The romance of blogging

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Written By Jim Butcher

August, it seems, is the Month of Romance Awareness. The furthest it can get from February and Valentine’s Day, August is now the month of love. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but maybe it isn’t.

Either way should we be letting calendars dictate when we allow romance into our lives?

Jim Butcher – co-author and owner of the blog – writes about travel, food and lifestyle and is all about bringing romance to your everyday.

The site has taken Jim and his wife Christina all over the world, writing with romance along the way.

Here are some insights from Jim into what it takes to blog.

Why do you write

My wife Christina and I started this site initially because we travel quite a lot, and we wanted to have a record of our adventures together.

We also wanted to start a kind of ‘he said, she said’ platform to start discussions. The travel, food and lifestyle areas online are quite saturated, but there aren’t many publications written by couples for couples.

We’ve developed our site to be a resource for people looking for inspiration on ways to fill their stomachs or their passports.

Most of all, we do it because we love it. Creating new stories to share with people that will help or inspire them is a great gig.


What do you focus on?

Our focus is on bringing romance to your every day, so August being the Month of Romance Awareness is right on brand for us.

Romance doesn’t have to be about the big or traditional gestures. It’s more about the small things; giving each other time, doing simple things with one another, living life together and enjoying each other’s company.

Most of all, we try to avoid the cheesiness that’s synonymous with the word romance. We try to evoke an ‘ah!’ and a nod rather than an ‘aw!’ and a shrug.


What goes into writing a blog post?

[Tweet “We always start with a question – ‘How will this help our readers?’”]

All articles – wherever they’re published – need to be at least one of three things: entertaining, educational or empowering. If they’re more than one of these, that’s great.

The key to engaging people quickly online is with pictures. As much as we can, we use our own images and edit them to look as good as possible.

We mostly use Snapseed to edit photos and Wordswag for text. Wordswag also has a great selection of free images from Pixabay. These are both phone and tablet apps and are much easier to use than Photoshop.

Images exemplify, but they also break-up text too. With so many people reading from their phones and tablets these days, we try to steer clear of writing blocks of text. A four-sentence chunk of text is too much for people to take in, so we keep our paragraphs to three sentences max.

We only ever write about things we’ve done or seen or tasted. Our readers come back to us because of the relationship we’ve built with them.

We like to occupy the positive part of the internet. If we don’t like something, we just don’t write about it. We give constructive criticism and realistic reviews, but we’re not in the business of slating things or people.

We always finish a post with a question or two, inviting our readers to share their experiences. It’s a great way to make readers feel active in the relationship we’re developing.

Jim also wrote 5 Tips for Creating Content to Make Your Website Win.


Who is your target audience?

Although our content is aimed at couples between the ages of 28-40 with a reasonable income, we have a much wider readership. We don’t give relationship or dating advice, and we don’t write to exclude.

We talk about the places we go and the things we eat, and we usually mention what dynamic would best suit the destination or venue. However, we don’t see why romance should be limited to a holding hands moment at sunset with your life partner. I mean we’ve all heard the term ‘bro-mance’, right?

The love you feel for your friends is still love after all.


How do you measure success?

There are a few ways to measure success in online journalism.

Google Analytics, social media reach data, brand interest, receiving awards, being listed and media attention all suggest success to some degree.

Being known as an authority in the field you write about would probably be the ultimate success for a blog. Our friends Caz and Craig Makepeace have been writing Y-Travel Blog for many years now. They were recently invited to the Whitehouse to meet the President, which is just amazing.

Success is a tough one to measure though. I think all the time we’re providing useful, entertaining information to people, we’re winning a bit more every day.