Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blogs are Mini Online Magazines

By M. J. Joachim

It happens almost every year at this time. I start revamping my blogs and giving them a facelift. Usually inspired by the upcoming A – Z April Challenge, I hunker down and look for things to tweak, as well as a way to express my personal growth over the past year.

Last year at this time, I was all about being a professional blogger. My blogs represented my business and more reserved, serious side. Life kept happening all around me; the butterfly that emerged is more reflective this year, seeking only to publish my little online magazines, in hopes that many people find them informative, interesting and worth reading time and time again.

Yes, these five blogs I own are magazines to me. They have always been thought of as such, since blogs are defined as mini-websites. They are not personal diaries or a place to practice my writing. Each one has a specific focus, designed to reach its very own target audience.

Some of my magazines cater to unique niches, representing a specific aspect of my personality, creativity or belief system. I’m a writer, so naturally I have a writing blog (this one), where I share all sorts of things about writing, plus I write book and movie reviews, all of which get published here.

I also have a crochet blog. It’s amazing how many people crochet out there! Having a background in teaching, I enjoy sharing tutorials, as well as creating new patterns and designs. There isn’t a lot of chatter on this blog, as it’s meant to be a resource for crocheters and other people interested in yarn crafts.

My faith is very dear to me. I’m a Christian Catholic – seriously thinking about changing the name of my blog to something along these lines. I changed its title last year to Being Catholic. This was a spiritual growth spurt of mine. Prior to that it was called Catholic Catechism and More, or something like that. As I listen to the Lord speak to my heart, I realize that this blog needs to be more open to basic Christian beliefs. It needs to become a community, where people can develop and share their spirituality together, asking and answering questions along the way, and supporting each other on the journey.

FlashTyme is my flash fiction blog. I love this blog! It’s my place to tell stories and let my creative juices flow. There are no boundaries or rules here, other than the fact that it’s a place for short stories. Anything goes, whatever I can dream up and put into words is fair game here. My kids get a little weirded out by what I come up with sometimes, and so do I, if I’m being honest with you. But that’s why this blog is so much fun, because I can say anything and everything, as long as I do it in the form of a short story.

First and foremost, we’re all human and we’re all in this life together. Now I have no problem saving puppies, kittens and other animals. And as an avid gardener, I’m all for saving trees and being a friend to the universe. My only problem is that I want to help save the humans too. Aside from the fact that I’m one of them, I know how important it is to defend and help empower those who need our help. Human Rights is very important to me, which is why I started Effectively Human – a site dedicated to people without prejudice.

Over the course of the next few days and/or weeks, you’ll likely notice some ascetic changes to these blogs. I started the process last night, and won’t stop until I’m done. There are several things I’m looking at:

Does the background reflect my growth from the past year, and attitude going into the New Year?

Are my sites user-friendly?

Is it easy to follow me and find what you need?

Am I marketing myself effectively on my blogs? In other words, is my template easy to navigate, so you can find links to my other work that relates to the topic of them?

Is my color scheme easy on the eyes, or does it blind and scare you away? Is my type too small or fancy to read? Are my margins too narrow, making my formatting all wrong?

These and many other questions will be addressed in the revamping of my blogs in the coming days. For now, I leave you with this question,

If you can make your blog anything you want it to be, why not?

Thank you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. I hope you’ll take some time to check out my other blogs and see what you might be missing there. Either way, I’m so glad you stopped by, and look forward to seeing you again soon. In the meantime, I hope this post proves valuable to you.

M. J.

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Photo Credit: Cortega9, Blog Commentkkkkk, CCA – Share Alike 3.0; Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834 – 1890), Sermon on the Mount, PD-US; Nevit Dilmen, Unite to Save Humanity, GNU Free Documentation License; Martorell, Presa de decissions, GNU Free Documentation License