In recent months, I’ve been trying to increase the readership of my blog in an effort to perhaps monetize it. Let’s face it, I love to blog. So why not get paid to do that? With this goal in mind, I started researching the how’s of being read more widely. I was advised to read other people’s blogs, comment on them and then invite them to come visit mine. This opened up a whole new world to me. There are so many people blogging out there, on different topics, using different styles. Some of the blogs I enjoy most tend to be about travel or living abroad; many are written in an informal and entertaining style. Once in awhile, I find advice on writing a better blog. This got me thinking about writing my own ideas about blogging.
Why do I blog?
I started blogging as a course requirement when I was doing my Masters in Educational Technology. The first blog was an experiment, mostly me trying to upload digital stories I had created as assignments. I then moved on to a professional portfolio in a blog format. I learned a lot from reading other portfolios. I started to think that blogging might be useful in my classroom and encouraged my students to blog as a requirement of one of their assignments.
In November 2009, my husband proposed to me. I accepted with a few conditions. The first was that we elope as I felt that at our age, we didn’t need a big wedding with all the costs, family discussion, etc. Honestly, I would have eloped the first time I was married if it hadn’t been for wanting to accommodate the in-laws. My mother, lovely lady that she was, seemed to think that she had to take control of the whole reception planning, in spite of my then 31 yrs of life experience. I tried to shut my mouth and just be gracious.
The second condition was that we get married sooner than later. I am not one for long engagements, especially when the bride and groom are in their 50s. And the last request, was that we not mention the engagement during the upcoming Christmas holidays. You see, Leon’s daughter had just announced her engagement a month earlier, so I didn’t want to steal her special moment as she proudly showed the family her new ring. It therefore seemed a good idea to just keep the whole thing a secret and announce it to the world on our wedding day.
In the meantime, however, I was slightly bursting with my good news and figured I’d better write it all down until I could talk about it. And besides, we start to forget details easily at our age. Blogging about all the details of the engagement, the wedding plans, the dress, the flowers, the rings, etc. seemed like the solution. I created this blog and started detailing my plans without making the blog public. Once we were married in Feb 2010 (hence the blog address – feb1222010), I made the blog public for my friends to read. Readership was not overwhelming at the time, believe me. Blogging seemed odd to many back in 2010. Some felt I was sharing private information. Looking back on my early posts, I think you’ll agree there wasn’t much private about it.
The blog only really started to take off when I started the process of going on a teaching exchange. I carefully detailed my application process and the preparations. At that time, I changed the blog to its current name, reflecting the plans to move down under. As the departure date grew closer, I told my friends that I couldn’t possibly keep up with separate correspondence during my year away, so I would be writing about my adventures and would be glad if they kept up with me on my blog.
From then on, I started posting stories and pictures of our adventures in Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Vietnam and many other trips. My friends starting commenting on how much they enjoyed reading me. That’s good, because I enjoy writing me. Sure, there are times when months go by before I sit down to continue the saga. But life gets in the way at times. For instance, this past week, I’ve been busy recovering from dental surgery, gardening over the weekend, completing my performance appraisal at work, planning the last few weeks of the school year, keeping up with marking, writing up the final exams, having the car repaired following a recall, preparing to write 2 newsletters in the coming weeks and enjoying a lovely dinner with my children on the occasion of Mother’s Day. Phew!!! No wonder I can hardly get up in the morning. Here are some pictures of the kids. They were attending ComicCon on the weekend. Their costumes are from Adventure Time. You’ll have to Google that to figure out who they are dressed as.
Leon and I are planning a weekend of touring Quebec City and its surroundings, visiting sites that relate to my geneology. We will be getting the camper out of storage and hope we won’t freeze each night as the weather has been unseasonably cold lately. Stay tuned for my further adventures.
I hope you have a great weekend trip! What you write about discovering the world of blogging couldn’t be more true. I think it’s impossible to really imagine how you can “meet” so many people from around the world until you get into it. The fun part for me is that I come across so many people with whom I share many interests, and we all take the time to write about it! I’m curious to know if you’ve had any luck monetizing your blog.
Thanks Jennifer. When I was doing my Masters, it was fully online, so I “met” a great number of people from all over the world and could discuss and learn with them. I miss that most since completing the program. Blogging seems to fill that gap for me. The comments people leave or that I add to other blogs allow us to connect and learn from each other.
I haven’t yet discovered the secret of monetizing my blog. I’ve had a few bloggers suggest that for a fee, they would be glad to give me some coverage. That’s not what I had in mind. I was hoping that some corporate sponsors might be interested in my travel reviews. However, I do recognize that the personal nature of my blog might not appeal to some sponsors. For now, I have to research the subject more fully. I have a few bloggers in mind, such as bucketlistpublications, or Kim 24/7 who I would like to consult more thoroughly. Kim has actually gotten into self-publishing and I do want to read her book this summer.
I see you have taken a different approach with your Youtube channel. I wish you every success with that. I am following your blog, so I can keep apprised of your progress.
Je te souhaite beaucoup de succès!
Thank you, I’m trying really hard! The Languedoc blog is just for fun, and it’s about my personal life and my family. But the other one about learning French goes along with my YouTube channel and Facebook page. I’m also working on building a commercial website for an online language school, giving English and French lessons on Skype. I just got into monetizing the videos on YouTube, but as far as I know you can’t do that on WordPress, or can you? I read about WordAds and applied for it…Still waiting for an answer on that. Do you have a FB like page for your blog, and Twitter?
Oh, by the way, I read Kim’s book! It’s very good, I know you’ll like it. It’s a quick & fun read. She’s really on the ball!
Jennifer, I am not sure WordPress will let me monetize either, unless I upgrade to my own site, etc. More things to look into. I have twitter (cteachr) but I haven’t got a facebook account just for my blog. I suppose that’s next. I suppose I will be busy with my little enterprise this summer, between visiting the great sights of Eastern Canada!
I visited Quebec City years ago – a very charming place indeed. I’ll look forward to reading about it on your blog. Bon voyage!
Thanks Kim. Looking forward to our first official summer weekend.