While neither Ranger nor I are narcissists, we like to feel our efforts provide something to our regular readers and visitors. These are some reasons why we’re happy to run a blog, and why starting your own blog might be a good thing for you.
Ranger’s historical pieces are well read, and his recent posting The Mill at Campbellcroft received a comment from the owner of the mill himself. He was obviously looking for some history on his restoration project. I take the initiative for most of our trail reviews and received a pleasant surprise recently myself. I finally found out why there’s only one park at a place called Thurne Parks. The plural “parks” confused me until we got a comment from one of (Mr. Thurne) Parks’ daughters, expressing her appreciation for the review of her Dad’s former property. Stats can be checked at any time, but nothing compares to getting a thanks personally, in writing.
Another reason I recommend blogging is that just about everyone (who isn’t a blogger), thinks bloggers are read and followed by the entire Internet. There are a lot of blogs out there, and the truly successful ones are professionally funded and maintained. What are termed “private or personal” blogs (like ours) far outnumber the pros. But, heay, they’re free and you can load a mess of stuff on one of these free blogs too. We’ve been issuing a posting every week for three years, and have over 160 pictures on our site, and we just passed the 70% capacity mark. That leaves us with about another year before we run out of free space. What to do then ? Well, we’ll just fire up another free blog called 2oldguyswalkingagain, and just link the two together. Or we could transfer a category to the new blog, or we could cough up the lousy $12/month it costs to increase capacity fourfold, or we could just remove the postings that have never done well, to make room for newer, better stuff. There are all kinds of options.
Wow, I really wandered off point that time! What I was going to say was that everyone thinks all bloggers are hugely successful Internet sites. So, when you want access to places you wouldn’t normally get into, or want special attention from a business owner, just explain that you’d like to do a write-up on their business. Then hand them one of your (made on your own computer for eight cents each) blog cards. They just see free advertising on the I’net with a regular audience, and so welcome you with open arms.
There’s also all the interesting people you get to meet too. We immensely enjoyed interviewing Doug on his maple syrup operation, and John at Kawartha Country Wines was fascinating. We also made a new and trusting friend in Jim at Linwood Acres Trout Farms, and Ranger had a blast on our exclusive tour of Purdy’s mill by the owner himself. People take you more seriously when they know you take them seriously. You don’t have to be a professional reporter to be treated like one.
Running a blog is also a good way to stay sharp. Ranger keeps his mind in high gear by researching his historical topics, with his library, old contacts, and new contacts made on visits to the actual sites. On those days when I’m feeling too old to do much, I’ll push myself to take a walk on a new trail to provide a review or walk an old one to provide an update. It keeps me out there and active. Even if no one comments, when you see a coupla dozen people reading your work, there’s a feeling of accomplishment that’s hard to beat.
And finally, in a light hearted sense, the best reason to fire up your own blog :
Awhile back, while researching ways to improve, I stumbled upon a forum concerning blogs. It seemed to be heavily populated by, shall we call them, the younger set ? Or perhaps I’ll just call’em as they were. A bunch of snotty faced, texting brats who were supremely p!ssed off that their grandparents were tech-savvy enough to run their own blogs. The overall feeling was that bloggers and blogging itself, was a thing of the past, fit only for children and withered up old folks. I guess that’s why there are only 152 million blogs on the I’net. So, just Google http://www.wordpress.com and choose “create a free blog” to start your own. They’re real easy to setup. Then tell your kids about it. That ought p!ss them right off!