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Invite
Aug. 31, 2009, 07:27 PM
The thread about someone looking for an "average joe" blog got my wheels spinning. Often the spinning wheels are a bad thing, but they seem to be well lubed and spinning with ease. I am not an average, everyday rider. I am disabled and I am going through a lot of cathartic experiences. My physical disablities are enabling me to find greater abilities within myself. Every single day brings me a new challenge. Rather than resent these challenges, I am finally at the point where I just say,"Bring it on!" It took a long time to be able to face challenges head on. We all have our crosses to bear. They just differ from person to person.

Basically, I am an average woman who own 3 horses. One is an ornery, injury prone Thoroughbred gelding. Horse #2 is a super hot, spooky greenbroke Thoroughbred mare. The final horse is a gigantic Selle Francais mare who has not yet been broke. I am currently riding my gelding and doing lots of ground work with the mares. Next month, after I return from my exciting vacation, the mares are going to start undersaddle with.....did you guess?....me! This could be quite the adventure.

In this blog, I would write about my daily dilemmas and the trials and tribulations of being an ammy with greenies. I would share the tales, whether horrifying or wonderful, of any clinics I may attend. Readers would also share in the terror as I do the horrible, death defying trainer search!!! Most importantly, I would write about my shopping for riding attire, etc. Although I am trying to seem average, I would attempt to include any cool para equestrian stuff I came across

As I am anal retentive, I would be one of those bloggers with daily, or almost daily, updates. Do you all think my blog would be followed? I want to do a blog for myself, as it would be a great diary of Roo and Em's progress, or lack thereof. I would like it to help others, too. I want my mistakes or my stumbles into greatness to help out other riders.

My main project before beginning a blog is finding out how to start one. I am thinking that will be super important.

So, my main questions here are as follows:

1)Any clue how to start a blog?
2)Do people actually follow blogs?
3)Are my beasties and I interesting enough to follow in a blog?

I would appreciate any advice or opinions. Thanks guys :)

Tasker
Aug. 31, 2009, 07:34 PM
I have a blog. It was a strategic decision to start one that was separate from the farm website. It does add to the workload in a sense but they are super user friendly and for people who don't want to maintain a large website, I think they are a great way to go.

Blogspot.com through Google is who I use...just check the link in my signature. It's free and has a good tutorial to walk you through the how-to's.

Personally, I check other people's blogs every once in a while - like once or twice a month. But with maintaining and redesigning our website, You Tube, Photobucket, FaceBook, there isn't a ton of time for more webstuff. Oh, except for COTH of course! :winkgrin:

I say go for it! And be sure to post your link in your signature so we can read up on your adventures! :)

wsmoak
Aug. 31, 2009, 07:58 PM
1)Any clue how to start a blog?
2)Do people actually follow blogs?
3)Are my beasties and I interesting enough to follow in a blog?


Go for it. You can sign up for a free account at any of several places...
http://blogger.com and http://wordpress.com/ come to mind.

I wouldn't worry too much about followers... write for yourself and see what happens.

--
Wendy
http://pbase.com/wendysmoak/patrick

Donkey
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:10 PM
write for yourself and see what happens.



Exactly. That's the charm of blogs, the personal, intimate touch. Trying to please an anonymous audience can be tough so write for yourself.

I have blog but it's private so I don't have to censor. It's an accessible way for me track my rides, take notes etc. And as I only write for myself I don't have to super anal about grammar and spelling - the best part :)

jn4jenny
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:12 PM
So, my main questions here are as follows:

1)Any clue how to start a blog?

This part, at least, is easy. Personally, I think that Wordpress.com and Posterous.com are the best blogging platforms, but many people exist happily on Blogger and others as well. I like Posterous in particular because posting to Posterous is as simple as sending an email (to post@posterous.com or similar), and Posterous can be rigged to cross-alert your other social media platforms. So whenever I post something to Posterous, it not only goes to jenmichaels.posterous.com, it goes to my "real" Wordpress blog at www.jenmichaels.net/blog AND it gets automatically posted to my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

I blog very casually and I am not trying to create a readership. I blog primarily for people who already know me in real life. Which gives me the freedom to break LOTS of blogging rules, like I don't blog regularly.


2)Do people actually follow blogs?

Sometimes, but a lot of bloggers are either a) like me in that they're writing somewhat for themselves and not necessarily for a readership, b) not very good writers, c) blogging about something that nobody cares about, d) blogging about something that people care about but not blogging about it effectively. Blogs are sort of like books in the sense that you can't just pick a cool topic and have a successful book/blog; you have to also be an interesting and compelling writer. If you are serious about building even a small readership, read at least half the posts at Problogger: http://www.problogger.net/blog/


3)Are my beasties and I interesting enough to follow in a blog?

I would appreciate any advice or opinions. Thanks guys :)

Really hard to say without seeing the blog. ;) It certainly sounds like it could be useful and encouraging to other equestrians. It has potential!

Most successful blogs incorporate a lot of multimedia, so ask yourself if you're camera shy or gadget-phobic. A simple video camera (like a Flip HD) and/or a digital camera go a long way toward creating a fun blog.

vbunny
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:27 PM
Set one up at BarnMate.com. It's a site for horse blogs, you'll be in good company.

Anselcat
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:34 PM
Blogs are sort of like books in the sense that you can't just pick a cool topic and have a successful book/blog; you have to also be an interesting and compelling writer.

Ditto that.

Also, I suspect that you have to have a thick skin and be prepared to let snark and criticism roll off your (thick-skinned) back.

Go for it!

Bogie
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:43 PM
I started my blog on a whim. I found myself posting here a lot and I decided I wanted my own space.

I use Wordpress, which I really like. I find that it offers a much greater range of templates than Blogger and for an essentially free service, it offers amazing value.

So as to your questions:


1)Any clue how to start a blog?
Pick a free service and dive in. The cool things about blogs is that they evolve. You can change how they look, you can go back and edit posts, etc. There is a learning curve on the software but it's pretty short. My 10 year old daughter set up a Wordpress blog on her own and, other than the spelling, it's pretty darn good!

2)Do people actually follow blogs?
Yes. I'm amazed by how many people read my blog and from whence they come. I recommend using a "widget" that lets you see where your readers are. It's really cool to find out that someone from the other side of the world is reading! Be prepared for a slow start. When I started writing I got about 3 readers per day. Gradually I got more. Now I get 600-800 views per day. Be prepared to write a lot. Research shows that bloggers that post at least three times/week draw in more readers. I aim for 5 posts per week.

3)Are my beasties and I interesting enough to follow in a blog? Why not? it depends on how you write. I read all kinds of blogs, some equestrian, some not. I've found some wonderful writing that draws you in and makes you come back for more. Most important, do you enjoy it? I've had writing jobs my whole life but I've never written about something that I enjoy so it's been a lot of fun.

Good luck!

johnnysauntie
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:35 PM
you write that blog, and I will follow it! I personally think that Wordpress is the easiest platform to use.

Lots of COTHers blog - they put a link to their blog in their signatures - I've found lots of good stuff that way. Look forward to reading it!

Ambrey
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:40 PM
There is also blogspot. I'd love to read your blog!

Jealoushe
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:28 AM
I vote for blogspot too, easier for fellow bloggers to follow you - like me!

Post the link if you take the jump!

equineartworks
Sep. 1, 2009, 11:21 AM
I started blogging in 2001, just bits here and there. And by 2004 I had amassed a readership of a couple thousand readers each week. Now I have nearly 50,000 each week. Who would have thought that many people out there like to make wine and cook? :cool:

I say steer clean of blogger because it is limiting. Go for Wordpress, it is clean, compliant and easy to use. It is the writers blog, with tools for serious work. If you decide you love blogging and want to go bigger, you can take your content and design with you much more easily than with blogger.

In the studio, I use Movable Type for super large commercial applications and Wordpress for smaller Studio projects.

Invite
Sep. 1, 2009, 06:23 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I have another secret blog plan forming in my crooked little mind. Hmmmmm....sometimes my brain just gets ahead of me. I will keep you all posted on my blog and blogging plans. Maybe things will get exciting ;)

Dressage Art
Sep. 1, 2009, 07:22 PM
I wasn’t able to get in to "blogs" so I don't have one or read one, but I got hooked on Facebook and post my own updates quite often. For me, it's better than blogging.

Pariah Pony
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:38 AM
I think your blog idea is a great one. I also think that writing a blog is most beneficial for the author. The previous poster who suggested that you write for yourself was dead on.

I have a blog that is hosted on wordpress. I like wordpress a lot, and now that I'm getting the hang of keeping my blog updated, etc, I'm starting to venture out and read other people's blogs. There are a few blogs that I follow who are authored by COTH members, and I've found a few blogs through the recent COTH thread on interesting blogs.

Go for it! Even if only a few people read your blog (and I'm sure lots will visit it), who cares?

Natalie A
Sep. 2, 2009, 02:27 AM
I just started one! I'd been writing for myself in my private Livejournal account, but figured I might as well put it in a "legitimate" blog, my random/obsessive musings might be useful to other perpetual lesson students... it's http://delvingintodressage.blogspot.com/.

Jealoushe
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:08 AM
I started blogging in 2001, just bits here and there. And by 2004 I had amassed a readership of a couple thousand readers each week. Now I have nearly 50,000 each week. Who would have thought that many people out there like to make wine and cook? :cool:

I say steer clean of blogger because it is limiting. Go for Wordpress, it is clean, compliant and easy to use. It is the writers blog, with tools for serious work. If you decide you love blogging and want to go bigger, you can take your content and design with you much more easily than with blogger.

In the studio, I use Movable Type for super large commercial applications and Wordpress for smaller Studio projects.

Can you tell me a little more what you like better about Wordpress? I've heard people prefer it, just curious why.

Bogie
Sep. 2, 2009, 02:39 PM
Can you tell me a little more what you like better about Wordpress? I've heard people prefer it, just curious why.

Let's see, there are several reasons why I use it:
- Lots and lots of free templates to use with it. You can really tweak the way your blog looks using it. The standard templates available through blogger are pretty plain. I'm sure there are ways around that, I just don't want to spend the time figuring it out.
- The ability to work through Wordpress.com (which is through them with a wordpress address) or wordpress.org (if you want to use your own URL). I've done both and they both work well.
- Pretty intuitive interface. It's not difficult to figure out how to set up and customize your blog.
- Good documentation/support forums for those things you can't figure out.
- No need to know any html
- Easy to create back ups
- There are tons of "widgets" that give you additional functionality. Mostly they are free. Using these I've been able to build sites for clients and have them think that I'm an html expert ;).
- Excellent search engine placement
- It's free!

Invite
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:42 PM
Thanks for all this fantastic advice. I truly appreciate it :)