About Me

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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Top Ten Blogging Tips

When I started this blog I was a young mother stuck in a lonely cabin in the woods with not much to do but write about the natural world that quietly hummed all around me. I have been a writer all my life, but I started blogging without having a clue to what I was doing. I figured it would be a way to write and maybe get known as a writer. Later I discovered there might be ways to get paid or influence the world or sell my book when I finish it. Only just today have I learned how to really kick off my blog.

So for now I will suppress my exciting stories of turtle tracking, entomology, and primitive skills (I will post those soon so stay connected) to share with you some tips I learned about blogging this weekend. As many of you know I work at the Ozark Natural Science Center, and many of my blogs come from experiences there. This weekend I helped Bethany Stephens at ONSC host the Arkansas Women Blogger's Unplugged workshop. In turn for helping out I was able to drop in on some great classes and these are some of the highlights I learned. (I am not a professional at this, I am learning, so I am merely sharing what I learned. We will get back to nature writing shortly :-)

1.     Create Social Media Accounts

·       In this web driven world it is important to get yourself out there. So I developed a Twitter and Linkedin account to go along with my Facebook account. Then I made a Hootsuit account which helps me manage those three accounts.

2.     Keep your social media accounts current

·       Don’t hang out on twitter or facebook all day or people will think you’re a lazy yapper; nevertheless, it is important to keep a consistent stream. Also, you need to comment on other people’s tweets and posts.

3.     Titles are Important

·       A good title will catch people’s attention and they will go to your blog while a simply descriptive title is not so good. Also refer to the keywords in your title throughout your post.

4.     “Earn the right to whisper,” Bethany Stephens said.

·       You are shouting into a sea of noise on the internet with your blog. So earn respect and admiration instead of buying a megaphone. Be respectful and aware of everything you say, not only on your blog but also on social media.

5.     It is not all about you.

·       Even if you write a personal blog, it is important to bring in other people, mention other websites or blogs, and comment on others work. If you talk and focus only on yourself then people will walk away from all your ego boosting.

6.     Get to know your followers

·       In connection with number four, you need to follow those who follow you and comment on bloggers who comment on your blogs. Develop relationships in the blogging community both local and in your field of online work.

7.     Be consistent

·       Few people have time to write every day and that is fine; however, whatever frequency you choose, be consistent in it. Once a week is good. But try not to overload your blog with posts one week and then not update it for a month.

8.     Spelling and grammar counts

·       I am bad at this one, so call me out on it if you see it!

9.     How to blogs are popular.

·       Maybe this post will generate traffic J

10.  And lastly, asking questions at the end of a post often brings in comments.

·       So, what tips do you have for me? Are there ways I could improve this blog? (I am obviously working on all the tips I listed here, for I am guilty of most.) Can you think of ways I can get the word out? Is there something you would like me to write more/less about? Please comment!


  1. Well said, Roslyn! It was a treat to have you with us this past weekend, and all the attendees really loved interacting with you. It's so exciting when attendees at a non-traditional event like this get to spend time with our awesome team members - it makes a tremendous impact on their lives and their enthusiasm for the outdoors. Thanks for being you! Love watching your blog evolve. :)

  2. This is great! Thanks for reminding me of all the great tips the ladies from NWA Motherlode gave us. And THANKS for all the turtle info!

  3. Roslyn,
    Thank you for sharing this list post! I wasn't able to stay all weekend at AWBU and your post gave me valuable tips and lessons to follow. I have seen the ladies who attended already work on this points (link posts, make comments, improve titles...) and it has inspired me.

    Thanks for sharing this! So nice to meet you.

    Is Owl's Knob close to Gobbler's Knob in Dry Fork? That is where my in-laws live.

    aka nwafoodie.com

  4. Great list Roslyn! I'm so glad you were at AWBU as I learned so much about those darn turtles with you. It really was fascinating! I will be checking in with you on AWBX to see how she is doing this summer :-)

  5. Thanks ladies, I really enjoyed AWBU as well. I feel like it really helped me. My blog has been viewed more than ever in the past week. I am also enjoying reading so many of your blogs!

  6. Owls' Knob is my family's homestead. It is located in the Boston range of the Ozarks near the headwaters of the Buffalo river. Where is Gobblers Knob?