Happy B-Day to ME!!!

No, NOT my birthday – my blogoversary!! And because this probably isn’t why you read my blog, I’ll keep it short.

Well, kind of. It’s not for nothing that I’ve been known as Red Nomad ‘too much information’ OZ … but you can judge for yourself if that’s a fair description or a cruel and evil misnomer!!
I can’t believe I only discovered blogging a year ago! Why didn’t anyone tell me before about this medium where you can express your creativity; research, present and promote your topic (no matter how bizarre or obscure); and draw an international audience to read and comment on it? And where else can you challenge your intellect, imagination and inventiveness so profoundly – for FREE?! Yep, I’ve only spent money I would have spent anyway on my blog (ie internet, photo processing) – can you tell?? HHHMMMmmm… maybe best not answer that …

Followers from my first post – ‘Red Nomad OZ is GO!’ – may have noticed changes over the year (eg name, post frequency, style and length etc), but perhaps less noticeable is my plan for world domination! Well … in my field in the blogosphere, anyway!!

And how will I be able to do this? By the lessons I’ve learned from other bloggers!! (‘Learning curves’ are for wankers!!)

SO … today it’s payback time! In no particular order …

Lesson #1: Look after your followers OR ‘your visit is important to me’!
Mary of the awesome ‘One Perfect Bite’ recipe blog reinforced this by visiting my blog after I’d become a follower of hers. While Mary has more followers than flies in the outback, she took the time to visit my humble blog and leave a comment – my first international comment!! Suddenly I had feedback (yes, positive!) from someone who didn’t actually know me! Boy, did THAT make a difference to what and how I wrote!! Well … how much more I thought about it, anyway!

I must have done something right – she still visits regularly! Thank you, Mary!

Lesson #2: Blog to make a difference OR Blogging will change the world!
Jim’s wonderful travel blog ‘Holes in my Soles’ was (and still is) inspirational. His integrity and passion makes for challenging and thought-provoking posts – AND he actually practices what he preaches!

I don’t pretend to be in Jim’s league in the ‘making a difference’ stakes, but reading his blog crystallised my own blog focus (‘mission statements’ are for wankers!), aims and goals.

And while I’m DEVASTATED I didn’t win Jim’s neat prize (haha!) I’m honoured that he actually follows my blog! Thank you, Jim!
Lesson #3: Your voice is unique OR There’s room in the blogosphere for everyone!

I discovered Manzanita’s gem of a blog – ‘Wanna Buy a Duck’ – a few weeks ago. Her passionate, involving posts that challenge and inspire made wonder why anyone would want to read my lightweight snippets about Australian travel! But clearly, some people do!
So while I’m in awe of Manzanita’s work, my readers read my blog because, well, they appreciate MY voice – am I right? I guess so – considering Manzanita follows MY blog! Thank you, Manzanita!

Lesson #4: Observe the world around you OR The devil’s in the detail!

There’s something about River’s blog – ‘Drifting Through Life’ – that keeps me coming back for more. Her ability to see (and photograph) in detail the beauty of the world around her is awesome, as is her ability to share the personal side of her everyday life – something that doesn’t come naturally to me. Her blog reminds me of the wonders hidden away in detail we so seldom seek out; and to include more of the personal in my travel posts.

Besides – her description of morning coffee is the best I’ve EVER read! Thank you, River!

Lesson #5: Take your niche and make it your own OR how many posts can you write about one topic, anyway?!?!

Like my blogs, Kath Lockett’s  ‘Gone Chocco’ has a very specific topic – Chocolate! Kath showed me that good, humorous writing means you really CAN write about anything – her narrow topic NEVER gets tired.

AND … she gives GREAT comment! Thank you, Kath!

Lesson #6: Speak from the heart OR You can’t fake it!

Jayne’s intriguing blog, ‘Our Great Southern Land’ is absolutely genuine – whether she’s reviewing a book, telling stories of her life, imparting historical data, hosting a giveaway or having a good old rant! What you see is what you get – and her fact-laced honesty packs a powerful punch. The card and personal message she enclosed with a giveaway I won on her blog (I swear that’s got nothing to do with what I’m saying!), and a later Christmas card showed she also genuinely cares about her readers.

Jayne’s blog is a ‘must-read’ because she speaks from the heart, doesn’t pull her punches, inspires debate and is right on the money! Many bloggers – AND politicians – could learn a lot from Jayne’s honest, no bullshit approach! As have I! Thank you, Jayne!

Lesson #6: Learn from the experts OR Get Help!

I found Annabel Candy’s amazing blog ‘Get In the Hot Spot’ after she contributed a photo to a travel blog I follow! Go figure!! But a quick visit to this wonderful blog about blogging and I was an immediate devotee! Annabel’s expertise – provided free to her readers – has been invaluable, as has the opportunity to learn from the many other blogging experts with whom she networks.

She’s taught me to strive for professionalism, new possibilities and perfection (and world domination!!) – there’s always something new to learn and put into practice!! Thank you, Annabel!

Lesson #7: Who are your readers? OR Who knows who’s interested in what?!

Andrew’s fascinating blog ‘High Riser’ about life in inner city Melbourne shows a world very different to mine (although in some ways, not so much!) – so I became a follower. Who knew he’d actually be interested in a blog about travel in Australia?

When I started my blog, I assumed my followers would be people wanting information about OZ travel or already travelling in OZ, or people who actually knew me – but I didn’t think Andrew fell into those categories from reading his a) profile, or b) blog! So when he became a follower, the germ of the ‘world domination’ idea was planted… instead of limiting my target categories, why not aim my blog at anyone anywhere??

AND … if I’m going for world domination I’d be a fool to make assumptions about my audience! Thank you, Andrew!
Lesson #8: Catchy Titles and Great Pix OR ‘Reel them In’

When I first visited the ‘Blogs of Note’ page I selected a random blog to see what it was all about. I don’t recall that blog – but Cathy’s catchy blog title – ‘Wives with Knives’ – immediately jumped out from the favourite blog list! How could I NOT visit?

Of course a catchy title isn’t enough for return visits – but the excellent photography and recipes keep me coming back for more. Her blog is a great reminder to focus on a) what attracts people to your blog AND b) why they return! Thank you, Cathy!

Lesson #9: Anti-Circumlocution OR Keep it Simple …!

The best blog posts are nothing like a dissertation on the meaning of life – although aspects of the meaning of life can often be deduced from a great post! Toni’s beautifully elegant blog ‘ChickChat’ is a lesson in the cumulative effects of good blog design and short, snappy posts – that ALWAYS get her message across!

As you can tell from the length of this post, simplicity is a concept with which I struggle (see also above about ‘too much information’ …) – Toni’s blog is a masterclass in how it’s done! Thank you, Toni!

Lesson #10: Why do Bloggers Blog? And why do Readers Read??

Do I have the answer to this? No, but I know why I read Betty’s beautiful blog -‘Cut and Dry’ – because it makes me feel good. I’m clearly not alone as Betty has a stratospheric number of followers – but she still responds warmly and positively to every comment.

Betty epitomises something shared by all those previously mentioned – they give more than they take. And that’s a lesson worth learning. Thank you, Betty!

Of course there are many other wonderful blogs out in the blogosphere – a word which I’m not sure I actually like – but I’m going to prove I’ve learned Lesson #9, and stop at 10!

A heartfelt thank you (well OK – THANX!) to all my fabulous followers, subscribers, readers, visitors and drop-ins who’ve been part of Year #1– your interest and input has been great for me, and I hope it’s been just as fabulous for you!

Stay tuned for Year #2!!

AND – hope you’ve enjoyed my b-day celebration as much as I have!!

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25 comments

  • @Roy – Thanx! The more you look, the more you find!

  • Great tips! I only started about 1 year ago too but have learnt a lot from observing other blogger 🙂

  • Happy belated birthday. I’m so proud of what you’ve achieved here in a year, the dedication you’ve put into this blog, the fabulous stories and photos which make me want to pack up the house and go explore and your winning attitude.

    It’s been a pleasure to help you and watch your progress.

    Here’s to world domination baby;)

  • @Annabel – stop, STOP, I’m REALLY blushing now! (They don’t call me ‘Red’ for nothing!!) But we both know good blogs are rarely, if ever, due just to one person, so this is just me giving some credit where it’s due!!

  • @Aleah – well maybe I will! I’ll track down your new location right now!!!

  • Wow, these are really comprehensive lessons learned. You could write an ebook from these! I myself am guilty of neglecting my followers, but I plan to be better 🙂 I just moved from Blogger to WordPress too so it has been a really tough time for my blog. Hope you’ll continue to visit every now and then! 🙂

  • @Jayne – STOP, I’m blushing!

  • Thanks for the lovely comments, Red!
    But, seriously, you write fantastically well, anyone would find your blog a great read and resource 🙂
    Congrats on your 1st blogiversary and here’s to many more!!!
    Cheers! xxx

  • @Toni – oh, come on! Surely you could spring for a frame?!?!?! Look forward to many more visits!!
    @Glen – thanx so much! It’s amazing how many blogs that started around the same time are no longer posting regularly! Persistence pays off!
    @Windsmoke – here’s hoping! Thanx for your kind words!!
    @Draft Queen – Thanx for taking the time to visit and comment!
    @Andrew – It’s NEVER gauche to comment!! Not when it’s to ME, anyway!! And – good strategy to wait for the backlinks cos I don’t link back to the mediocre posts …
    @LV – Likewise, my friend! Have a great weekend!!
    @Manzanita – Hey! Maybe I can show your comment to the OZ Tourism Commission and they can sponsor me!!! Look forward to making you speechless again sometime!
    @Jim – Thanx, and the FB thing is on the Year #2 AND world domination lists … LOVE the thought that bloggers are so keen to strive for excellence they’re self educating! This medium is more than meets the eye.
    @River – yes I did, and you deserve it! Plenty more inspiration to come in Year #2!
    @Cathy – thanx so much – I’m honoured! Hope to have more of a hand in your future travel plans this year!
    @Katie – yeah baby, showing the wonders of OZ is what I live for!! And world domination? Let’s see how close I get in Year #2!
    @Mary – it’s my pleasure! And that includes being ‘stuck’ with you!
    @Mags118 – Welcome!! And thanx so much – hope you enjoy being on the road as much as I do!!

  • Hi,
    Yes congrats, I really am a newbie to blogger, decided to join everyone over here and have a look around.
    Went through your blog and found it fascinating, I’m a fellow Aussie and certainly hope to travel around OZ and join the Nomads one day. It will be fun to read about your adventures.

  • Congratulations, on your anniversary. It really is a milestone. It was nice to be included in your comments on this special day. I can only speak for myself, but you, my dear, are stuck with me. I love the unique nature of your blog and find my visits here most enjoyable. I plan to keep coming back. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • What a nice way to mark your first year of blogging.
    I personally love your blog because I don’t know much about the world outside of the U.S. (I know, shocker, right?)
    You teach me all kinds of interesting things about Australia and I love it.
    xx
    ps. Good luck on the world domination thing. It’s a big job but someone has to do it!

  • Congratulations, Oz, on your first bloggie birthday! I always enjoy coming to visit and have learned enough about Australia from you to know that I definitely want to visit some day so I can see for myself the strange and wonderful places you write about.

    Thank you so much for your very kind comments about my blog. Making friends around the globe is one of the joys of blogging.

  • Wow! You mentioned me! I’m so surprised and thank you for that. Happy Birthday too. I enjoy coming here and seeing parts of my country that I’ve never seen or never even heard of.
    Like you, I love having new people drop in, it gives me new blogs to check out.

  • PS get a Facebook page up. You’ll gain heaps more readers as we can start promoting each other. I belong to several FB groups I can intro you to, and your other readers.

  • Wow RedNomad oz, what a mention! Well, like you, I discovered blogging early last year. So I guess we’re growing up in this field together.
    How come so many people have suddenlty grabbed hold of this media with passion?
    I was reading a report the other day, and they couldn’t believe how so many adults have started blogging. But not only that, it means that to be able to do so effectively, so many adults are signing on for writing /literary online courses to improve their English skills.
    Now I find that amazing also. That here we have so many voluntarily trying to improve their communication skills… without going to school or night classes or uni.
    Just to want to be part of this blogging field, and to be recognised as a good blogger is impetus enough to get so many of us back into learning.
    School curiculum planners plesae take note.
    Hey I always enjoy reading your site. I see you’re over at TBX so ‘friend’ me.
    Cheers for another great year.

  • Congratulations on your One Year Birthday. I’m so glad I found you. Your writing deserves applause and you’re like a one-woman Chamber of Commerce. Having always had a yen to visit Australia, you give me the vicarious opportunity.

    Like Toni, I was reading along and suddenly my blog name popped up. I am honored and I thank you. WOW, I’m speechless and that’s something that doesn’t happen often. Ha

    I’m going to pay a visit to the other blogs you mentioned. Thank you again.
    Love and peace

  • I am glad to have shared in your blog world. I always enjoy your post and words. I visit One Perfect Bite just to see what she is having for the day. I do not cook much anymore, but I do enjoy seeing what she is making.

  • Is it gauche to reply to a mention? Actually I am very interested in Australian countryside. I’ve seen a bit and plan to see a lot more. The skill of a broadcaster can often be judged by if they take a boring subject that you aren’t interested in and can make it interesting by the way they present it. Same goes for writing, not that Australia is boring, but I mean you present it well. Of course after a time you cross a certain point, and like you wouldn’t not answer your phone to a friend, nor would you not read what someone you kind of know writes. I wish I could start at the beginning of your blog and read through it, but I don’t have the stamina, so keep backlinks to old posts coming. I do read those.

  • Happy Blogoversary!

  • Happy blogoversary to you, year 2 should be even better :-).

  • congratulations you – passing the year mark is a huge bridge to cross.

  • I was happily reading along, agreeing with your lessons, and your bloggy list (many of which I read too), when I saw Lesson NINE and my mouth dropped open and my eyes nearly fell out of my head.
    I’m so going to print that out and Blu-Tack it to my wall; it has to be flat-out one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me.

    Congratulations on your blogoversary as well. This is a great spot to drop into; it feels friendly and fun, with that little element of adventure. You have a good style and I always enjoy looking at your pictures, even though I don’t always comment.
    Looking forward to the next year of travels.

  • @Talia – Thanx so much, I’m glad you’re enjoying it! Come down and visit OZ sometime …

  • Life according to Talia

    I haven’t been with you all along, I’m a newbie. But I do enjoy your posts about Australia, I’m in the US. Congrats on the b-day & here’s to another awesome year! WooHoo!

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