I won the Trespass blogger award. Thank you!
We bloggers inhabit a strange (modern) world. We sit, most often alone, at our desks and write blogs that are for our own simple writing pleasure and/or for others to enjoy reading. We can keep track of how many people visit and spend time on the blog, through Google Analytics, but we can never be certain who it is that reads our stuff and why. But, then, I am not sure I really mind.
When I started Fionaoutdoors.co.uk (originally on blogspot and now on the wordpress platform) it was something of a guilty pleasure. I have been a journalist my entire career but until I took redundancy from The Herald and began a freelance writing life I had rarely written about the things that I most fancied writing about.
As a paid-for journalist you write about what you think commissioning editors will want to buy from you or what editors have asked you to write (and pay you for). Sometimes I am lucky enough to write about the things I enjoy, such as outdoors, travel and fitness, but you always have an audience in mind.
Fionaoutdoors is different. I gain a lot of pleasure from writing about what I do and think about. I don’t think too much about the audience, except that if people like to read what I write then that’s a bonus.
I do also write kit reviews and how to guides etc. I hope that these are useful to people who are keen on the outdoors. I s also hope that anyone who does want to read my blogs is entertained, inspired, informed and encouraged to go outdoors and enjoy a more active life. That’s all, really!
I have sometimes thought about making my blog more commercial and adding a lot more guest posts or advertising to it but something stops me. I prefer to keep my blog as a place that is pretty much independent and just about me and what I do. Maybe I am selfish but I write lots of other articles for other audiences and so my blog is just that: My Blog about the Great Outdoors.
Through my own blogging I have become employed by different clients as a guest or ghost blogger on their websites. Blogging adds fresh and relevant content to websites and this is useful for boosting your search engine rankings. In this way, my own blog has showcased my ability to write and to come up with lots of blogging ideas. It has brought me business and these days I happily blog for clients and I am paid to do so.
But what I really wanted to say is that as a blogger you have no idea if anyone is really that bothered about what you write. There is feedback on Facebook, blog comments and unique visitor numbers but you rarely not meet, or know, your readers and so they do not directly evaluate the worth of your blog.
Except now, I have won a blog writing award. I am winner in the Trespass blogger category for walking/hiking blogs. I am thrilled. I don’t actually write to win awards or to receive any praise. I write the blog for myself and for future reference for myself about my life. But I do want to say thanks to all those lovely people who have been kind enough to vote for me. This has made a wet and windy January day very smily indeed.
Congratulations, too, to all the other blogging award winners in other categories. Fell details to be revealed here.