Saturday, 1 June 2013

Armchair BEA - Keeping it Real

Design credit: 
Sarah of Puss Reboots
What an interesting topic and discussion point for the Armchair BEA. To me blogging is about sharing my thoughts, observation  and facts about my obsessions and interests. The feature for my blog - Anglers Rest is primarily genealogy and books.

Firstly, the name of my blog comes from the name of our house, which got it's name because my husband loves to fish and all things associated with fishing, in much the same way as I love all things historical and bookish.

My blog tells you a little about me and what is talked about on the blog. I take part in events such as the Armchair BEA, or Family History Writing Month and share the link of my contribution on the central page and if my blog looks appealing to others they "follow" me in whatever options that are suitable. I of course do likewise.

  • It is important to offer a variety of ways for others to follow you
  • It is important to participate in weekly or monthly thread they are around the blogging world on a variety of subjects - whatever suits you
  • It is important to respond to comments left for you and to leave comments for others - Interaction
  • Collaboration is a real buzz word at the moment - this is the bringing about of different people to contribute to a common project. As I contribute to Historical Tapestry for example
Regular posting - I typically post every day, sometimes twice a day if there is a theme that I am linking into. On some days I do not post, but a week rarely goes by when I do not post. That has not always been the case. This blog first started in 2002 and I was fairly active. Then my day job got in the way and I became a victim of the work / life balance. I got that under control and once again I am blogging frequently and probably more frequently than before, because I am happy and content.

A blog is like my virtual sitting room. It is MY place where I get to share my obsessions and ramblings. My blog reader numbers have grown and I am very grateful that people think my writing is of interest to read. It is about people caring about others, who in reality you have never met. Whilst blogging can be an insular activity there is something about sharing your thoughts and opinions with a group of strangers that are simply "out there" The internet has revolutionised the way we can interact with others and yet do it in a safe and controlled environment. 

In order to keep it real I share bits of my life, but I share the bits that I would tell you if we met in a library or bus stop. The internet archives everything, so share what you are comfortable sharing. This is the personal aspect - it brings with it a degree of familiarity & comfortableness and is something that people can identify with.

I like my blog. There I have said it! I am fussy and gradually as I gained experience I added a background that I liked from The blog looks fresh I hope and cheerful. Blogs that have black backgrounds look dreary to me, they may not be, but I probably won't stay around to look. I also have a search box and utilise the label feature, although to be fair my labels need to be tied up a bit, which I will do over the coming weeks. Really a blog and website should have a trim, just as my hair does every 4-6 weeks!

I also have a web page, which has been provided by my ISP for over 10 years. With a pending house move I might change ISP's therefore I decided to look for an alternative site. I discovered through a fellow genealogist and over the course of the last month I have been moving my pages, giving them a spring clean and tidy.

A blog is a conversation between you and your readers. If you keep it active and interesting within the remit of what you say you are going to talk about and participate then you will gather followers and make friends. Blogging is a two way street. There are many, many wonderful blogs out there and I follow a fair few of them. I do not always post timely responses, but I do respond and read. 

If I am going to have a break or not be posting much I share a post, that way readers know you are coming back, I tend to schedule posts, so that the wheels still turn whilst I am engrossed in other things.

As far as the Armchair BEA is concerned, I have really enjoyed this year and I shall share my reflections in the wrap up post tomorrow. I am still reading and commenting and will be for at least another week.


  1. I just didn't have much time for Armchair BEA this week, but I've tried to visit as many blogs as I could. I love your quilt background! Scheduling posts is something I really need to start doing; I never seem to be able to build up a reservoir of posts that are ready to go!

  2. I never thought of a solid background as being boring. I have mine solid brown to keep the focus on the blog. I do lots of photos though, so I hope that attracts people's interest.

    Your quilt background is nice. It reminds me of quilts my grandmother made.

    1. I don't ever find your blog dreary or boring Kristin.

      I have come across 17 blogs in the last week, all with black backgrounds. It was just too much and looked very dreary. There perhaps need to be a break of colour with the black? I did stay and look around and now follow several of those blogs, the content was not dreary or boring!

      I guess a blog is a bit like a shop window, it has to appeal to people otherwise no one will venture pass the window!

  3. You're the first person that said offering multiple ways for people to follow you that I've seen. That's definitely important.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know


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