3 Reasons Bag-Ladies Would Make Excellent Bloggers

June 17th

I saw her outside the train station.

Hair disheveled and knotted, dirt ground in, work worn fingers poking out of ancient mittens, muddy workman’s boots.

Her trolley seemed overflowing with black bags of ‘stuff’, making me curious to delve inside.

I wondered who she was, whether she even remembered, whether she’d ever lived a ‘normal’ life, with a job, children and a dog.

She gave me a smile which lit up her face and as I walked away, I realized I didn’t feel sorry for her predicament. Perhaps she’d chosen this unusual life style. I’ll never know.

Seeing her that day, made me  think about how she’d make an excellent blogger…

And here are my 3 reasons.

  1. She is different from the norm.

Most of us are reasonably conventional. We live in permanent homes, have jobs (sadly, not always permanent) and do conventional things like food shopping and child caring. But the bag lady is not like us. She does none of those conventional things.

Excellent bloggers are different from the norm.

We (yes, I include myself here) must stand out.

We must provide what our readers want but in an unconventional way. By this I mean we must search for unusual ways to present  the solutions to their problems in our content, not simply give them a few bullet points that they could find in a text book or manual from the library or a web site.

We must try to find features for our sites that entice or intrigue and encourage readers to return for more.

How do you try to be different from the norm?

2.   My bag lady is a collector of useful ‘stuff’.

I’d love to know why she has coat-hangers hanging on her trolley, why she has a hammer on her belt and exactly what is in those black bags. Never mind – the fact is the stuff is useful to her.

Excellent bloggers must be collectors of useful ‘stuff’.

I collect -

  • snippets of overheard conversations,
  • news cuttings and intriguing headlines,
  • new angles to write about on my topic,
  • ideas from seeing unusual people or unusual events (I wrote a post about finding a single shoe in the middle of the road),
  • quotations from posts I read (giving the link to them of course), from books, articles, websites.

All these help inspire my writing and give a varied approach to my blog.

What do you collect to help you with your blog?

3.   My bag lady is always moving on.

Next day, when I picked up my OH from the station, she wasn’t there. The only evidence for her presence was a piece of straggly, rough string.

But I knew she’d been there. She’d made a difference to the way I viewed my life, that day and for long after.

Excellent bloggers should  always be moving on too.

We mustn’t let our blogs stagnate.

We must seek advice, ask questions, change, improve, learn as we go, make mistakes and learn from those too.

Our blogs will move on, with the needs of our readers.

What we were writing about a few months ago will be quite different from what we write  about now. We’ll change and adapt our writing style, our approach, improve the first impressions of our blog and seek to improve always.

And, like my bag-lady, we can make a difference to the way people view their lives.

Tell us in the comments  -

  1. How are you ‘unconventional’?
  2. What have you collected?
  3. How will you make changes to your blog?
  4. How will you ‘make a difference’?

Image credit

Comments

  1. Interesting analogy and one that provides a simple lesson. So to show you that there is no “limit” to what we can learn from others. All we have to do is open our minds and understand (or try to understand) that “life” always teaches us something. “Something” that can be applied too, when blogging.

    • Nothing we experience is wasted if we love to blog and it fits our niche, DiTesco. I just have to keep on noticing all that ‘small stuff’. Even bag ladies…
      Thanks for this!

  2. OMG, what a cool post. How did you come up with this :)

    Loved it. And so true! My favorite point was definitely number 1 because that is what it a must for a blogger. But the other two points are great as well.

    I also love collecting stuff I run into online. Sometimes it will become a post idea and sometimes I will just learn from it or have fun.

    • OMG, now I’m ‘cool’! I love it! (What would my daughter say… actually, she’d agree…)
      About number 1, at the momenet I’m looking for some unconventional or not ‘run of the mill’ ideas for my own blog. I’m going to find some people to interview. Not famous peopl, simoly PLU’s – people like us. Emmm… beter get to it…

      Thanks for such a flattering comment, Brankika.

  3. Excellent bloggers must be collectors of useful ‘stuff’.
    So true. Most of blogger’s work is to collect ideas. Some ideas see the light of the day as posts while some are thrown away.
    These are very valid reasons that you have given. Great analogy.

  4. I think “bag ladies” would be great life style bloggers! Because they know how to live when you have nothing and how to take care of yourself when there is no one there to help you.

    Also, I can only imagine how many things she saw and how many stories can she tell just by telling her a subject.

    As an analogy to blogging, I can see the resemblance is the collection of stuff she caries with her all the time, just like bloggers carrying the weight of their posts where they go.

  5. Hey Linda,

    I like to collect blog ideas as I drive around…and new product ideas. It’ll strike me out of the clear blue. I jot it down and at the end of the day, try to add them to my “idea repository”. Yeah, I keep it electronically because my brain can only hold like 4 things at a time. :)

  6. Yes Linda, Thats right, Bloggers should aways be on the move, thats my Lesson learnt form 2010. we most be ready to rise to the call of duty in a heart beat, with all guns Blazing..

    1 How am I ‘unconventional’I am creative, enjoy I thinking out side of the box

    2 What have I collected? Hmmm, as a People watcher, my net is always full of ideas and useful
    info

    3 How will I make changes to my blog?
    Last Year I was really anti social. I turned off my comments and stayed in my cave, But now I’ve seen the light – Thank to Jk from Hustlers Notebook

    4.How will I make a difference?
    I will add more value and more positive growth to the web

  7. Sounds like you’ve got it all under control,Lloyd. Keep it up!
    Thanks for your input today.

  8. This reminds me of my own time on the street. You just learn from experience what would be really nice to have on hand, and you grab it the first chance you get. You also learn what can work in the interim and get really good at jerry-rigging things together and make it work.

    This was an awesome post, and great analogy!
    Delena

    • Wow, Delina You were on the street! I’d love to talk to you about that, for my own blog.
      I’m pleased you liked the post and hope it helped with your blog ideas.
      Thanks for joining in today.

  9. Hi Linda, Yeah,, I was on the street. It wasn’t a picnic, but it wasn’t as bad as people think, either. I’d be happy to talk with you about it for your blog, if you wanted. My email address is up top, so you can send me an email any time! =)

    Take care,
    Delena

  10. I love this point:

    Excellent bloggers must be collectors of useful stuff.

    But I think, excellent bloggers don’t have to be collectors for too long, they must give something out so that other upcoming bloggers can collect useful stuff from them. My point is, although at first, yes we can collect this kind of stuffs to give us inspiration and ideas, but then again, if we wanted to become an authority or “excellent bloggers”, then we should give something back to the community, useful stuffs that the others can collect.

    I hope this comment of mine make sense. =)

    Oh by the way, thanks for a unique and good inspiring article Linda. Your post deserves a good offline reading while sipping a cup of coffee. I might print this one out.

    • Great points here,RonLeyba. It’s about giving away our useful ‘stuff’ so others can use it too. If we collect too much we need to ‘de-clutter’ and just keep the really, really useful stuff.

      I realise that I read too many blogs and sites and have to ask myself, which are the ones that help and guide me most?

      But I won’t be putting this site into the ‘de-clutter’ pile!

      Thanks for adding your insight to day.

  11. Hmm. Personally the first thing I think when I see a homeless person is not “how can I use that person to create an analogy about blogging”…

    In fact, with the greatest respect, I am almost speechless at the audacity of it. I don’t know where you blog from, but if you’re in the UK this will make rather sobering reading > http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/homelessness/what_is_homelessness

    and then please, please think about how inappropriate it is to use this analogy when discussing how to improve your blogging…

    • Hello Londoner,
      I am very sorry if this post has upset you. I have every respect for homeless people, and always remember that every time I see someone selling the Big Issue here in the UK, that it could be my son or my daughter, or me, if things were different.

      Please believe that I wanted to cause no offence.

  12. Linda, your article is amazing. I loved the way to equate your writing experiences to the bag lady. Your writing is real and it really put me in yours and the bag ladies situation. Without the photo, it would not hav been as easy to imagine what she was going through and what you were witnessing as you passed by her. Also, the imagery you wrote in this blog will make every blog writer want to learn a better way to write by simply…moving on to something new..

    Thanks..

    • Glad you liked it, Adam.
      I am constantly amazed at what I see that inspires or provokes me to ‘try something new’. Thanks for taking time to join in today.

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