Time For A Change And To Get More Social

Good Friday afternoon, everyone!   You’ll notice a change around here—and I’m hoping a change for the better.   As of today this blog site is currently self-hosted (something long overdue) and much more flexible than it ever has been.

When I first started out blogging I used a platform known as Typepad.   It’s still around these days, but I don’t know anyone serious about their effort who continues with that out-dated technology.   Then, back in 2010, I took the bold move and migrated this blog site to the WordPress platform as everyone told me it was the wave of the future.   And, to be perfectly honest, I believe they were right.   It’s awesome for building both blogs and websites.

Yet, over the past several years I felt like a school kid having to live by all these rules.   You see, prior to today the site was hosted at wordpress.com because frankly it was cheap, easy and during the beginning offered me what I thought I needed.

But no more…

As my online and web skills expanded I quickly realized long ago I was in desperate need of a change.   Well, that change came today in both the look and function.   You’ve probably recognized how things look a lot more “social” these days on the web.   Indeed, to stay current it requires not only blogging, but putting yourself out there where you can been found in many facets of the social media network.

During the coming weeks you will notice a few changes here and there.   But, the big change you may not notice is how this site has suddenly become more “responsive” to viewing in all formats.   Gone are the days blog readers primarily sit in front of desktop computers and read a blogger’s dialogue.   Today, they have smartphones, tablets, iPads and a whole host of other devices that your blog site better be enabled to handle.

So, I hope you enjoy the changes you are seeing.   I suspect there will be lots more changes in the weeks and months yet to come.   The bottom line is a blogger has to stay fresh and energized to be interesting…and to a large extent this happens to also be true with how the site is being viewed by the reader.

Have a great weekend, folks!

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.