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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recognizing Bloggable Moments

One of the biggest obstacles new bloggers face is what to write about. My tip: Try to look at the world differently. Pretend you have super-hero blogging glasses that allow you to see your world in a new way. The glasses will give you the power to see what is interesting, entertaining, humorous, educational and inspiring. Then you write about them. If need be, find a way to make the story relevant to what you do. Believe me, there's always a way.

What I want you to be able to do is to see what I call "bloggable moments." Learning to recognize them is part of what has made blogging so easy for me. There's always something interesting to write about if I just look around.

Some moments are easy to recognize as being blog worthy, like the time I walked the EdgeWalk to conquer my fear of heights at Toronto's CN Tower.

Others are more subtle. In my head I'm always asking myself "Would my blog readers enjoy learning about this or hearing a story about this just for fun?" everywhere I go. So, being a blogger is a bit like being a roving reporter who also takes pictures.

For instance you may recall the time I mistakenly went to my friend Elley's photography show on the wrong day. Make that a full week early. Instead of just feeling stupid and going home I decided to stay and take some photos because the Allied Arts Guild has several beautiful garden areas. As I wandered the property I spotted The Blue Garden and noticed the hydrangea's were in bloom. For me, taking photographs is an integral part of my blogging so when I see an opportunity to capture a great photo, the camera comes out of my purse and I get to work.

To be honest it looked pretty from a distance but not something I would necessarily deem as blog worthy.

But stepping off the main path and moving closer to the plants I could feel a post coming on.

There it is. The blog worthy picture I saw in my head when I first saw the plants from afar. If I still worked actively in the wedding industry this could be a great post to suggest a "Something Blue" idea using hydrangeas for a wedding.

Other times things just happen right in front of you.

One day I was driving through a shopping mall that was expanding into an area where mature oak trees were growing. Rather than kill the trees a decision had been made to move them. I will forever regret not having my point and shoot out of my purse and at the ready. When I looked to my right I saw a fully grown oak tree, probably 50 feet high, being lifted by a giant crane 30 feet above the ground to be moved across the lot and onto the back end of a waiting flatbed truck. Doh! I missed it.

This was all I was able to capture. Which is still pretty unusual but not nearly as dramatic.

Perhaps the person I am most envious of for a missed blogging opportunity is my friend Beverly who was stranded in a hotel elevator up in San Francisco a few years ago. After waiting a long time the repair crew had to open the escape hatch at the top of the elevator car, reach down, and pulled her up and out through the trap door. That would have been an awesome post. Me, taking pictures of the inside of the elevator from every angle, followed by a shot of my rescuers opening the overhead hatch, followed by me handing them my camera so they could take a picture of me beneath them before lifting me out. LOL

But it doesn't have to be that extreme. If you simply look at blogging from the point of view "Is this something I can share with my readers to help them learn how to do something new or to make them laugh" then you have something to write about. Even something as humble as a banana slug can make a good post if you take a picture and tell a story. I did an entire photo journal of my day but I also know a single picture of one of the slugs would also be blog worthy simply because most areas of the country don't have them. And they're pretty amazing to look at!

There are lots of things you see and lots of things that happen to you each and every day that are interesting.

For instance my A Caketastrophe at Patisserie Philippe, San Francisco, CA was an impromptu entertaining bloggable moment that happened when I was having lunch with a friend.

The day I cut my hair post was meant to inspire others if they'd been thinking of donating their cut hair to a worthy cause. Again, I could have tied this into a wedding tip because so many brides cut their hair after their big day. They wanted long hair for their wedding up do but they're ready to let it go after.

When my backyard water lily bloomed I thought to myself it would be a great picture to save and post on a cold and dreary day to bring my readers a bit of visual warmth and serenity.

And the time I squished a banana up the side ports of my laptop was a teachable moment about how not to squish banana up your computer ports and how to remove it once it's happened.

Recently just walking through a shopping center prompted this post about what to do with used wine corks. . .

I could have easily walked past the cardboard bins, but I noticed them and when I peered inside I saw this amazing photo opportunity! A little online research and I had a great blog post that took me from San Francisco's Ferry Building all the way to the Mediterranean where 200 year old cork trees grow!

I guess for me it helps that I'm naturally curious so doing a bit of research to turn my posts into stories is something I enjoy so it doesn't ever feel like work.

I just thought of one more bonus, I bet I'd be a better trivial pursuit player now because I know so many more random facts than before I started blogging! That is if anyone still plays Trivial Pursuit.

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