Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shouldn't It Be Obvious?

Welcoming Committee
The birds are lined up on the wire as I arrive home.
Have you ever wondered how everyone else seems to come up with these fabulous, entertaining, cutesy, profound ideas for blog entries?  Well, so have I.  So, I've gone in desperate search of some advice on blog writing.

Brent Riggs (yes, the Linky Tools guy) began a series on blog writing in 2009 with an article called "There’s Really Only One Main Secret to a Great Blog – the Other Secrets are Secondary."  It's practical, realistic, and you should read it.

More recently, Brian A. Klems over on Writer's Digest authored an article called "THE 12 DOS AND DON’TS OF WRITING A BLOG."  Klems offers 12 doable suggestions for the aspiring blogger.

There are several special interest sites which promote and educate bloggers:

Butterfly on a buddleia
This picture just makes me smile!
The SITS Girls feature blogs daily, offer educational courses online--both live and recorded.  They are the organizers of the Bloggy Boot Camp which is offered several times a year in different locations throughout the country.  Their advice ranges from the inspirational to the practical for their 40,000 members.

BlogHer is "the leading cross-platform media network created by, for and with women social media leaders."  It helps women bloggers learn to promote their blogs.  Revenue sharing is available for their 3000-ish selected "premium" bloggers.

Mary Jane's Farm has established GirlGab which is "blog roll central" for MaryJane Butters and the members of the Farmgirl Sisterhood.  New farmgirl entries are highlighted daily, as well as blogs by the "official" Suburban, Rural, Ranch, Beach, City, and Mountain farmgirls. is another categoried blog roll which offers top 10 lists.  Bloggers can apply to be listed on the site and can purchase advertising.

After reading a number of these I have gleaned two essential strategies to be a successful blogger (which I'm probably not):

  • find a niche, and 
  • be outrageous.

The second is easier than the first.  That's where many bloggers are so good:  they rant about extreme positions on hot-button issues which are sure to provoke flame wars.  It certainly adds to the page loads.  How much it adds to public discourse remains to be seen, but this strategy has allowed a number of writers to become digital sensations.

Sneakers on a limb
Life can be a real
whirlwind at times!
The former strategy--niche writing--can build a following, but often within a smaller group.  Usually less bombastic, the niche blog caters to its audience, but risks catering so slavishly that it blends into the fabric of the group.

I have a plan:

I'm going to write more about things I care about and worry less about appealing to an audience.  

If I'm bombastic, well, that probably won't happen; it's just not my nature.  If I cater to a niche, it's because I am or wish to be a part of that culture.  

I am excited about future blog posts; I hope you find them interesting.  Or nostalgic.  Or cute.  Or poignant.  Or infuriating.  Regardless of how you find them, I will continue to write them as long as I have something to say about living a life worth savoring.


How are you savoring your life?


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Roadside Relic: High and Dry

The drought of 2012 has left many people high and dry--just like this fishing boat.  Earlier in the summer, the boat bobbed at the edge of a large stock pond.  Despite recent rains, the pond has receded so that the boat is at least 10 feet from what's left of the water.  It will take a lot of rain to refill the depleted watering holes.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Roadside Relic: Cattle and Hay Barn

From time when machines were not so prevalent, barns only needed to be built tall enough for the people and the animals.  This low-roofed barn hugs the contours of the land, remaining long after the pasture has been turned into a bean field.