Many of my dedicated readers will remember that I am not living permanently in Ecuador. Our assignment was for three years and the end is in sight. I am sad because leaving Ecuador and all it has to offer will be incredibly hard. And I am happy because new adventure is my middle name. I get itchy feet if we don’t move every so often. And I am looking forward to the next steps.
This news might make many of you wonder what will happen to the Ecuador part of Not Your Average American? I have good news. I have enough content to continuing writing about Ecuador, its lovely people, its stunning places, its beautiful cultures, for at least a year after we leave.
And I plan on coming back to gather more experiences, to visit old friends, and to bring new ones with me.
That is next step number one – arranging group travel back to Ecuador. If you would like updates on potential trips or have an idea of the kind of trip you would like to take but don’t want to plan yourself, let me know.
In order to better communicate with local companies, both hotels and hostels, travel agencies and independent guides, I have started a Facebook Group called Turismo Ecuador. My hope is to offer special deals to Not Your Average Americans who want to travel to Ecuador.
Next step number two will be to expand the blog to include more of South America. Not Your Average American is accepting pitches for articles on other South American countries.
We have already started sharing Guest Author posts. Did you see the great articles by Amy Atland on the Rose Hacienda and the Most Difficult Train Track in the World? By recruiting other writers, we can continue to find new places not only in Ecuador but in other South American countries.
I especially want to see pitches from other military spouses and foreign service spouses living overseas. We have a unique outlook on the places where we live. We find hidden treasures that need not be hidden. Let’s help others find them. Pitch me your article. I can offer advertising for your blog, your website, your travel business, your photography business, as fair compensation. And I am researching grant opportunities to be able pay writers cash money. The Not Your Average American brand will grow and it will be an asset to have published here.
I will be searching for Ecuadorians and other South Americans who have settled in the DC area to find out what kind of South America flavor lives in my new neighborhood. One of my first articles will be on the wonderful National Museum of the American Indian which includes exhibits of both North and South American indigenous peoples. Let me know if you live in the DC area and have a business you would like interviewed. I would love to put you on my fall schedule.
And in order to make all this work, Not Your Average American has to become a paying enterprise. I am currently funding the blog through my freelance writing. I publish an article, the money for said article goes into my dream business. It is not a long term model that I can sustain. But it has helped me get started.
You will notice that I have added advertising to the page. I hope this hasn’t caused anyone any distress. I have specifically requested that Google Adsense not post offensive ads but if you ever see something you don’t like on the page, please let me know. These ads are bringing in a small amount of money. Obviously, the more people who view pages on the blog, the better the revenue. The longer people stay on the blog to read, the better the revenue. The more pages that people visit on the blog, the better the revenue. If you want to help me make money, one of the best ways is to share my blog and tell people to READ and to EXPLORE.
I am debating on the best way to sell my photography – I currently have some stock photos available on Alamy.com. But if the interest exists, I may start selling photos direct. I am also considering self-publishing in book format. Your feedback will help me make that decision.
If someone tells you that the blog didn’t resonate, no big deal. But if they tell you that pages don’t load or the content is boring (or if you experience these problems yourself), PLEASE let me know. Those kinds of problems cause what is called a high bounce rate. That means folks come to the page and leave after one look. Sometimes this happens when people are subscribers and they have already read the old content. But often, these are folks searching for an answer to a specific question (what is yerba mate or who was Cantuña), find it, read the answer, and bolt. The more people I can keep on the page for longer, the better for the blog and for my bottom line. If you have ideas on how to do this, please feel free to share them!
And if you have read this far, thank you! You are truly a dedicated reader. I know I have many of you that return again and again to read these pages. I appreciate you with all my heart! Your feedback is the most important of all.
For those of you who would like to keep up with the changes as they happen, I have started a sending a newsletter: