Friday is my favourite day since it is time for a new special guest and off course it is weekend time! What I love the most about special guest is how much I can learn from my guest and how inspired I get by reading the interviews. If you would like to participate on my special guest please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s special guest made a huge impact on me. This is a person who is able to enjoy life despite the challenges that she has and is going through. She helps us to be thankful for what we have and learns us to love life. I love her interview and I encourage you to read it and get inspired as well.
1.) What or who inspired you to start blogging?
When I lived in England in my twenties I used to write for magazines; interviews and short stories. This was my “moonlighting job” as I had a different “real” job during the day. A few decades later when I started coming to Florida for the winter horse competition season I started to write for a British website about the Florida scene. Last year my son and daughter convinced me to start my own blog site.
2.) Can you describe your blog to someone that never read it?
My blog is about horses: horse competitions, movies about horses, books about horses and horse training, interviews with international riders and competitors and my own training and competitions on my horse Biasini and recently he has his own posts entitled “Biasini Speaks”.
3.) What’s your favourite part of blogging?
My favourite part of blogging is being able to write about something that interests me and to interview people who I find interesting. I also love reading other blogs.
4.) What is the most difficult things about blogging? And what do you find the easiest?
For me the most difficult part about blogging is keeping up with the “blogging”. I like to read the blogs of all the people I follow and I want to like and make comments. I also want to look up any bloggers who are new to me who have started to follow my blog or who had liked one of my posts. I enjoy doing this but it is a matter of finding enough time. The easiest part is writing the blog posts.
5.) How much time do you spend on blogging?
At least two hours a day and twice a week I will take four hours or more to catch up.
6.) What do you think is the best social media strategy to get more visitors to a blog?
I think the best social media strategy is to read other blogs, follow the ones you like and find interesting and like or comment on their posts. Also, I have found it very helpful to post on the Word Press Prompts whether it is the Daily Prompt or the Weekly Photo Challenge or another challenge. Also, Facebook is good. I have my blog linked to a Facebook page I manage and I also post to Facebook groups I belong to. There are lots of horsey groups out there and I have tested out the ones that seem to respond to the posts I put up. I will also choose specific posts for certain groups rather than just blanket posting.
7.) Is blogging worth doing? Would you encourage other people to make their blog?
I ove blogging and I do think it is worth doing. It is not just an outlet for creativity but it has inspired me to learn new skills. I took an online horse photography course this past summer and now I am taking an online course in photo editing. It I great at my age to be learning new things. Best of all is meeting all the other bloggers from different parts of the world, different age groups, different interests and perspectives on life. This is something I would never have found without blogging.
8.) How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
I don’t have trouble motivating myself. I really enjoy writing about the horse world and it has given me the opportunity to get media accreditation for the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Global Dressage Festival here in Florida. This is a great motivation to join other journalists and bloggers in press conferences and in the media tents at the shows.
9.) What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
The most challenging moment in my blogging career so far was when I started to get followers and wanted to follow lots of other bloggers and found my time was running out every day and I felt guilty about not seeing enough of the blogs I follow. I have had to learn some time management skills for that.
10.) Can you name some of your favourite bloggers and explain why they are your favourites?
My favourite bloggers? Well there are quite a few. Stories of Wanderer, Shivashisspeaks, Uniquesus,, Nathaswami, Ayoka, A Horse For Elinor, AHA Moments and Centered in the Saddle. There are many more but these are the ones I have made a connection with; some writing poetry, short fiction, horse training etc. With these bloggers, I can travel the world, be caught up in a short story that takes me to another place in my mind, learn something of local politics on the other side of the world and relate to the horse training and competition of other riders and their horses.
11.) What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
I think the best strategy for getting more traffic to my site was to respond to the Word Press Prompts and Challenges. And each time I would post something I would read at least three other posts on the prompt or challenge and like or comment on them.
12.) What are you doing besides blogging?I
I ride, train and compete with my horse. He is a twelve-year-old Hanoverian gelding. At home in Canada I train with Canadian Olympian Belinda Trussell and for the winter season (January to mid-April) I train with international rider and trainer Luis Reteguiz Denizard. I have lessons 3 times a week at home and 5 times a week in Florida. I am training at what is known in Dressage as the Small Tour. This is the Prix St. George and Intermediare 1 tests. These tests are international and are the same all over the world. They are written and governed by the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale). This level is one level below the Big Tour which is the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special which they compete at the Olympics and World Equestrian Games. So, it is a challenge for me at the age of 67 but the horse is the equalizer! I also go to the gym four times a week to be fit enough and strong enough to ride at this level.
13.) Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
Blogging is just a hobby. I am retired from work now and just do it for the fun of it. And for the challenge!
14.) A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog?
I don’t have tips for those who want to make money blogging. My daughter used to have a successful blog and she did pretty much the same things I am doing but she did it full time. She does not have her own blog site now as she is the manager of social media and marketing for a consultancy firm and that is her full-time job (plus being a mother!)
15.) Is there anything else you would like to add?
I went through a period of severe health problems about 18 years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare auto immune disease Systemic Scleroderma. This affected the skin all over my body, all of my joints and caused stomach bleeding. Fortunately, it did not affect my heart, lungs or kidneys which it can do. Two years after my diagnosis I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Due to the Scleroderma, I could not have radiation treatment so I had a very major surgery. After this surgery, my Scleroderma went into what has been described as a “miraculous “remission Following the surgery I now have a permanent colostomy. I know that some people are really put off by this idea and many will say they would rather die than have a “bag”. Well I would say to them that it is a very minor inconvenience and I have lived for another 17 years without problems, I have lived to see my Grandson be born, my children grow into adults who have interesting jobs and who take on life’s challenges with strength and confidence. I have travelled with my husband to Europe and the Far East and I have a wonderful horse with whom I have ridden up to the international levels. I am very grateful for all of this and I give thanks every day.
Thank you so much for an inspiring interview Anne. You can visit her blog at https://horseaddict.net