to the Cote d'Azur. Enjoying summer in Monaco, Cannes, Nice and Marseille before entering the Camargue region. An unexpected find with the visually stunning Course Camarguaise and the beautiful wildlife in the wetlands. Then one of the highlights with the calm eastern parts of Provence with the Mont Ventoux region. Summer in Provence was just a beauty. Finished our trip with two days at the Auvergne volcanoes and an overnight stay in Luxembourg. If you think of visiting France at all you have to check these travel blogposts. And if you still do not get enough - check my Top Ten France pictures.
What a weekly blogpost does to your twitter account
I am not that much into statistics and tracking followers, but I did some research for this blogpost looking up the effects they had. Made it to 900 followers this year. 70 % male, only 30 % female - come on ladies, give me a follow! With languages it is easy since I more or less exclusively post in English. More than 80 % of my followers speak English and 44 % speak German. And country and age isn't a surprise either. About half of my audience is German, followed by the US and UK. Almost half of my audience is between 25 and 34 and therefore younger than myself... Only 25 % is within my demographics. And now I am interested in you as my reader. Do you follow me on twitter?
My Top Ten blogposts
A Top Ten list some kind of clickbait and an easy way to come up with a good collection of (even older) pictures for the upcoming week. That is part of the reason why you will find that many Top Ten collections within my #52projectJA. The other reason is that a Top Ten collection needs a very strict selection process. I got quite used to this process as you can see below:
- My Top Ten Hamburg pictures
- My Top Ten France pictures
- My Top Ten Rome pictures
- My Top Ten Iceland pictures
- My Top Ten beaches (so far)
- My Top Ten Night Photography
- My Top Ten Landscape Photography
- My Top Ten Street Photography
and last but not least:
My Hamburg blogposts
Hamburg, Germany's second largest city, is my home since 2003. It is also home to Europe's second largest harbour. This harbour at the river Elbe makes an ideal photospot whatever weather you may face. Take a look at my Hamburg shots. I often walk around the harbour area and also do street photography in this city.
What a weekly blogpost does to your instagram account
Catering for the needs and likes of instagram is way harder than I thought. I started my account about one and a half years ago. In the beginning I posted only my Iceland 2016 photos and videos since I had a major trip with tons of good content from September 2016. Afterwards I changed to more miscellaneous stuff. And 2017 I used instagram parallel to my twitter account to make people aware of my weekly blogpost. I almost posted a picture a day and was consistent with timing. But I did not have one single grid of nine with the same style, country or topic. Neither did I regularly post in square format. And this is what instagram doesn't reward. Therefore, I am still at around 260 followers although the likes and comments are fine for me and I get featured by bigger accounts from time to time. I love instagram for their photo dedication but I am not the perfect content creator and publisher for this platform. And now I am interested in you as my reader. Do you follow me on instagram?
My Street Photography blogposts
Whenever I am in a big city street photography becomes part of my daily shooting routine. What I love about it is that you easily can integrate it whilst walking along the touristy spots. It doesn't even matter that you shoot during midday since the houses and streets have plenty of light and shadow for you to play with. These are some of my street photography blogposts:
Spending a week in Rome
I spent a week in Rome during March 2017 and it was my first time in Italy's capital. I really enjoyed the city ahead of the touristy masses later that year. Here are my articles on Rome:
Some more travel blogposts?
I love traveling and as a geographer by training it is part of my DNA. This year I travelled way less then in previous years but still managed to see some new countries and cities. You will find some of my travel stories below.
Learnings of #52projectJA
I am happy to have finished my weekly project! Was it easy? No! Did I succeed with all I wanted to do? No! Will I continue doing a weekly blogpost for 2018? No.
As you can see from the dates of my blogposts I had about 20 new articles of 2017 content compared to a good ten collections of previous years and trips and the rest was older than 2017. The thing I lacked in 2017 was actually taking pictures - believe it or not! Just comparing the number of pictures in my Lightroom catalogue gives an idea of the quantity: 5.500 pictures in 2017 compared to more than 8.000 in 2016 and 2015. The blogpost for sure wasn't the only reason but a part for it. I spent my free time writing articles and collecting pictures for the weekly instead of taking new ones. But the good part is that I came up with plenty of (even older) stories that I told this year and shared with you as my audience. Without this weekly self-commitment of posting on Mondays there would still be way more stories not being told. And this is my major finding of #52projectJA. Another benefit is that my website really got some traffic this year and that it changes regularly even for continuous visitors and readers.
Again, I would love to read your thoughts and comments on my blogpost. Do you run your own photo website, blog or yearly project? Thanks for reading and viewing my content, hope to see and read you here also in 2018!
P.S.: If you have an idea for a different and not that time consuming photo project in 2018 I might consider stepping in...