So here it is – my 50th post! I knew someday it would come to this, a blog about blogging.
“Franchesca and Sharkey, my French bulldogs, have their own blog. And they are brilliant at it.”Martha Stewart
When I decided I was going to publish a weekly blog last summer, I had no idea where to start. I am in a good place in my life and I want to share my happiness with others. So, I decided to write about everything that brings me joy, with the hopes that it will help others see all the goodness in their lives as well.
Everything I do to create and maintain this blog is done by trial and error. Here’s what I’ve learned so far; and if you’re a beginner blogger like me, it might work for you.
Pick a Central Theme
My theme, (also my tagline) is “peaceful living on the St. Lawrence River.
This gives me two areas of focus. I can write about anything that brings me peace (and joy), and anything about my life on the St. Lawrence River. For me, these two concepts are intertwined.
Thankfully, there’s a lot to be said about this central theme. I feel good and I want readers to feel good, too.
Additionally, once in a while I will review a local restaurant or business that has caught my attention.
I try to publish a post every Thursday. I also created a format that I try to follow with every post. However, I recently learned that not all viewers will see the format I use, depending upon whether they use a tablet, phone or computer.
But here is the layout I try to stick with:
- Quote related to title theme
- Intro with photo
- Media + text (for 2-5 blocks)
- Closing summary, in a sentence or two
- A couple of photos
- My personal thanks to my readers
I try to put a photo of the St. Lawrence River in each post. And somewhere along the way, I started inserting a wine reference in each post! Believe it or not, it’s because posts that mention or contain photos of wine seem to engage more of my target audience! 🍷
Use Your Own Photos
Still working on this one! I’ve been told that the royalty-free stock photos are not as personal as my own photos. The problem is two-fold:
- I’m using an outdated ipad camera
- I simply do not have any photography skills!
News Flash: My husband bought me a new camera for Christmas, so if I ever learn how to use it, I will try to use more personalized photos.
Keep it Casual
If you are blogging as a hobby, like me, remember it is not a graded term paper or something that will be professionally published.
Don’t make yourself crazy over proving facts, unless you want to. You can always start a sentence with “in my opinion” and state whatever you want to say, without having to document a reference. Also, you can also easily link your reference articles.
I write pretty much exactly as I would say it, regardless of grammar. In fact, I read every post out loud to make sure it sounds like something I would say while having an actual conversation.
Connect With Other Bloggers
It’s important to network with other bloggers. I do not know any other bloggers in person, but I’ve met a ton online via the WordPress platform.
Be sure to read and comment on other blogs, as much as possible. I try to visit a few sites each day, just for fun. I find most bloggers to be engaging and grateful for any comments. Plus, I learn something new from each of them.
So far, I have 10,000+ views and readers from 31 countries! Language is not usually a barrier, thanks to the recent Apple update that includes a translator.
I still have so much to learn, and I’m grateful to anyone who reads, follows or comments on my posts.
Thank you to my husband, Steve, who gets stuck listening to me blather on all week about my blog. Also, he gets stuck being my editor (and conscience) for every post. 💕
Thank you for reading! – Barb, the River Blogger (Btrb)
Feel free to reblog anything I post. I welcome all comments and discussion.