Back At The Lodge — A New Podcast

One of my absolute favorite times in the outdoors comes at the end of the day when you are back in camp and rehashing all the memories made just hours earlier.   It’s a time when jokes are told…stories become legendary and occasionally a person gets to brag about what went right making others just a wee bit jealous.

When Michelle Scheuermann and I were trying to think up a name for our new podcast we wanted something with meaning.   We wanted something that quickly explained what the show was all about.   Indeed, the concept of being back at camp after a long day spent outdoors had a certain appeal…not just because it’s comfortable, but because sharing thoughts and feelings is what takes place when good friends gather in such places.

That’s how Back at the Lodge was born.   The concept of relaxing near a campfire with new and old friends alike.   It’s the time of the day when everyone gets to say what’s on their mind.   It’s a time when you sit near an open campfire (or perhaps a fireplace) and let those tired ol’ aching muscles in your body begin their recovery.   Yet, best of all…it’s when not only do you get to look back on what has just recently happened, but anticipate an even better tomorrow spent outdoors with brand new stories and experiences soon to tell.

I’m not really sure who’s idea it was to do a podcast.   I guess I will give that credit to Michelle.   Longtime readers of this blog might remember how back in 2006 and 2007 I produced 9 episodes of a podcast called The Sportsman’s Blog Podcast.   It was a fun experiment, but became very time consuming arranging guests and coordinating schedules just to produce.

As Michelle and I have learned, some things really don’t change.   Coordinating schedules can be frustrating as hell.   Because we live about an hour apart here in Minnesota, it means either hooking up midway at some noisy restaurant with our recording equipment or one of us driving to the others’ home.   Sure, we could more easily Skype our sessions and then use that recording, but so far we have resisted doing so as it sort of goes against the concept of meeting face-to-face “Back at the Lodge.”

So, what can listeners expect to hear by tuning in?   Ha!   That will change with any given day.   We don’t go into these sessions well scripted for the most polished audio recording possible.   We don’t want that.   We want you to feel as though you are joining us in a casual conversation that may involve current events, certain happenings in our lives, pet peeves, outdoor industry trends…I think you get the picture.

Occasionally, Michelle and I will invite others to join us on the podcast to get other perspectives on matters or to share a certain outdoor expertise.   With that in mind, we also encourage listener involvement.   Drop us an e-mail through our respective blog sites and we might use YOUR thoughts on a future episode.   We appreciate your feedback and we welcome the opportunity to engage our listeners in this fun auditory manner.

Well, enough of this introductory podcast talk.   How about we get down to business and listen to that first episode?   Please give us a listen and be sure to add us to your podcast aggregator so you don’t miss a single episode.   You’ll find us available in the following locations:

Thanks for listening!


Discover The Power And Potential With A Future Of Blogging

Indulge me one more day to do some writing about blogging and what potential it has.   After all, tomorrow is this blog’s 9th anniversary so look at this post as sort of a “state of the state” message on where things are currently at and and where they eventually will be.

Folks, blogging has transformed into one of the most dynamic facets of the Internet.   I certainly could not have envisioned that possibility back 9 years ago…but that’s what it has become.   Let me explain.

C619587_lOne of the best selling marketing books you can find these days is called YOUTILITY: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype.   If you sell anything on the Internet I urge you to run out to the bookstore and get this read NOW!   Don’t delay.   This book will change the way you think.

Actually, that’s one of the troubles with marketing.   If you are doing just about anything Online the same way you were doing it, say five years ago, you are nearly completely missing the boat, so to speak.   Terms such as SEO, Content Marketing, Content Strategy, Analytic Conversion, Responsive Websites, and others all need to become part of your lexicon.

So, what does all of this have to do with blogging, you ask?   Well, it has EVERYTHING to do with blogging.   As you will learn in YOUTILITY, a website which also contains a blog (properly written) has the potential of increasing that website’s traffic 5 times with just a minimum of 15 blog posts each month.

Now, consider that for a moment.   You can pay Google Adwords to send traffic to your website on a cost-per-click basis potentially spending thousands of dollars or you can simply blog about content answering the same questions that people are searching for on Google and accomplish even more.

Consider this case study about blogging.  Here, the small business by just having pertinent information helping people on the Internet was able to double their web traffic.   Also, consider this…when people read the blog and begin trusting you, doesn’t it also stand to reason they will likely hire you when they need some assistance beyond their basic skills?

Okay, enough on the nuts and bolts of blogging for marketing purposes.   The point I am trying to make is blogs have tremendous power and potential for the future.   A website that is designed and never updated for months or years is simply boring to search engines.   Yet, a blog that seems to hit all the key words and appears to stay fresh on a fairly consistent basis will drive those search engines and web crawlers sheer crazy.

All of this being said, I am here to tell you blogging isn’t going away anytime soon.   In fact, the day is soon drawing near when most folks will discover (if they already haven’t) how blogging has become a vital part of our Online world.   Blogging has a way of building relationships through trust, helping those who are in search of relevant information, entertaining and informing of news or issues.   In a nutshell, blogging is about helping people (you, the readers) and not a self-promoting, ego-inflating mechanism for the blogger to become someone they certainly are not.

As I travel full-steam forward with Sportsman’s Blog, I certainly don’t plan to make any substantive changes to what this blog has become.   On the other hand, it is my hope to begin blogging with even more of a focused purpose in mind.   When readers have questions about the outdoors and I’m in a position to answer it, I plan to share that information in a helpful, succinct fashion.   I also plan to share more information my peers in the blogging world happen to be discussing.

There’s some great outdoors hunting and fishing related content being produced by bloggers these days and I hope to long continue being part of that world.   I’m rather proud to say I’ve been blogging for nine years because when I started out many folks didn’t even know what the heck blogging was about.   Guess what?   In the years to come I’m convinced EVERYBODY will be understanding exactly why blogging is so powerful and packed with so many possibilities for all of us who use the Internet.   Just wait and see.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Time To Reflect On Blogging Over These Past Nine Years

In just a few days my blog will be turning 9 years old.   Wow!   In blogging terms that seems like an old codger.   Seriously, to be blogging for over 2 or 3 years in this fast-paced online world is rather amazing.   So many blogs have come and gone and to stick with something for nearly a decade is quite an achievement, if you’ll allow me to toot my horn just a bit.

Feedly is a great Smartphone app and computer website to manage your blog feeds in one handy location.

But enough of that.   Today, I did some housekeeping on my computer.   I went through my Feedly program and reorganized all the blogs I follow and deleted some of the blogs that have fallen out of existence.   I must say, what shocked me was how many blogs I used to follow and now they no longer exist.   It seems like just yesterday how many of these blogs were posting on a fairly regular basis, but according to Feedly it had been over 600 days since the last post.

Amazing!   Time really flies.   And I realize how people’s live change.   Heck, when I began this blog I lived a rather simply life—unmarried, just one job, lots of free time on my hands for outdoors activities.   You know the routine.   But life circumstances have a way of changing.   Today, I’m married with two kids, busier with my career than ever before…and time seems to be a commodity in short supply most days.

Still, I do my best to find time for blogging.   But obviously many other folks who give it a shot come to realize it takes a great deal of dedication and effort.   Moreover, there are those days when you just don’t feel motivated to write so you have to make some big decisions.   Do I write something for the sake of writing…or do I wait until I have a story to tell worth sharing?   Many folks who blog I’m convinced simply want to see words appear on their screen daily and don’t care about the quality of their content.

That’s not me.   I certainly do go through stretches when I don’t have much to say.   In some cases my life gets so busy I just don’t have time to do anything outdoorsy worthy of writing about.   Yet, I think my blog readers have come to expect and respect that about this blog.   At least I hope so anyway.

As I approach this important milestone with Sportsman’s Blog I am making a more concerted effort to bring some new life to the content of these posts.   I hope to add more exciting pictures, more video and perhaps a surprise or two.   Furthermore, I am searching for some dedicated sponsors of this blog who want to partner and be part of this exciting world of outdoors blogging.   There are some things in the works, and they will further enhance what this blog has long stood for in purpose.

As always, if you have suggestions for this blog I welcome your input.   Honestly, I don’t write for me, I comprise this content for all of you.   Anniversary’s are certainly times for celebrating accomplishments, but I also view them as an important time to decide where a person goes from that point forward.   As always, I value your constructive input.   Thanks for reading.

©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.