Folks new to homesteading often wish someone had written a beginner’s guide to homesteading, sort of “homesteading for dummies”. Over time, as their skills develop, many think they might be the ones who should write that book.
Other folks keep a journal of their daily homestead activities, a diary if you will, that they often refer back to when trying to recall how to do this or when to do that.
Still others simply write for pleasure, on a wide variety of topics, as “homestead entertainment” replacement for things like television, movies, and expensive dinners out.
For myself, this blog, JuicyMaters .Com, began as simple journaling as therapy… A reminder of a bad place in a previous life I wanted to avoid going back to, and to develop a mental picture of the opportunities ahead.
Regardless of the reason we write, and regardless of the topics we write on, many of us find ourselves, one way or the other, with… TRUMPETS AND FANFARE please… A blog.
This puts us in a position somewhat like a dog that chases cars and says to himself, “OK. I chased it. I caught it. Now what?”
We devote time, energy, creativity, and, yes, love to writing content that we know the entire world will want to read, we place it lovingly on some web server space somewhere that we have rented, we attached our domain name to that server space, and we waited for the world to beat a path to our blog’s door.
And we waited…
… And waited…
… And waited…
Soon we found that the world was not beating a path to our door, and that it seemed the last time our words were read was when we posted to our blog…read by ourselves.
Sometimes, the writing simply is not that good. Everyone is not a Hemingway, regardless of what they think of their own work. More often however, especially when writing for the Internet, our words of wisdom fail to be found by the world for two reasons.
First, is the fact we sometimes lacked focus. I know that JuicyMaters .Com had that problem in the beginning, and still does to a certain extent, but at least it’s getting better. When this blog began the sections included Random Thoughts (now “Eureka Moments”, the mental ramblings of a slightly deranged North Georgia redneck boiled peanut salesman), Healthy Eating, Recipes, Kitchen Tips, Tricks, and Tools, A History of Yurts, Yurt Living, Yurt Construction, Raw Milk Wars (food politics), North Georgia Politics, National Politics, Addiction Recovery, and a music page, for a total of 12 topics, all needing fresh content added regularly.
I was warned about the enormity of the task, but being a know-it-all I tried anyway.
The task proved impossible and I failed.
By combining some topics (healthy eating, recipes, and kitchen tips tricks in tools for example) and getting rid of others (North Georgia politics and music come to mind) the list has been whittled down to five main topics I can concentrate on: food, homesteading, yurts, national politics, and the mental ramblings of the same dumb redneck peanut salesman. It’s still a lot, but at least it’s doable.
Second, besides being a writer, as bloggers we must also be publishers, that is, we have to get our work on the web in a manner that will entice the rulers of web content management…search engines…to find us and rank us well enough to be found. Learning to accomplish this task has taught me much, and I have learned the most frightening acronym in existence, at least in a blogger’s eyes.
SEO. Search Engine Optimization (shudder!)
Homestead writers blog for fun, for profit, or just because they enjoy sharing their homestead lifestyle choice and experience. We aren’t like many bloggers who write to promote this widget or that gadget our company sells, and we certainly don’t focus our work on “blogging about blogging” as many folks do while trying to get you to buy the latest book or e-course on “Buildin’ Bitchin’ Backlinks” for only $499.95, or “How to Make a Million-a-Month Blogging”, a series of webinars for only $199.95.
Once we make that jump from pen-and-paper journaling to blogging though, we do think about how to get our words findable and read…and some of us begin to think of how our writing might generate some homestead income.
I’m far from an expert, but over the last 18 months or so I have picked up a few ideas, tricks, and tools, most free…a few with a small cost…that can help folks who blog get seen. Some ideas will be straight as I found them and some will be tweaked to better serve the homestead writer rather than bloggers in general. Most will be free, and the ones that cost anything will be inexpensive…and bought from someone beside me. If I recommend a paid item or service, you can be sure I use it myself…and I bought it, used it, and was happy with it before recommending it. Also, I make very little income from the blogging tools I review and recommend, but when I do receive a commission on a product or service I’ll tell you that in the review and/or recommendation.
Finally, all articles on blogging tips, tricks, and tools will be in the homesteading section of JuicyMaters.com and you’ll be able to sort them separately if you wish as they will be selectable under the “Homestead Blogging” category in the left sidebar.
Please PLEASE use the comment section for questions or comments. If you need to know something I’m not clear on someone else reading here might have the answer.
Next: A review of BPE, the un-SEO.