Florida Man on the Run

Looking Back on a Big 2022

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a year in review post. Much of that is because I usually struggle with writer’s block as the year comes to a close, so I simply don’t have the urge to sit down and write. It’s also because for many years I’ve felt at times like there was no point. 2022 is different, however. Despite having been writing this blog for four years, I have never felt as sure about its direction as I do now. My writing has gained more consistency, not only in the amount of content put out but also in quality and style. This year also featured another massive trip much like the one that started this whole adventure. In a way, I think that trip gave me a renewed sense of potential and drive that I don’t want to let go of.

However, that’s enough prosaic thoughts for right now. I want to look back on 2022 through a couple of lenses, all of which will help give perspective to what I hope will be my best year yet in 2023.

2022 Trips in Review

My travels in 2022 were a fantastic mix of old and new destinations. I also planned quite a couple trips this year mostly last minute (at least by my standards) which is something I don’t do very often. By and large it was really a more spontaneous year of travel, not all of which was solely personal travel either.

January brought on opportunity for hikes in the snow while in Arkansas

Throughout the year I spent a number of weeks on the road for my day job. During the first half of the year, I was honestly away from home more than I was there. I took advantage of the good weather to get outside and do some hiking. A trip I took to Georgia even gave me the opportunity to write a post on the best waterfalls in North Georgia. I’ll be taking everything I learned on these trips and working them into some blogs for next year, so be on the lookout for those.

The first six months also featured a healthy dose of personal travel as well. There were family trips to Disney World during the brief off-season of January. I took in my TENTH 24 Hours of Daytona, which has become an annual pilgrimage of sorts. Another annual destination, Brevard, got a more spontaneous trip this year when we drove up to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Brevard Brewing! However, it all culminated in crossing another item off my road trip bucket list.

We had a lot of fun being a couple of cool kids along the Mississippi

That item was a road trip over 18 months in the planning stages. When the time finally came to set out for Minneapolis, it was hard to know how the next two weeks would transform my passion for travel and writing. Our journey down the Great River Road was filled with joy, fun, and an overwhelming sense of contentment. It was everything I loved doing, and I got to do it with the one person I never want to go anywhere without.

The final part of the year was simultaneously more laid back and spontaneous. We did an actual beach vacation, which I haven’t done since I was a kid. There was a weekend spent camping and enjoying the beautifully cool spring waters in North Florida. Yet, the most spontaneous trip of all was the month we had to plan going to TwitchCon. It was an awesome couple of days in San Diego that got stretched into visiting two stellar national parks. Getting to see Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks was just another highlight to a simply stunning year.

Those are some really big trees!

Florida Man on the Run by the Numbers

I’m a huge nerd for numbers. While my numbers here are by no means major news to anyone else, it has still been a pretty big year for me compared to previous years. So, let’s take a look back at 2022 through the numbers.

51,716– I wrote a lot this year, clocking in at over 50,000 words. That’s practically a long short story or even a quick novel! I enjoyed writing every one of those words.

9,100– This was the number of views the blog received this year. I was really hoping to crack 10,000 for the year, but a down November and December meant I came up just short.

1,050– My most popular article from this year was all about the best sunrises in Utah. It’s one of the highest ranking posts I have in Google searches, so it drives a lot of traffic: over 11.5% in fact!

509– The post I wrote recapping our adventure down the Great River Road was my most read post that I made this year.

156– I recorded my biggest single day of views this year on October 17th, driven by a big influx of readers from my syndicated content on MSN (read more about that below)!

21– After 2021 being a really down year for me on when it came to content production, I wrote 21 different posts. This was 1.75 posts per month on average, but the rate really picked up in the last six months of the year. From July to December I wrote 2.8 posts per month! I’m hoping to keep that pace up in the new year!

Exciting Developments This Year

There were also some really exciting developments that helped push me forward in 2022. The biggest of these came from joining the Microsoft Start program. This program essentially syndicates my blog and pushes it out to a wider audience. The big win for me is that I also get paid for views and ad impressions! In the over four years I’ve been writing, this represents the first time I’ve ever made money from my writing. I also scored over 80k views on that platform, meaning way more people are getting a chance to read what I write! The program is still in its infancy, but it’s been a big partnership. If you want to follow along, check out my profile on Microsoft Start!

This also meant I took some efforts to invest in this blog some more. Elementor was a big purchase for me, allowing more freedom in how I design the site. It’s become cleaner and more reader friendly throughout the year, which is important to me as a blogger. I also invested in upgrading my content creation software, with new photo editing suite in Luminar Neo and social media assistance from Canva Pro. I’m still getting used to these, but they’ll both be a big help as I expand my efforts next year and what I attempt to do as a business.

Finally, a very recent development has brought a big change to my life. A promotion at my day job means I’ll be picking up stakes and leaving Florida. I’ve been after this promotion for over two years, so I’m elated it’s finally happened. By February, we will be making a move to Tennessee. Despite a new location, this will still be the same Florida Man on the Run. This move is going to open up a whole new world of possibilities, and I’m excited to get started on that new adventure!

Plans for an Amazing 2023

With a big move in the works and a boatload of momentum from 2022, I want to look forward to what 2023 will bring. I’ve never felt more invested and successful with this blog than I did in 2022. Foremost in my plans is to continue writing at the same pace I finished the year with. As the old adage goes, “Content is King” and I plan on making plenty of it next year.

That’ll get started with finishing my series on the Great River Road. I’ve gotten through eight states so far, so I’ll finish the last two in January 2023. I also have an entire series planned that will be looking back at places I’ve been before. I want to refresh and write new articles on these places because some of them are quite old and frankly don’t match my current quality! There are also some posts I’ve had in drafts for a while, so I’ll be bringing those out into the light of day. Beyond these set plans, I’ll continue to write relevant and timely pieces on where our new adventure takes us.

On a travel front in 2023, I’m going to take an opportunity to be more “local”. The move to Tennessee will put a new world just a short drive away. I want to explore everything our new home will offer and write about some of those experiences. It also unlocks a variety of different road trips to take! I love a good road trip, as you well know, so I’ve already been planning these. Three states are all within an easy drive that we haven’t visited yet: Ohio, West Virginia, and Alabama.

There is so much to look forward to in 2023 and I can’t wait to get the year started. I hope your 2022 was an amazing year, and I wish you all the best in 2023. Thank you for reading and following along on my journey, it really does mean the world to me.

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