Happy 4th Birthday Leighton Literature!
It’s Leighton Literature’s 4th Birthday!
It’s been four years since I launched Leighton Literature and this last twelve months have definitely been my most transformative. It was over the summer that I felt like LL had arrived at a sink or swim moment. After so much hard work and only modest progress, I saw two possible paths ahead. I was either going to keep chugging the site along as a hobby, or really go for broke and put all my energies into pushing things forward. Obviously I went for the latter, chiefly because I’ve realised this is what I love doing: travelling and creating. As such, I found myself arriving at an exciting decision.
I’ve been teaching English around the world for the better part of 17 years now. I still love being in the classroom, but am getting increasingly frustrated with the nuts and bolts of school politics. From the unnecessarily long shifts, badly behaved children, unreasonable parents and shady school management, my patience has reached the end of the line.
I’m no spring chicken anymore and the nest is feeling more and more restrictive. If I don’t spread my wings now it might never happen. With this in mind, I’ve decided to move on from China when my contract finishes next May. Moreover, I’m going to seriously try my hand as a full-time travel blogger! There are so many things I want to see, do, photograph and write about that it literally sends my head into a spin.
As romantic as all this sounds, I’ll need to handle things carefully to have any hope of making this sustainable. Hence I’m putting together a plan of action. The resulting to-do list has been occupying every minute of my free time these past months. So far I’ve given LL a dramatic makeover with a new site design and have reformatted every single one of my articles along the way.
I’ve also been learning about the importance of SEO. Soon, it’ll be time to start implementing what I’ve learned into both my new articles as well as my back catalogue. I’m still figuring out this side of things, it’s very much an ongoing process. And quite tedious work if truth be told. Happily though I’m starting to see the results, with a marked increase in what is called organic traffic. This is basically people that come across my stuff independently through search engine results, rather than social media promotion.
I also realised that the number of trips I needed to write up (just from 2018 alone) was spiralling out of control. That the only way I was going to get through everything was by increasing my post rate from every 48 hours to daily releases. This has been extremely demanding but finally, after two months of solid posting, I’m up to date. Now I can start looking at some of those old trips I never got round to writing up. And believe me, there are plenty of them…
I’ve also begun mapping out my final six and a half months here in the south east of China. Hopefully, I can cross off as many of the region’s highlights as I can before I bid adieu. There will be a Christmas trip of some sort and a two week break in February for Chinese New Year. In a way, it’s a pity my Chinese adventure has to end, as I currently have over 100 travel reports published from all over the country. It would be great to keep building on this but hey, life is short and there are loads of other countries out there.
I’m also really excited to be going back home to The UK for a while. I want to use this time to reconnect with my country and catch up with as many old friends and family as I can. There are so many people I haven’t seen in far too long. Hence I’m anticipating some good times over lunches, dinners, coffees, hikes and sightseeing.
Well, this article is getting way too long and there’s kids to teach and birthday cake to eat. Thus I’ll have to scoot off and leave you with some fun LL statistics from my four years online.
Short story collections: 8 Short stories: 62
Site visitors: 65,000
Coffees consumed while writing blogs: 4656685686856 (sloppy estimate).
I had a feeling a new adventure was in the making. Good on you. Go for it. Sounds exciting and it fits you perfectly. May your travels bring you our way one day.