Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Teach Me Tuesday: Blogging?

If you're an equestrian blogger, the odds are you aren't rolling in the sweet, sweet cash that your hobby-turned-profession dumped in your lap. You aren't famous, you don't have a reality tv gig lined up, and aside from the people you already knew, basically no one knows who you are. Or cares. (At least, that's my experience. Ymmv.)

But still. Having a blog is kind of cool and it a little bit changes the way you interact with the equestrian world. I mean, if I didn't need blog content in December, there's no way I would have been shooting pictures of a how-to on wrapping liners for the blog when it was 9f.

I tend not to tell people I have a blog. I do have a blog facebook page because it's supposed to be a traffic driver (or at least, it is if you remember to update it). Once or twice a year, I write a post that I feel so strongly about that I will also share it through my personal facebook page. My personal friends all know about the blog, but I hardly go around introducing myself as a blogger.

And regularly, I'm surprised when people (who I know peripherally) come up to me and are like "hey loved your post on XYZ". To me, it makes sense that all y'all internet folks read blogs, but it's a little strange that real, actual people do too. I mean, it's not like strangers are recognizing me and I'm turning down endorsements over here or something, but the fact that anyone takes the time out of their day to read what I have to say is humbling. It's not like I'm a really cool person or something, you know?
pictured: much cooler person. my horse.
So how do you handle that in day-to-day life? Do your barn friends read your blog? Do you link to it on your personal facebook? Do you hide it and pretend you're totally normal? Do you expect people to read it and have conversations with you about it?


46 comments:

  1. Only one of my friends knows about my blog. I just don't talk about. I'm not hiding it, I just don't bring it up in conversation often, if ever.

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  2. This is still a phenomena I'm getting used to. Still totally surprised when someone in RL says they read my blog, and still amazed when interwebs people read my blog. The whole thing kind of blows me away, truthfully.

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  3. I think I might hide it and pretend I'm normal. Seriously though, totally jealous of those handy dandy mom types that can retire their husbands with their magical blog incomes, how is that even possible!? Personally I think my pony adventures are way more interesting than homemade laundry soap.

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    1. Or those fashion bloggers with photographer boyfriends who make bank. How ... ???

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  4. Oh lord this is going to show how weird I am. I didn't say anything when I started my blog because I figured no one would be interested in it. Then once I realized a few people actually ended up liking it I felt weird being like oh yeah by the way I've been blogging for a year and never said anything. So I have not said anything to anyone and no one has said anything to me about it. I don't scream this is my name and location but I also don't make an effort to hide it. I guess the bottom line is I don't deny but I also don't advertise it.

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  5. Like a lot of other people, I don't go out of my way to proclaim that I'm a blogger, but I DO share posts on my personal FB page. Most of my family and friends read it, and oftentimes are more excited to tell people than I am! I won't usually mention it when I meet people, but I have a couple friends who will gush, "AND she has a BLOG and it's GREAT!!!" so that's kind of funny. I don't self-promote, but am happy to talk about the blog with people IRL if it comes up. I do have a couple PONY'TUDE-branded items that I got just for fun (t-shirt, saddle pad, etc.) so if people ask about that I tell them about the blog. I just kind of let it have its own life and don't really do much to nurture publicity. I would, however, love to make millions writing funny posts about my pony. How do people even do that?!

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    1. I kind of want sprinklerbandits gear, but I have the foggiest notion why or what I'd do with it.

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  6. My blog started out as (and still is) an online diary of my life with my horse. I used to advertise it on FB but stopped when unsavory people started commenting about it. Now I only ever mention it in passing from time to time if it somehow comes up in conversation. I make no point to advertise it either as I don't ever intend for it to become a point of revenue for me.

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    1. Same. I've looked into monetization options and they don't appeal to me.

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  7. I'm like you -- I don't advertise that I blog, but I don't hide it either. It's pretty cool to learn that real life people read my blogs!

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  8. I also don't advertise that I blog and find it crazy when someone comes up to me and says something about how they read my blog. Haha.

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  9. yea i pretty much don't tell anyone that i have a blog. one of my barn mates discovered it and shared the news tho so now the barn rats follow along and read. i don't really tell my trainers either... except now some of them know too bc of the grapevine. it's kinda odd, honestly. on the one hand, i LOVE my blog and all the opportunities it's created for getting to know and interact with like minded folks across the country (seriously, LOVE). on the other, tho, i tend to be a somewhat private person. it's kinda a strange dichotomy lol.

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  10. I hide it and pretend I'm normal! My family knows about it and every now and then my mom tries to read it but I know that it's really not that interesting to her. I'm okay with that because I post pictures of her on my horse that she'd probably not be pleased with.

    My best friend sort of knows (I've mentioned it in passing) but doesn't seem interested. I'm totally fine with that. I don't go out of my way to hide it (like if someone posts on facebook about blog stuff or mentions on instagram that they're behind on my blog) but I also certainly don't advertise it.

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  11. I hide it, but at the same time if someone asks me if I have a blog, I say yes. I typically try to keep to myself about my blog because initially it began as a personal thing - when my one lease horse passed away I lost all of the pictures and videos I had of him when my computer fried... I didn't want to lose anything of Suzie or any of the memories of her, so I started the blog. And it's kind of exploded from there...

    I have a few friends who know about the blog and it's content, but only really one person who is a friend who reads it sporadically.

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  12. I started it as a training journal. I do share the latest post on my FB page. I am always surprised when people say they read and like it. Even more so when it's my non-horse friends. I did have an experience of a blog post going 'viral' and I don't recommend it.

    The other is that having the blog led to a writing gig for a local Horse magazine which is kinda cool.

    My mother used to love my blog. She knew almost nothing about horses and she loved the stories I told of life on the farm. I think knowing that kept me going.

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  13. I used to hide it, but have gotten less obscure about the whole thing. I felt really weird posting photos and videos of barn life without those people really knowing what I was doing. So, now I've kind of outted myself to a few people. I don't introduce myself with it, but if someone gets to know me, I'll drop that bomb on them. Sure.

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  14. Pretty much everyone knows about my blog at this point. The only time I forget and am surprised by that is when I write a pretty down in the dumps post about Tim/whatever, and get lots of lunch invites from friends hahaha.

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  15. Other than my husband, no one in my real life knows I have a blog.

    When I started my blog, I didn't really have a community of horse people that I could relate to. Most of the people I rode with were younger and had different struggles.

    Now I do have more of a riding community in my real life but I do like to keep some of my struggles private, and my blog gives me a place to share some of that.

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    1. I started mine so I could talk to someone about ammy life and having a horse without driving hubs crazy. I now have real life horse friends and even blogger life horse friends, but blogs are a good touch point to stay in contact.

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  16. I don't hide mine and a few people that I didn't expect figured it out early on so I told my trainer since she figures into many of the posts and she invited me to share posts on the barn's facebook page, so ... that. I don't know what people look at and what they ignore, but it's been fun to see it evolve over time and it has been a good way to meet like-minded horse people. And a good excuse to buy stuff so I have review content because I'm into that kind of thing.

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  17. Pretty much everyone knows about mine too. I don't walk around blabbing out it (unless I feel its worth mentioning) but I definitely don't make any effort toward privacy. It never ceases to amaze me how many people actually read my crap!

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  18. I don't share my blog at all. My best friend somehow randomly found it and I told my boyfriend but that's about it. I guess I don't think that my writing's good enough/interesting to share? Plus sometimes I like complaining so being a little more private can be nice, lol.

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  19. I don't hide it in real life, but I don't introduce myself with it, either. Although I have been introduced BY other people who mention it (like Allie says), usually because they like that my animals are cute!

    Online, I tend to by more open about sharing it, and I'm starting to do this a little more in real life, just because I want to promote myself as an artist. But it's still a little weird.

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  20. I don't share my blog with people, especially barn and work people. I've only told close friends about it and also the handful of barn friends that became best friends.

    However, the blog has changed my entire life. There are events that have happened and places I have been to that wouldn't have ever occurred if it weren't for the blog. The majority of my bestest friends at this point in time, I met through the blog. Our lives would never have touched otherwise. This never ceases to astound me, that what started as a training log allowed me to meet so many awesome people that I never would have met without it. My husband jokes about the movie deal (a la Julie & Julia) but what I have gotten out of the blog is so much richer: friendships with some amazing human beings, and a sport that I might not have tried out as wholeheartedly as I have had it not been for some of those people.

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    1. I have met some really incredible people through blogging. Definitely the best part. :-)

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  21. I don't exactly hide my blog, but I also don't openly advertise it, and try to keep the google-able names and such to a minimum. I did advertise a horse care blog I started to keep a barn "friend" from calling me at 11 pm asking about blanket weights for a while, but that blog has sputtered out over time. Now, I write (boring) recaps and attempt to take pictures, but mostly, I enjoy reading others' blogs. Even the content some bloggers say is probably "boring" is great to me. The metaphors, exercises and thoughts give me things to work on, since I lack eyes on the ground and the funds to pay a trainer at the moment, and I love reading so many bloggers even if I rarely comment... it makes riding a lot less lonely, even though I tend to not have tons of barn friends or riding buddies.

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  22. I definitely don't bring it up, but that's mostly because I'm kind of an introvert and feel like telling people to read what I have to say sounds a bit too much like a not-so-humble brag, even though it probably isn't. I'm trying to be a little braver about that though, because I have yet to meet someone who said "Oh. You write a blog..."

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  23. I try to hide my blog from people at every barn I've been to. Whenever anyone has found it, it's resulted in drama no matter how much I try to point out that it's a blog about my horse and nothing else. Horse bitches are bitches. I hate them.

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  24. Husband and family knows, barn friends know, trainer knows, vet knows... even a few folks from work. I don't advertise but I don't keep it a secret either. If I take a lesson or a clinic I'm always up front and ask if I can post about it. No reason to hide it, you know?

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    1. Interesting. I've never asked anyone. Either I only mention them by a randomly chosen letter or they're so big name that I figure nothing I say will have any impact on them.

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  25. I attempt to hide my horse blog - I don't really like sharing the posts, although I do random updates on my personal Facebook because I do have a few friends that enjoy reading it, but I definitely don't make it public.
    I do have another blog, much more serious (about my faith and etc)that I do make very public because I actually *do* make money on it, haha.

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  26. Someone at a local horse show told me they read my blog and I was really weirded out. Strangers on the internet reading my blog? totally fine! People I know in real life? Very weird.

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    1. This happened to me at a clinic on sports psychology. I don't feel like I even look like I do in pictures, so I was super surprised when she recognized me.

      I asked my trainer if it was okay that I talk about her, and the assistant trainer and barn manager, but other than that didn't publicize anything. The only time I did was when I sent out an affiliates link to my barnmates to raise money for our nonprofit, and from that a few people started reading the blog. I never share my own blog posts, but sometimes other people will do it and that is always a little amusing.

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  27. When I originally started blogging I was kinda private about it but then I realized I was letting total strangers in so who cares.

    I definitely don't bring it up just to bring it up but most of the people in my life know about it. My barn people know but I'm pretty sure they don't read it since they have their own shit going on and see most of the stuff I write about first hand, my family knows but doesn't seem the have a lot of interest, and my horse friends know and probably occasionally read. Normally they know whatever I'm writing anyway as I use them as a sound board for ideas prior to posting.

    I have met some truly awesome sauce people through the blog and no matter what I'll always be grateful for that.

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  28. I keep mine private except for the internet. I don't mention non clinician trainer names and my barn doesn't even have a name so I don't need to hide that. I like meeting fellow bloggers, but I've yet to have a random person come up to me and recognize me from my blog (because my blog isn't that big and I haven't been at it very long).

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  29. I am a teacher and on occasion a student or parent mentioned that they found my blog. This usually triggered writer's block as I would keep imagining them reading my posts and it paralyzed me. Sometimes I wish that I had used an alias.

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  30. I don't hide it, but I don't advertise it either. My parents read it now (oh god) and love it (oh god?). My farrier found it recently and loves it and sings my praises, so yay? But still...part of me is really nervous about sharing it with general folks. If they find it, GREAT. But I'm not going out of my way to share by any means! I also have a hard time spitting out the words, "I am a blogger." I can write them forever, speak them though? Uh, what are words?

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  31. When I started my blog nobody read it or knew it even existed. Then one day, not too long after starting it, I wrote a blog post about volunteering at the World Equestrian Games and I posted it on my Facebook. After that I had a small following of my more horsey fb friends but I never actually posted another blog post on my Facebook. I did have the url listed in my profile as my website for a few years. I have a handful of local friends who read and my mom reads. I met CobJockey in person at the barn before I ever found her blog. I think she's one of the only local riders that knows about my blog. Interestingly enough, having my blog actually may have helped me get my current job. I work in somewhat of a marketing capacity and my boss mentioned to the HR person during my interview that "she even has a blog". Employers look at your facebook- and my boss saw the link to my blog in my "about" section. In this case, it kinda worked to my advantage although I was quick to stammer out that it was just a personal blog about horseback riding! soooo please don't think I have web dev skillz. haha

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  32. I never tell anyone I blog. I am not sure why, I guess I am just a little shy :) I did have a friend one time meet someone in a conference that knew my blog and said she was a fan of Bodhi. I felt kind of famous. :) Well Bodhi get's all the credit.

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  33. I started out super secret and private about it, but recently since I've been riding other people's horses I felt it was only fair to ask if I could mention their ponies.

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  34. I keep my blog pretty much on the DL. A couple people have found it by googling my horse's show name (his old leaser, his previous owner). One friend asked if I had a blog when she met a blogging friend of mine and I told her I did, but she didn't ask anymore information about it. I guess I'm shy or private about it.

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  35. I had no idea I was such an extrovert. Normally, I am a pretty private person, but EVERYONE knows about my blog. I went WAY public from the first day as my intent was to provide a forum for the riders in my city who wanted to know more about dressage, hence the web address: bakersfielddressage.com. Since my "message" has always been more about education than journaling (although I do a fair amount of that), people have spread the word for me, and I do share my blog posts daily on my personal Facebook page. Since I try to keep things educational, I also take a lot of pictures which means I do a lot of asking for permission before I share. Think vet, chiropractor, trainers, farrier, friends, etc.

    I get a fair amount of email messages from people around the world asking me questions and even sharing their particular stories with me. I LOVE those messages and have made some great friends.

    The problem with being so public is that I can't really grouse or complain about anyone as my purpose is to inform not vent. Occasionally, I want to unload, but I can't because someone I know personally might hear about it, and I am not into burning bridges.

    Truthfully, I had no idea all of these bloggers were so private about their blogs. I just assumed everyone was just as "out there" as I am. In fact, I get teased ALL THE TIME by people asking if this or that is making it into THE BLOG, as it is usually referred to. That doesn't mean what I write is great or read by that many people, but there's no secret that I write. In fact, I get asked now and then to promote various events or ideas, most of which I am happy to write about.

    Whew! Long answer. :0)

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    1. Ha! I've definitely had a few "oh is this going on the blog?" comments from people around me.

      I am very specific--my blog is about myself and my horse and that's it. I'm not going to whine about other boarders or trainers or spread dirt. If I mention someone, they're either a fellow blogger who got a heads up I'm talking about them or their name is anonymized so that it is not searchable. When I was in the horse world in a somewhat-professional capacity, I made sure my employer (who knew about my blog) understood that. I didn't need people thinking I was shit talking clients online or anything.

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  36. I blog mostly for myself, to keep track of how far I've come, challenges or techniques that worked or no.. and getting comments/feedback/suggestions/advice from readers in the blogosphere is just icing on the cake :D

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  37. For the most part I hide it from my real life people. Recently I let my friend/coach in on my secret and she asked for the info so she could follow. I find myself writing slightly different now or maybe not so much different but writing with the thought in the back of my head what would the people that know me think. It changes things slightly for me. I'm not sure why. I've always known that anyone could find it and anytime. It's stupid but every time I see a view from Canada I wonder if it's someone I know.

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    1. It probably is. All Canadians know each other.

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