Monday, September 22, 2008

am i an "experienced" blogger??

when i started blogging earlier this year, i had absolutely no idea what i was doing. i knew i wanted to write about my post corporate life, but website design, hosting, html code etc were foreign concepts...i am by no means a "techie". i did a bit of research and found out there were a number of blog hosting companies that allowed a sort of "plug and play" concept. i actually launched the blog in an afternoon..

i wrote my first story..an overview of my life and reason for the blog...and really thought it would just be read by family and close friends..i was shocked when i started getting comments from complete strangers. the first few comments were terrific..warm, friendly and complimentary... i also received a number of direct emails asking for additional details about my life, my experiences and especially questions about living in the napa valley. i kept writing and found i really enjoyed telling stories..and emphasizing the important things in my life..family, friends, "giving back", cooking, gardening and my journey with starting a small business. i also write about my dog, mose, and he is by far the most popular subject..people all over the world comment or email me about my golden retriever..the happiest dog that ever lived...

i began to research everything possible about blogging..how to promote, market, link, and share my blog. i discovered a ton of helpful sites that provided tips, help and advice. i began to explore social networking sites in earnest..and have met many fellow bloggers.. the professional ones who do this for a living..and, without fail, have found this community to be selfless in their willingness to teach a "newbie" the ropes. i learned a lot..but spent a ton of time with my research. throughout my learning process i kept wishing there was someone or someplace that i could get tips, advice, feedback and be able to ask questions..a one stop resource..it would have made the first 6 months of blogging so much easier.

my twitter friend kristen at dine & dish has started a terrific program to help new bloggers..i so wish i knew her when i started...she matches up experienced bloggers with people just starting out so that they have a mentor to coach them during their first three months. kristen asked a bunch of us if we would be willing to help. i laughingly volunteered..would not consider myself "experienced"..but kristen took me seriously and paired me up with a very nice person named sarah. she just started blogging..her site is sarah's sweet somethings..and i have the pleasure of acting as her mentor...but i think true mentorship is a two way benefit..i suspect i will learn as much from sarah as she will from me..i envision this exercise as being more about brainstorming sessions than anything else...having someone who will listen to your ideas and goals..and then asking the proper questions so you can figure out the answer yourself...

so here goes...a three month mentorship. i am really looking forward to this..and i will post updates to my blog regarding what we learn. i would love to have all of you help us out...if you have a blog now, please share any learnings, tips or experiences you have had...if you don't currently blog..but have always wanted to..what questions would you like answered to help you get started? please share your thoughts, ideas, suggestions or feedback in the comments section of this post...and thanks in advance for helping us out.

best,
diane
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style"™

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5 comments:

Kristen said...

I truly appreciate you volunteering! You two will be a great pair, I'm sure :)

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks kristin..i am really looking forward to this project..

casalba said...

I too started earlier this year. Getting photos in the right place was my biggest problem.

Agree with you, blog folk are really helpful and I've 'met' some lovely people.

casalba said...

Just remembered where I found the inspiration for Peach Mostarda. It's from Judith in Umbria's blog 'Think On It'. She's a professional chef - much better recipe than I could ever give you.
Best wishes, Sally

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks sally for the comments and the peach mostarda info...i will check it out..and try it with some of my pears..
best,
diane