Peace Corps Writers
Talking with Jason Boog (page 2)
Talking with
Jason Boog
page 1
page 2
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There are a tremendous number of blogs on the Internet. Is anyone reading them?

The beauty of blogs is that they are specialized, almost surgical about finding the right audience. I love reading the comics pages in the newspaper and reading about Peace Corps news, so I discovered wonderful blogs like Comics Curmudgeon and Peace Corps Writers where I can find other people who like similar things.
     My friend Steve, on the other hand, finds both of these topics a little tiresome, so he spends his time reading blogs about web video reelpopblog.com. While no blog will ever rival the audience share of a big network television show, there are a tremendous number of blogs that have dedicated niche audiences to sustain them.

What other blogs do you read?

I dabble in a few different fields when I read. For journalism news, I read Journerdism.com. For literary edification I visit Edward Champion at EdRants.com. For writing advice, I visit Lit Park. For my artistic side, I read 52 Projects. For international journalism, I like to visit my friend Adam’s site AdamBellick.com
     
I keep track of all these blogs using Google Reader. It’s a program that collects all your favorite blogs on a single page so you don’t have to visit all your favorite blogs every day. It helps!

What are some good blogs for Peace Corps writers?

For writing resources and advice, I have a few favorites: the Creative Writing MFA Blog explores the best (and worst) programs around the country.
     Practicing Writers has an excellent newsletter about writing markets Practicing-Writing.blogspot.com
     Finally, I like reading the different posts at Metaxucafe —a site that collects the best literary blog posts every day.
     If you want even more resources, visit my writing website, The Publishing Spot . In the lower right-hand corner I keep a collection of my top ten writing sites. They are all very useful. Every time I find a blog that I enjoy, I check the list of links of websites that the writer enjoys. I usually find more reading material that way. Once again, I recommend Google Reader to keep track of the blogs.

You have a blog . . . how would someone go about creating one?

The most important thing is finding something to write about. Everybody scoffs at blogs because they think they are the diaries of people in pajamas. Not true! The best blogs are written by writers who are enthusiastic about something — your Peace Corps site, pulp fiction novels, knitting, or scuba diving.
     
As long as you are enthusiastic about your topic, you can find readers. Do a Google Blog Search about your topic, see what other bloggers are writing about your topic. Read these blogs carefully.
     
Then go to a free blog site like Blogger. Sign up for a free account and design your blog. They allow you to completely customize every aspect of your blog, from web-page colors to headline fonts. The site contains plenty of tutorials on their Help page that will guide the most inexperienced blogger through the process.
     
Then, start writing about your topic. I recommend reading Copyblogger or Problogger . Both of those websites will teach you how to write gripping, exciting blog posts.
     
Finally, go visit the blogs that write about your topic. Leave thoughtful comments in the comments section, and engage people in debates about your topic. Before long, people will be checking out your blog to see what you are writing. As long as you stay enthusiastic about your topic, you should keep writing.
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