Sunday, October 21, 2007

What got me blogging and how has it evolved since I started

© By Othmar Vohringer

I am late with this, very late. Almost two weeks ago Jody from The Hunter’s Wife has tagged me for a meme along with such notable blogs as Marian’s Hunting Storeis, Outdoor Bloggers Summit and NYbowhunter. With all the hectic going on around here lately I simply forgot about it until today, sorry Jody.

The meme states that I should write something about how I got started blogging and how the blog has evolved since I started.

I wrote my first blog post What Fish Don't Want You to Know on January 29, 2006. It was a review for a new fishing book written by fellow blogger, writer and fishing guru Frank Baron. When I started blogging there were hardly any hunting related blogs on the internet, how times have changed in just a smidgen under two years. I really had no particular agenda when I began this blog other than that I wanted to write about hunting life style and felt that a blog would be a good vehicle to voice my opinions and experiences with other hunters.

Over time this has gradually changed. As “Outdoors with Othmar Vohringer” became more popular I felt that perhaps I could write other blogs that are more specific to a particular segment of hunting. Being passionate about whitetail deer hunting the obvious choice was to write a blog for deer hunters and so the Whitetail Deer Passion blog came to the internet. That blog was quickly followed up with another blog for turkey hunting - my other passion - Wild Turkey Fever. Both these new blogs are hugely successful and popular with my readers especially just before and during the particular hunting seasons of these game species. This success encouraged me to add My Stand to the small outdoor blog network I created.

My Stand was planed as a showcase of my writing ability. On that blog I post a bi-weekly column covering various topics concerning our hunting heritage. Unlike the other three blogs were I write posts without being to thoroughly on editing, hence the odd spelling and grammar mistakes, the My Stand blog only features articles that are of my best writing and editing.

Had I, at the beginning of my blogging career, been told that one day my blogs would find the attention of editors and the hunting industry I probably would have laughed at the person predicting such a possibility. To me a blog was more like a type of interactive forum were I write my opinions and stories and readers can comment on it. However, over time I quickly came to the realization that a blog indeed can put the word out there and if the blog writer strikes a positive note will get the attention that are essential to further any business interest one might have.

In my case the blogs have created an interest in the media and the industry. In the past I have had magazine editors contacting me with queries to write for them and hunting industry representatives query me about the possibility to represent their company as pro staffer or asking me to write product reviews. In the past two weeks I agreed with an editor of an online hunting magazine to write a bi-weekly column (more info on this deal coming soon to this blog) and a local Newspaper from Texas queried me for articles, and this is just in the past two weeks.

In the future I will use my blogs to a much larger degree to promote my services to the hunting industry and community. Once my pro-hunter website is launched I might incorporate this blog into that new website. The lesson I learned since I began to write blogs is that a blog can be whatever the writer wants it to be. A blog can be a vehicle to share experiences, ideas and opinions with other outdoor enthusiasts or it can be a very powerful tool to promote a business. In this regard my blogs may not have as much evolved as they have grown up, but the evolution is ongoing.

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9 comments:

Kristine said...

I don't think, when someone starts a blog, that they ever know what it will turn out to be. As you've said here, things happen and circumstances cause you to take a direction you might not otherwise have taken.

Sounds like you've got some great stuff in the works. I think that's terrific. The magazines and companies that work with you will be lucky to have you on their staff.

Arthur said...

I can only imagine having these things happen to me.

It's pretty cool how something can get started by just a crazy little idea sometimes.

Great work Othmar.

Jody said...

Othmar, Thanks for posting. I really enjoy reading how everyone got started and how their blogs have evolved. Your writings are ones that Mark and I both enjoy reading.

Great work and wish you the best with your future outcomes.

deerPhD said...

Othmar, thanks for sharing your story! You're quite a writer...so I'm grateful for your blogging outlet!

Congrats on your recent deal with the online magazine! I look forward to more details!

Best...

Othmar Vohringer said...

Kristine – Thank you for the nice compliment you paid me I appriciate that very much.
I agree with you, I too think as a blog evolves the writer just has to adapt and take advantage of that evolution. On the other hand I do believe that once a direction becomes visible on the blog the writer can and should purposely enhance that direction.

Arthur – Thanks for the kind words. It happened a few time in my live that a crazy idea turned out to become a tree full of fruit and I believe it can happen to you too. Not so long ago we have had a small discussion on the deerphd blog about honesty in writing, meaning to be true to oneself. I believe this is an important ingredient to any blogs success.

Jody – You’re very welcome and thanks for the compliment, I enjoy your blog and that of many others too. I just wish that I had more time on my hands to visit more regularly.
I find memes a great way for bloggers to spread the word and for networking. It is interesting, as you say, to read how others got started and what motivated them and where it took them.

Deerphd – Thanks for the compliment, coming from you – a professional outdoor writer – that means a lot to me and gives me the courage to write more query letters to magazine editors. As soon everything is cleared up I will make an announcement on this blog about that online hunting magazine.

P.S. Hope you all have a great time in the woods and stay safe.

-ov-

Jeff said...

It is great to hear what all has come from you blog.
Being new to the scene and having high aspirations, your story is very encouraging!
Thanks for sharing.

Marc - Founder and Editor of NYbowhunter.com said...

I agree with Jeff, being the new kid on the block isn't easy, but a blog is a powerful resource as you have stated and can take you to unexpected places. I'd like to end up working in the outdoor industry someday on a full time basis.

Frank Baron said...

So...let me see if I have this right....

I got you started blogging and now you're rich and famous.

I think SOMEBODY owes me 15%!

;)

Keep up the good work Othmar. :)

Othmar Vohringer said...

Jeff and Marc – I am glad that you find encouragement in my post. I am convinced that with the quality of information you two offer your blogs will have a bright future.

Frank – Glad you stopped by. It’s always a joy to see a pal like you here. That’s right you and I started around the same time blogging. Say have you sold all of your books? Or do I need to keep the promotion up? :) :)

-ov-

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