Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Lists and Guides Post 16 :: Write 31 Days

For the final post of our Write 31 Days series, I thought we'd take a look at posts that are popular but relatively easy to write, lists or guides. You can approach this type of post in a number of ways and you can provide almost any type of information. My favorite is to keep an ongoing list of resources that I can share with my quilting readers. 

Very often while I am reading or blogging, I run across sites that I've not seen before. After reading or perusing the site, if I'm impressed with it, I'll add it to an ongoing list in my Evernote, which is where I keep notes and research for my writing. When the list has enough information, or the kind of content that I need, I can go to it for inspiration or use the list as the content itself. This gradual way of gathering information saves using up big chunks of time but still requires researching skills.

Another way to pull together enough information for this type of post is to do lots of intensive research. Just sit down at the computer and push through all of the sites and information that Google can spit out. It's time consuming--if you're selective--and mind-numbing. However, it's a doable project. 

Let's say you've decided to create a list of sources that define, show, or teach ways to hang art. Easy enough, right? A search for "how to hang pictures" in Google gave me "About 67,300,000 results (0.85 seconds)."
Yes, that's the actual result that Google sent back [in larger, darker font for readability]. Granted there are multiples in many cases, but sifting through them all still takes time. More is not always better.

One question to consider is how much do you trust Google to return the best sites at the top of the search? If you've read anything about Google analytics, you know that being at the top has more to do with knowing how to play the Google game. Meaning some of the best articles may be quite far down the results list. For example, I found an article on hanging art in an older home all the way on page ten of the list. Anyone living in an older home would want to read this article. Additionally, nothing that I found in the previous nine pages was as good or interesting, yet I had to dig through pages and pages to get there.

There are several reasons that readers like this type of post. Someone else does the work, so they don't have to muddle through all those pages. If your readers trust you to provide accurate information in your list, you have to keep your promise by doing the work. Another reason that you may want to consider writing this kind of post is that readers appreciate the list format, which is easy to read. 

In addition, you can include links that send readers directly to the page that they are looking for, not the home page or some other page on the website. Finally, if you do post a list or guide, include a short blurb that is direct, short, and informative so that your readers can decipher what they need quickly and easily. Both of these provide information that readers need and appreciate.

A person making a checklist in a notebook
Photo Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters @glenncarstenspeters

What can you include in a guide in your niche? 
·         tools
·         online sources
·         books
·         how-to info
·         software
·         your favorites
·         life hacks
·         blogs/bloggers
·         free photographs or graphics
·         things to avoid / what not to do

Let's define the difference between a list and a guide. A list is more generalized and may not provide additional information. It answers one question. A guide, on the other hand, is specific and points the reader to more information, either answering several questions or pointing to places where that information can be found. "Tools I Use" is most likely a list, but "Where to Find the Tools I Use" can be a guide if it includes shops, stores, and online places to make purchases. The best title for your readers, "A Guide for Finding the Tools I Use." This last title tells the reader specifically what to expect from the post and meets some suggestions for improving your SEO through Google analytics. 

One last suggestion is to consider whether to use bullets or numbers on your list. Bullets imply that all the items on the list are of the same importance. Numbers provide a hierarchy, or order, from most to least importance. If, however, you state the number of items in your title, you might want to number the items so that readers can easily keep track of where they are in the list. 

Lists and guides are especially popular because they are quick, easy to read and provide important information. Be very choosy in putting together your list and you'll find that readers will quickly consider you an expert in your niche. Title your posts so that readers can quickly decide that they want to peruse your article. Finally, choosing between numbers and bullets is another way to help your readers. While they take a great time for researching, guides are smart, highly appreciated posts.

Curate Your Interests Post 15 :: Write 31 Days

Curate used as a verb can mean "to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation," as defined by dictionary.com. This is the definition I intend when using it in this post.

Note that this definition implies three separate actions: gather, sift, and select (not necessarily in that order). Let's say you decide to curate photographs of European castles for your blog. Generally there's a point or connection to your collection--a reason for pulling together these particular photographs. Be specific in explaining the reason so that readers aren't left wondering, "What is your point?"

Every Sunday I curate a portfolio of quilt inspiration and examples. I begin with an idea and curate photographs to use as inspiration. The title always includes the specific idea or reasoning, so readers know exactly what to expect for inspiration. At the beginning of the post I show several examples of the inspiration (generally 8-10 photos). Finally I post examples of how one might move from the inspiration to actual quilts. This means that the second half of the post shows photos of completed quilts that include the idea.

Let's say I've chosen the castle idea for one of my posts. Viewers can expect to see 8-10 examples of castles that I've pulled together. Then they can expect to see quilts that somehow employ the castle theme. I always find at least 10 quilt photos. Sometimes finding enough quilt photos is difficult, and I have to sift through many Pinterest pages before finding them. Other times, there are so many photos of quilts (or the idea, for that matter) that I spend most of my time deciding which 10-12 will make the cut. Finally, I tell readers how I searched for the idea, either by providing the search terms or by giving them a link to a board that I've curated.

Readers are interested in this type of post because finding inspiration can be a difficult process. Let's say you enjoy creating origami. You've just purchased a package of colorful origami paper that is 5" X 5". When you have a few minutes to yourself, you pull out the beautiful papers and try to think of objects you can create. If you've already curated photos, instructions, and websites that can serve as inspiration, you will be creating in very little time. 

Additionally, if you know of a blogger who regularly posts curated photos with the information you need, you can simply go to that blog. Adversely, if you must begin sorting through hundreds or even thousands of websites to find objects that fit this specific size paper, you could spend all of the time you have for one or two sittings searching rather than creating. Readers appreciate your saving them time and helping them with inspirational ideas.

Photo credit: Jessica Ruscello @jruscello

Pinterest, YouTube, and Flipboard are three sites that were created specifically for the purpose of gathering pictures, videos, and articles, respectively, but other websites and blogs can help you curate what you need and like for your hobby or work. Chances are your readers share your tastes and needs--that is what you have in common--and appreciate that you share your curated portfolios with them.

You can include short summaries or explanations of how you came to curate this particular portfolio but that is not always necessary. For example, when I have chosen a color or combination of colors to curate for inspiration, I let the colors speak for themselves. Otherwise, a summary can help tremendously because the reader can go straight to the curation that is most important or useful and save time.

Photographs, or pins, are not the only ideas that can be curated. Websites, blogs, patterns, company websites, magazine and news articles, lifestyle sites, and almost any other type of website can be curated for your readers. 

This idea actually follows what creative people did before the internet came along. Most creative people kept a binder or notebook of ideas close at hand. Boxes of patterns, magazines, clippings and other paraphernalia were very common only 20 years ago. I remember reading articles suggesting that creatives take or scan pictures of all their favorites to file on their computers, "but keep physical copies just in case." Go to a garage sale that includes items from studios and craft rooms, and you'll discover all manner of vintage idea collections. Slowly those items are being added to the vast stream of information and, eventually, they will be obsolete except as articles of interest in collections and museums. 

My grandchildren have laughed about all of the "stuff" in my studio, but I remind them that today's Pinterest and other websites are simply electronic versions of our old paper "stuff." I usually add that they won't be able to sell my websites, but one day those old magazines, patterns, and other curated items will be worth dollars. We all joke about it, of course, but I've curated both physical and electronic portfolios. There really isn't much difference, except the space requirements.  

Do your readers a favor and sift through some of the stuff on the web, gather it into collections, and share it. They will be grateful.

Writing about Writing -- Links to all posts
Writing about Writing Intro

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: T E A L

Teal because it's such a pretty color. 

Teal is a medium-saturated, blue-green color, similar to medium green and dark cyan. It can be created by mixing blue with green into a white base, or deepened as needed with a little bit of black or gray color. The complementary color of teal is coral.

Walking up a teal spiral staircase. #TopToBottom #WearTeal #belabumbum                                                                                                                                                      More

Meh it's close enough to my favorite color. It's green, but blue at the same time... and I've learned that's apparently called teal. So... I suppose my favorite color is some shade of teal.
Azure Butterflies - Do you have an eye for color? Share it with us! Submit your own color palettes at globaldesignpost.com!

Teal Teal Teal!                                                                                                                                                      More

flora-file                                                                                                                                                      MoreInspiração Jorge Bischoff - Coleção-cápsula Luminosité - http://jorgebischoff.com.br/luminosite "Task 2 This shows movement and balance with the turquoise stones".

teal-cabinet-paint-colors-sw                                                                                                                                                                                 More

Teal quilts are just as pretty!

Daydreams of Quilts: Teal Pixel Heart in a Pixel Heart Quilt

Batik quilt ... teals, blues and greens surrounded by a border of white.

Tula Pink's Pancakes pattern in blues and seafoam. Girls in the Garden

Modern patchwork geometric triangle quilt teal grey white

freesprit website- free quilt pattern

Mostly Teal - front ...I like the idea to make plain sides more narrow and add length for a table runner, or make small for placemats; mug rugs could be made to match with a wonky block like center of this.....vwr

Teal quilt from 16-patch. Not hard to make!

Don't normally like selvage quilts but could be made with little strips. And the turquoise background!!!Easy Weighted Blankets from Leisure Arts makes it simple to create therapeutic quilts in just the right size for children and adults and avoid the high cost of readymade ones. Many people find a gentle touch to be comforting, so it’s no surprise that weighted blankets are becoming popular for helping with anxiety, sensory problems, restless legs, autism, and other disorders. Designs include Super Simple, Teal Squares, Charm Squares, Plaid Flannels, Rail Fence, Soccer Balls, Patriotic, Lap Bla...

It's Teal: FREE Quick Quilt Pattern

Heather Lair Designs - Art Quilts

Want to know where you can find these quilts? You got it! 

Have a great week, everybody!

Interest Timeline Post 14 :: Write 31 Days

Many people like to read about the important dates that occurred in the history of their hobby, interests, country, etc. Let's say you are interested in muscle cars, specifically the Ford Mustang. Wouldn't it be interesting to know that Ford debuted the Mustang in April of 1964 at the World's Fair or that the car was name for a fighter plane, the P51 Mustang and not the Mustang horse depicted in its logo? Don't you now want to know why or how that was changed?

Those little tidbits of information are the kinds of material you could easily incorporate into a timeline. Choose some of the important dates of your topic, tell what happened during that year, and add little known facts. Of course, you could handle this any way you'd prefer, but one suggestion is to present each year in a short paragraph.

Using infographics is another way to pass along information to your readers. I've used Piktochart several times but a quick search for "creating infographics" found several other websites that do basically the same thing: CreativeBlog, Make Use Of, and Venngage, to name a few. Once the infographic is complete, you can upload it to your blog, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. By the same token, creating a true timeline is easily done in Windows Office or Excel. 

Some people might ask why anyone would go through the work of researching dates and information for a niche hobby. One reason is that it provides details and morsels of information that your readers may not know but has not had the time to research. Most of us are busy and finding time to cruise the web looking for information that we're interested in but don't need to do the things we love. In the Mustang example above, a Mustang owner doesn't need the information to be able to drive or care for his/her car. However, knowing it can add to the joy and pleasure of sharing the car with others. 

Another reason for writing this kind of post is that you can likely write more than one post if you or your readers enjoy either timelines or trivial info. For example, rather than write one timeline on the Ford Mustang, you can write a post on each of the major muscle cars, giving you as many articles as there are muscle cars. 

Conversely, you can divide the timeline into a few decades (or broad topics) per article. Write about the earliest Mustangs in the first article. Write about how it changed when muscle cars became more prominent as Baby Boomers began growing up. Then write the third timeline about the Mustang world since 2000. 

Photo credit: Lubo Minar @bubo

If you're really ambitious, you might write a historical timeline interspersed with questions and answers for your readers to quiz themselves on. Turn it into a game and give a prize if you desire, or include a survey and give the answers in a separate article. 

This is an idea that could easily become a ongoing post if you choose. The best way (for me at least) would be to write several posts while doing the research and scheduling them so that once they are written, I don't have to remember that it's coming up and find the time to do the research, writing, and editing. 

Finally, you need to be especially careful where you get your information and provide some form of documentation to the website. Actually, doing so makes you more of an expert in your readers' eyes. Misleading information, on the other hand, can hurt your reputation as a blogger and expert. Unfortunately, many wiki sites, are not monitored closely enough to be considered reliable. 

In the example I used concerning the Ford Mustang, while I started with a general search, I narrowed my search once I'd read a few blurbs. I kept close the Ford.com website, museums, or those of Ford enthusiasts which had been on the web for many years, which means the site has experts and ample time to check/correct facts. I am not really a Ford Mustang fan: I simply remember seeing many at The Henry Ford in Detroit. Certainly I am not an expert! However, I trust the sites I visited because I checked my sources.

I consider a website trustful if it meets any (preferably two) of the following: the author has been published in printed media; the article comes from a company website, with the understanding that opinions may be biased; encyclopedias; university websites. I also try to verify some of the information in a second source. 

All of this may seem extreme, but there a few concerns going on. I am a former librarian, so research is relatively easy. I taught English writing for years with knowledge of what is exceptional research. Most importantly, I want my readers to see me as a skilled writer and researcher. To accomplish this, I must be diligent in making certain that my information is correct, my sources are good, and that I provide links back to those sources. If you want to accomplish the same, you must meet those standards. Readers expect posts that are interesting and fun and correct. Writing timelines for those subjects you and your readers are interested in is a great way to get into both informational writing and researching.

Writing about Writing -- Links to all posts
Writing about Writing Intro

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Personal Library / Readers' Circle Post 13 :: Write 31 Days

Writing about your personal library may seem difficult, but there's are reasons for the books you've chosen to bring into your life. That's how I think of my library--as part of my life. Very likely that's because I read daily. Yes, daily. Even if I'm busy. Or there are things going that overwhelm me. There's going to be some reading in the chaos.

Now when I say library, I mean literally (in my case) a library of books--mostly hard back. I don't do the e-book thing yet. I don't need to since I have the real thing everywhere. But that's me. I've been rather lucky in the book business. If you do read on your phone or tablet or computer, then I mean that in your case. Most importantly, let's just agree library, books, reading all mean your mode.

To approach a post like this, you should take a few minutes to determine what kind of reading you do and why. For example, I read mostly classics because I'm trying to work my way through those I haven't gotten to, they are challenging and, in some cases, something has intrigued me: another work by the author, a review, a movie, or possibly a recommendation from a friend. 

Maybe think about what you don't like to determine what you do read. I don't like horror, though I've read Frankenstein and may one day read Dracula. Beyond that I like historical fiction and any classic, having stood the test of time, has to be historical. Give me girls in heavy dresses, men in uncomfortable suits and formality. I'll show you works without the laid-back, foul-language, flaunt-all-you've-got life of today.

But back to thinking about your library. Try to define it, to put a name to the types of books on your shelves. The classics, suspense, horror, romance, cultural, historical, young adult, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and paranormal are just a few of the genres. 

Perhaps you enjoy a variety of genres or can combine two of the genres listed. Regardless, put a name to your collection. Once you do that, it should be easy to figure out why you like these kinds of books. Add this to your notes. 

I have three different collections of books--classic and contemporary novels, nonfiction (which include books from teaching), and quilting books. All three can be subcategorized. For example, my nonfiction can be subdivided into teaching writing, poetry, short stories, fine arts, drama and the non-fiction that I taught during the Common Core years. It's easy to see that I like learning about the subjects I taught for 28 years. Many were added during the time that I taught a particular class, either at the high school or college level. 

Photo credit: Annie Spratt @anniespratt
Now you're ready to begin writing about your library. Some ways to write about your personal library can include 
  • write about each book separately and give a short blurb
  • write about the individual genres, define the genre and give examples of the books you recommend from it
  • recommend your favorite books and tell why you like them
  • give a historical review starting with when you added your first books to now and tell what was happening in your life to steer you toward them
  • connect books and movies telling how closely the movie follows the book (without giving away the endings)
  • ask readers to recommend books, read them and host a readers' circle online
  • suggest a book to readers, giving them time to read it, and host a readers' circle online
Books that fit a particular niche are especially interesting to readers in that niche. If you are a quilter, you may be interested in knowing that I have a pretty extensive collection of quilting books. Some are quite old 1)--they came from my mother--and others are very new. I have perhaps five or six on modern quilting 2). One or two in particular have been used to teach 3) quilting for years. I could write a post on each of the types that I just mentioned (see the numbers after each).  It's also possible to use some of the suggestions in the list above to write about your selective books.

This brings us to hosting an online readers' circle. You don't have to wait until everyone has finished reading the book to begin your readers' circle discussion. Ask for help from readers who will join you and assign them the task of being the discussion leader for several chapters. To assist them, give them topics and suggest online resources to use for questions/discussion. I like to use an Excel sheet to keep up with the plan, but I keep it simple. 

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Date Chapters Discussion Leader Topic
1/20/2018 1-4 Mary Character
2/15/2018 5-10 Angie Conflict
2/28/2018 11-16 Sally Plot/Theme
3/17/2018 17-25 Grace Conflict/Character
3/30/2018 26-30 Reese Plot/Theme

Once you know who plans to join the fun, send them a copy of the schedule so they can keep up with the reading. At this point you have a couple of online options: a Facebook page specifically for the group, your blog site or a blog link party, Twitter feed, blog specifically for the group, or any number of social media platforms. Keeping in mind that the readers' circle may drive traffic to the platform, you may consider what your discussion leaders would prefer as well.

It's a good idea to collaborate with your discussion leaders to set rules at the beginning, Allowing anyone to join the discussion can present problems, but the discussion leaders should try to resolve them. If necessary, it's possible to remove someone (or their comments) from the group. (Note that everyone has a right to his/her opinion, but no one has a right to force that opinion on others.)

Finally you don't need many people to join your readers' circle to enjoy and discuss the book. If a few people are enthusiastic about sharing their insights, you can enjoy a lively debate without worry. Sharing your personal library or hosting a readers' circle can be a great opportunity to know your readers better, and they get to know you. Readers have opportunities to express their opinions about real life issues while keeping the focus on the novel. There's your best reason to open a discussion.

Photo credit: Chris Lawton @chrislawton

Pin It Weekly #219

Bergen, Norway  A town made entirely of wood. Ancient and salty, this is such s beautiful city
Whoa! This Write 31 Days challenge is a serious venture. I'm enjoying it very much, but it seems to have hijacked my time. I mean I'm keeping up and all, but it's taking much more time than I anticipated and I haven't figured out how to remedy that.

I started out writing about three posts in two days, so I was getting ahead. Right now, I'm completing posts after my 6 p.m. deadline. Yes, it's my deadline, so I suppose I can break it or simply miss a day, but I really want to meet my goal of 18 articles. While I can write more after the challenge, it may be difficult to motivate myself. (I tend to rest when I'm tired.)

 Today's post is a Pin It post, which is easy in comparison, so let's get to it! 

All of the pins for today are from a page that shows what your followers have been pinning. Now each follower is given credit for his or her pins, but they are rather mixed up. Sorry, I didn't unmix them.

Capri - Arco dei Faraglioni

Glen Affric, Scotland22 Incredible Things to do in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean paradise!

Apparently most people are interested in travel this week. Aren't these pins just beautiful? 
Here are a few pins from on my recommendations page that I could not resist. 
16 Vintage Art Deco Plum & Cream Celluloid Buttons | eBay

598963a5b9e629baed87559d1510c52b.jpg 548×767 pixelsPIQF 2017 Part 1-Quilts of Northern Ca and More | Quilt Skipper: Jenny K Lyon | Quilting, Lectures, Workshops, Tutorials

Garden arbor

Barn Quilts of Grundy County Iowa

VINCENT VAN GOGH. Avenue of Poplars in Autumn, 1884, oil on canvas. Post Impressionism.

Barn Quilts by Chela

Good news on the blog front: comments have crossed over the 2,500 threshold! It's also almost anniversary time--7 years! Hmm, we might need to celebrate in a couple of weeks. What do you suggest as way to mark the date? How do you celebrate milestones on your blog? I need ideas and options, so I'm going to the pros--that's you!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Personal Belongings Post 12 :: Write 31 Days

This idea of sharing your personal things may seem strange at first but can make for an interesting post. Followers, and people in general, are curious and most of us like human contact. I may not be able to visit you personally, but as I get to know you via internet, I am more and more likely to want to more. Sharing your personal things is a way of sharing your life.

Keeping in mind that TMI (too much information) is real, let's consider what you might share and why.
  • vehicles--For some people the vehicle you drive and take care of is an extension of you. You can be honest and show the Cheerios that your kids spilled. You should clean out the car if it's looking like a pigsty. While you are not seeking to impress readers with expensive things, you don't want them thinking that you are disgusting. 
  • work space--Regardless of the size, your workspace can motive others to organize their spaces, help them to see the difference that curating their supplies can make, or encourage them to work toward the goal of having a dedicated studio.
  • niche specific tools--Sharing photos or videos of your favorite tools is much like recommending them to your readers. Tell them what motivated you to make the purchase. Include the cost of each item by looking it up online or add a link to a place where they can make a purchase. (Be sure to inform readers if you are affiliated.)
  • home--Your house and décor are quite personal but, if you are willing to share, they can give much insight into who you are. My family has lived in this home for almost 25 years. Pictures of any room would show just how comfortable and lived-in it has become. No showroom-worthy life here!
  • items you've made--I keep an updated quilt show on both my Pinterest and my blog and find that many people visit those pages. 
  • closet or wardrobe--Again a very personal look at your personality and taste, you might look around carefully about what is visible before turning on the camera.
A flatlay of a magnifying glass, a cup of coffee, cameras, photos and various travel items on a map
Photo credit: Ian Dooley @nativemello

  • things that are "odd"--Collections that you've curated for years are compelling, especially if you tell their story.Perhaps you have several vintage items that are rare or that you are proud of. Items handed down through generations are always interesting. 
  • sports or hobby items--Do you play a sport or hobby that you don't blog about? You can write a couple posts detailing your engagement, your equipment, and people who share this passion.
  • volunteer work--Keeping the privacy of others in mind you can share those things that you do to make the world a better place. Consider taking photos when possible. Ask permission first, or take pictures at an angle so no one can recognize the subject. 
  • special/surprise gifts--When I retired in May, the faculty gave us an after-school party. While it's common to give a small gift, there where five or six retirees--many more than the usual one or two, so we didn't expect anything a nice as the outdoor rocking chairs that the teachers presented to us. That was a surprise gift I could have shared.
Although I noted both the items and why they might be a good topic for your blog, I'd like to reiterate that there are stories in every aspect of life. You want to tell the story of those personal things you share: the time, place, event, why you (or someone else) chose it, where it was purchased, and so on. 

Then encourage your readers to join the conversation by asking a question that connects them to the item. For example, if you write about your hobby supply closet, ask how they organize their supply space. 

Finally, remember that you can be yourself in this type of post. Your house doesn't have to be immaculate, or your studio a cover page for a magazine. If your favorite tool has a nick or scratch, point it out and tell that story, especially if there's any humor to be told. 

Writing about Writing -- Links to all posts
Writing about Writing Intro

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Travel Experiences Post 11 :: Write 31 Days

Continuing our discussion of blog writing ideas, I've come to the idea of sharing your travel experiences. This is especially interesting if you take good photos and are able to describe the scenery in them. Again, you are telling a story; this one just happens to be about your experiences in foreign lands, natural settings, or large cities. 

Years ago I spent a weekend in Chicago. While there I saw my first Andrew Lloyd Webber show, "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" with Donny Osmond as Joseph. We window shopped along the "Magnificent Mile," where I bought a small bag and took a nighttime boat tour on Lake Michigan. Had I started my blog back then, the trip would have made for several posts. Plus, I had a different perspective in that I am from a small Louisiana town and this was my first venture into a city other than New Orleans or Baton Rouge. I was seeing the city through innocent eyes, yet I had wonderful opportunities because my travel companion was knowledgeable about available outings. Because I had no idea what to do or how to find out (pre-internet ages), I just went along with her recommendations. Luckily for me, she was as cultured as she was knowledgeable. That trip started me on a lifetime of travel and adventure.

I'm fairly sure that we don't have to define travel, but I will mention that even if you can't get away from your city or area, you can write a travel post. I did something of the sort not long ago on this post. While running errands, I noticed a just-picked cotton field and had to snap a picture. That led me to really take a look around, which means I took about ten pictures of the area along the bayou that eventually leads into my little town. I chose four or five of the better ones and wrote a short post explaining how those pictures came about. Every picture was taken within ten miles of my home.

Photo credit: Dimitry Anikin  @anikind
Let's imagine that you are able to get away. You travel to an exotic location and are able to tour the area for three-to-five days. You can, of course, write an overall post saying that you traveled. Even better, you can write several posts detailing the sights, sounds, smells, and experiences of your travels. Options are limitless, but here are a few of the more common ways: 
  1. Daily writing. Some travel writers create a post at the end of each day expressing that day's goings-on.
  2. Cluster writing. Others combine their experiences into clusters [my term] that detail one particular area. While traveling through Louisiana, for example, I could write about the Cajun culture in the southern part of the state, write about the changes in New Orleans since the Katrina flood, and describe the beauty of Kisatichie National Forest in the northern part of the state.  Each cluster can be a separate post.
  3. Write about place. A third option would be to describe place based on your experience. Perhaps write about what you see and hear at a concert. Did you eat some of the ethnic food at a local festival? What did you expect? How did it taste?
  4. Find your theme. What do you do on every trip? What do you do every day of your trip--tours, foods, people--that you can describe or post photos of daily? What is your favorite part of each day? What discoveries did you make? What surprised you? 
  5. Recommendations/Disapprovals. What do you recommend or discourage? A bare-it-all sort of post that warns readers against an experience you regret can be interesting and helpful. Can you turn an experience into a funny story, perhaps with a little exaggeration? That can be both helpful and entertaining. 
  6. Tours/Events. Are there tours or special events available in the area? Tell about what you saw, the people you met, and how good the tour or event was. What was your favorite experience? What would you do again?
  7. Combine video and writing. Many people would prefer to watch video or view photographs, so it's a good idea to include both in your blogs. It also extends variety to your work, which gives your readers more reason to visit your blog.
Keep in mind that there are many apps available for notes (I like Evernote) and you almost always have your phone. Even if you take photos with a dedicated camera, use your phone at the beginning of the day or event to record details such as date, time, place, cost, tour/event info, etc. 

Writing about your travel experiences can be both entertaining and a wonderful way to document your vacations. It's also a way to connect with readers. Those who travel can join the conversation and share their experiences; those who don't travel may enjoy living vicariously through your posts.

Finally there are many places in the world that are beautiful and exotic but, like everyone else, I have priorities and limitations, so I will most likely never get to see some of those places. To learn about them, I peruse nonfictional works and also enjoy watching videos and reading about others' experiences. Together they give me a comprehensive, yet personal view of the culture and people and the lands I cannot visit on my own. This is why people will read your travel logs, look at your photographs, and watch your videos. 

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