I started seeing a lot of @mentions suddenly on my Twitter account and was pleasantly surprised to find Pacific Northwest and Beyond had been nominated for the “Blogger Recognition Award” — a way for bloggers to recognize other bloggers whose blogs they admire. Thank you fellow travel bloggers, MonkeysVentures, for the nomination! You’re terrific as well and we’d nominate you back, but I think that’s against the rules.
The Rules for the Blogger Recognition Award are This:
- In your post, thank the person who has nominated you
- Tell your readers about how and why you started your blog
- Share a couple pieces of advice for the bloggers who are starting out
- Nominate 10-15 bloggers you enjoy reading for the award and let them know on social media
So…Here’s How and Why I Started Pacific Northwest and Beyond
This could turn in to an extremely long post, so I’ll try to keep it brief and, perhaps, save the book for another time!
There are tons of travel blogs out there and, by travel blogger standards, I don’t travel all that much. So why write one?
I was a kid who was always writing. I’d write picture books and insert them onto the shelves of my elementary school classroom! By early college, I was thinking about getting a journalism or communications degree. These were the days pre-Internet, before the word “blog” was even coined.
But, for reasons we won’t go into here, I got dissuaded from trying to follow a career that involved writing and went into healthcare instead. While I’m compassionate, I’m also extremely introverted, a facet I’m able to overcome as desired or necessary, but the type of work I was doing was usually extremely stressful to me. I had a family, I took some time away from my career when my daughters were small, went back to work for many years when the economy went south.
For a while, I had a blog. OK, several — but I had fun writing a semi-sarcastic blog about Buddhism and meditation (yes!). For me, blogging felt like being a kid writing little books just for the joy of it and setting them out on the classroom shelves. I also published an article here and there. But I went back to full-time work, the blog got hacked (a learning experience) and I gave it up…for a while.
But…I just can’t keep away. What eventually turned into this website started out as a little local-blog project. Then I had the opportunity to leave my full-time job AND do some traveling (which I had always wanted to do but had never surmounted the obstacles). And the blog turned into a travel blog. But..wait! I love the PNW too, and I don’t travel all the time and I don’t plan on going nomad as, frankly, it would mean ditching family members who I love and who need me here. But I escape from time to time so I don’t go insane.
So I decided to keep up the blog, devote it to both PNW travel, with some local events, recipes and quotes and photography stuff (we’ll get there) thrown in the mix. While I still send out a query letter or manuscript on occasion, I like the immediacy of blogging and hope to just keep doing this.
So…What Advice Would I Give Bloggers Starting Out?
Blogging may seem easy, but it can be a lot of work. If you just get a free WordPress.com blog and write some stuff, it’s pretty easy.
But if you want to create content that involves video editing, photo editing, manage a self-hosted WordPress website, and then promote that content…while it can be rewarding it takes a lot of time and energy.
And if you then want to support your blog by monetizing it, it can take a long time to reach the earnings you want, if ever. So, it’s something to do if you truly want to. And then you have to stick with it and not get deterred.
For a little while, I added to this post part of another post on “before you start blogging advice” that I started for another blog. I not have that blog going again and you can read that post here. I might add to it in the future.
When you blog, keep in mind the sage words of a wise man:
My Nominations for the Blogger Recogition Award
Can I nominate MonkeysVentures back? Probably not. My picks would be some of the same as theirs…so I might nominate some of the same ones, anyways as they’re awesome:
- Wandering Crystal: She was nominated previously but deservedly. Her focus is on the “dark” side of travel — that is, spooky and haunted places and the like and she also has a podcast. I like anything that makes me feel not weird to love places like cemeteries and bone churches.
- The Uncorked Librarian: What is not to like about the three “Bs”: Boozy Book Blog. Christine’s blog started out as a travel blog, and still contains travel content but it’s more focused on “books to inspire travel” — book lists about places and travel as well as some posts about things boozy, with some posts about blogging thrown into the mix.
- Cancer Road Trip: “When the going gets tough, the tough go traveling.” While I haven’t read her entire blog, I found her on Twitter and find her quotes and her story very inspiring. Faced with “incurable” cancer, she took to traveling. Her blog and photography are beautiful and she puts together healing retreats for others dealing with cancer.
- Quiet Girl, Loud World: This is a blog devoted to travel for the introverted set.
- You Did What With Your Weiner? While I don’t (have) a weiner (dog) and never will, I’ve known and loved several. This is a PNW-based blog that focuses on exploring with your pooch. And I love the name.
- Obligatory Traveler: OK, I’ll admit that I first looked at this blog after I saw it on Twitter and it had a sloth mascot. And I’m envious that “hold a sloth” has been actually crossed off obligatory traveler blogeuse Sarah’s to-do list! But she’s traveling with challenges and I get very inspired by people who have health challenges of one type or another and go for it anyway.
- Tasty Itinerary: Kathy has a beautiful blog about food and travel, and I love both! But I first noticed it when she wrote this post about the oft-given advice to “niche down” and questions why you can’t write about whatever you want to on your blog, which is something I come back to again and again. Many years ago, I used to write a quite sarcastic-yet-heartfelt-Buddhist blog and there’s part of that blogger that keeps wanting to resurface from time to time. But I’m also aware that what I post on PNW&Beyond gets emailed to (some) subscribers. While I keep an off-topic section on this website, I always feel this tug between “post it anyway” or just setting up a little side blog where I can write whatever unrelated stuff I want to when I get in a mood. But I already have another blog about WordPress that I rarely write on so…
- Seattle Greenlaker: OK, so this is very niche, but it’s the area that I spent ALL the years of my life, up to young adulthood, so even though I’m not an actual Greenwood Girl/Greenlaker anymore, I’m still one at heart, and like to see what’s going on in the areas and look at some of the photos like the library and other places I recognize.
- Pacific Northwest Kate: She has a YouTube channel and very active Twitter account vs a WordPress blog, but I love her frequent and awesome photos and videos of birds near Boundary Bay and other Vancouver BC areas very inspiring. I actually got out there and recently tried to shoot (with a lens!) some birds of my own. While I need some practice (and perhaps a teleconverter) what I felt was joy. Thanks, Kate!
- Pages, Places, Plates: I always get the order wrong on that one…but the name says it all. Hannah’s UK-based blog is about things to read, places to go, and food — all things I like!
Hope you like these as much as I do!
And a quick addition to avoid writing another blog update. What am I doing right now? I have so many things I’d like to write about, photos to take, exploring to do. What I’m doing now is getting some of those short or long-overdue posts out of the way and scheduling them so I can get to those more challenging (either because they need more research, include a video, are difficult to put into words) posts without pressuring myself to get things written.
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