What in Blog’s name is it all about?! How to blog like a God!?!

Passion and Purpose in this Ancient Manuscript

Passion and Purpose in this Ancient Manuscript

Gone Blogg’n Crazy!

I piously lit a candle someone had given me to join in with prayers in a wee church in Russia, placed it in front of my chosen saint, and found myself sending out the fervent wish that my blog stats take off.  I immediately looked up to see Jesus looking down at me, blood running from his mouth and chest,  gaunt and in agony, nailed to a cross. I was completely horrified at what I had become!

In Beijing, a group of us travellers (including the speaker) had sat in wide-mouthed silent shock when someone had actually said, “What’s the point of doing that? There’s no Facebook here to share it on anyway!” Huh!?!

Why do we blog? Why do we tweet? Why do we upload our virtual innards on Facebook day in and day out? What do we get from all this? A sense that we exist? A sense of celebrity? Reassurance that we are liked? It fascinates me! Please comment below!

My reasons for blogging

I’d love to say that I started my blog to keep my friends back home updated on my trip. That would be reasonable. But, I know it was not the only reason!

I also started my blog to explore what a “blog” actually is and how it all works with social media and the like.  I figured I needed to get my head around all this, to make it in the world we live in, and it looked fun!

I also wanted to explore whether I was “good” at writing or just liked it. Plus, I had heard about all these people out there making money blogging and travelling and who wouldn’t want to join them?!

Some lessons learnt

I have learnt a few things and still have a lot to learn.  But, here it is so far!

1.      Blogging is hard work!

My dream of travelling the world somehow earning money online and living the life of Riley quickly hit a reality check when I was having to fit in blog posts between sightseeing, hotel and train bookings, sharing dorms, teaching myself Russian, and keeping up with my friends and family on social media and Skype.

Gone are the old days when you went travelling and had no contact with your life back home other than an occasional expensive phone call and a few letters sent via post restante! These days everyone has multiple devices and are virtually “at home” and “busy” a good chunk of the time! Time “away” has been lost! But that’s another post!

Anyone managing to travel and work is a Houdini in my opinion (not to mention those with kids, full time jobs…!).  I have learnt that for me, it probably needs to be more a case of travelling, then living somewhere interesting for a bit to “work” (if I make that come off!), then travelling again…. certainly travelling slower anyway!

2.       It helps if you have decent IT!

Part of my frustration in Russia was a really slow laptop and not having accepted Google Chrome into my life! Once someone got me onto that, and I did some google searches to iron out bugs (for example, why my smartphone photos would not open in my photo preview screen – I was having to make lists of the ID numbers of photos I wanted to upload and then go through and upload them by number!!), everything became a LOT easier! Doh!! (Of course, you also need to be in places with decent WIFI too!)

3.       Checking your blog stats can be addictive!

I am ashamed to admit that as my blog grew a bit (and it barely exists compared to most!) I found my fingers uncontrollably directing my phone to my blog stats virtually on waking! Smart phones are addictive anyway and when you are using one as your watch, alarm clock, email, and everything else… it is only one small step between checking the time in the middle of the night and then finding you have been on WordPress, Facebook and who knows where else for an hour or three!

But, it’s also those stats that add a lot of the excitement to blogging. It’s awesome to feel like others are reading your stuff, and when you also get comments, and likes and make connections with other bloggers and people around the world  – check this one out here with a fascinating lady I actually just met in person last week by sheer coincidence! – then it gets really really good!

4.         It helps if your blog has passion and purpose!

Passion

If I’m not interested in my subject and enjoying what I write, why would anyone else? If I am positively bored with it, well…. Readers can tell!

For example, I love travelling and seeing new places but what I love the most about it is the people, politics, culture, language, psychology and philosophy. I love learning, the pursuit of happiness, seeing people live their dreams, having time to muse and to let the ideas flow! I’m going to try to feed these interests into my writing more to see what happens!

Purpose

There are also zillions of blogs out in the world which is a fabulous thing! But, from what I can gather, the really successful ones  have a purpose. They give something to their readers. It might solve problems they have, give them information they need or give them a moment’s escape in a busy day. It is about the reader not the writer!

Having a “successful” blog is not just about trying to turn it into a money making scheme. Knowing that what you enjoy and find interesting is also helping and bringing enjoyment to others is the biggest buzz of blogging.

I’d love to know what parts of my blog you have liked and want to see more of, or if you have questions you’d like answered or topics covered – please comment below!

Help me find my purpose, for you! Hopefully one that reflects my genuine care for the world and not just a selfish wish for higher stats!! Although with high stats, you can achieve great things… which I like to think is what I meant in that Church!

5.         Shut up and Listen!

Finally, online life is not that different to offline life. You get a lot more out of it by giving than receiving, by asking about and being interested in others rather than being focused wholly on yourself and what you will get out of an exchange. The world really does turn on “Giver’s Gain”.

This works not just because you build trusted connections, collaborations and friendships with people all around the world, as well as learn a lot (see some of the links below to blogs about blogging for an example)!

It’s also because (and I’m being cheeky here!), from what I have read so far, the more links you have coming to your blog from other sites, the more Google puts you to the top of their search list! Even Google is working to reflect how real life works!

What now?

So, what has called me back to my blog after such a long break? Guilt at not completing my trip report? Curiosity about how I could blog better and how it might evolve? Is it the odd exciting idea that makes my heart beat faster and my fingers want to type, for the sheer fun of it!? Or, is it you kind reader telling me you like reading my posts and want more? Thank you!

Perhaps I just miss seeing the “Wordpress” notification pop up on my smart phone and feeling like a superhero?! So be it! Hopefully those stats and practice will help me become a better writer…

An Invitation to You

Come with me to Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Dubai and Oman, as well as gorgeous Old Blighty, and please be part of the journey and conversation. Help me make this blog your special escape treat, your encouragement to make your dreams come true, or just a nice place to hang out while exploring our world and lives! What would YOU like it be? 🙂

If you think you would like to start or improve a blog of your own, there is a lot of great information on this WordPress site and elsewhere online. You might like to start at How to start a blog – Blogging Basics 101 and Blogging for Beginners – Problogger.com. I have a lot of reading to do! Enjoy!

If you are already blogging, I’d love to know your purpose too! Why do you blog? 🙂

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13 Responses to What in Blog’s name is it all about?! How to blog like a God!?!

  1. Moira says:

    Hey Sarah,
    Glad to see you’re still going with your blog. i’ve got a couple going at the moment as well: my infrequent triathlon blog (as infrequent as my training) and one fictional blog I’m sharing with my friend.
    You’re right though; you do start checking on your views a little too much. I’ve learnt to just enjoy the writing experience, and if people notice me out there then that’s great.
    Hope your trip is going well, and keep up the good work!
    Moira

    • Bumblebee says:

      Good advice Moira! I’ve been impressed with your triathlon adventures! I’d love to see your fictional blog too – sounds interesting! Where can I find it? 🙂

      • Moira says:

        I’ve PM’d it to you on FB. My friend is a bit nervous about sharing it, but I think a consortium of writers is always helpful when you’re developing your writing.

      • Bumblebee says:

        Thanks for that! I can’t imagine what it would be like writing with more than one writer… how do you make that work? Do you do separate parts or do you mean that you both work on the same part together? 🙂

        I definitely think feedback from other writers has got to help, as terrifying as that might be! 🙂

      • Moira says:

        We interweave our stories, but generally focus on different characters. I guess if you look at the first few posts we’ve done you’ll see. I take an idea emeraldsongs has and bounce off into my story. We don’t really have an end goal (at least I don’t…) so it means there’s a freedom with the story. It will go wherever either of us take it, which is actually quite liberating!
        That blog is also like a hobby for me, whereas I have a more serious piece that I’m currently writing. So when I feel like just letting off some creative steam, I post on Fandom Meltdown.
        On a side note, we’re even in the top ten of google searches, which is really weird, because our posts aren’t even that popular!

      • Bumblebee says:

        Sounds like you’re doing really well, and it sounds fun! I didn’t know you were such a keen writer Moira!!

        I can’t wait to have a look and will report back when I have. 🙂

        Thanks for making contact!!

      • Bumblebee says:

        Hi Moira

        Gripping stuff on the Fandom Meltdown! I like it! I’ll be interested to see how it develops from here! Sends tingles down my spine…! 🙂

  2. kjw616 says:

    You know why I started reading your blog–your trip on the Trans-Siberian gave me insight into my father’s trip so long ago and helped with that chapter in my book. I then became addicted. You are so adventurous and are taking me to places I know I will never go, so I guess I am living through you. When you went silent in December, I was worried because, by then, I felt I sort of knew you. Now that we had that wonderfully unexpected meeting in London, I feel like I do know you and now have a friend, not a stranger, to follow.

    • Bumblebee says:

      Thank you Karen! You have reminded me that it is actually the connections we make (new ones and continuing ones with people we already know) and comments like yours which make all of this blogging worthwhile.

      It’s easy when writing a trip report to feel like it is all me, me, me and to lose track of what it is all about but knowing someone out there enjoys the blog helps a lot!

      As I get cranked up to complete the rest of my journey online, I am also finding it fun again and gaining a new appreciation of how lucky I am and what an amazing world we live in! Meeting you in person was an incredible bonus on top of all of that – I still can’t quite believe it! I got the same sort of surprise when I saw your blog saying you would be in London, believe me, as you got when you saw my email!!

      Thank you so much for your support and friendship! It is lovely to be on this journey through the world and life with people like you. 🙂

  3. I admire the honesty and passion in your post. We blog because we love to. It is an extension of our thoughts, our dreams and many more. I agree, it’s addicting but it’s one drug that is good for the heart and our sanity. Have a great day. Thanks.

    • Bumblebee says:

      Thanks Island Traveler. I appreciate your comments! I guess I am trying to re-connect with the passion behind my own blog and how it can add value to others. All of these comments are definitely helping! So is seeing blogs like yours which help remind us to focus on all the love and beauty in the world! Thanks so much. Sarah

  4. A very thoughtful post about blogging. I’ve been through all the stages I guess, but still carry on simply because I love it. And I suspect you do too, which is the only way to go. Just because you love to do it.
    I know it’s been nearly two months since you pushed the follow button on our blog. Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. Anyway thanks so much for following. I hope you enjoy the stories of our journey. And don’t be a stranger – feel free to comment and join the conversation.
    Cheers,
    Alison

    • Bumblebee says:

      Thanks Alison, I am loving your blog, especially at the moment with all the beautiful photos of New Zealand!

      I do enjoy writing and blogging, but I am also conflicted at the moment because I sometimes feel that time spent blogging takes me away from other experiences and learning I can have while traveling. I guess that’s why my blog posts have more or less stalled for the moment at November 2013!

      Every trip is different of course and perhaps as I slow into this current one, I will feel more willing to slow down and blog again. There is certainly a lot to blog about!

      Keep the adventures coming – and keep enjoying your travels! Thanks for commenting. 🙂

      Sarah

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