Like a snowball that picks up more snow as it rolls downhill, a blog hop (#Bloghop) is an online phenomenon where a blogger writes about the creative process behind their blog, and nominates three others to share their experiences and nominate others.
I got blog hopped by my good friend, savvy digital expert and blogger extraordinaire, Christine Pantazis. She got blog hopped by another amazing blogger (who’s delving into the world of Dad blogging), Casey Palmer.
And so, I am now fulfilling my duty and sharing my creative insights with you and passing the mission on to three bloggers: Chanry Thach of The Hungry Gnome; Gayle Labuz of Sometimes Eventful and Davindra Ramnarine of Goat Roti Chronicles.
But before we get to their details, here are my answers on blogging and my writing process:
1) What am I working on/writing?
I’m working on several posts in draft: a few covering the social media marketing course I’m currently taking and a book review I need to do for it; one about a recent spring visit to Starkey Hill near Guelph, Ontario and another one about a recent visit to the Peterborough area. I have a few “in the hopper” that are yet to be completed and edited. They need photos to go with them so that they are visually appealing. Since I usually use photos I’ve taken myself, it’s sometimes a long time from initial writing to posting.
2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
My blog is not necessarily a travel blog or an outdoor activity blog, although I do write quite a bit on these subjects. I write on several topics – from camping to social media. It’s truly a personal blog where I get to share my knowledge, thoughts and experiences to readers who enjoy reading a range of lifestyle stories. This blog is a creative outlet for me when I’m not writing pitches or news releases, fact sheets and other client-related communications materials at work. Since this blog is a personal blog, it differs from others simply by my unique opinion on matters of interest.
For the travel and outdoor stories, I try to keep the posts to my personal experiences, rather than content provided by PR/marketing people. This is what makes it different from others in it’s genre.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Writing is a form of cathartic release for me. Since much of my content is a result of activities shared with my husband, such as hiking or day trips, we talk about our experiences first. But I also want to share some of them with my friends and others with similar interests and questions. Perhaps I will inform them about something they never knew before – such as a great spot for a hike. Or I might inspire them to take a day trip to Tobermory. This is why I write.
4) How does my writing process work?
I start with an idea – sometimes it comes to me quickly, such as an immediate reaction to a place visited that I must share with my readers. Or it comes slowly, from an initial thought that I mull over for several days and talk through with my husband, Frank. I write down notes on post-its and place them in my bag if I’m away from home. By my bedside I have a notebook full of post ideas as well.
My next step is to begin writing. I write exactly what I think and what comes to mind on the subject at hand. If my post is full of images and has a certain flow to it I will organize my post in a certain way. For example, a road trip will have me writing through the experiences from the start to finish consecutively, paired with photos to bring it to life visually.
I usually step away from my posts for at least a day and re-read them with a fresh pair of eyes. I will also read them aloud to Frank, catching any phrases that seem odd, or grammar and spelling errors. Editing is key. I’ve sometimes scrapped a post because I hated how my writing was turning out.
Once the final edit is done, I check to ensure I’m SEO friendly and have the right images, categories and tags inserted and included. Then I press Publish.
The Gal Who Blog Hopped Me
Christine Pantazis of ChristinePantazis.com
Christine Pantazis is a Freelance Digital Strategist, blogger and Toronto Dweller! She’s Rescue Dog Owner (Sumo the bulldog and yes, he has a twitter account!), she’s a lover of all things social, including media. Christine considers herself an LOL’er and Motorcycle Crazed Nerd. Some of her other endeavours include #BrunchBabes Founder, #Rbchat co-host and a @RedCrossCanada Digital Ambassador & Volunteer.
The Next Batch
I’m passing on the Blog Hop challenge to these fine bloggers. They have to answer the same four questions I responded to above. Check out their sites!
” Just a girl standing in front of her fridge asking “What’s for dinner?”
Chanry likes to take pictures of her food, write about it, eat it, and then talk about it. She usually do all of those activities over at www.theHungryGnome.net and she tends to also do these things in the Greater Hamilton/Toronto Area.
Gayle is an avid outdoor blogger who shares her passion for hiking, camping and geocaching with her family. When she is not at work, as a Trade Show Planning and Marketing Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, she’s blogging at Sometimes Eventful, where she shares inspiring stories that encourage others to get outdoors and explore the world around them.
Davindra’s true passion lies in the food industry. He recently started his blog, Goat Roti Chronicles, to showcase the people behind the food that we eat. His blog posts are written not to review the food served in and around Toronto, but instead for readers to learn a little bit about the chefs preparing their meal – from their roots and their training to what inspires them to create their dishes.
When he is not writing about people and food, he is an I.T. professional.
How do you approach blogging and writing? Have you ever participated in a blog hop? Tell me all about it!