My dad is always surprised that I can come up with more content about geocaching. I guess to him, a geocacher-ish person, it seems like a pretty simple hobby that doesn’t have much to discuss. Tell that to all the geocaching creators! Well, myself, Jangie (aka Geocaching Jangie) and Geocacher Ken, pull back the curtain – or rather the screen – to share about our writing styles and choices inspired by geocaching.
The idea behind this post came from our blogs about North Dakota’s Camping and Caching event. We both attended this same event and went home and blogged about it; however, we both chose a different angle on how we wrote about the experience. Here’s how our minds work, as well as how geocaching gives us a nice way to frame our stories and articles.
Geocacher Ken, blogger of Geocaching with Geocacher Ken
I’ve been geocaching since August, 2013 when I accidentally found my first geocache. I have been on many adventures since. I began blogging at the start of 2018 when I was feeling the itch to do something creative and share it with anyone who was interested. I investigated doing a video and found that there is so much more work behind the scenes. Filming, editing, etc had the potential to make it more of a chore than a fun thing to do. I chose blogging as I can not only write about my adventures, but discuss topics as well. I can revisit past adventures. I do like to take pictures during my adventures, so I have a large collection of caching pictures to go back on and have created blogs reminiscing about those adventures. That is one thing I like to include in my blogs are pictures. There is that old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. I am a picture person. How much so? Back in high school, I had a 500 word book report due. I hadn’t read the book yet. My friend, who was sitting behind me in class had the book on his desk. I picked it up, flipped through the pictures and put it back on his desk. I wrote my book report and got an 80% mark. I have read that book since. 🙂 Pictures play an important part in my blog as it helps with the visualization. Sometimes the pictures help with the story, and sometimes the story revolves around the pictures I’m using. Depends on the topic.
My source for topics is anything and everything. It could be an adventure I was on, or something specific about many adventures, like the animals I encounter while out geocaching. My topic could come from a conversation at an event (my next blog is about Earthcaches from conversations at events), it could be from another blog, a video, or a podcast. I put my personal spin to the topic as so it’s my experience and view. Some readers may agree or relate to what I have to say, and some may not. That’s ok. I like hearing different viewpoints. It gives me food for thought and present possibly a more balanced representation of the topic.
Another aspect of my blog that I like to include is a fun fact about geocaching. It’s usually something that’s locally based in either Manitoba, and/or North Dakota. The fun fact portion actually began a few years before I started blogging. I did a daily post on my FB with some random fun facts that included some basic geocaching information as I shared my geocaching hobby with my muggle friends. Recently, I started announcing a monthly challenge and keeping a running tab on how that is going so readers can follow along.
As for my writing style, I write as I would be telling someone in person the same story. I feel it comes across as more personal and easier to relate. It connects better with the reader. I don’t have a degree in journalism and do make my fair share of typing mistakes. I will proof read what I have written over and over again, usually finding some mistake or something I’m not happy with. Even right now, the night before this is to be published, I’m tweaking what I have written. **Angie. Please publish this before I tweak again. LOL** Bottom line is it’s my story and I’m telling it as I would say it verbally. I also like to add some humor as well. I do have a quirky sense of humor and I don’t mind sharing my misadventures. Sometimes it’s the adventure before and after finding the cache and not the cache itself that makes a story.
Jangie, blogger of Geocaching Jangie
I find it interesting how bloggers and vloggers tackle the form of their content. Does that make sense? Here, this is what I mean; be prepared to geek-out with me. Geocaching Kaity takes us on an experience, usually one or a few caches, but she shows us a story, her day edited down to the exciting parts, beautiful views, and humor. Behind the Cache shifts the perspective, framing a cache around the cache owner and the background behind the placement of the cache. Cache the Line chooses to take us on his journeys, the deeper connection he gets when out exploring in nature, climbing a tree, remembering his mother. All three vloggers could find the same cache, but the vlog would be drastically different. They all find unique aspects of the game that they enjoy highlighting.
Okay…back to the bloggers. I like to frame blogs that can fit into categories. At first, I honestly didn’t know what I was doing when I started blogging. I did the classic how-to’s – like “How to Geocache” and “What is a Trackable?” and all that basic stuff. Then, I started branching out, like “7 Types of Muggles” and “How to Make a Fake Book Geocache” and “Our First Time Geocaching as a Family of Four.”
I found that I like to write how-to’s, but how-to’s that haven’t been created a hundred times. I like writing about my experiences, but I try to keep stories in my main topic areas, for example, hikes, kids, and the North Dakota county challenge. So, when we went to the Caching and Camping event, I knew I’d write about the event and then all the mini-series or category-specific experiences I completed while there (the Enchanted Highway, Hettinger County, and a bike path series). Partially, I break up posts like this because that’s how my brain works, but I also hope that me organizing them like this, I can potentially help someone who is googling these topics, find answers.
Over time, I find it interesting what people like to read are not always my favorite posts to write or experience. People like lists. Life doesn’t typically happen in lists. My biggest difficulty is making a connection, a connection that gets people to come back to my blog, bookmark it, subscribe to it. Sometimes it’s hard to see the person behind the screen. That’s what I try to do – bring a bit of me into the story, not just facts and dry information. However, I think oftentimes, people read blogs to learn something or for humor (and I’m just a bit too serious for the latter haha). Now I’m rambling! All I have to say is that I’d love to know what intrigues you about a blog – or anything that you read. How can we get people reading more again? Dirty little secret – my husband rarely – and I mean rarely – reads my blog posts. He hates reading. If I upload a YouTube video, then he’ll watch it within minutes. I know I’m better at writing than vlogging haha.
Geocacher Ken wraps up this post: This is an example of the fun fact that I like to include. Since Memfis Mafia likes to keep tabs on the Webcam caches, it’s only fitting that the fun fact should be about Webcams. Did you know there are 108 active Webcams is the U.S. and 6 in Canada? Only 39 States and District (Washington DC is included in the stats) have a Webcam. Using the Mississippi River as a dividing line, there are 59 Webcams in the West (30 on the West coast alone) and 49 to the East. Four Canadian provinces can claim a Webcam. How many of those Webcams have you found? I have one Webcam cache found and it’s been archived since. That one was located in Calgary, Alberta.
Everyone has a story to tell, especially when it comes to geocaching. That story is your story. I follow a few bloggers who like to discuss other things in their blog that is important to them as well and not have it exclusively geocaching. Running Bereaved and Wheresjwo are a couple of those bloggers. With that said, anyone can be a guest blogger for Geocache Talk. We would love to hear about your adventures, your milestones, that awesome cache you found. It is a story worth telling and we want to hear about it.
Geocacher Ken lives in Manitoba, Canada. He enjoys writing about his adventures while geocaching, including his memories during his 1,000 day streak. You can read more of his caching stories at his blog Geocaching with Geocacher Ken, and find him on Instagram (@geocacherken), Twitter (@KenReimer6), and Facebook (@GeocachingwithGeocacherKen).
The Geocache Talk blog wants your geocaching-related stories and insights. Please contact me, Angie (aka @GeoJangie and blogger on www.GeocachingJangie.com), to write a guest blog post or if you have any recommendations for subjects or authors. I can be reached via my email: JangieGoWest@gmail.com or through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
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