I’m always dreaming about my next trip to Ireland, and the same is true Peter Carey from The Carey Adventures Blog and Erin Havley from the Visual Vacation Blog. Both these fine bloggers nominated me to contribute My 7 Links to a fun little exercise that is circulating through the travel blog community. I’d encourage you to read Peter’s and Erin’s My 7 Links posts.
When traveling, there are times when a story simply unfolds… you don’t know where it will take you, but you feel something special with every step. That’s what happened when Liam and I made the trip to Ajo, Arizona, during our Irish-American Roadtrip. I still get teary-eyed when I watch the video from that day.
Although our giveaways generate a lot of attention, our Dublin Don’ts continue to top the list. On a side note, Google seems to send us a constant stream of people searching for “leprechaun” and “Maureen O’Hara…” Go figure.
Any time we talk about “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, we get a wide range of comments. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the blog or podcast or YouTube, tourists and Irish residents always have something to say about this topic.
As a result, our Belfast Bonfire Topples video from our visit during the Marching Season has gotten over 17,700 views and serves as one of the few posts where I had to remove comments (sorry folks, but swear words and graphic violent language just don’t fly around the Irish Fireside).
I must hand this designation to our Question & Answer series of posts… with the Irish Pubs & Etiquette post tackling an “under served” topic. Although we follow a standard Q&A format, we try to keep the replies “real” by citing specific examples that don’t sound like they’re coming from a chirpy tourist office or guidebook.
We were entering uncharted territory when we asked our online community to interact in “real life.” I had my fingers crossed that we’d have at least 4 sign ups… we ended up with 42 on our first try!
The idea was simple — sign up, get the name and address of another participant, send an Ireland-inspired gift, and wait for your gift to arrive from someone else. In the end, participants raved about the experience — even the two who ended up with deadbeat Secret Santas stayed positive – don’t worry, I made sure they were sent a little something special).
We’ve expanded to three gift exchanges a year… Secret Santa at Christmas, Lucky Leprechaun at St Paddy’s Day, and Presents for Puck during the August Puck Fair… yes, there’s still time to sign up for that last one!
Very few people know I created an e-book especially for small businesses looking for basic ways to use the internet to promote Irish tourism
I’ll admit, I didn’t publicize it much on the Fireside because it’s not intended for the blog’s core audience, but those who have downloaded it have had good things to say. How can they complain? It’s FREE!
It was quite an achievement to produce our 100th podcast episode, but what pleased me most was the number of people who called and left voice mail comments for us to include in the episode. It’s amazing how reader involvement can make my heart swell.
Now it’s time to nominate five travel bloggers I’d like to answer these very same questions.
Married an Irish Farmer: Imen may not write a traditional travel blog, but her non-Irish insight into the land she calls home leaves me eager to learn which was her most controversial post.
Discover Ireland: Ireland’s official tourism and travel blog launched quietly last year and has provided a constant source of interesting reading… I want to know which post was their biggest surprise.
Pól Ó Conghaile: Here’s one writer and journalist covering a little bit of everything when it comes to Ireland… I’m most interested in the post he’s most proud of.
Thin Places: Mindie Burgoyne has a passion for finding unique places in Ireland… I want to know which she thinks is her most underrated post.
Ireland With Kids: Jody Halsted has been busy adding posts to her young blog… I’m wondering which is coming out as her most popular.