I started nature blogging way back in 2005. Back then I would write my blog posts after working all day as a high school librarian. I began to define myself as “a writer who blogs about nature and ecology in the Delaware Valley.” At the time the internet was chock full of nature blogs. We even had a great database of nature blogs called, “The Nature Blog Network”. I was a proud member along with thousands of other blogs.
The Demise of The Nature Blog Network
If you wanted to go to birding in Costa Rica, there was a blog about it. Intrigued by the deserts of the American Southwest? No problem. Visit the network and choose among several desert-focused blogs.
The Nature Blog Network’s old Facebook page.
Nature Blog Network: An Eulogy on 10,000 Birds.com
But hackers hijacked the Nature Blog Network site demanding money. The Network’s antiqued software was no match for the hackers. The all volunteer Network didn’t have the thousands of dollars the hackers demanded. Our Network was no more. But I kept blogging. And I encourage others to do so. That is what this post is about, encouraging others. What follows is advice from eighteen years of my almost nonstop blogging experience.
The Writer Within
I knew I was a good writer when my literature professor in grad school (Dr. Kay E. Vandergrift) invited me to her office just to tell me, “You should write.” I said, my teachers have been telling me that since second grade.” She replied, “No, really you should write.” Since she was also my program advisor, I asked was there anything else, she replied no. I thanked her and return to class.
I remember riding the train home and thinking, “Gee she has a PhD. in literature, she knows what she’s talking about. I really must be a good writer.”
I finished my library degree (M.L.S, Rutgers University) and went to work as a children’s librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia. And I started taking writing classes, attending conferences, attending workshops, networking with other writers.
During one workshop the instructor suggested starting a blog as a way to practice writing. That was 2005, and I’m still blogging eighteen years later.
I have published in small, local publications and never wanted to go, ‘big’. Small and simple is fine for me. Blogging is my jam.
Grateful for My Readers
I am so appreciative for the folks to make time out of their lives to read my posts, books, and guides. Some of you have been reading my blog for years, a decade even. Thank you all from the bottom of my spirit. And thank you for the financial support that covers the cost for keeping this blog going. The blog has been self-supporting for over ten years. That is an accomplishment.
I want to support and nurture those of you who think about writing, who think you have something meaningful to say. This is my chance to say to you, “You should write. No, really, you should write.”
How to Start a Nature Blog
I know there are several blogging platforms out there, but I am in love with WordPress. I bounced around from platform to platform but with WordPress.com I found my home. It started out as a simple blogging platform and has matured into a CMS (Content Management System) that grows with you skills and abilities. I knew zippo about running a blog and WordPress allows me to learn and expand at my own pace.
I have watched nature bloggers come and go. And the most important reasons seem to be money and too narrow a topic.
If you decide to start a blog click on my “Refer a Friend” link and we both earn free credits. I get credits to offset the blog hosting expenses at no cost to you. You get $25 applied to your first year annual subscription. Read about it here.
Keep Your Blog Simple and Cheap
You can start a WordPress.com blog for free. There are several paid plans starting from a few dollars a month to the Business plan I have at $25.00 a month. Keep it simple and cheap. If you blog and the expense doesn’t impact the household budget, peace will reign on the homefront. And you will feel better about yourself, too. You feel as if you are wasting money or chasing a foolish, pocket emptying pipe dream.
WordPress.com Plans and Pricing
“Refer a Friend” free credits for me and you
And about entertaining ideas of making millions while blogging, don’t bother. Blogging itself is not a money making opportunity. Providing products and services is where you can make money. I can talk more about this if you guys let me know you in the comments. Let me know.
Give Yourself Writing Room
I met a reader last summer and she asked if I was running out of topics? I told her no, the problem is picking and choosing what to write about. I have hundreds of ideas. If you only blog about your local park or even your backyard, you may run out of steam. But writing about your daily experiences as a true human being and the effect the natural world has on you, is endless. Sure, blog about the land where you live but take a field trip every now and again. And rant. About any hair-brained nonsense the hybrid humans are doing to our Mother Earth.
I hope this information is useful. Would you like more information on nature blogging? Share any suggestions, thoughts, or questions in the comments below.
More on Writing and Blogging
Writing and Blogging Tips, A No Nonsense Guide
What is a Naturalist? (journal prompt)
Nature Journal Writing Prompts
Places to Observe in Your Nature Journal
I blog but I don’t need to write a nature one because I read yours! Always enjoy your content and photos.
Hi Marian, LOL. Your comment made me laugh. I hope my writing continues to bring you joy. Cheers.