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Getting to know my audience

Getting to know my audience

Good morning internet. I am on a tour of Kayonza District, in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. However, I am not sharing my experiences in Kayonza today. Instead, I have decided to study the analytics of my traffic and find out who is reading my stories.

I have been blogging since 2016. My first post was read by only a handful of friends. This blog has been active ever since, although posting hasn’t always been consistent. There are times when I used to update it once a week. Sometimes, I used to do so every other day. During the lockdown, I was posting something from my deep reservoir of memories every day. There are times when I ignored the blog completely. Twice or thrice, a whole month went by without a new post.

At some point, readers from certain locations couldn’t access the site because, unbeknownst to me, the so called SSL certificate had expired. Then came a day when Google penalized me for using a tool the tech giant doesn’t approve. Who made Google the prefect here?

Still, my audience has been growing gradually. Some stretches show a curve see-sawing up and down like waves in the ocean. It takes time to grow an audience organically but the upward trajectory would have been steadier if I would be posting more regularly and consistently.

By March 2020, I had met a good number of Kigali-based readers who had expressed interest in visiting places I had written about. I had also offered tour guiding services to some international readers who connected with me through the blog before visiting Rwanda. When I returned to these attractions, in the company of like-minded people, the experience was much more fulfilling. I would have done many more expeditions with them by now but the coronavirus pandemic has forced me to travel solo while limiting social interactions.

Recently, I did deliveries of my book to buyers living in Kigali. Delivering books to their homes or work places gave me an opportunity to establish a business relationship with them. However, in most cases, all I could do was elbow bumping. If I turned down your invitation to sit down for a cup of coffee and talk adventure, please understand. We will do this when the Covid situation improves. Masking up and spraying every book before dropping it at the buyer’s gate or reception showed me how much life has changed. We are living in a different world.

As mentioned above, I have taken a closer look at the analytics and traced down the locations of my readers and the channels that directed them here. The vast majority of readers are outside Rwanda, which is probably a good thing. That means, I shouldn’t use words like ikivuguto or umuganura and expect every reader to understand.

In 2020, America-based readers topped the list, followed by those residing in Malaysia, India, Nigeria and Kenya. I had no idea there were more people reading this stuff from Malaysia than Rwanda. Coincidentally, I have been reading articles about Malaysia lately. This country boasts the third-largest industrialized economy in southeastern Asia. Picturesque tropical islands, thrilling marine parks, lush rainforests, rich cultural heritage and massive investment in conference facilities have turned Malaysia into one of the most attractive destinations in Asia Pacific.

Again, preliminary 2021 results show more views from the US than any other country in the world. Americans have always been the majority. That’s why I write traveling instead of travelling, flavor instead of flavour, kilometer instead of kilometre, program instead of programme and organization instead of organisation. If you live in the UK or Australia, please bear with me.

The author is currently visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Kayonza is sponsored by Ikaze Rwanda Tours & Travel, Akagera Rhino Lodge, Jambo Beach, Imigongo Art Center, Silent Hill Hotel and Ihema View Campsite

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