Happy Blog Birthday | Let’s Donate To Big Cat Rescue!

Howdy!

May 13th is my blog’s birthday, and even though the date actually lands on a weekday, I thought about what I am attempting to do, so I needed this post to publish a little earlier than I originally wanted it to, but it’s all good I am making it work one way or another! I’m not planning on having a big celebration or anything, even though I’d like to have one for sometime in October, since it will be 10 years since I became a blogger and I think it would be nice to celebrate that milestone on the lines of my actual birthday too. We’ll just have to see what happens though!

I’ve been thoroughly confused about how old this blog is for the past few months. I’ve told a LOT of people–including anyone who’s read my “About” section lately–that my blog is nine years old, when in reality it isn’t. It’ll actually be eight instead. Sometimes I’m not good at my math, and basketball can only help with so much so let’s be happy I’ve corrected it before this post goes up! Honestly, it doesn’t really matter if it’s eight or nine years, it’s all a milestone anyways, and I’m very proud of myself for keeping it alive and thriving through it too.

This year though, I didn’t want to write a regular uplifting post. As much as I love writing them, I wanted to do something completely different.

On Facebook, you can create a donation fund to your favorite charities. My sister and dad have each created their own for their birthdays, but they’ve raised money for Shriner’s Hospital For Children because that’s where I was looked at all throughout my journey with my Arthrogryposis and Scoliosis, plus all of my surgeries too, so we care deeply for the hospital and what it has done for not only me but my family as well! You would think I’d follow in their footsteps, but no, I’ve had another organization in mind.

I am a big lover of cats. Now when I was younger, I wasn’t. Our family cat had a special bond with my mom and sister then he ever did with me. I loved being around dogs, getting their attention was somewhat easier and being able to get them to come to you to pet them was awesome to someone as small as me! Cats on the other hand, they only come when they want to and they normally don’t like to be petted either. So, growing up I was always Team Dogs! It wasn’t until my sister found a little stray cat that she later named Bootsie did I began to enjoy the company of a cat compared to a dog. Honestly, when she started having kittens that really made me want to be around them more often because I will always have a soft spot for baby animals!

The kittens have all grown up now. Our last litter just turned three in early April, but unfortunately we also lost one of our beloved cats too. My sister and brother-in-law had three of our babies living with them: Gru, Toni, & Otis. I think a week after their birthday, Gru got really sick and started having seizures. They ended up having to put him to sleep that same day. Gru was one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever been around. All of our cats are very affectionate but Gru loved cuddling, being around all four of his brothers: Otis, Samuel, Chipper, and Nolan. He and Nolan had a pretty special bond with one another, Gru had a lot patience so he didn’t really mind the tugging of his fur or ears, he was just a good kitty! The household has definitely been grieving over his loss. After it happened Otis was really sad and Toni, who isn’t really a lovable cat, may have sensed that and showed him lots of love over in the past few weeks. It’s been sweet and weird to see Toni be this way.

Although my love for domestic cats have been a slow process, I’ve always loved big cats! I don’t know why or how it got started in the first place but it’s been interesting to see it flourish overtime into other cats in various sizes. For the past few months I’ve been watching these YouTube videos of the different types of wild cats that they have at the Big Cat Rescue in Florida. They have all kinds but the only breed I’ve never seen there are cheetahs. Big Cat Rescue is basically a sanctuary for big cats that were trained in the circus and are retired, and then you have ones that were rescued after becoming unwanted or become ceased by the police on raids. There various reasons how a wild cat could have ended up there.

I’ve always been a huge fan of lions and tigers of course, but I’ve noticed that the longer I watch their videos my tastes in wild cats have changed slightly. I do love Siberian Lynx, Savannah Cat, and the Cougars or Mountain Lions as we call them. I love each one for different reasons, like the Lynx just look exotic because they have thicker coats and they belong up in the mountains of Asia. I think I purely love Savannah cats because they look like your standard domestic cats but they’re not! And finally the real reason why I am a fan of cougars are because our family cat Oliver was nicknamed a mountain lion by my dad because he would always stand on high places and look so regal doing it too. I also love how big their eyes are too!

I am asking you, my readers to help me raise about $100 or $200 for this great organization. If you cannot donate, that is fine, but I was wondering if you could please share this post with your family and friends so they can see these wonderful cats. They are very beautiful and goofy at times and I know from experience that if you only watch one video, whether it’s on their Facebook or YouTube channel, you’ll be hooked! If you click here you will be directed to my blog’s Facebook page, the donation tab will be pinned to the top and you can do what you want with it. The post will be LIVE until the 16th, so it’ll be open for everyone for a week.

Thank you for always being here for me, and hope you enjoy the rest of your day! ūüôā

Why You Should Blog Now?

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Howdy!

I may be getting ahead of myself a bit, but on Sunday, I’ll be celebrating seven years of blogging on here! SEVEN! It still shocks me that next year I’ll be blogging as a whole for 10 years! Blogging wasn’t supposed to mean anything to me, other then another outlet to do school assignments in one of my English classes, and yet here I am completing another milestone!

I’ve been trying to rack my brain on what all I could talk about today. I could have ignored the meaning of the day and publish a simple favorite movie post, and in my defense I’m actually having fun coming up with those, so if I annoy you with all of the different types, sorry not sorry!

So the only thing that I thought would be a response post to a swirl of blog posts I’ve been seeing online.

Apparently blogging in general is losing its shine on people. They’d rather watch videos on YouTube then read a bunch of articles on a blog, and in a way I understand because I roughly read four posts a week. I may follow over a ton of sites, but it’s true I don’t read as many of the blogs I used to. I will say this, it’s not smart to read a restaurant review at eight or nine o’clock in the morning without having breakfast first!

What is the point of having a blog, if nobody is going to read it? 

If you created a blog for the sole purpose to share it with strangers on the internet, even maybe make a little money on the side, then yes, this is a question that you’re faced with every single day.¬†For me though, since my views are somewhat low anyways–we’re keeping it real today–I don’t really care. I’m not focused on my stats anymore. I’ve literally switched that section to the bottom of my dashboard, I do enjoy the comments I get from fellow bloggers and some of my readers, it makes everything worthwhile, but when that fades away, would I still blog?

My answer will always be yes and this goes back to the first blog. Despite the fact we made them in school, that didn’t mean that they were all set on private, they were very public, but we got our laptops so late in the semester (it was a one semester class!) that our teacher couldn’t give us the low down of the settings of the site. I actually didn’t know where the stats section was until probably four months prior to creating this one. I hardly ever received a comment on the various things I would talk about there, so I didn’t really care or knew anyone who read my stuff, I¬† just wondered how that person came across my post in the first place!

If you do decide to create your first blog, here are some most frequently asked questions I’ve been asked in the past. If there is anything else, please ask below and I’ll try to answer it.

How many times should you blog on a daily basis? 

This is your decision.¬†I don’t recommend on blogging 365 days. I actually did that once and even though I only missed four days out of the whole year, I absolutely hated it. You shouldn’t force yourself to talk about something, you won’t produce genuine posts!

I think it is important to come up with some kind of routine. I don’t have a daily routine of when I write my posts, but I usually start in the early mornings when it’s really quiet or past noon, after I’ve eaten lunch. It just depends on how much free time you have, if you’re an early riser or have an afternoon/night to yourself, then I’d use it to your best ability.

Now as far as figuring out a daily schedule.¬†If you want to work on pieces and publish them at a later date, that’s not exactly a bad thing and I don’t know why more bloggers don’t do it. I actually post on¬†Monday, Tuesday¬†and¬†Thursday¬†at roughly the same time each day, around seven o’clock in the morning. Whenever I publish my posts on Facebook, they actually have an exact time schedule and that is 8am. Every day has a different topic, such as Monday’s are usually more personal, whereas I leave both Tuesday and Thursday as my entertainment days, this is why you see my movie posts on Tuesdays and music reviews on Thursday!

Should you establish a niche for your blog?

For me, I always knew I was a lifestyle blogger. I wanted to discuss things that went on in my life as a person with a disability. Even while I was still on my first blog, I knew what kind of content I wanted to create on a weekly basis, but I didn’t know there was an actual category until about five years later and found the motherload of fellow bloggers like myself.

To answer the question for you though, no, I don’t think you should. I think it’s fine to play around with different topics at first, but if you are an amateur¬†expert at a certain niche, then go ahead and give it a go! I just don’t think you should close off on other things though. I’ve seen plenty of bloggers who, for years, have only talked about one or two very specific things and literally feel like they’re repeating themselves or notice other people talking about similar things and they want to change things up, but are too afraid that they’ll lose followers in the switch.

Should you buy a domain, professional layout, and/or accept sponsored posts right off the bat?

This one is a difficult one to answer, because you have three different things wrapped into one question, but they all do go together because they all involve money. Now this is purely my opinion, but you shouldn’t buy a domain or template until you’ve at least blogged for a year, for example, say you only use your blog for six months and don’t go back to it until a year later. By that time, you’re going to be kicking yourself because you could’ve used that money for something else.

Now about the sponsored posts part, I’m not the best person to answer that section. I wouldn’t know how to get started on it or do it in general. If you know some bloggers already that have a widget for monthly sponsors or pieces that say that they were sponsored by a certain brand, then you could ask them how they got started with it. However, I will say this as a fair warning, not everybody is as friendly about it as you’d think, especially the ones who work with bigger brands!

When is it time to branch out of your blog though?

When is it time to branch out and do other stuff? Honestly, if I was asked to writing articles for Disability Horizons in either 2012-14, my editor would have hated me, for the fact that I had such horrible writing!

I think being asked in 2016 was the perfect timing because I was starting to really care what I was talking about, and I edited my posts that desperately needed to be taken care of before I officially scheduled it to be published. I don’t think you’re never ready to do something out of your comfort zone. Blogging has become my security blanket, I’ve grown into it, and with that being said, I believe I can grow into writing for other sites too! That’s why I’m building a relationship with the creator of the History Of Royal Women, because as passionate as I am talking about disability issues, I am also a fan of history and the royals!

It’s like what I said before about being open about discussing other topics on your blog, you shouldn’t close your mind from something else you enjoy and have some type of knowledge for it because it doesn’t go with your original blogging plan. It does get boring every once in a while and when I decided to write about my love for Anne Boleyn last year, I literally had the same freeing experience I had whenever I started blogging about music full time. Don’t worry, that post goes up soon!

If you’re asked to work with a site or another blogger that either is similar to what you write about on your blog, go for it! There’s nothing wrong with it, because if you decide one is enough, then at least you can say you were published somewhere!

How to deal with the misconceptions of blogging

Thanks to a recent lifestyle blogger chat on Twitter (hosted by a favorite of mine Amie!) I’ve decided to add a section of it to this post.

Back in January, I was asked by an old friend from school, who was thinking about creating her own blog. She had looked up the different platforms and asked me array of questions about blogging. I actually think she’d do good as a blogger, because she already knows how to promote and I thought she could bring something new to the blogoshere, but ultimately she decided not to go for it. She’s recently had a baby, so she doesn’t have a lot of free time on her hands.

Blogging isn’t for everyone, and I think it’s fair to keep that in mind. I mean, it isn’t easy by any means. People who don’t do it just assume that you are sent things from brands for free all the time but whenever a blogger is being sent things, the blogger has post multiple times on their blog, social media accounts, etc to help promote the brand itself. They may not always get a commission from the brand itself, but there’s a lot of work that goes into it that people just don’t understand!

Should people continue to create blogs if the trend itself is dying?

Again, this is a yes for me!

If you’ve learned anything about this world, nothing really fades away. I mean, just look at MySpace, it’s still holding on with all its might! So who knows, blogging could catch its second wind, but I think I’ll be here anyways.

I know I’ve already said this, but if you have any more questions, send them my way!

snowflake