Should You Write A Blog?

I first wrote about this topic in April last year.  I’ve had lots of questions from readers recently asking “Should I write a blog? so I’ve revamped this article to help you make your own decision.

Should I Write a Blog | Jane's Apple

Should I Write a Blog | Jane’s Apple

Whether you’re thinking of starting a blog as an extension of your creative business or you’d just like an online avenue to express yourself these 5 reasons can help you decide to create a blog or not:-

1) Do you like Helping People and Sharing Experiences?

Your life may have been touched by diversity, discrimination, difficulty, illness or tragedy and you want to help others get through the very same thing. Sharing a message of hope for those travelling down the same difficult road is a positive way you can help yourself while helping others.  This is a very popular motivation for blogging.  For example, there are countless blogs written by cancer suffers and survivors. Don’t let the fact that there may be many blogs out there with the same focus put you off but do seek out  these similar blogs and determine what gaps in knowledge or support for your particular focus you may be able to fill to make your blog stand out.

You might wish to share an interest or hobby, a personal triumph, a business experience, or a family-related experiences.  Feeling a sense of community, feeling that we are a part of a group of people with common interests and experiences is part of being human and a strong motivator for blog writers.

2) Do You Like to Keep a Diary or Journal?

If you are a diary or journal keeper you might have already realised that you can express yourself much faster through a computer because typing can be quicker and simpler to format and tidy than handwriting. This is not to discount or disrespect the art of pen and paper.

If you are already sharing your daily comings and goings and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter you may feel that blogging is a natural progression that will allow you more freedom of written expression.

Creating a blog means you can document with more than just plain text. With blogging you will have the option of add images, rich media like video, as well as more flexibility to communicate and get feedback from readers.   You also have the option of deciding who reads your blog.  You may wish to have your blog remain private and only be viewable to yourself (or a select few individuals) or send it out to share with the world.

If you can relate to this then blogging just might be the thing for you.

3) Do You Have a Knack for Technology?

You’re drawn to computer technology and enjoy pottering around online, learning about new developments in web design and even trying it out yourself.  Blogging systems intrigues you.  Blogs as an indicator, a tool for and a reflection of changing culture is fascinating to you.

If you’re energised by experimenting with ever-increasing complex-yet-simple pieces of software, a blog might be a good thing to check out!

4) Would you like to Educate and Share your Expertise?

Blogs are essentially a vehicle for communication and the sharing of knowledge and experience.  It is no surprise that school teachers use class blogs to extend their students learning.  Writing a blog is an exciting and interesting way to educate others and as an added incentive educating others often helps us build our own knowledge.

Imagine being able to educate thousands of people with your knowledge, skills and experience. A blog is a vehicle to create discourse and get feedback and input of any topic of interest to you.

Similarly to helping and sharing with others, if your motivation is to educate – creating a blog is a great option!

5) Will creating a Blog Help Your Business?

While in many cases monetary gains come second to the main purpose for blogging there can be multiple benefits for creating a blog as a support or addition to an online creative business:

  • Blog to support and publicise  your brand?

    If you have any type of presence online (even if it’s only a facebook account) you have a brand!  You can manage your brand no matter what it might be using a blog as a tool.  You might use your blog to develop your personal brand or your on or offline enterprises, groups or interests.

    You can communicate through a blog in a way that is not truly possible with any other online technology. A blog is a way to show who you really are. With a blog you can present yourself to the world through your thoughts, ideas, and rich media. You can help your audience get to know you. If you want to build a following for your creative business you’ll want your customers to be able to relate to you.

  • Do You Want to Make Money with Your Blog?

    The potential to make money is a strong draw card for blogging. If you’re only drawn to blogging as a way of making money chances are you give up disappointed.   Making money with blogging is not easy.  Just like anything worth doing hard work and commitment is required but if you want to create a blog to make money it can be done. You’ll need to be able to dedicate several hours per day, 7 days per week to your blog and be prepared to persist for two or three years before seeing significant readership numbers and financial rewards.  In truth there are very few blogs that can claim overnight success most have been around many years before people really start to take notice.

  • Do You Want to Promote Something?

    Perhaps you’re interested in promoting your creative business,  a product, an interest group, or a dream. A blog, carefully managed, can help you build interest for nearly anything.  You can keep your readers/customers up to date, offer incentives such as free stuff or discounts, offer tutorials related to your topic or business focus, be connected with people who are interested and so much more.  Done well and with consistency blogging is a excellent promotional tool. Blogging can lead to greater online sales.

5 Reasons to Start a Blog | Jane's Apple

5 Reasons to Start a Blog | Jane’s Apple

I’d love to hear about your own reasons for blogging or the reasons you think you might start a blog.  What’s your story? Do you blog?  Would you like to blog?

What’s Happening? July 2014

What’s Happening?

I’ve been as busy as ever lately.  I’ve returned to teaching on a casual basis over the last couple of weeks. It’s been great to get back into the classroom and do something I love.

Next weekend is my daughters 21st birthday!  The years have flown by.  Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and just be a fly on the wall so I can drink in the sight of her at different ages, listen to her voice and wonder and her amazing spirit.

My Girl Kia - almost 21!! | Jane's Apple

My Girl Kia – almost 21!!

I’ve planned and am frantically getting organised for a celebration for her that will be help in our backyard. My daughter Kia is book lover like myself.  She took to reading like a duck to water and at the age of 7 became entranced with the magical world of Harry Potter and her fondness for Harry has stayed with her as she’s grown.  So it seem fitting that we incorporate a bit of magic into her 21st celebration.  Together we’ve been having fun gathering food and decorating ideas.  I’ve started a Harry Potter board on Pinterest if you’re looking for ideas too.  I can’t wait to share the photo’s with you after the event.

Follow Janes Apple’s board Harry Potter Food on Pinterest.

Currently Reading: 

I’ve been reading the ‘Chosen One’ series by Tiffany Truitt.  I really enjoyed the Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins and was browsing for something similar to read and these books fit the bill. If you enjoy reading dystopia novels you might find these enjoyable.  I only wish that the characters were just a little older in years….

Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

This weeks little challenges:   The children are on school holidays at the moment so the the usual juggling of fitting into each day mothering, blogging and my art is a little trickier.  I admit I love having the kids home for a couple of weeks. I don’t enjoy making school lunches and it’s nice to have a more relaxed routine.  My biggest challenge is wrangling my teenager.  Way back when I was a new mum I thought mothering and managing my children would become easier as they got older but I’ve found that as they get older they need a great deal of guidance and are harder to steer in the right direction then when they are younger.

Taking the kids Ice Skating

Taking the kids Ice Skating

Currently Loving:

Again my children.  My youngest son had a great day at his school athletics carnival and even beat the school record in his 100 metre sprint.  All of the children brought home wonderful report cards and I’m so pleased that aside from making good grades the impression they leave with their teachers and school community in general is a good one.  I sold one of my favourite drawing yesterday and I’m so very delighted to get it ready to post off today.

Currently Working on:

My priorities this week are organising a 21st celebration and working on a series of themed drawings. I want to draw strong, sexy and sassy Australian women in natural environments.   I’m finding my time is stretching very thin at the moment.  I’ve decided to retire Jane’s Apple Curated for the time being.

I’m also working on my Google+ Challenge and also still working on a way to set up shop write here on the blog to sell Jane’s Apple art.

So What’s Happening? What are you up to?  I’d love to hear your news.

Marketing with Google+

I don’t know about you but I used to think that Google+ was just a wannabe social media platform hidden in the shadows of it much larger (and more successful) counterparts but recently Google+ has come into its own.  From my own standpoint my connections I’ve made on Google+ are robust and I’m finding that creative people whether they be bloggers or artists selling their work are catching on and using Google+ increasingly for promotion and networking.  Google+  was launched in June 2011 by search Google Inc and now has in excess of 540 million active users (Facebook as more than a billion active users and Twitter has in excess of 241 million).  It’s time to start loving Google+ !

Are you using Google+ to promote your brand and your content?

Google+ Logo | Jane's Apple

Google+ Logo | Jane’s Apple

This article is part of our Jane’s Apple Marketing Challenge . Here is the plan so far for marketing with Google+

  1. Tweak my ABOUT page to make sure it give an interesting overview of Jane’s Apple,  make sure links to my other pages are working and current, make sure it’s marketing savvy without being pushy and that it is SEO friendly. Make sure it including information that searches might want to know about Jane’s Apple.
  2. Post to Google + every time I publish an article here on the blog.
  3. Post personal and/or interest based posts once or twice per week.
  4. Share 4 posts of interest from other users per week.
  5. Like and comment daily on others posts.
  6. Add a handful of new people every day using ‘people you may know’.
  7. Increase interaction and posting on communities I belong to.
  8. Increase activity in the Jane’s Apple Community.
  9. Investigate Google Authorship.
  10. Research tools and resources for making the most of Google+ 
Google+ | Jane's Apple

Google+ | Jane’s Apple

As is true for other social media platforms it’s good manners and ultimately more advantageous for marketing purposes to share others posts and interact with other uses much more frequently than you post marketing content and that knowledge is at the forefront of my mind as start this challenges.

Connect with me on Google+ on my personal profile or at the Jane’s Apple community

How do you use Google+?  What information would help you use Google+ more effectively? What are your thought on Google+ in comparison to other social media sites you use such as Twitter and Facebook?

Little Treasures Feature

Today’s little treasures feature is a bunch of wonderful Etsy treasuries featuring my work in amongst the exquisite work of other artisans. I feel honoured. I’ve also included my own Little Treasures Feature with the intention of lending support and highlighting the wonderful work or others. Here is your special invite to click through and discover a world of deeply meaningful, skilled handcrafting, and artistry! Go ahead and explore. Etsy is a great place to find gifts for all gift giving occasions and remember it doesn’t have to be a special occasion to give someone a special something to make their day. Buying something for yourself is also highly encouraged :)

My thanks in advance for your clicks, likes and shares. If you create a treasury highlighting something from the Jane’s Apple, be sure to let me know – and you’ll be in our next feature here on the blog.

Sugar Free Berry Breakfast Muffins

I love treating myself to tasty and Nutritious breakfast meals and I’m particularly concerned with increasing my fruit and vegetable intake and reducing my refined sugar intake to as low as possible.   According to “I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson” on average we each eat more than a kilo of sugar week!

Sugar Free Berry Breakfast Muffins

Sugar Free Berry Breakfast Muffins

I’ve been trying to cut down on sugar for a couple of weeks.  It’s hard, really hard!  But I have noticed that I’m able to appreciate the natural sweet flavours in foods and that’s really encouraging.

Sugar Free Berry Breakfast Muffins | Jane' s Apple

Sugar Free Berry Breakfast Muffins

I  added cinnamon to this recipe because it’s known to help with sugar cravings.  I used coconut flour instead of regular because it’s naturally sweet, high in fibre and contains significantly more protein than wheat flour. The texture of coconut flour can take some getting used to.  You can substitute a cup of regular flour if you prefer.

Sugar Free Berry Breakfast Muffins

Sugar Free Berry Breakfast Muffins Recipe

This recipe produces a muffin that is moist and that has a naturally sweet taste.

Download and print PDF Recipe Card 

Sugar Free Berry Breakfast Muffins Recipe

No added sugar, Gluten Free
Makes 8

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 Coconut Flour

1 cup Almond meal

1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 ripe Banana (The riper, the better)

3 large Eggs

1/4 cup Rice Bran Oil

1 cup Ricotta

1 cup fresh or frozen berries, (your choice)

3/4 cup sliced Almonds

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 180 °C (or 356°F).  Grease a muffin tin or (I use silicon trays instead).

Combine whisk together coconut flour, almond meal, cinnamon . Set aside.

Combine mashed banana, eggs, oil and ricotta in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Mixed with electric mixer on low until just combined.

Remove beaters.  Gently fold in berries.  Spoon into the muffin tin, filling about 3/4 full. Top each with 1 Tablespoon of sliced almonds.

Bake in oven until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

Serving suggestion: Eat for breakfast with some fresh fruit.

Download and print PDF Recipe Card