SPECIAL BIRTHDAY POST: JOURNEYS WITH JESSICA TURNS ONE TODAY!

Screenshot_2015-05-27-17-55-44-1

beach21

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

It’s finally here, my blog turns the big one year today! This time last year I had just started my first ever post, the ridiculously titled ‘Hello!’ with a big smiley face on the front page! The first trip I blogged about was a weekend city break to Barcelona, and since then I’ve been to Prague, Reykjavik, Majorca and tonnes of UK cities. It’s crazy to think how much I’ve grown over the last twelve months. Back then, I could count the number of readers I had on my hand, and now I have over 1700 followers on my combined social media channels and over 43,000 readers on my expanding Trip Advisor account, quite an achievement I feel!

Untitled14  Untitled13

So to celebrate my blog being a year old I’ve decided it’s time to have a complete re-shape and have totally edited the look of my website. I have been bored with the layout for ages so a makeover was well over due. A long running debate in my mind has been the question of should I stick with my free WordPress.com template or take the plunge and create a brand new site from scratch? I can now say I have FINALLY decided and I’ve gone for the former, to stick with my trusted WordPress template. There are few reasons for doing this, and I’ve outlined them below:

– WordPress is free (bonus!)

– It allows me to easily link all my social media channels

– The brand new Cube design theme is a winner (where have you been all my life!?)

– WordPress has been with me from the start, I wouldn’t be where I am now without it!

I know what you’re thinking, soppy Jess doesn’t like change! But seriously I’ve found a brilliant theme on WordPress, I absolutely love the cube design and hope you do too- it’s something I’ve envisaged for a while and I’m so glad it’s a workable, easy on the eye template for me to use.

I just have a few questions that I hope my lovely readers can help me with…

1) Should the layout be a black background with white writing and blue highlight?

Untitled1

2) or should it be a white background with black writing and green highlight?

Untitled2

3) Should I create separate Twitter and Instagram from my personal accounts or keep the current large following I already have and stick with those? I want to be seen to be professional but also friendly and real!

Untitled1

Untitled3

So what’s next on the 1 year forecast for Journeys with Jessica? Well, I’ve got loads of trips planned with my friends and family and cannot wait for all my adventures. I’m heading to Royal Ascot on 19th June, followed by a trip into Oxford the next day and a theatre show in the evening, and then on 21st June I’m travelling to London for the British Summertime Festival at Hyde Park! I’m also going on a family holiday to Cornwall for a week and then potentially a quick city break either to Budapest or Berlin at the end of July which is super exciting but nothing’s been booked yet so watch this space!

british-summer-time-2015-1422180329-large-article-0

I’ve also got a special birthday announcement to make… I’M ATTENDING MY FIRST EVER CONFERENCE AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER NEXT SUMMER! AHHHH! I’ve bitten the bullet and booked a space at TBEX Europe 16 which takes place next July- I’ve been wanting to attend TBEX for the last year but haven’t had the confidence to do so until now! The conference is taking place in Stockholm, Sweden and I’m joining loads of fellow bloggers so here’s hoping that my first ever conference will be a success! It’s over a year away so I have plenty of time to plan, but I’m so looking forward to meeting new people and learning lots of new travel blogging techniques. If anyone has any advice on how to get my blog ready for TBEX please please get in touch as I’m eager to prepare as much as I can!

Untitled

Thanks as always for your continued support, and here’s to another year of Journeys with Jessica!

Love Jess x

9 replies
  1. Hayley
    Hayley says:

    Hey Jess, congrats on your anniversary! For the design, I personally like the white bg with black font. It feels a little bit “cleaner” I guess. Also, you know you can stick with WordPress while going self-hosted, right? It also might not hurt to buy your domain name. Yes, they do cost money, but normally it’s only like $12/year, so definitely do-able. You can also link a domain to your free WP site if you’d prefer.

    Re: social media channels — personally, I think it’s easier to have separate accounts, just so you can keep track of who’s following you and who you want to follow. But on the other hand, if your blog is very focused around your life and image, it probably wouldn’t hurt to keep the personal accounts instead.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers
    Hayley

    Reply
    • JourneyswithJessica
      JourneyswithJessica says:

      Hi Emma, thanks so much that’s really kind! I’m going to run a poll on Facebook I think re the colour scheme although I think I’m leaning towards the white background too! Thanks for all your great interactions on social media so far, and I’m looking forward to meeting you at TBEX next summer! 🙂
      Jess x

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *