What I have learned from writing a blog.

Anyone can write a blog.  Word Press and other platforms make it easy for one to put out thoughts and musings about a myriad of subjects that may or may not interest the general public.  It all started for me in January of 2013 when I was repeating one of my inane stories from the past to my wife, Janet.  She was laughing and suggested that I start writing these stories down for posterity and to perhaps start a blog.  I thought about it, looked up Word Press on the Internet, and began a journalistic adventure that has continued for 167 posts to date.  Most of my drivel is about outdoor adventures and experiences that have been humorous as well as telling about how I view the world.  My friend Eric from Nevada said to me when I started, that unless I have climbed Everest, saved sherpas and climbers from imminent death with my heroics, no one will really care about my blog except my friends who know me.  In fact many of my friends laugh and say that they can hear me telling the stories by the way that I write.  It is almost as if I am talking when they read the posts.  photo

So here are some conclusions for you to review along with some suggestions for those who might consider writing a blog:

  • Anyone can write a blog.  Millions of people do and most people will not be published in a magazine so this is the only way of scratching the writing itch.
  • Don’t expect to get rich.  It takes thousands of hits on the blog to get advertisers interested.  I currently have 567 followers -some faithful, some not, but it keeps growing incrementally and that is fine with me.  I am happy that some people find my writing entertaining and informative.
  • Keep it specific to a genre.  I chose to write about outdoor adventures with a touch of humor.  I am not an international outdoor adventurer sponsored by magazines or equipment manufacturers.  I am just Joe Blow who has had some funny times riding a bike, skiing, and running trails. images (3)
  • You have to be a shameless promoter.  At the risk of being obnoxious, I have told people about my blog and asked them to be a follower.  I have had business cards made, bumper stickers made( many of which have been plastered at ski areas all over the country).  My wife Janet keeps me in line if I get out of control promoting.  I just like to write and it is fun to see the blog grow.
  • Pay the hundred bucks to get the premium service from the platform provider.  You can put a lot of pictures and video with the space that Word Press allows and they give you excellent support.
  • You have to be creative and selective with “tags”.  If used properly, they can attract traffic to your blog.  Tags like “cycling” , ” skiing” , “humor”, etc.  IMG00375-20110730-0915
  • As the blog has grown, it is amazing to see where the hits come from.  All over the world!  Most of the followers now are people whom I have never met.  Other bloggers, curiosity seekers who are interested in outdoor subjects, people trying to sell me on marketing my blog, Facebook followers who are friends of friends.
  • Facebook was instrumental in growing the blog.  But as it has expanded, the Word Press followers have eclipsed the Facebook followers.  It is easy on my blog- just hit the button to the left and be a follower.  You will get an automatic email when I get creative- which is usually once per week.  See- promoting again!!
  • The posts are archived monthly and as I review them, I think my writing style has improved from the early posts.  I have learned what people like to read and what bombs as a post.  This post will most likely bomb but I had to do it as a review of where I have been and where I want to go with this.
  • Re-blogs are good to do because a lot of folks will not read the archives( frankly they don’t have time).  But the occasional re-blog will be timely and give me a chance to recharge the memory banks.  IMGP0205
  • Personal stories and posts that expose feelings and stations in life can be interesting to some folks who are going through the same thing or thinking the same thoughts.  I try not to get too serious but sometimes events inspire me to drop my drawers and expose my feelings for all to see.  Sometimes I moon people, sometimes I expose my heart.
  • I write a lot of this to document my life for my son.  He doesn’t read it.  But maybe someday he will.  Nothing malicious on his part.  He is just not interested.  And……………….that’s ok.  photo
  • As I go forward, I am running out of material.  My experiences and memory are waning.  But I will continue to write about things that strike me as I continue what has been a very active and fun outdoor life. I will keep it humorous, somewhat educational, and easy to read in a couple of minutes because that is all the time people have time to give my blog.  photo
  • I follow other people’s blogs to get ideas and to fan the flames of the kindred spirit.  They follow mine as well and I have amassed some very fun blogging friends from all over the world.  The Ouachita Shutterbug is a fun photo and musings blog.  Single-Tracked Mind is another and we have threatened to do guest blog posts for each other.  “To the nth degree ” is another one focused on outdoor life in Pennsylvania.  Helena is a mountain biker and kayaker.           My friends keep me grounded.  So far, I have not” jumped the shark” and when I do, enough will be enough.  But the challenge will  continue to write inspiring, “if I can do it, you can do it” posts as well as funny stories from the past.  Good photos will be included to round out the stories and if you have the chance to comment, please do so on Word Press or Facebook.  If you wish to contact me, my email is on the cover page.  Thanks for reading and I hope that I have not been too obnoxious or boring.  Hopefully my self deprecation will make you laugh and be inspired.

17 thoughts on “What I have learned from writing a blog.

  1. Richard Nicolette says:

    I have enjoyed, laughed, teared up with your blogs, Patrick, and remember how we were in Pittsburgh growing up. What a good life we have had so far. You are my oldest friend and I miss you, dude.Your stories are a salute to life and adventure. What else can or will we do? Be happy, don’t worry, and keep on keeping on……………………..:)

    • patmccloskey says:

      Thank you Richard. You are my oldest friend as well. I miss seeing your smiling face and hearing you laugh. We had a great childhood my friend. Good advice- keep on keepin on. Will do and the same to you. Regards to Linda

  2. oclv454 says:

    Nice read, Pat. I’ve enjoyed reading your writings, even the long, wordy, boring ones!! And yes, I thought no one (except a few die hard friends) would follow your blog. I was wrong….nearly 600 followers!!!!! Never imagined. Good job to stick with it. I can give you lots more stuff to write about……haven’t read about the hike up to Tuckermans at midnight when you had the Hershey Squirts, or the time we got drunk on Oozo and it snowed 6″ on our sleeping bags, or when you chugged Black Velvet from Bob Dean’s bottle in Bethel Vermont, or that time Helen got you up chair 23 at Mammoth, or the time you drove home home from the bicycle races in New Jersey without a window in your car cause some guy smashed it out to steal your radar detector, or when you got stuck on the top of the left Gully at Tuckermans and the blizzard was rolling in, or when we went to the races at Whiteface and you were supposed be the designated driver so I got shit-faced and when we got ready to drive home you could hardly walk, (thanks), and on and on. And so on. And all the times you have been there, as a friend, to most of us that read your blog. To that I say (we say, all of us say) “thank you”. You are a true friend and I am grateful to be one of them. Cheers!!!!! Eric ,

  3. patmccloskey says:

    AhhhJays!!! You are making me weepy. Just as an FYI, my very first post was that fateful climb up Tuckerman’s with the squirts. But all the others I have not touched upon. You have resurrected some memories that will have to be fashioned into something on here someday. I appreciate you reading. But more importantly, I really appreciate your unending and unconditional friendship. Now hit Mt. Rose hard for all of us tomorrow.

  4. Bill Day says:

    As I have told you often, I have loved the blog and can hear you telling each story. If anything, keep us up on your current adventures. As far as Jack goes, some day he will cherish these just not yet, that day will come!

  5. Hutch says:

    You blogs have provided me with much entertainment and have been very thought provoking Pat! I can hear your voice as i read them, they certainly reflect exactly who you are. How about that long post by Durf! You have even reached him too! Keep up the good work, and hope to see you sooner rather than later!

  6. I love this list. We really enjoy your blog!

  7. Pete Hilton says:

    Hey Pat – you say your running out of material but the great thing is certain followers such as myself can’t remember stuff anymore so you can repeat stories and we’ll never know – keep it going brother!!

  8. julianb333 says:

    This post is a huge inspiration to my teenage self and my own skiing blog that I have often lost interest in and am trying to keep up. I thank you for that.

    • patmccloskey says:

      You are welcome. I am glad that you read it and keep up the good work on yours. Don’t lose interest. If nothing else, it is a forum for your own thoughts which you can enjoy down the road and all of us can enjoy now.

  9. Jack Harnick says:

    …always enjoy reading your posts. Being an adult-child myself, having positive family influences and raising 2 teenage boys…I can certainly identify! Thank you for sharing!

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