Good Morning Readers..
This post features Marsha Ingrao @ Always Write. I have known Marsha for years and we recently connected more in-depth through her wonderful Interview Series.
I hope you all enjoy this post because it is not just “about Marsha” – there are also ideas for blogging and parts of Marsha’s story with an uplifting vibe.
1) A little Bit About Marsha Ingrao:
The first thing you should know about me is that I love to blog. Like a good wine, it helps me unwind and sort out my thoughts, feelings, and showcase my interests. The second thing is that I am a retired educator and have been blogging since 2012 at Always Write.
2) Marsha’s blog @ Aways Write:
Always Write is a hobby blog that exists to promote, support, and connect with other hobby bloggers.
If someone visits my Always Write blog for the first time, they land on the New Here Page, which is like a table of contents. Usually they read my most recent post and maybe the post before that. If they like me, they might also check out my About Page.
At Always Write, I am currently hosting:
The Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writer’s Challenge (#WQWWC), which was first started by Ronovan and then hosted by Colleen – who recently invited me to host. This exciting weekly writing challenge offers bloggers a theme to explore by choosing a quote to match the theme and then creating a blog post with their individual take. The various entries allow for creative expression as we write and connect.
#Story Chat is a short story, blog-chat experience. Budding and experienced authors are invited to send in an unpublished story. The word count should be from 500 to 1,000 words and after some editing, the story will be shared so readers can interact and we can all “story chat” in the comment section. After the chatting, I summarize comments and provide special insight from the author.
The ongoing Blog Challenge Interview Series helps with my mission to support and promote hobby blogging. Blog challenges are how hobby bloggers strut their stuff and meet other people. How do bloggers come up with challenges? What does it take to host a challenge? When is a challenge not a challenge? How do you participate in challenges? Would you like to join me with an interview or a guest post, please contact me here. A few of the interviews have included bloggers (click on their name to visit): Sylvia, Irene Waters, Colleen Chesebro, Charli Mills, Cee Neuner, Terri Webster Schrandt, Susan Gutterman, Yvette Prior, Susie Burke, Lens-Artists Team– Tina, Patti, Amy and Anne-Christine, Esther Chilton, Hugh Roberts and Leanne Cole, which was one of my first interviews.
3) Marsha’s Books:
After I had been blogging for a couple of years, I self-published, “So You Think You Can Blog.” This book was an outpouring of how I had grown as a blogger and it unfolded because I was blown away by how blogging changed my life. To get a copy of this book, click here OR email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also wrote the Woodlake book (here). I had been a Woodlake resident for a long time and as a former history consultant, this book allowed me to share my love for Woodlake, CA and its important past.
4) Marsha’s Experience with Blogging:
- “Your blog is your house,” a blogging friend at work said, “You decorate it however you want using the different themes.” When I started blogging, I didn’t know what a theme was, or a tagline, or a web address. It didn’t matter. No one knew my blog existed.
- When I first started to blog, I had no idea how to “get” friends. Eight years ago I had to ask, “What’s Facebook?” I also had to spend money on my “free hobby” to get WordPress to chat with me. Technical problems and blogging vocabulary nearly strangled me.
- Joining in with blog challenges and “blog awards” helped me get friends and readers. Most blog awards are like a chain letter and it is how new bloggers support other new bloggers.
- Most bloggers don’t realize they are publishers. It’s a powerful place to be.
- Like many others, I have made such good friends in the blog community and some of us have met in person. Several of us have mailed my Teddy bear, Manny, across continents and wrote about his adventures. Manny the Teddy has his own blog and has made several friends, including Justin Beaver:
- Excuse me, my husband fell asleep and didn’t finish his wine, so I am going to finish it for him. Stop me if I get too long winded!
- To sum it up, now that I have been blogging for a while, I have learned how to use Canva and Photoshop, my photography and writing has improved, and I prefer using blog themes that have pictures for readers to click on as they decide what to read. Maybe someday I will change. But not today.
5) Marsha’s Tips for Blogging:
I struggled with how to support and promote Hobby Bloggers because we are a loose group all over the map. With hobbies as varied as knitting, horseback riding, poetry, photography, make-up, and travel, it is often hard to know what we need that is different from what professional bloggers offer to bloggers in general.
This is what I do to fuel my blogging and I hope this list helps those who need a few ideas. 🙂
- Write Posts
- Posts defining hobby blogging
- Posts about journaling
- Posts about technical problems. (Professionals do tons of these, so I stopped.)
- Posts about time management. I loved the interview I did, Prior Commentary on Blogging Challenges, because it gave permission to blog at my own pace.
- Book Reviews
- Book Reviews are very time consuming – not super popular on my blog — I thought doing book reviews would be more helpful.
- Contribute to Challenges
- When I create a post for a challenge, I visit some of the other challenge entries.
- I keep a spreadsheet journaling the blogs I visit to mention them in posts and revisit them.
- Host Challenges
- I reblog posts with themes that I think my readers would like – great win-win for everyone.
- I also reblog to connect with new readers, regular readers, or to share challenges I enjoy but might not get a chance to join along with.
- Guest Posts
- I get emails from strangers with ideas for guest posts. They are usually about writing or blogging.
- Sometimes I ask someone in the comment section if they would like to write a guest post.
- Sometimes while exchanging email conversations with my blogging friends, great topics come up and I ask if they would like to do an interview or a guest post on that topic.
- I have a page that talks about how to write a guest post, which has content expounding mostly from expert professional bloggers. Very few people have responded to that. Oops! 🙂
- If you want to get to know a blogger, read their blog deeply, not just the most recent post, check out pages and make comments.
- Don’t feel like you have to read every single post from bloggers you follow, just make it meaningful at times – and it will help you connect and enjoy blogging more.
- Write Posts
6) Marsha’s Closing Thoughts:
As a hobby blogger, challenges are one of the best ways to get to know other bloggers. So remember to join in when you can. If you or someone you know hosts or participates in a photo or writing challenge and want an interview, let me know. Also, my husband and I have recently moved from California to Arizona. I now have less yard work and gardening (sorry, Yvette!). Less socializing for a while (sorry, Marsha). More blogging (yay!). Some of my recent posts highlight our new city of residence and I hope that you can join me on my blog here. Thanks for your time.
Okay, a huge “thanks” to Marsha for letting me feature her here on Priorhouse blog – it has been fun setting this up
Now over to you.
- Any questions or comments for Marsha?
- Can you relate to some of her experience with the early days of learning about blogging?