It’s my blog birthday!
Hip! Hip! Hurrah!
I can’t believe that on Friday, October 21st, my blog was 3 years old.
Honestly, I can’t quite believe that 36 months ago on an Autumn Sunday evening, I decided to put pen to paper and open up a social media thingy. I mean, when I first started I didn’t even know what social media was all about, and I had never ever met a blogger.
In real life!
And apart from Facebook and who isn’t on Facebook? I knew zilch about social media.
Yep! Yours truly had known nothing about Twitter. Nothing at all!
I mean, I knew it, but I didn’t know it – know it!
But I quickly learnt.
My Twitter page was open and ready to go!
Oh, I used to have a travel diary that was purely set up for friends and family, but this blogging thing was something else.
So much has taken place that I can hardly stand it.
As a result, this week’s post is going to be about that journey from when I wrote my first blog, to right now. Three years later. Here we go!
Before we go on, why did I start this blog anyway…..?
At the beginning of 2014, I told you that The Tall Young Gentleman was a member of the Boy Scouts of America: Troop 46. Some of the American mothers were new in town and not only was I the only British parent but I was also the New Parent Co-Ordinator…..
Lots of my corporate clients ask me about Britain, I recommend London and my original home-town – Manchester. Thousands, OK, hundreds of people asked me about Germany. I recommend Berlin and then I thought, why don’t I write about my favourite places and they can see for themselves? So here we are!
My blog is three years old.
It’s been an amazing ride. In fact, the last three years have been fantastic!
My blog is a thriving toddler.
And I am exceedingly proud.
I’ve had an amazing collection of marvellous stories, visits, and adventures. As I told you when I published my 100th post, a lot of people, bloggers in particular, don’t like the notion of luck and quite frankly, I’m not one to talk of fate, but when I happen to be in the right place at the right time, I don’t know what else to call it.
So I’m going to say it as I see it.
Are you ready?
Here it comes!
My toddler blog has been a resounding success because of the jolly good luck I’ve had, flowing with masses of enthusiasm, buckets of really hard work, and shaken and stirred with all the people I have met along the way, who have helped and supported me on my quest to being a fabulous British blogger.
There. I’ve said it!
But before we go any further, I would just like to thank some very important people.
All of you.
Where would I be without your comments, your likes, your opinions and your reads?
Without you this blog would just be an empty piece of cyber-paper floating in the blogosphere. You have all been so amazing and supportive, reading my blog every week, and sharing it with all your friends, family, and associates.
I’ve even had people smiling and recognising me on the streets.
One woman’s smile was so wide, when she discovered that I was just about to sit opposite her on the commuter train! Another guy saw me on my residential gentrified street and screamed outside his van window “Are you that blogger? The British one!” In German of course, so it sounded rather different!
A group of teenaged girls followed me about and giggled as I went shopping in my local supermarket. And being that I live in Berlin and not New York, I got thumbs up, the gruff “I saw you on TV” and appreciative looks when running around town with my signature stripped, dotted or Union Jack pop socks!
I’ve been on TV. I’ve been on a documentary. I’ve been on the radio. I’ve been in the newspaper. I’ve even been in an independent film. I’ve already travelled to 10 countries this year. And all because of you.
Thank you so much! I love you all!
So let’s go back in time.
WHAT IS THIS BLOG ABOUT?
The British Berliner is a lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin.
It’s about a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with her German husband and her half British – half German son, her promotion of British-German life, culture, history, literature, theatre, style, Europe, travels around the world, what she does in normal every day life and where she goes.
THE MOST POPULAR POST EVER
The most popular post is the one that I wrote about Poland.
It was very tongue-in-cheek. Most people got it, but at the same time most didn’t, so I got a lot of abuse for it.
The blog post was called: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go! This post shockingly went VIRAL and I received 145 comments and up to 42,000 hits in my social media feed!
Forty two thousand (42,000) views, hits and shares!
Can you imagine that I wrote it two years ago. And it’s still going as strong as ever!
Thank you Poland!
I looooove you!!!
THE MOST POPULAR BRITISH POST
There’s no point in being The British Berliner if I can’t tell you how to, in fact, be British. You found this post charming: How to be British: Oh and by the way, you need to queue! And so did the trolls and naughty people. Some were so naughty that I had to ban them from my blog!
You also liked my post about Bristol and were intrigued by the wealthy maritime city after reading this post: 48 hours in Bristol – 48 things to do! I’m sure the Visit Bristol people are delighted by the number of people who have decided to visit the city because of my post. When you do, let them know that it was me!
THE MOST POPULAR GERMANY POST
The most popular post is still actually the very first post, that I ever wrote on my blog! The title was: Germany is Boring. Ooops!
Yeah, I got insults and abuse for this post. Mainly from people who never read it.
It received 72 comments and over 5,000 views, shares and hits! I wrote it exactly three (3) years ago, and it still hits a nerve!
Ah well, I’m famous now.
THE MOST POPULAR BERLIN POST
It seems that when you think of Berlin, you think of it as creative, intense, full of energy and free. Yes, you like music, entertainment, glamour and suspense. You loved the Friedrichstadt-Palast – the venue that is the Las Vegas of Berlin in the post: It’s bizarre. It’s quirky. It’s THE WYLD!
Guys. It went VIRAL too and I don’t know how, but you must have loved it, ‘cos I received close to twenty-two thousand (22,000) views, hits and shares!
THE MOST POPULAR INTERNATIONAL POST
This title went to the post about Riga. In Latvia which was my most popular post in 2015!
The people of Latvia were astonishing and really came out and supported my blog on the following post: Riga is gorgeous. Go there right now! This post shockingly went bloody VIRAL too, and I received 77 comments and up to 25,000 hits in my social media feed!
Twenty five thousand (25,000) views, hits and shares!
Thank you Latvia!!
THE MOST POPULAR MOTIVATIONAL /ADVICE POST
You obviously love, or want to travel, and need help doing so, as the most popular post of advice was: How to use the train in Poland: 10 tips to help you.
I have promised you a post about how to travel by train in Europe which I will write very soon… and I have also been asked to consult a few people on this very issue.
If you’re concerned about travelling in Europe, and need a helping hand, I would be available by Skype or by Email to advice you for an initial introductory fee of €50.00 for 60 minutes. Communication would be either in English or German. Send me an Email with your details, and we’ll take it from there – email@example.com
THE MOST COMMENTED POST EVER
As you know, Poland is one of my most favourite places. And so was this post: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go! Interesting stuff it seems. You couldn’t stop talking about, it so I received 145 comments and up to 42,000 hits in my social media feed!
THE MOST COMMENTED POST ABOUT BRITAIN
You love British people. You love how quirky we are and the fact that we tend to be particular about certain things, and you said so in the post about being British: How to be British: Oh and by the way, you need to queue! I had 82 comments. Thank You so much!
THE MOST COMMENTED POST ABOUT GERMANY
Well, umm – Germany is boring!
That post gave me 72 comments and over 5,000 views, shares and hits! More comments than shares, but then, you can’t have everything!
Coming in second (2nd) place was food. Contrary to expectations, even though German cuisine has a hard, long reputation of being rather stodgy and boring, food in Germany can be pretty awesome, if you know where to look! You obviously did look and you proved it with 67 comments in this post: 10 surprising reasons why food in Germany isn’t just grit and stodge but is pretty awesome, in my opinion! Yummy!
THE MOST COMMENTED POST ABOUT BERLIN
You felt that the post that spoke to you most was the one that I wrote about an alternative walking tour, in the cool trendy neighbourhood suburb of Kreuzberg. I used to live there so I know what I’m talking about.
Kreuzberg has some of the best gay clubs, quirky bars, underground vibes, and great food. It’s not as cheap as it used to be unfortunately, but it’s still a great neighbourhood with a river, and teeming with tourists looking for the “real” Berlin.
In fact, I made my German TV debut right there! Here’s why: If you’re looking to make a change: Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a family. Choose an alternative walking tour in Berlin! It had 72 comments.
It seems that you guys like to paaaaaarty, ‘cos you were enormously interested in some of the hard-core underground clubs that I mentioned in: If you’re going to dance the night away – Do it in Berlin!
Back in the day, I was a serious clubber.
Now I hardly go dancing unless I’m on the VIP list and there’s a driver to collect me…!
THE MOST COMMENTED INTERNATIONAL POST
- Poland – Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go! – You had a lot to say about my post so you did, with 145 comments!
- Latvia – Riga is gorgeous. Go there right now! – You really appreciated what I wrote and you liked it, tweeted it, shared it, and shared it, and shared it. On my blog were 77 comments but I have absolutely no idea how many comments were made as I couldn’t follow them anymore. I was just overwhelmed in a lovely way. Thank you so much!
- Thailand – 3 days in Bangkok: A walking tour isn’t what you think! – I guess going to Bangkok is living the dream. And it is. It’s an amazing place full of colour, energy, people and smiles. I’m not surprised that I received 60 comments.
- Holland – I went to a sex-show in the city of red lights and thin canals: That’s right. 48 hours in Amsterdam!! – My readers are as liberal as they come and are tolerant on the European lifestyle circuit. Oh yes indeed!
THE MOST COMMENTED MOTIVATIONAL / ADVICE POST
At the beginning of every new year, it’s the norm to think about what you did last year and what you’re going to do this year. Travelling and living a life of quality struck a chord with many of you, as readers were worried about how to travel on a budget, how to get holidays / vacations, or even how to take the first step, so I told you how I do it in this post: How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all!
Most of my readers are professional upper-middle-class people. Just like me.
Staying at a €5.00 hostel or jetting off to Cambodia on a whim, just isn’t an option. I mean who would look after the dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits or giant iguana?
No seriously. Who?!!
In 2015 I travelled to 11 countries however, in 2014, this post got me a whopping 73 comments!
Nevertheless, I shouldn’t fail to tell you that the post that totally changed my career from being just another blogger to being totally awesome was: A light, a camera, and a broken arm: Action and drama at the Berlin Music Video Awards. It had 50 comments. I know the big bloggers have a hundred comments and more, but that post was written in May, 2014. A little after the 6 month mark.
You were fascinated by the fact that Queen Elizabeth came to Berlin and I got to be a part of that story and had more requests of interviews that I even knew what to do with. I actually had to turn some of them down!
The Queen came to Berlin. I’m British so pass me the Pimms. That’s why! – I hope I did you all proud. You seemed to think so with 49 comments.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
THE TOP 10 MOST POPULAR COUNTRY, OF PEOPLE WHO READ MY BLOG IN 2016
- Great Britain
- India for the exotic factor!
Surprisingly, I also get a significant number of readers from the Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, & Singapore!
It’s amazing that even though I only blog once a week, consistently I might add LOL, I still manage to attract a huge number of subscribers and happy Twitter fans who read my blog on a daily basis, and all my funny two-line quips! You too can join in the fun and games right here: http://twitter.com/britishberliner
Not too shabby I might add!
COUNTRIES I HAVE BEEN TO IN THE LAST 1 YEAR
- England – three times!
THE MOST POPULAR GROUP PRESS or FAM TRIP
Even though Northern France is my first press trip, it’s very much worth writing about, so the most popular post was: My first press or FAM trip ever to Nord-Pas de Calais otherwise known as, Northern France! It was amazing. I’m so honoured to have been invited. It was great, but bloody hard work LOL!
The readers have spoken, now what do I think?
MY TOP BLOG ACHIEVEMENTS
- Starting this blog. Hurrah!
- Getting a MA – University of Chester
- Becoming The British Berliner
- Getting on prime-time German TV – Live!
- Making a documentary about being a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger
- Becoming Germany’s answer and expert on modern-day Britain and the monarchy!
- Talking on German TV about Brexit
- Doing various newspaper interviews about Brexit
- Getting interviewed on the radio. In German
- Acting and making an independent silent film with an aspiring German/Finnish film director!
- Promoting and showing you Berlin
- Getting newspaper interviews
- Getting official invitations to Berlin Fashion Week.
- Hanging out with VIP’s at the Berlin Music Video Awards
- Organising Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign!
- Being invited on my second press trip to Bristol / Bath!
- Being invited on my third press trip to Luxembourg!
- Being invited on my fourth press trip to Usedom!
- Being invited on my fifth press trip to the Philippines!
- Going to four (4) new countries!
- Keeping things light but still throwing in tiny issues about the appalling circumstances of Europe’s refugees. #RefugeesAreWelcome
- Being invited to take part in a Twitter conference
- Being an active member of Travel Massive (the Berlin Chapter)
- International Travel
- Regional Travel
- Local Travel
- People believing in me, encouraging me, and motivating me
- Updating my blog website image, logo & business cards
- Hanging out at the Berlin Film Festival (the Berlinale)
- Attending the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) conference – the holy grail of the travel blogging world – for the second time
- Being recognised among my peers
- Making an established name for myself as The British Berliner
- Meeting other real-life bloggers. That was awesome by the way!
- Talking to and hearing from YOU. Yes, YOU
MY TOP 6 FAVOURITE POSTS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER!
- How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all!
- How to write and publish a book – Introducing The Bee Hive!
- Is it safe to travel to Europe right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?
- The beginner’s guide to going up a volcano: because going up a volcano isn’t for everyone!
- A light, a camera, and a broken arm: Action and drama at the Berlin Music Video Awards
- I went to Korea, but I should have been in Qatar!
Thank you so much everyone. I really appreciate it lots.
Thank you for making this blog real, reading, commenting, and connecting. You’re all amazing. Here’s to the next blog year. Cheers!
Next week, it’s back to work. It’s November and I’ll be starting a new job!
This article is not sponsored. It’s my blog birthday!
Do you have a blog? How long have you had it? Was there anything that you found surprising?
See you in Berlin.