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Bodrum Travel Guide 3 Years old & Still Going Strong

3 Years and Still Going StrongAnniversary Celebration

I’m not a fanatic about tracking anniversaries, but after reading about Annie’s BacktoBodrum 2 year Anniversary, I thought I’d look back and check how long my website had been up and running.

Don’t know if I planned it, or it was a pure fluke, but turns out I launched my Bodrum Travel Guide on Valentines Day, three years ago and this page you’re reading is my 500th article.

BPTG Post summary for my Bodrum Guide

So what have I been writing about?

From our very first visit in 2008, I started to collect information and recommendations about the towns and villages on the Peninsula, and after a couple of years I’d amassed so much content the next logical step was to start sharing it on a blog.

A lot of websites publish content with Search Engine Optimization goals in mind, but I’ve always written about topics I’m interested and knowledgeable about, and (maybe naively) just trusted that if I created quality content it would feature well in the search results.

To mis-quote from “Field of Dreams”

If you write it, they will come.

Heart Turkey Bodrum Peninsula by Jay ArtaleThis approach seems to be working for me so far, and I believe the reason I’ve been able to sustain this website for 3 years, publishing an average of 10-12 articles a month, is because I’m writing about a topic I’m passionate about. (Maybe that’s why I launched the site on Valentines day!)

My motivation was two-fold; I wanted to provide an invaluable online resource for visitors to the Bodrum Peninsula, but I also wanted to enjoy the content creation process.

Hot Topics

If you check out the Category and Tag Word Clouds in the side panel, you’ll see the topics I write about most frequently (The bigger the word, the more content available).

I use Categories for main topics like locations and key segments, and Tags to capture the next level of topic hierarchy.

Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide Category Cloud

For this anniversary (I haven’t celebrated the previous two!) I decided it was about time I did a review of the topics I’ve been writing about.

Based on the top destinations, here my top 5 most written about destinations.

  1. Bodrum 125 Articles
  2. Gümüşlük 86 Articles
  3. Turgutreis 46 Articles
  4. Yalikavak 42 Articles
  5. Bitez 37 Articles

It’s expected that Bodrum would be top of the list, as it’s the Peninsula’s main town, but I hadn’t realized that Gümüşlük was giving it a run for its money coming in a close 2nd. I guess it’s understandable, Gümüşlük has a special place in my heart.

As well as writing about all of the destinations on the Bodrum Peninsula, I’ve also launched a few different content-concepts to present information in a different way.

Waxing Lyrical Logo for BPTG

Top 5 Lists

1 Day Itineraries for the Bodrum PeninsulaDuring my first year I launched a Top 5 list series; well 2 versions of it really. Top 5 in Less than 50 words, and Top 5 Waxing Lyrical (more words allowed).

This was a great way to get input from other people who knew about the area, so that you can benefit from a broader viewpoint and perspective.

Location Summaries

Top 5 list for Bodrum PeninsulaDuring my second year I began consolidating location-specific content into Welcome Pages and publishing Quick Reference Travel Guides:

Welcome Pages

I started the process of creating an online “Welcome” page for each destination, to provide visitors with a summary of the town or village, with links to related information. This is my version of a locations “home” page, and is a good starting point to introduce new visitors to a town or village they’re not familiar with.

Quick Reference Travel Guide for Gumusluk

Quick Reference Travel Guides

I also developed and released my first Quick Reference Travel Guide. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that my first QRTG featured Gumusluk. These handy guides provide a pdf summary of key locations, which includes a small map and key local information and are available to print-out, or saved onto your mobile device.

The best part about them? They’re free!

I’ve released 8 additional QRTGs since then, and the most recent one covered Bodrum Town. It took me a while to get around to this one, because I struggled with how to get so much information onto a limited space … but I’m really pleased with the end result.

I have more in the creation phase … and next one will be published on March 1st, and covers Bodrum’s neighbour, Torba.

Bodrum Peninsula Travel GuideBodrum Peninsula Travel Guide e-book

Bodrum Top 5 ListDuring my third year I wrote and published my first e-book Travel Guide “Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide: Turkey’s Aegean Gem”.

It was never my intent to write a travel guide, but the Bodrum Peninsula has grown in popularity over the past few years, and there were scant few guides on the market, so I decided to fill the gap.

I have to admit, it took a lot more effort that I anticipated .. my 70,000 word guide is a culmination of 4 years of research, and took over 7 months to write, edit, proof and convert into an e-book.

It was an interesting journey, and provided me with an immense sense of achievement.

What’s next?

Cartoon Black and White Man Staring into Crystal BallAs we zoom past my third anniversary and plough head-long into my fourth year, I’m wrapping up my next e-book Travel Guide … this one about my passion – Gümüşlük (no surprise there then!!).

It’s aptly titled the “Gümüşlük Travel Guide: Bodrum’s Silver Lining“, (Gümüş is the Turkish word for Silver) and will be available to download from Amazon this Spring.

Once that’s published, I’m switching gears to another project that’s been percolating for a couple of years. I’m chronicling our adventures of purchasing and owning a house in Turkey, which started back in 2005. I’m an avid Expat Memoir reader, so I thought it was about time I wrote one of my own about our Turkish Adventures – I’ve written the first eight chapters already.

Another exciting development is the Sister City organization partnering Santa Monica (California) with Bodrum. It’s at the beginning of this alignment, and at the end of last month I attended the Sister City lunch for Izmir and Long Beach.

Meet & Greet

As well as this litany of accomplishments, I’ve also linked up with a supportive, friendly and knowledgeable Virtual network of bloggers who share my passion for Turkey.

Although most interactions are on-line, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some real-live people, and want to give them a special mention.

Jack Scott from Perking the Pansies

  • Perking the Pansies by Jack Scott Book CoverJack and I started our Bodrum journey around the same time in 2005, and I was quite possibly one of the first followers of his blog, and I’ve been a Pansy fan ever since. Jack wrote an Expat Memoir of his and Liam’s escape from London to Turkey, captured in a fabulous Memoir.
  • They’ve since moved back home to the UK, and settled in Norwich (my home town), and Jack and I have got together a couple of times to talk blog shop and blarney. He’s helped me out on a number of occasions, and I’m thankful and appreciative for his input and support over the years.
  • I’ve written a review for a couple of his books over on my Roving Jay blog and you can follow these links to read them:  Review for Perking the Pansies, and Review for Turkey the Raw Guide.

David Good from the Bodrum Bulletin

  • Bodrum Bulletin LogoWhen I first started my website, I was unsure of what it would become, and which topics it would cover. I wanted to find a niche that wasn’t already covered so there wasn’t a duplication of efforts. Over the years David and I have collaborated – and his website and mine compliment each other perfectly.
  • I met him for a quick cup of coffee one morning at the Yalikavak Belediyesi, and we were there for hours talking blog shop and blarney.

Eljay who runs Turkish Painting Holidays

  • Eljay and I happened to be in London at the same time, so met up in Soho for an animated chat over a few glasses of wine, and she shared lots of information about the Bodrum Peninsula before it found fame and fortune as well-known holiday destination.

There are many more bloggers and business owners I’ve connected with over the years, not just in the local Bodrum area, but further afield. There’s not enough space to list all of you here … but you know who you are. Thanks to all of you for your support and input over the years … and for raising the awareness of this vast and intriguing land called Turkey.


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1 comment

  1. James

    Congrats on the milestone! Lots of good info here that has me wanting to go back to Turkey 🙂

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