In 2015 the Bangor Daily News asked itself, what makes Maine different? Some of the answers were obvious and pointed to a long history of a deep love for the outdoors. But some of the answers were more nuanced and pointed to something else, something more personal; Maine tends to be a place where people seek out ways to live deliberately by forging a harmonious relationship with the land. Mainers demonstrate an ingrained sense of stewardship for natural resources. It was through this exploration that the Bangor Daily News launched the Homestead section, which is one of the most popular spots where bloggers like to publish.
This week on Maine on the Blogs we chatted with Sarah Walker Caron who is the editor of the Homestead section of the Bangor Daily News to learn more about how bloggers can find a wide audience by publishing on the Homestead section.
What is Homestead?
Homestead is a way of life that embraces getting dirty with soil, animal husbandry, cooking and baking from scratch from locally sourced foods, and conservation practices such as composting, up-cycling, and so much more. There are an endless number of topics pertaining to a rural lifestyle that can make well-read, popular Homestead content.
[Tweet “How to write a Homestead blog”]
DIY or Do It Yourself
Leave it to a salt of the earth Mainer to want to DIY their way through a project. Not surprisingly, the DIY style blog post resonates with our audience because it offers a way for readers to make your words actionable in their own lives. Do you have instructions for how to aerate a compost pile, a no-fail recipe for kimchi, or instructions for how to fix your tractor? If so then chances are pretty great that your blog post on such topics will find a large number of readers.
In the blogging experience there is nothing quite as satisfying as connecting to a reader through storytelling. So, if you are writing a blog post on how to cook fiddle heads you could start with a short narrative that gives the reader a chance to understand why you are interested in fiddle heads.
What do readers expect from Homestead blog posts?
Like any publication you want to make sure that your blog post is well written not only in terms of tone and style but also proofed for grammar and spelling. That said, bloggers should pay special attention to make sure that they use their authentic voice. The Homestead section has many distinct voices that celebrate a rural perspective and yours can be one of them. While chatting with Sarah Walker Caron she astutely pointed out that “everyone already has a distinct voice, it’s about being comfortable enough to write in the voice.”
[Tweet “We chatted with Sarah Walker Caron, editor of the Homestead section”]
What are some evergreen Homestead topics?
Evergreen content is content that is continually relevant. So a reader a year from now can find it as useful to them as a reader today. Seasonal evergreen topics are particularly important for Homestead. For this section that can include information on tick season, foraging for fiddle heads, garden preparations, container gardening, DIY posts, or how to layer a compost pile just to start.
Does Sarah Walker Caron have an editorial writing tips for Homestead bloggers?
As the editor of the Homestead section, Sarah has seen thousands of stories cross her desk. She noted these few seemingly basic but extremely important tips:
- If you making something cool like a rain barrel then blog about it!
- Never assume the audience knows everything that you know and be OK with slowing down to explain basics. For example, some folks reading a food blog for the first time may not know that a dash is an actual measurement.
- Always write to the person who hasn’t done this before. If you are explaining how to weed a garden then make sure you use broad and general terms so that a wider audience can understand your narrative and instructions. Don’t assume your reader knows the basic first steps.
- Don’t try to blog about what is trending, blog about what you know!
[Tweet “If you making something cool like a rain barrel then blog about it!”]
The Homestead section is a wonderfully vibrant section of the Bangor Daily News that can be provide your blog with a fantastic opportunity to share your ideas and experiences with a huge audience. If you haven’t been there in a while we encourage you to check it out and read a few posts. We think you’ll be delighted by the stories you find there.
If you have a blog idea then please don’t be shy! We want to hear about it. You can contact us on our pitch page here. If you don’t know how to pitch then don’t worry, we have you covered with this blog post that gives you some great tips. And if you have any questions feel free to swing by our Facebook page, Twitter page, or leave us a question or comment below.