Ray Dotson – Out Of His Niche

Hi there. I’m Ray Dotson. Some of you may know me from reading FreshBlogger.com where I usually (occasionally) blog. I’ve been so kindly asked to provide a guest post for Life In The Country and can’t say how honored I am to have the opportunity. Being a blog about living, and particularly about living from the perspective of a personal known to most out here as Snoskred, I thought I would write a little bit about living from my own perspective.

I live in the northern part of the State of Kentucky (it’s actually officially a Commonwealth, but there’s no real difference) in the United States. This is what the East and West coasters call ‘fly-over country’ because they consider it not worth stopping in, but only a part of the country they fly over when going from coast to coast.

Most people in the world probably think of the big cities in the USA when they think of America. Images of New York City or Los Angeles would come to mind first. Maybe they would think of all the wealth and prosperity and glitter in those bright, shiny places, home to celebrities and politicians. A lot of the people in the United States do live in these big cities and do live along the East and West coasts of this country.

However, there are many people who live in between and a great number of them don’t ever visit the coasts or see the big famous cities, other than on television and in the movies. I’ve read somewhere that a significant portion of Americans never travel beyond 50 or 100 miles from where they were born. I wonder if this is still true.

As for myself, I’ve traveled around the states a little bit, but I’ve never been to New York or Los Angeles and only briefly passed through Chicago. I live near to and work in a medium sized city called Cincinnati, Ohio. Some of you may have heard of it before. It’s a place with a peculiar sort of fame in that the great American writer Mark Twain once said that he’d like to be in Cincinnati when the world ends because everything happens five years later there.

What’s humorous about this is that it still rings true a hundred years later. It’s a city with several million people living within about a 30 mile circle, but feels like a small town in so many ways. Though I live across the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky, I was born in Cincinnati and lived much of my younger life there. Today, I work at a community college in Cincinnati and spend quite a lot of time in and around the city.

Cincinnati is an interesting place with quite a lot of history. It was founded at the end of the 18th century during a time of many bloody battles in this area between the native inhabitants and European settlers. Contrary to popular belief, many of the natives of this land got along well with the newcomers from across the sea, while many others fought tooth and nail for several hundred years. There were literally hundreds of tribes of people living here who split their allegiances between the British Empire and the American revolutionaries.

Like in those days, America is a place of many different tribes and allegiances. Most of us here in the United States, though, work hard for a living and take our two weeks of vacation each year, like many other people in the industrialized world. Well, except we seem to take less time off of work for some reason. I’ve often wondered if this has come from the Puritan roots of America.

The first settlers to this country were strict religious types who were fleeing persecution from the authorities in their native countries. Many others were criminals, indentured servants, and poor people looking for a new beginning. When they arrived here, I imagine a number of them were shocked at the harshness of this land.

In the first colonies, existence was tenuous. Starvation and disease took a great toll of those first generations. A lack of diplomacy combined with fear and desperation likely precipitated serious problems with those who already lived here. Sounds like fun, huh?

It seems that each country in the world has a sort of common characteristic that has developed over time due to the events that have formed them. Consider that the British Isles was invaded continuously by European tribes for hundreds of years. The population was almost completed wiped out by war and disease time and again in the Dark Ages. As a student of English Literature, it’s clear that the English language’s strange structure and plethora of irregularities stems from the influx of so many different cultures and languages.

In the United States, it’s the sense of rugged individualism that seems to be a defining trait. What this refers to is that ability of a person to stand up for his or her own beliefs and pursue their desires regardless of the opposition, whether it’s harsh weather, dangerous animals, or disapproving peers. I’m not sure if they teach this in schools anymore here, but when I was growing up, this was something that was taught with pride. These days, however, it sounds more like a pejorative in a world where individualism often is subservient to collectivism.

Don’t misunderstand this as being a talk about politics or diplomacy, but a sort of casual observation of American culture by someone born and raised here. A rumination, if you will, on the soul of America. Clearly, there are both negative and positive aspects to this idea of rugged individualism.

I think many countries reach a stage when they have to decide who they really are. They come to a point of national cultural adolescence and the changes they go through can be tumultuous. The United States, being a relatively young country at not much more than 200 years old, has been going through something like this for several decades now. Think about the smart mouthed 13 year old as the 1960’s all the way up through the jaded 18 year old of the 1990’s. The next decade or two is about coming of age. Being legal. It’s an exciting, but scary time.

Though, I’m fascinated by the rest of the world’s cultures and have a great desire to travel all over this beautiful planet, I love living in the United States and I also love being an American. I’m not afraid to say it. There are mistakes that have been made, but mistakes are what people do best. Hopefully, we can all learn from our mistakes and make the future a better one, individually, as a society, and as a world full of people with fundamentally similar needs and desires. Without any commentary on present politics, the United States is still a great place to live, and despite some things people may hear in other parts of the world, it’s a very welcoming and tolerant place in many regards.

Ultimately, people will think what they want, but I hope I’ve given you a little perspective on a place you may know well or may not know at all. I welcome any comments and thank Snoskred once again for the opportunity to share my words with her readers.

Thank you Ray, a very appropriate post for Election Day here in Australia, where my country is currently deciding who we really are. We might be the same as we’ve been for the last 11 or so years, or we might think it is time for a change. Either way an evening of cheesecake and my favourite election analyst, Antony Green, looms ahead of me.

In many ways our country follows your country and we’re about the same age. But we get 4 weeks of holidays a year. And some lucky people among us get even more than that!

Remember, you can get out of your niche tooall bloggers are welcome. Just contact me.

Get Out Of Your Niche

Life In This Country – Forest Parks Out Of His Niche

This week Forest Parks has dropped by to get out of his niche. Enjoy!

I grew up in London, UK but recently I have finally made the brave step of moving across the high seas and now live in Montreal, Canada.

For years I had wanted to leave for a foreign land but always found excuses or ended up tied down to something. So to actually finally be somewhere new is still unbelievable.

When Snoskred gave me the opportunity to write this guest post, I suddenly realised that I had no idea what to write about. I knew an opportunity had been given to me to show some new readers my writings. The pressure was on to write something that was at least informative and entertaining enough for anyone who does not read my blog. Hopefully I have managed to do that!

So in line with some of the other guest posts and with the title of this great blog, I am going to write about this city and my time here thus far.

© Forest Parks
I have visited Montreal a few times before, so it wasn’t a complete leap of faith and I was already familiar with the layout and general buzz of the city. Montreal thrives on it’s interesting mix of North American and French-influenced culture, as well as a large immigrant community and a very open minded artsy approach to life. This makes it a very vibrant city. Somehow the streets manage to perspirate both non stop excitement and laid back aromas, and it truly is a city that allows you operate anytime at your own pace and leisure.

Being addicted to blogging, I often find myself relaxing in downtown coffee shops using the ‘sans fil’ to connect to the net or relaxing on my bed at home in the leafy area of Westmount.

Westmount is only a 25 minute walk from all the buzz and is billed as the ‘English’ area, sporting English styled buildings with details of French-class, all set amongst rows of glorious maple tress and green parkland. It’s a cool place to walk around on a lovely clean, crisp autumn day.

When I manage to pry myself away from the evil MacBook, I can be found working in the trenches of Hurley’s Bar on Crescent Street, preparing food and making sandwiches for the many tourists and business peoples who frequent the lovely mock-Irish bar. Hurley’s is a great place to work. As one of Montreal’s more well known pubs, it attracts a large amount of clientèle. It can get busy, but with a great crowd of young (or at least young at heart) and enthusiastic co-workers, things always get done. Everyone gets on superb.

Strangely, I have found that I actually drink less now that I work in a Bar, but have been known to spend the odd inebriated night in the English styled Cock’n’Bull. It’s a great (and in Montreal terms) old pub with an endless list of elderly locals to chat with and hear unbelievable folklores. There is also a vibrant student crowd and interesting themed nights, such as Monday Craft Night’, keeping you entertained.

Bars and Restaurants are another forte of this ever talented city. Me and my partner Lara especially like walking over to the East side where all manor of different restaurants can be found. Just the other day we dined in a fantastic Ethiopian restaurant. Given no instructions and no cutlery, we found ourselves conjuring interesting ways to get the extremely pleasant food into our bellies, without ruining our clothes. This area also has some great Bars such as the grundgy hockey-hole: Barfly. Plus there’s a very nice little wooden affair, known as Yermad, which I think may be French for “Very Nice Little Bar” (I’m unsure on that translation. Maybe I should look it up!).

The East is the predominately French-speaking area. Its buildings and attitude reflect this, with winding staircases and a more grubby, weathered, but uber-cool feel. This, I guess is why it has become a big hang out for the many students that reside here.

© Forest Parks

Two huge Universities (McGill and Concordia) as well as endless technical schools, make sure that it’s impossible to take a snapshot of any area without pointing out a handful of these little scoundrels whizzing around between bars, bookshops, libraries, coffee shops and school. Montreal is infested with students.

A little further East still brings you to ‘The Village’. Sounds important, hey? Well, this is the so-called ‘Gay’ area. Here you can find (yep you guessed!) more bars and fantastic terraces to hang out (if there’s warm weather), not to mention some very flamboyant people. Full body spandex suits and hi-fashion punks are not uncommon here. It becomes a sight seeing exercise in itself. I love the openness and commend any city that is proud of its sexual diversity.

The flamboyance and obscureness is not restricted to one little area. All over the city you can see it, from homeless people displaying crazy signs like ‘Help me, my parents were killed by The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’. Or take, for example, an old man with full-on Hells Angels get-up, riding a pink bicycle, to a guy that tries to hold you up at ‘banana’ point and extract small change from you. I promise you the visual fun never ends.

© Forest Parks
However, talking about the homeless situation moves me to talk about a darker side. Montreal seems to have an extremely high homeless population. At times it gets overwhelming and you find yourself detaching. They can be very offensive, hassling you for money, swearing at you. Sometimes they start to feel like seagulls that have built up the courage to swoop close enough to humans, making you feel extremely awkward. I am trying consciously to avoid these feelings. Winter is coming and I really can’t see how these people will survive -40 weather. I am having a hard time working out how even me, in my privileged situation, will have enough warm clothing and easy access to transport.

There is also a large Native population. The general attitude towards these First Nations People leaves me sour. In many cases, labelled as “Junkies” and “Drunks”, this downtreading and the systematic lack of opportunities, in my opinion, is really holding these people back from fully integrating and being accepted as they should be.

Like all cities, Montreal is not perfect. But this is one of the things that keeps it feeling like a dynamic and interesting place to be right now.

During my 3 months here, I really haven’t scratched the surface of this enchanting place. Spending most of my time downtown and in the surrounding areas, I’ve not ventured out to experience the whole island. I would love to do a 100 mile hike around it’s perimeter.

Life is interesting once again and the move out of my comfort zone has paid off.

Thank you Snoskred for letting me blog out of my niche.

You’re welcome Forest – it was well worth it! An excellent guest post. I do wonder why Montreal? Many Brits move overseas to places with warm weather – Spain and Brisbane in Australia are two that immediately jump into my head as places with a lot of Brits. No -40 degree days there. No snow. I tell you what though, if you’re looking for advice on how to survive cold winters Sephy will have a few ideas for you being as he lives in the snow belt of the USA.

It’s almost time for me to start stalking some guest bloggers again, which I will be doing very shortly! Before I come looking for you, why not volunteer? You can get out of your niche tooall bloggers are welcome. Just contact me.

Get Out Of Your Niche

Politics In A Small Town – Kin Out Of Her Niche

This week regular commentor here at Life In The Country Kin is getting out of her niche. Enjoy!

Believe it or not I had chosen my topic for this post before Mr Howard called the election, but small town politics (both official and unofficial) is such a huge part of my town, that to discuss my life here without mentioning it would leave such a huge hole in the story, I may as well not tell it.

We moved here 5 years ago. From one tourist strip, to another. Our previous tourist strip had 200,000 people. Here there are just 5,000. While a fairly small community, it’s different to the “country” town 15 minutes down the road, where surnames are street names, and several generations have lived in the same house. My town is transient, full of backpackers and young people working their way around Australia. Retiree’s are also well represented. I mean where else would you want to retire to?


We’re never short of anything to do in town here. Apart from the Great Barrier Reef being on our doorstep, there’s a seemingly continual procession of activities that start in January, and only let up in December for all the Christmas functions.

But when there’s such a small community, it really requires a large proportion to be involved to make any kind of impact. Our family is and has been very involved in various community groups over the years we’ve been here. And the politics within community organizations will always be an issue, wherever you live. But it certainly makes life a touch more interesting when a member of your committee is married to the local mayor. And half your committee is actively involved in protesting against various “decisions” the local council has made.

See, our council seems to know exactly what to do to ensure maximum reaction from the community. An old car park in the middle of town? We’ll just build a resort on it, provide less parking for locals and visitors – oh and a few hundred pokies next to a family lagoon. What reaction did they think they were going to get?

Fortunately, a community so used to being actively involved in organising events was quite able to turn in a petition with 1,700 signatures from locals (remembering a town of 5,000), 3,000 objections to the development application and a protest march the likes of which our town has never seen (and our town has seen a few!!!). The developer formally withdrew the application this year (finally!).

Or my favourite – the airport that didn’t make a profit in 2001 (did any regional airport?), so we’ll sell it to someone who wants to close it down so we all have to travel another 30 minutes (total time = 1 hour) to the nearest airport. The actions against the foreshore development were repeated, and the issue ended up in the Supreme Court, which finally found there was no contract for sale and that our airport could stay where it was. Amazingly the airport is now turning a massive profit, and redevelopment works are underway a mere 6 months after this finding.

When I stop and think about these political events in our town, and compare them to our previous home, I can’t help but notice the striking differences. Petitions had similar numbers of signatures, despite the massive difference in population. Protests were all but unheard of. And if they did happen, they were something like restoring the local post office or banning skateboards on footpaths. Things that while important, don’t necessarily impact the entire community in quite the same way.

This hit home to me on Friday night as we made our annual pilgrimage to the lagoon for “Cracker Night” – the start of the October/November festival of choice – to realise that had the development gone ahead on the car park site, there would be nowhere to launch the fireworks from. I compared it to the Brisbane “River Fire” where 500,000 people line the banks of the Brisbane River, crowded, on top of each other, to watch fireworks and the crowd favourite – F1-11’s. We lay on the grass next to our town’s “swimming hole”, with kids playing in the water til late, and chatted with our neighbours who were sitting not far from us. And we watched a somewhat less impressive display of firepower.

Less impressive it might have been, but it wouldn’t have happened at all if not for the hard work of a community not afraid to take on their alleged representatives, and stand up and fight for their community.

With our impending move South to the Big City, these types of reflections are getting more and more common. I wonder if the things I’ve learned living here will stay with me, or if they’ll get lost among the sheer number of people.

Kin – I have no idea how I would cope moving back to the Big City now. A busy night at the local Chinese Restaurant is too noisy for me. I’ve become used to the peace and quiet of our new home very quickly. It happened so fast I can’t even remember what life in the city used to be like. I don’t know if I could handle it again. You’re a braver girl than I am, that’s for sure!

I have begun to see some of these small town politics in action myself since moving to a town of less than 5,000 and it is highly interesting to watch.

Remember, you can get out of your niche tooall bloggers are welcome. Just contact me.

Get Out Of Your Niche

Get Out Of Your Niche – Stephen Cronin

Today I have a fascinating guest post from Stephen Cronin – a fellow Aussie who is most decidedly out of the country.

I’m supposed to write about life in my country, so the first question is ‘what’s my country’? The answer is most definitely Australia, but I’ve spent most of the last 10 years living overseas. The last two years have been spent in China, but now it appears that in six months time, I’ll be taking my family home.

So instead of writing about life in my country, I’m going to look at what I’m looking forward to about life in Australia and what I’ll miss about life in China.

Life In Australia – Looking Forward

There are many things I’m looking forward to about living in Australia again. I can’t list them all, but here are some of the first to spring to mind.

The Outdoors Lifestyle

BBQs. Playing with my family at the park. Picnics. Sitting on the back deck watching the sun set. Fish and chips by the beach. Bush walking. Wide open spaces. The endless blue sky…

In Australia, we use the outdoors for recreation. In China, its used for living. Daily life happens wherever there is room. The outdoors isn’t approached in the same way. Recreation here centers around food and spending time with other people. That’s not a bad thing, but I miss the Australian approach.

They have the most wonderful parks in China, but they are cultivated to the nth degree and lack the natural feel of Australian parks. Likewise, they have some absolutely stunning scenery, but the nature itself often comes second to making it an event for visitors. It seems that having been there is more important than having seen it (people are more worried about getting the photograph in front of the sign, than actually stopping and taking it all in).

The wonderful environment we are so lucky to have in Australia is one of the things I miss most. Getting back to nature and enjoying the outdoors lifestyle is at the top of my list of things I’m looking forward to.


I love to drive! I’ve been driving for almost 20 years and it seems like the car becomes an extension of you. Take it away and it feels like something is missing.

Here in China, I don’t have a car. There’s no need for one. I can walk to work in fifteen minutes, to the shops in ten minutes. If I need to go into the city, which is 30 minutes away, I can take a bus (they run every 3 or 4 minutes and only cost 35 cents) or a taxi ($3.50). Most weeks I’ll spend less than $5 on transport. Compare that to your petrol bill!

But although its great for my wallet, I really miss driving.

So when I get back to Australia, I’m going to drive, drive, drive. I’ll drive to the shops, I’ll drive into town, I’ll drive around the block! Not good for the environment, I know, but hey, I just saved the planet from 2 years worth of car pollution!

Hot Christmas

I’ve been enjoying cold Christmas’s for quite a while now. While that’s a great thing, especially when there’s snow (just like in the movies!), I do miss the hot Australian Christmas.

Cold ham (off the bone), salad, ice-cold beer, cricket in the park, watermelon. I could keep going. These are what I grew up with at Christmas time and as great as a White Christmas is, there’s always something missing.

Open Internet

Obviously, being a blogger and web developer, access to the Internet is very important to me. So the fact that many popular sites are blocked in China is very frustrating for me. Sites blocked include Wikipedia, BBC News, Flickr, Technorati, wordpress.com, blogspot.com.

Until Snoskred recently switched to a hosted WordPress site, I couldn’t even access A Life In The Country!

There are ways around this of course. I can get to pretty much any site I like, by using TOR or a web-based proxy server, but it’s inconvenient and slow.

So being able to turn the computer on and access any site I like will be one of the great pleasures of being back in Australia.

A Return To My Career

I’ve been teaching ICT here in China, but teaching’s not my profession. Whilst teaching can be rewarding and I’ve really enjoyed it, I’m ready for a change. A return to my career beckons.

I’ve spent 13 years in the software industry, most of it in management roles and I miss it. I miss the office environment, working on projects, the pressure of business, the feeling of being involved in something. I even miss meetings!

Of course, I may say something a little different if you ask me in a years time, but for now, I am really keen to get back into it.

So if you know of any great jobs in Brisbane from about May next year, let me know! :)

Life In China – What I’ll Miss

Living in China has been a great experience for me. In many ways, I don’t want to leave. These are some of the reasons why.

The Dining Experience

Food is very important to the Chinese. It has to be fresh and it has to taste great. If you’ve never tried real Chinese food, I can assure you it is far superior to the food you get in Chinese restaurants in the west. In fact, there are very few dishes here that I recognise from Chinese restaurants in Australia.

For those not familiar with Chinese dining, each person does not have an individual meal. Instead, many dishes are placed in the centre of the table and you help yourself to a little of everything. This solves my problem of wishing I’d ordered what the person next to me had!

Compared to Australia, eating out here is very cheap. Chicken and oyster mushroom fried rice (enough to fill me up) is $1. I’d be hard pressed to cook at home for less than that. For two people eating out in style, it normally costs less than $10.

While there are some dishes I won’t miss (chicken’s feet!) and while I’m looking forward to some of the options I’ll have in Australia, on the whole, I’m losing out.


The minute I step outside my door here in China, there is something going on. There are people everywhere, whether they are working, shopping or just taking a stroll. There is always something interesting (often unusual!) to see.

Although Australia is noted for it’s outdoors lifestyle, this only applies to our recreation time. The average Australian (myself included) spends most of their time indoors.

I was struck by the difference the last time I was back in Australia. It was middle of the day, in Australian suburbia. I stepped outside and I couldn’t see any one. They were all at work, at the shops or inside their houses. I stood there for 5 minutes. Nothing moved. It was static, lifeless … dare I say, boring!

I don’t know how immigrants survive in the suburbs. I’m not looking forward to it and I grew up with it. Life won’t seem as rich.


Yes, you read that right! I’m going to miss the freedom of China. There are problems (see Internet section above for example), but in some areas the Chinese are freer than we are in the west.

This is especially noticeable in the workplace where, in the west, we are bogged down by a multitude of regulations. Health and Safety, Equal Opportunity, Bullying, Sexual Harrasment. All of these are good things, but they are often taken too far. This can make the workplace over-complicated and less enjoyable. At worst, it increases stress and even impacts on people’s quality of life.

Another issue relates to children: These days we tend to overprotect them, which I think limits their growth. Children have to be given some freedom to try things, take risks, make mistakes, learn from them, etc. Many of the things I got up to when I was a kid just wouldn’t be allowed these days, because parents are protecting their children, but these things helped me become more capable and confident.

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be cautious, but I think we are too cautious and it’s gotten to the stage where it has a negative impact on our lifesytle. I also believe we are over-regulated (whatever happened to personal responsibility by the way?).

In China, it’s the opposite. They aren’t cautious enough! There isn’t enough protection in place for employees. It’s probably like Australia was 40 or 50 years ago. But people are generally more relaxed and less worried than we are. Living here has been a breath of fresh air.

I believe there should be a sensible middle line somewhere between the two. In Australia, fear plays too important a role in our lives. I’m not looking forward to that aspect of life in Australia.


China is full of signs (and t-shirts) with English writing. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there are often errors with the English. These are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and often leave you laughing.

I can never remember the funniest examples, so I’ll point you engrish.com or flickr’s chinglish pool if you have some time to spare and want a good laugh. The only example I can remember is “Please respect the fragrant meadow” (Keep off the grass), but there are many which are much funnier.

A side note: I’ll never forget when one of my students – quiet, studious, conservative – started wearing a t-shirt with chinglish proclaiming that she was a hot porn star (or words to that effect). She would have been horrified if she knew what it meant.

Sadly, chinglish being slowly eradicated here, especially with the Olympics coming, but you still come across the occasional unexpected surprise that will brighten your day.

Education Environment

While I much prefer the style of education in Australia (in China they still learn by rote), I have concerns about the environment. By that I mean drugs, violence, sex, etc. It seems each week brings a news story which makes me think twice about putting my children in that environment.

Here in China, the bad students in my classroom are the ones who don’t do any work or fall asleep in class. If you call them on it, they apologise and are embarrassed!

The bad students in Australia? Well I finished to school almost 20 years ago and we were a lot worse than that then. What’s it’s like now, I have no real idea, but if the stories in the media are indicative, it’s a lot worse.

Like any father, I’m worried about what my children will face at school. Part of me thinks I’d rather raise my family in China, where youngsters still have respect for their elders.

For all the negative things about China that you’ll read in the western media, there are things that the Chinese do better than us. The sense of family and respect instilled in youngsters is one of them.

The Final Word

There are many other things I’ll miss about China and many things I’ll enjoying back in Australia – these are just some of the main ones. It’s going to be a big change for our family and we’re looking forward to it, but there will be some sadness too. The world is a great place and it’s good to experience as much of it as we can.

Stephen has worked in the software industry in Australia, UK and USA for 13 years. He is currently living in China with his family, where his ‘day job’ is teaching ICT and his nights are spent blogging and developing websites. You can read more from Stephen at his blog – More Than Scratch The Surface

This post was so interesting to me. I’ve never lived out of Australia for a long period of time – the longest I’ve been out of the country has been 6 week trips. There are so many amazing IT jobs in Australia. Looking on seek.com.au IT is always the category with the highest amount of advertised jobs – it currently has about 10,000 more jobs available than any other category – the next highest category is accountants. It seems we do not have enough qualified people in Australia to fill both these job categories – so there will surely be something great out there when you return, Stephen. 

Get Out Of Your Niche has quickly become one of my favourite features here on my blog. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do! And remember, you can get out of your niche tooall bloggers are welcome. Just contact me.

Get Out Of Your Niche

Children Hold The Key To Blogging – Brown Baron Out Of His Niche

Brown Baron is out of his niche here today with this post –

Bloggers who decide to become serious with their writing and promoting their blog often experience stress usually found in an office environment. Whether it be practicing good SEO, dealing with blogger’s block, or simply feeling pressured by bigger blogs, bloggers often forget that the secret to having the proper attitude towards blogging can be found by observing children.

Start the day with a smile
Have you ever noticed how children have the incredible ability to wake up in a good mood most days? That’s how you should do it. Start each day with a positive attitude. If you wake up and remember you still have no idea on what the next post will be, don’t worry about it. Just smile. Try and start your day with a positive outlook and you’ll notice how easy it is to enter your blogging routine. As the day wears on, try to maintain your good mood and you’ll be surprised at how productive you can be.

Keep asking questions
Children never seem to run out of questions. No matter how much they learn, they keep asking more questions. If you’re satisfied with the direction your blog is taking, don’t be complacent. Keep asking yourself what else you can do to improve your visitors’ experience.

If you still haven’t grasped the fundamentals of running and promoting a blog, make a list of the things you don’t understand and work on them one at a time.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Children have the tenacity to keep working on a problem until they’re sure that they can’t do it on their own. They will then ask grownups for assistance. Any time you feel like you’re way over your head with customizing your blog, installing plugins, upgrading, or need advice on promoting your blog, don’t be afraid to ask your readers or other bloggers for suggestions.

Your readers come to your blog because they like your writing. They don’t expect you to be a master at the technical aspects of blogging.

There are a lot of bloggers that would be more than willing to help you out. Don’t be shy, just ask.

Make lots of friends
Have you ever noticed how children are so adept at making new friends or at getting along with other kids? Make sure that you form a bond with your readers and other bloggers. Knowing that you have a connection with your readers and other bloggers gives you motivation to keep writing even during the times you don’t feel like it.

Forging friendships with other bloggers will give you the feeling that you’re not alone in the world of blogging. You’ll learn new things, share tips, and help develop the growing community of bloggers all over the world.

Every day is an adventure
It’s amazing how children are always bright-eyed at even the most mundane tasks. It’s because they treat everything and every day as an adventure. Don’t look at your blogging as a routine or chore that you need to finish. Think of every post, comment, blog tweak, as a new game that you just discovered.

There is magic in writing and connecting with your readers. Your readers are your treasure. Some you will find, and others will simply find you. No matter what happens during the day, remember it’s all a big adventure.

If you find that you still need help with regard to having the best attitude towards blogging, take a look at the children. They’re smarter than you think.

Brown Baron blogs over at Brown Thoughts. I can’t remember how I first found his blog but I am thrilled that I did.The Baron is almost as mysterious as me but he does let slip that he is the father of 3 kids and the adoring husband of one wife.

This post is extremely apt today as I met my first fellow blogger, more about that tomorrow. I wish I could meet all my blogging friends in person and I hope to do more meeting bloggers in Australia, at least.

The community of bloggers is filled with wonderful people. Step out of your comfort zone and make a new blog friend today. :)

Get Out Of Your Niche

A Tale Of Three Kitties – Thomas Out Of His Niche.

Note from Snoskred – This week Thomas – Technical Blogger is getting out of his niche, and reading this I am so glad he agreed to do it. I love this post.

I was in my mid thirties before I had a cat.

In 1999 or so I took a contracting job at Microsoft, and my girlfriend at the time and I moved to this cool log cabin in Redmond, WA. My girlfriend had this ornery black cat that I didn’t really like, but for the most part he left me alone, and I left him alone. A couple of days after we moved in, there was this little kitty out on the deck mewing very loudly. It was there for a couple of days mewing. Did I mention this cat was really loud? Finally I told the girlfriend to do something to shut that cat up. She fed it some food that it gobbled right down and became quiet and started purring.

This cat had no desire to come into the house. Whatever room we were in, it would hang out in the corresponding window, so it could see us, but did not want to come in. In October the weather was starting to get rainy and nasty, so we built a little shelter with warm bedding for the kitty in the planter box outside the big window. We feed her and all seemed to be well.

In November it started to snow, and we decided that we needed to bring the little cat indoors. She adjusted to the indoors really well. She was neurotic and a pain in the butt, she hid under furniture 90% of the time. All I could think is how much cats sucked.


We moved, and I said that since we had taken responsibility for the little kitty that we had to take her with us. She did really well in the new place. She was neurotic and a pain in the butt, but she did change, now she hid under furniture 95% of the time. All I could think is how much cats sucked. At this point the girlfriend became an ex-girlfriend. I told her that she had to take both cats, but she would only take hers initially as she was moving back to the Bay Area and left me with that damned little cat.

Two days after the ex-girlfriend and her cat had gone, I started seeing the little kitty out and about. I used to say she was a little bit of a cat, and the name stuck. Little Bit. It just being the cat and I, Little mellowed out within a week.

One day I was working in my office at home, and I heard Little meowing from another part of the house so I told her where I was. I then heard meowing closer. This happened a couple of times, and then I heard a meow outside my office. I looked at her and told her she could come in, and she did. She settled down by me and seemed to be happy. She seemed to like to play this game, as she played it frequently. I played along because it made me laugh.

Moving to the Bay Area

I got contract work in the Bay Area, so we moved. Initially We stayed in corporate housing and I wasn’t supposed to have a cat. I told the Little to stay out of sight, and she seemed to understand. At this point you might say – Thomas you are deluding yourself if you think your cat had the power of speech, I don’t think she had the power of speech, but she seemed very intuitive and appeared to understand what I told her. She would sometimes wait in the window for me to come home, and when she saw I noticed her, I would waggle my finger at her and she would jump down and hide. She was a great cat. Having just moved from Seattle to the Bay Area, I had few friends and although I was happy the girlfriend was gone, I was depressed about my general state of relationships.

Little started sleeping on my chest. I would sometimes wake with her cheek on mine. If I came home late, she would wait by the door, and would let me have it, with a barrage of meows. If I came home after being in a bar, I would have to shower before I got into bed or she would snore and wheeze all night keeping me up and expressing her displeasure. I took care of her and she took care of me.

We moved out of corporate housing and got a loft in East Side Oakland. It was the Little and I, and we had a great time. If I sat down for more than 5 minutes she was in my lap. When it was time for bed, she would get up, go to the bedroom and meow on the bed waiting. When I got in bed, she would crawl on my chest and fall asleep. She was trusting, sweet, and gave love unconditionally. She watched over me, and when things got tough, was always there for me.


Little was an excellent barometer at reading people. I never mentioned to dates that I had a cat. Some women would come in, and the Little was not to be seen, for others she would come out and say hi. It may sound weird, but I always listened to the Little. Interestingly enough, when the ex did show up from time to time the Little was never to be found. Considering Little always met me at the door when I came home, I found it interesting that she would disappear if I brought someone else home.

The Little had an electronic litter box. One afternoon, the box was going off, every 15 minutes for a couple of hours. I thought it was broken. When I investigated, I realized Little was playing with her litter box. She would go in and let out about a marble’s worth of urine and then jump out. She would walk around and when the box would start she would run over and watch it. A couple minutes after it stopped, she would jump in to start the process again. She would take frequent trips to her water dish to ensure she was probably hydrated and had enough ammunitions to continue the game. This was a game she would play periodically. Goofy little cat.

I raised my voice to the Little once. She was playing with the sheer curtains in my rented loft. I just looked at Little and said No sharply. She disappeared and I did not see her for the rest of the evening. I looked for her and she was not to be found. At bedtime, I got in bed and called, and there she was. I have no idea where she went, but I never had to raise my voice to her again.

I traveled periodically for my job and my buddy Tim would stay at my place to hang out with the Little. Little loved Tim, and Tim loved the Little. In early 2000, I took a work oriented trip to Cairo, Egypt for a little over two weeks. Tim was unable to stay at my place the whole time but stayed there off and on to ensure the Little was doing ok.


When I got back, Little and I fell back into our normal routine. Not long after that I met my wife Shannon in Portland, OR. When the Little met Shannon in August, it was love at first sight.

In October of that year, the Little started to get sick. I noticed her walking around wheezing. When I took her to the vet, they removed almost two pints of fluid from her body cavity. Apparently her body cavity was filling up with fluid, squeezing her lungs and she was having difficulty breathing. I had her tested, but we could not figure out what was wrong, she was not getting better, and she wouldn’t eat.

When Shannon came to visit, the Little crawled on Shannon’s lap, and gave her a long hard look. I could see the Little sizing Shannon up. The Little put her paw out, and Shannon took it in her hand. The hung out like that for a couple of minutes, and then Little curled up in Shannon’s lap and went to sleep.

That next week, I could tell the Little was getting worse. One evening I had to take her to the emergency vet to get her drained again. A few nights later, Little crawled off a couple of times to find a secluded spot. I told her I found this unacceptable, as her friend I would help her and wouldn’t let her die alone. That was a really long night, hanging out with my sick friend. I took her to the vet first thing that morning and was told she was rapidly getting worse. The vet said she was just going to keep filling up with fluid and there was nothing they could do. Apparently if she hadn’t received good nutrition when she was younger she might not have formed properly internally. Considering that we found her outside, this seemed reasonable. Under these conditions it is possible for stress to initiate the onset of these types of problems.

The vet suggested the best course of action was to put her to sleep. They explained the procedure and how it would work. I shouldn’t be alarmed if the cat should evacuate its bowels after it had passed. All I could think is that Little is way too dainty and too much of a princess to let something like that occur.

I called Shannon for support, this was one of the hardest decision I ever had to make. I knew Little was in pain, but I didn’t want to give up too early. What if the tests taken the week before found something, but results weren’t expected for another couple of days. I tried to be realistic about the current quality of her life.

I talked to the Little about it, I knew she was in pain and she was wheezing again. She sat in my lap for a while, and then got in her carrier for a minute. I put her on the table and petted her while she was put to sleep. The vet said something about being amazed that Little did not make a mess when she passed, but knowing her that did not surprise me.

The next couple of weeks were kind of a blur. But here are some things I realized later.

– A couple of days later, I noticed that her carrier smelled. I looked in and found she had used her carrier as a litter box. I have heard that a cat will not mess in a carrier that they expect to get back in, I think she understood what was going to happen and wasn’t going to go out leaving a mess.
– When I thought about it, I realized that Little had passed the baton on to Shannon for my care and well being. She wasn’t going to leave without knowing I was taking care of, Little was like that.
– The Little and I only had a couple of years together, and I hope she was happy enough to balance out such a short life and time we had together.
– To this day I think my being gone for the couple of weeks while I was in Egypt stressed Little out, and initiated these problems. I am not sure that there was anything I could have done differently to create a different outcome, but I do blame myself . . .

It would be a couple of years before I could get another cat. It has been almost seven years, and honestyly I tears roll down my checks as I write this, although in my defense my allergies have been acting up as my eyes have been kind of watery.

Enter Mr Pants

As I said, it was a couple of years before I could bring myself to get another cat. Shannon and I started visiting the humane society. I figured it would honor the memory of Little to give another cat a break. At the humane society I told them I wanted to see the cat that had been their the longest. We were shown some cat named Diego. When we got to the cage, the cat charged the bars of his cage and starts meowing loudly.

A sophisticated cat, said the tag, wow he smells and looks horrible said Shannon, I want to see him, says I.


We went into the visiting room with Diego. He was flea bitten, he smelled, he was mangy and weighed 10 lbs. His head was the biggest part of his body. I talked to Shannon and we decided to think it over. Diego was taken back to his cage. When we went back to look at him in his cage he hissed at us. He had thought we had a deal, and it appears we had reneged.

We went back two days later to get Diego. When we go to his cage, he is laying listlessly on the floor, he picks his head up and blows a big snot bubble out his nose. Dude, that is no way to get adopted I tell him, you need to try and put your best foot forward.

Shannon calls a tech over.

Shannon – Excuse me . .

Tech – Can I help you

Shannon – Is this cat going to die, it looks sick. We like him, but we aren’t going to adopt him if he is just going die.

Tech – Uh, ma’am we can’t guarantee the pet will live, but . . .

Shannon – I’m serious, we don’t want this cat if it is going to die.

Tech – Well we can’t guarantee, he just has URI which is common for cats in a situation like this. If anything does happen to the cat, we can get you a new . . .

Shannon – I’m serious, we don’t want this cat if it is going to die. My husband is a big guy, but he is sensitive. He already lost one cat, and I am not going through that again any time soon, this cat better not die.

Me – Hey, I’m not that sensitive.

Shannon – Yes he is, I’m not going through that again any time soon.

Tech – Ma’am the cat should be fine, but I can’t guarantee. I see no indication of ill health.

Shannon – better not die . . .

So we took him. Diego was neither sophisticated or worldly so that name got dropped. Apparently he was found as a stray just a couple of blocks from where we lived.

Side Note: I don’t swear. Shannon has worked in the bar industry most of her life, and knows how to swear real well. When were first dating, she and I were bickering about something. She looks at me and says, you’re a . . ., you’re a. . . ., Mr Pants. To this day I have no idea what that meant, but I knew if we had a pet what its name would be, and Mr Pants it was.

MrPantsDSCN0125 DSCN1255

We have had Mr Pants for over 5 years now. He has been a great cat. He is a 22 lb Maine Coon. He is sometimes referred to as Little Brudder, or Chubba Brudder. He doesn’t care as long as you don’t call him late for his food.

When we first brought him home, he was watching a bird, and jumped off the back of the couch, into the window. He smacked his head and fell to the floor. He would stare out the window for hours. There was a neighborhood outdoor cat that he would see, and cry and cry. It was then that we realized we would some day need to get Mr Pants a friend.

When Nicole was about 10, I was coming down the stairs to see Nicole with Mr Pants in her hands. Nicole then proceeds to toss him over her head to let him land in her bean bag chair. I have never seen his eyes so wide. Nicole looks at me and says, look he likes it. Don’t confuse fear with fun and don’t ever do that again I told Nicole.

Mr Pants is the kind of cat that will play with toys, but not if your watching. He likes to be close to you, but don’t bother him or he’ll move. He is always willing to befriend a cat out the window.

A Friend for Mr Pants, Me Too

MrPantsAndMeToo DSCN1020

Three years ago we decide to get a friend for Mr Pants. I want a Bengal, but Shannon is against getting a cat smart enough to do math. A friend had one, and it used to open doors, drawers, and turn lights on and off.

Time to go back to the humane society. This time we found a Manx, named Taylor. She is a cute little fireball. When we first got her Mr Pants was very excited. She was neurotic and a pain in the butt, and she hid under furniture 95% of the time. Initially we joked her name was Maybe, because she wasn’t getting along with Mr Pants, but was changed to Me Too when we noticed she followed me everywhere. She was surrendered from a household that had too many cats, so she tends to be a little territorial, and has space issues.

One of the first days we had her, I woke up one morning to find the stick feather string thing in the bedroom. I asked Shannon why she had brought that up from downstairs, and she mentioned she hadn’t. A couple of days later, I noticed Me Too running around the house with the feather in her mouth with the stick trailing after her.

Me Too is a goofy little cat. She doesn’t meow, she chirps and warbles. She loves to bird watch and is a great jumper. Her hind legs are powerfully built like a rabbit. We have found her on top of the refrigerator. She loves to take skitter toys in the master bathtub, which is a big soaker tub, and use it as her personal skitter rink. She tends to be pretty vocal as she plays with her toys.

MeToo1DSCN1281 DSCN1266

Me Too now sleeps on my chest. She is on the skittish side, but in the last year she actually comes out when we have company. She is a sweet little cat, and will sit on Shannon or Nicole’s lap. Me Too has her own set of stories, but the post is getting a bit long.
At this point I can’t imagine not having a cat. They have been great additions to the family, and are a constant source of amusement.

Thanks to Snoskred for the opportunity to get out of my technical niche, and try a different bit of writing.

Thomas, this was a most incredible piece of writing – the best I have seen for a long time. I hate to tell you but I must be suffering from allergies too because I suffered that same side effect at almost exactly the same moment. Did anyone reading this find the same happened to them?

Many of us humans have had pets that have touched our lives in ways we could not possibly have imagined. I don’t know why but in Australia some men feel like it’s not “manly” to have a relationship with a cat. They are missing out on something special.

Thomas can be found at Thomas – Technical Blogger where he says – I don’t normally write sensitive cat pieces, more often I write “manly” technical content – and the manly content is also excellent and worth reading.

I love that picture of Little hiding. Mr Pants looks so relaxed and happy. Me Too looks like a real character. To me a house is not a home unless there is at least one cat. Two is even better!

Get Out Of Your Niche, kitties

Liv – Out Of Her Niche

Liv is the second blogger to take part in the Jump Out Of Your Niche series – if you are a blogger you can take part, instructions are here.

I live in a medium sized town smack in the middle of the deep South state of Georgia. It wasn’t always this way. I was born and raised in a shabby suburb of Atlanta, and then moved to a posh suburb following my marriage.

I lived a life that I was well equipped to by virtue of my Grandmother’s excellent training in etiquette and elocution. As a young, married woman I went to countless important occasions with important people where I was expected to be a darling Twinkie of a bride. And how. I wore mad hats and dresses, changed clothes at a moment’s notice to attend fancy dinners, and even have been known to sing on command for my erstwhile husband’s uber-powerful boss who loved the country standards of Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline.

You can imagine that I was getting pretty used to this life when not too long after I deplaned from a celebratory jaunt to the Bahamas in 2000, it was announced that we were making for the country.

I was none too happy because I had recently jumped through a million hoops to get my dream job with a Fortune 500 company, and was making more money than I ever imagined I might. My spouse moved down south while I tied up loose ends at our apartment and with my job. I was assured that I would get a transfer to the local branch of my company in the smaller town, and with that, I wrapped up payroll for 450 people and packed my bags.

When I moved to the rental house I was greeted by a rather tasteless letter in the post that indicated I would not indeed be getting the job transfer, and I was thus unemployed. I instantly became enraged. With my own two hands and a stray knife that I found lying around, I pulled up every shred of carpet in the house and hauled it out to the street. I refinished the floors, retiled a bathroom, raked leaves, whacked down bushes, planted flowers, resurrected the lawn, and was horribly depressed. Productive, but depressed. I was home all day by myself in a town where I had no friends, and I was also in no condition to go find any. I could not find a job. I don’t even know if I wanted to find a job.

I finally found a job in late August of 2001 working with the Red Cross in public relations. I had training for 3 weeks, and then hit the road to a very small town in one of my nine county area. I gave the first of two presentations on the necessity of giving blood, and was on a break when a television was turned on. It was 9:15 on September 11th and the World Trade Center Towers were burning. There was no cellular service in the remote area, and I could not get in touch with the home office.

I’ll never forget the drive back to town. The leaves were beginning to turn colors, and I just vividly remember thinking that if I didn’t know what tragedy had befallen our country it would be impossible to even dream of given the beauty of that day.

Following 9/11, the Red Cross was a very bad place to be. Countless public relations disasters rocked the organization, and the working environment was hellish. We worked virtually around the clock for days before finding out that there was very little demand for the massive quantities of blood we collected because there were so few survivors. It was devastating. Add to this that I wanted to start a family, but with 4-5 anxiety attacks each day chased back with Xan*x, it would never happen. I made a choice to leave and go back to school.

I did go back to university, and I did get pregnant, and in September of 2002 I gave birth to a son. What is all of this really about? I think it’s about the journey to happiness. I didn’t think that I could ever be happy outside of my life in Atlanta. In some ways, I think I created many obstacles to living a joyful life. I sulked, and pouted, and created a lot of hell for myself.

The biggest lesson I have learned from this period (2000-2002) is that we have divine potential to manifest whatever we want in this life. If we want a pathetic existence, it is easy to come by. If we choose to wake up one morning, and demand radiance it’s out there for the taking. I feel fortunate to be awake these days—to be able to accept what comes with curiosity rather than contempt.

For now, I have chosen to stay in this small town. I have many wonderful friends, a business to run, and overall, a good life. Who knows where I’ll land ultimately, but right now, this good is good.

Liv is 30 with two kids and owns a yoga studio. Liv says “My career intention through yoga is to illuminate the innate strengths of mind, body, and spirit in others.” Liv certainly has found those things within herself, as this post clearly shows.

The Jump Out Of Your Niche series is now booked up until the end of October – don’t let it stop you though! I am still looking for bloggers to take part.

Get Out Of Your Niche

Facibus from On Blogging Australia – Out Of His Niche!

Country life is a wonderful thing. The following post from Andrew Boyd – known as Facibus on the net – stunned me with the similarity to the place I have moved to. It shouldn’t be so surprising because Robertson is only a half hour drive from where I now live. I have been there many times when we’ve had a day out driving.

In 2003 I moved to Robertson in the Southern Highlands of NSW to live with my then-fiance. At the time it was a sleepy village of 1,000 souls, mostly harmless. After living in the dry areas around Canberra the lush green grass and remnant temperate rainforest plants made it seem like the garden of Eden – that and being in love.

I found the locals fairly evenly divided between newcomers and those who had grown up in the area. The “weekenders” or “yuppies” as they were known locally were usually refugees of the urban hell of Sydney – much beloved of the real estate agents and members of the Robertson Business Association (in itself, sometimes known as The Mafia).

A village also fairly evenly divided in their future vision of the place – some saw Robertson as the new Berrima (as opposed to New Berrima itself, a fairly working-class hamlet between Moss Vale and Berrima much noted for it’s roving dog population and dead car bodies). The Mafia saw a thriving quaint tourist trap, swarming with well-heeled Sydneysiders ever-ready with their wallets. A lot of other people just wanted the tourists to f*ck off and leave them alone – they had come to Robertson to get away from that kind of thing, or had grown up in a place that they wanted to never change. For myself, I was happy if I could park my car in the main street on the weekend to go and buy milk, and good luck to those that made their living off passing fools.

A note here on the Famous Robertson Pie Shop – the locals knew (and still do, so far as I know) that the best pies are down in the village itself, in the bakery – and to say “I know Robertson, I’ve been to the Pie Shop” is equivalent to saying “I am a proud member of the Young Liberals” to those in the know. I’ve eaten at the Pie Shop myself, some days they had nice chips – but the pies were nothing to brag about, and not a patch on those at the Gunnadoo Bakery in Bungendore. But I digress.

When I first moved to Robertson, like all good small country towns, there was a Chinese restaurant in the Bowling Club. Albert’s was run by, well, Albert. A great bloke who had been there for years and made the best Lemon Chicken I’d had in my life. He was part of the villiage, part of the charm. I literally wept when some short-sighted people ran Albert out of town by refusing to renew his lease. Bastards.

The only other restaurants in town at the time were:
– Chats, a burger and chips sort of place (excellent chips) at the motel
– The coffee place at the Old Cheese Factory
– The bistro at the pub
– Last but not least, Pizzas in the Mist – God bless them, excellent wood-fired pizza and fairly adventurous (their Peking Duck Pizza was my favourite, and I can still smell it as I write this years later).

We later got another three cafes, Albert’s became the Bowlo Bistro, the Old River Grillhouse opened (and while the service was surly, the steaks were excellent), and the pub food got better quickly with a change in management.

I mentioned that Chats was at the motel. In a village of 1,000 people, there were lots of “Thes” – The Traffic Light, The Cemetary, The Oval, The footpath, The Pub, The motel, The Hardware (store), The Supermarket. The only things that came in multiples were real estate agencies and antique shops.

The people were generally great – except for the aforementioned bastards, they know who they were. Behind the scenes there was a fair bit of quiet desperation going on – jobs not easy to get unless you brought work with you, and money was tight for a lot of people. Lots of gossip about – we won’t go there today. Some great characters, and you just knew that every time the police were called to the hotel that it was out-of-towners that were to blame.

The relationship with my then-fiance broke down last year – and my relationship with Robertson changed with it. We’ve since sold the house there and divided the proceedings, each going their separate way. I miss the mist and the call of the bower bird, the constant year-round green-ness, the friends I made there, the slow pace of life. I miss some of the people – if you’re passing through, and stop at the petrol station (not the tractor shop), remember me to Steve, and to the supermarket, to Neil and Heather, and to the Community Technology Centre, to Melissa.

My life has since moved on – I’m back consulting based out of Canberra again, and while I enjoy it, I sometimes long for the view from the Cemetary, the chips from Chats, the pies from the bakery, and the smell of the pizza oven starting up in the afternoons. I went back there with my new lady earlier this year to show her what I missed about the place, and the people who were worth talking to were still worth talking to and were nice to her. Them I miss.

Facibus is the nom-de-net of Andrew Boyd, consultant Information Architect and food-fan. Facibus means “we make” in Latin, and is one half of an obscure motto. You can find him at several blogs in the blog-o-sphere, including On Blogging Australia. Thank you for writing this wonderful post, I appreciate it!

I have not yet been to the Robertson Pie Shop and after reading that am somewhat glad. ;) The slow pace of life is exactly what I am appreciating here in our new village. People say hello. On the surface it seems nice but I am sure beneath it there lurks a few bastards. I am yet to get involved in the community but once we’re all settled in there will be no stopping me. ;)

Australia, country life, Get Out Of Your Niche

Niche Bloggers Invited – Get Out Of Your Niche – Get Into Mine..

I am inviting any blogger reading this to jump out of their “niche” and make a guest post here on Life In The Country. If you would be interested in participating I would love to hear from you, see below for how to get in touch. I’m going to be asking several of my favourite bloggers and the order they reply in is the order they will be posted – this is your chance to jump in line ahead of them.

Say What?

For those of you reading this thinking “what is a niche blogger?” – that probably means you’re not a niche blogger. ;) Basically it is a blogger who focuses on one topic or one subject or perhaps a group of related topics or subjects for their blogging.

Get Out Of Your Niche –

My blog is called Life In The Country – so you could speak about life in your country. My niche is me, so you could speak about anything relating to yourself. :) Photo blogs are welcome, you can have more pictures than words if you like. You could even blog as your pet, I did that once and it was a lot of fun.

Keep It Clean –

Anything and everything is welcome, with a couple of small exceptions like swear words and material which is disturbing or graphic or overly sexual. ;) That is because my readers expect that from my blog.

Why Would I Want To Guest Post On Snoskred’s Blog?

Life In The Country is currently sitting at number 34 in the Top 100 Australian Blogs. This blog is estimated to have a page rank of 5 at the next page rank update – if Google ever get around to it. On average the blog sees between 2-5,000 unique visitors a week. This is your chance to speak to an audience which might not find your blog otherwise.

How Do I Do It?

Simply send me an email – Click Here To Email Snoskred – and let me know you’d like to get out of your niche. I’ll reply with a date on which your guest post will be published, and then it is up to you to write something. You can supply it as a simple text file and let me know if there is any formatting you want. Photos you want published in the post can be attached as .jpg images.

I’m Not A Niche Blogger –

You’re still very welcome to submit a guest post about life in your country or any other topic if you would like to participate.

I Want To Nominate A Niche Blogger –

Absolutely! Just send me an email with the name of the blogger you want to nominate, a link to their blog, and I’ll get in touch and let them know someone nominated them.

When Does It Start?

Today! I’ll be back in the next hour with the first brave soul jumping out of their niche. ;)

blog housekeeping, Get Out Of Your Niche