This week's interview is with Janie and Steve,
who write the blog Janie & Steve's Utah Trails.
Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?
Blogging is a creative outlet. I enjoy putting words and pictures together to bring our Utah mountain and desert adventures to life. Steve and I work as a team. He maps out the routes for our many excursions, keeps us from getting lost, and tells me where we’ve been. (I have absolutely no sense of direction.)
Steve also takes his share of the photos. Plus, he’s the slightly maniacal driving force behind getting us out and moving, even when I might feel more like resting that day. On my end, I’m maniacal about putting a post together when we return home. This works out fairly well, so far. Our 30-something-year marriage is hanging in, and we’re doing a lot of adventuring. We have fun with the posts, too.
What's the story behind your blog name?
We went with simple: our names, and where we go. Of course, we occasionally venture onto non-Utah trails, but readers don’t seem to mind the lapse. We seek out of the way places that most people don’t know about, "exploring paths less traveled," as the subtitle says.
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
We create a permanent record of our travels for our own satisfaction, and, over time, we’re gaining friends in cyberspace. I never would guessed I’d make contact with so many people from all over the world through blogging. I look forward to seeing what my blog friends are up to each day, and I take photos and gather stories with my day’s post in mind.
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
I’ve only been blogging a year myself. Does that make me an oldie? When I began, I barely knew what a blog was. My grown children, so much smarter than I am, encouraged my venture. My Daughter, already in with the online crowd, gave me tips on getting started. For the first six months, I had no readers outside my kids and occasional visits from friends.
Then, I discovered photo memes, such as Skywatch Friday, My World Tuesday, and Camera Critters which opened a door to a vast network. I expanded my blog reading and posted more often. I trimmed text and added more photos, which I think made my entries more interesting. Making comments on the blogs of others and receiving comments increased my motivation to post.
So, what is my advice to the newest newbies? Blog what you know, as is the standard advice in writing for fun or profit. Choose a hobby or subject that you want as a focus. (Of course, we all branch out at times when we feel the need, but that’s one of the great things about a blog. What you say is entirely up to you.) Find a blog network that fits your interests, post often, respond to comments made on your posts, and comment on the posts of others in your network. Then relax and take pleasure in the followers and friendships that will come your way.
What is the most significant blog post you’ve ever read?
I can’t single out "the most", but there are many that I’ve found exceedingly interesting. I like to read posts that tell of the average person’s real-life experience of current events, such as David’s D Is For Desolation post. I also enjoy learning about new places. Occasionally J teaches me about life in China. Geogypsy has fascinating tales about working as a national park ranger all over the United States.
And there are so many others that have taught me interesting things. In other words, I’m an eclectic reader and have a difficult time making decisions. Call me Ab (or Abbie) Normal.
What is the most significant blog post you’ve ever written?
This is a tough question for the decision-challenged. In fact, using "significant" and our blog in sequence might be an oxymoron. I attempt to present our horseback rides and other adventures in a way that gives readers an appreciation for the land, flora and fauna. Wild Burro Trails is a representative sample. Whenever possible, I inject humor.
I also enjoy posting to Denise Nesbitt’s ABC Wednesday meme because word play is so much fun. Try my posts Fashion Faux Pas or A Hound's Habit. I hope they will make you laugh.
Thanks for interviewing me, David! I always enjoy visiting your blog, and I’m honored to be included.
Today's Sunday Roast with Janie and Steve is the 72nd in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.