Tag Archives: Blogging

Blogging With Big Grey Horse Media: Three Amazing Years

I’ve reached a milestone. I’ve been blogging with Big Grey Horse Media for three years, and it’s been one of the best experiences in my life.

As a writer, you’d think that maintaining a blog would be easy to do. During the last three years, I’d say the majority of the time this blog was a chore to keep up with.

I started blogging around Thanksgiving in 2010. I’ve had periods where I blogged and more periods where the blog stagnated. Honestly, it was more work than pleasure. To be brutally honest, the majority of these three years, I only blogged because I felt it was part of my responsibility to do so. There was one period in the past where I happily showed up to post.

The majority of the time, this blog was an afterthought. My client work always took precedence. After all, that’s what paid the bills.

I reckon that for most bloggers, this is a common occurrence. You start off strong and you fade quickly. Or you start with the best of intentions and fizzle out but keep going…without inspiration…and your blog sucks. But you keep posting, because you think it’s the right thing to do.

It’s not. One thing I do know is that blogging because you feel you must is wrong. Your readers will know your game and leave.

I love how my company’s grown. I’m very proud of what we do and the customers we serve. What amazes me the most is how this blog has evolved, developed, and grown. From where I started in late 2010 to where we are now, three years later at the end of 2013, is a completely different place.

My blog’s canvas certainly has painted a different picture from what I imagined it to be.

When I dug in last summer and dedicated my time to regular posting, I realized that this is really where I want to be. I love visiting restaurants and doing reviews. I enjoy working with other writers and having their voices be part of Big Grey Horse Media. I love the PR we’re getting and I love seeing folks come from UrbanSpoon and Foodio54.

I dig how Big Grey Horse Media’s social media channels send hundreds of readers our way each month.

If you were a newbie blogger and asked me how to do it, I think my answers would mirror what I said when I wrote this blog post. However, I’d also add this to the mix:

Be willing to grow with your blog. Setting goals and planning editorial calendars is something every blog owner must do. You gotta have a road map to work from.

Keep your eyes open, however, to the signposts along the way. Sometimes a side adventure is waiting for you. More so, a new road may appear that will take your blog to super stardom.

This coming year, Afriel and I have all sorts of fun planned for the Big Grey Horse Media blog. As always, we invite your comments and thoughts. Feel free to contact us here or email laura@biggreyhorse.com.

Thanks to each of you who visit Big Grey Horse Media’s blog. We appreciate you so much – we couldn’t do it without you! Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing. Happy holidays to you and yours!

 

Response to Jon Morrow: Quit Your Job & Move to Paradise

Geese on the Llano River
Geese on the Llano River

I loved reading what Jon Morrow had to say about how dedicated blogging led to his life in paradise. What a journey! I can totally relate to his decisions, and I dig his tenacity.

Bloggers have to jump in. Head first, feet first – doesn’t matter which body part you use, it matters that you get wet. Like any endeavor, if your heart’s not in it, the results will be poor. I equate blogging and socializing on the web to the past positions I’ve held with former employers. Do the best job that I can and shine, shine, shine! The reward? The deep satisfaction that I’m helping others.

Truly, that satisfaction is what propels me, and I bet it’s what lights your fire, too.

What if you begin blogging and find it’s not for you? What happens when your motor stops? Are you stuck on the lake, or do you find someone to tow your boat back to shore? Perhaps you started a niche site and decided the topic wasn’t sustainable. Maybe your blog isn’t all that and a bag of chips. So what? Keep moving and turning the pieces around until they fit. If the puzzle doesn’t work, start over.

Or walk away from the project.

I’ve seen how the web works from the short time Big Grey Horse Media’s been up. It’s been less than a year, and when I’m moving, blogging, schmoozing, and keeping up with my web properties, the results are fantastic. When I slack off due to a roadblock, or when client projects take precedence (hey, a girl’s gotta make a living), traffic stops and my blogs grow stagnant.

Lake LBJ
Lake LBJ – Sunrise Beach, Texas

Evolving with your blog is crucial. In October 2010, I took Big Grey Horse Media online. The first incarnation was a simple structure that let clients see my writing portfolio. From there, I began posting and interacting with others. Traffic came and it was a blast! It meant so much to find others engaging and commenting on a daily basis. It’s a fantastic high knowing someone found my blog special, inspirational, or just a nice place to take a pit stop.

The funniest piece of my puzzle was finding that I had no more to say. There are a bajillion web pages about copywriting, social media, etc., and I had no desire to continue writing those topics on the Horse. My heart wasn’t in it. While I was knee-deep in client work this spring, it came to me that Big Grey Horse Media was pushing for a big change.

Like a fictional character, the Horse had a mind of its own. It was up to me to either follow suit and nurture new growth or stop the project. The reasons why I found blogging about worn-out topics distasteful is because it was time blaze new trails. I needed to write about what turns me on…because when my juices are flowing, you will get excited, too.

From the beginning, my greatest intention and motivation was to attract the attention of Texas businesses. I also was hell-bent on writing for Texas publications: travel-type articles, features, and human interest stories. That’s what pulls my heart. And that’s what Texans want. Real stories about real people, cool businesses and events, the Texas wine industry, and travel around the State of Texas. That includes all the great foodie stops and chili peppers, too!

Why not bring this to my blogs? Why not be the writer I’ve always wanted to be? Why not blog around Texas? My intentions were pure; I simply had lost focus.

Swimming Geese - Llano River
Come on in, the water’s just fine!

So that’s what happened, this is where Big Grey Horse Media is at, and we sure are proud to be doing what we do. It’s a shoestring start-up, and there are never enough hours in the day. Way too much for me to do alone! I got my family involved and they are helping with projects so we can turn out beautiful things you can latch onto.

Two principles that help when I’m overwhelmed with projects:

1) Step back and puts things into perspective, and

2) Have faith in what’s emerging.

Jon Morrow, I don’t know you personally, but your story touched my heart. And it isn’t because you have a disease, or lived in a tiny apartment and had a miserable existence, or even that you had un-Godly medical costs. It’s because you continued to change your life. You are authentic. You have so much to give the world, and you freely share your passion.

You’ve touched this girl’s heart. I wish you all the best, and when I travel to Mexico, I’d love to meet you.

Are you having trouble with your blog? Want to quit your job and move to paradise? Not sure how to do it?

Step back and put things into perspective. Have faith in what’s emerging. Have fun while the ride lasts. Those nudges are your creativity, inspiration, and intelligence. Follow them!

Swim!

Right freaking now!

 

Tips for Beginner Bloggers

Your blog is up and you’ve given it the kick start. Vroom! You’re off and running only to hit a screeching stop. Why?

Even the most eager beginner bloggers become overwhelmed at the enormous task of caring for their web real estate. Stalling out in the early stages happens (trust me, I know!).

But will your fledgling blog die on the vine or begin to bear fruit?

I’m not going to re-hash everything that’s out there. I will comment upon the plethora of information available and how easy it is to get lost, and forget where and how to begin again.

I recommend ProBlogger as your daily blogging bible. Read it, digest it and go back for more!

Here are some easy, but important, tips for beginner bloggers.

Keep it simple. Make a plan before you start. This plan can be as detailed as you like, but if your blog seems low maintenance, you’re more likely to go back. Why make it hard? Figure out your blog’s main purpose and how you will reach this goal.

Word counts. You don’t have to write long posts. Simple posts, if written well, are just as effective. If you have a long post, you might consider breaking it up into a series. Word counts of 250-500 are pretty common.

Ask questions and be responsive. Interact! The dynamic nature of a blog begs for your participation. It’s not just about readership. Show up, be present and jump in. Your readers want to see you, hear you and be as close as possible.

Be authentic, use your voice. Do you agonize over your blog posts? Don’t! Worrying about what others may or may not think is counterproductive. As your blog grows, you will attract readers who admire you and your message. You can only get there by being who you are. Shine, shine, shine!

Follow your heart. Post subjects that hold meaning for you. Even with a business blog, you can reveal your passion. Your work is what you love, right? (I hope so!) Following your heart is married to being authentic.

Post as often as you can. Some bloggers post daily, others post three times weekly. Find your rhythm and stick with it. As long as you’re posting a minimum of three times weekly, you’ll do fine. If you can post more, go for it! The thing not to do is force yourself to write. If you have nothing to say or can only say it half-assed, keep quiet.

And you, dear reader? Are you a beginning blogger? How are you pressing forward and claiming your piece of the web? If you’re an experienced blogger, what worked for you when you started out? Share your experiences and help others!