Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Blog - If I Had to Do It All Over Again

Being part of this blogathon means being offered the chance to write according to a theme on certain days. I blew off the last theme, haiku, because, well, I'm not imaginative enough for that. But today's theme is on if you were to start you blog over, how would you do it differently?

This was worth thinking about, particularly because I write mostly about health issues and there are so many health-related blogs around. So, I wondered - what would I do differently?

My first blog post was May 11, 2007 - And So I've Joined the Blogging World. I didn't realize or I would have thrown a 5th birthday party for it a couple of weeks ago. Ok, here's a belated Happy 5 Years blogging to myself:

Happy 5 Years!
Now, to the point of today's post:

To come with ideas, I had to go back to remember and discover why I did what I did in the first place. For example, coming up with the name: Marijke: Nurse Turned Writer. And also, how did I come up with the medhealthwriter - which also became my domain name for my professional website (

I like Marijke: Nurse Turned Writer. An editor I know emailed me recently and told me that she liked my title - that it was short and directly to the point. In four words, I told anyone who was interested exactly who I am. And that is who I am. I think of myself as a nurse first, even though I no longer work clinically. I still use my nursing knowledge every day when I work for my clients and when I write for myself. So, I wouldn't change that.

What about medhealthwriter? Where did that come from? I had to come up with a domain name for my website and I wasn't sure what I wanted. Several of my writing and editing colleagues said that I should, must, use my name as my domain, as so many of them do. They said that it makes it easier for people to remember you and to find you. 

While this may be so if you have an easy to remember and/or spell name, I really felt that this wouldn't be the case with me. In fact, I feared that people would give up looking for me precisely because they either couldn't remember my name or they had no idea how to spell it. I needed something else that could be remembered and show what it is that I do.

I don't remember the website, but there was a place you could go to plug in words you would like to use in a domain name. It would show you if it was available. I knew I wanted something to do with medical, health, and writing, but of course - the usual combinations were already in use. 

I took the words and played with them, placing them in various combinations and if one was pleasing, I would check to see if it was available. was. That is what the site became. It can be a bit long to write or spell out when I am giving information. That being said, I think it's a small price to pay because I think it's a pretty good indicator, just like Marijke: Nurse Turned Writer, telling people what I do.

Ok, so those things I wouldn't change. What else did I do that might have been done differently. For sure, I would have gone with an independent blog, not blogspot. While this suits me fine enough, I dislike having to put blogspot in my blog URL. But it's not the end of the world and it definitely isn't enough of an issue for me to consider moving it. My page ranking is too high for various terms to risk playing with it.

Would I approach the information the same way? I think so. I was hired to work on medical problem-specific or health-specific blogs after I began this blog. Having a specific topic to blog about has its advantages; you're not grasping for topics. But it has its disadvantages; sometimes there is only so much you can write about a topic. 

My blog is a bit of everything health-related with some writing and personal topics thrown in to the mix. I like that. I like that there are some extremely popular topics on this blog that go as far back as 2007 that still get visited every single day as people discover them through Google and other search engines. Google "broken hips elderly" and you'll see what I mean.

Timing-wise, I was very regular with my posting for the first few years, but then I got busy working on other blogs, ones that paid. It came to a point that I started losing interest in this blog all together. That wasn't good. My posts, if I was lucky, came out once a month. Longer stretches sometimes. But what could I have done differently? I'm not sure. If I didn't want to post, I didn't want to post. 

I did have a blog roll for a while. I stopped that for a few reasons. I can't recall why though! Maybe I could reinstate that. I think one of the reasons was my blog was beginning to look cluttered and I didn't care for that. 

One thing I know for sure I won't ever change is the type of content. I get emails almost every week from people and questionable sites that want me to link to them - they'll provide the content thank you very much. But these sites are not ones I want to be associated with. If I link to a site, I want it to be a link that I want there because it explains something or it's a site that I recommend. 

Of course, the result is I make no money from this blog. It isn't monetized in any way. I probably could have made a good bit of money from it over the years. But that didn't interest me. I wanted to keep this a site that people may come to for unbiased information. Ok, well, not totally unbiased as I'll add my own comments in. But the information is as unbiased as I can make it, in terms of using reliable and credible sources.

So, what would I have done differently? Having read what I just wrote - I can see that I don't think I'd change anything. I like my blog. I like what it represents. I like what it has given me in terms of exposure for people who are looking to hire a health writer with a nursing background. I like that I can help people by writing on a particular topic. You know - I just like it.

I'm glad I took part in today's theme. It helped me realize why I do this blogging thing. 

1 comment:

Jennifer Fink said...

So interesting to read about where you were and how you got here!