What’s Your Blog Name Origin Story?

When I started blogging four years ago, I knew that I wanted a blog title which would give me the scope to write about multiple topics. I also wanted my blog title to evoke culture in a dual sense.

Screenshot from Oxford Dictionaries

Screenshot from Oxford Dictionaries

In other words, I wanted to come up with a blog title which would reflect my curiosity about culture in an anthropological sense, giving me the opportunity to write posts about travel, language and linguistics as well as exploring the culture of literature, film and music.

Whether or not we choose to follow popular culture or engage with the arts, we are all influenced by society and its customs, and for many people, cultural choices form part of their identity.

I experimented with various combinations of Cultural + ?, before settling on Cultural Life. I think that adding life into my blog title adds a personal touch to my blog. It gives me the freedom to write about aspects of my life as well as acknowledging that our daily lives are bound up in culture.

Laptop blog photo

An ideal set-up for an afternoon of blogging!                                                                   Thanks to Public Domain Archive for the photo.

So, that’s how I created my blog name!

What’s your blog name origin story? How did you decide on a blog title? And what do you want your blog title to convey to your audience?

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Blogiversary: Cultural Life turns 4!

Four years ago today, I sat down to write my first post on Cultural Life. For the first few months, views from blog visitors trickled in and comments were a rarity, but during the last few years, my blog has attracted more and more visitors. One of my posts was even Freshly Pressed! I would love to be FPed again in the future: it gave me such a boost to continue blogging and the comments from readers were lovely.

My blog stats are still modest compared to some bloggers who get thousands of views per week and hundreds of comments on every post, but to me, blogging isn’t all about statistics: it is about community. I feel a part of the WordPress community and I have  ‘met’ so many amazing bloggers whose writing has inspired me and motivated me to keep blogging.

Embed from Getty Images

When I look back at old Cultural Life blog posts and think how much I have learned and how my writing and approach to blogging has changed in the past few years, it makes me excited for the changes that will, no doubt, take place in the next four years.

To all my readers, thank you for taking the time to read, comment and leave feedback on posts. It is truly appreciated!

Blog Awards: To Accept or Not to Accept?

Blog award nominations: to accept or not to accept? That is the question….

In my three years as a WordPress blogger, I have received several nominations for blog awards. While I am flattered that people read and enjoy my blog enough to nominate me for awards such as the “Blog on Fire award” and the “One Lovely Blog award”, I have several reasons for turning down nominations. Initially, in my blogging youth, I did accept them but I recently made the decision to say thank you and decline the award.

Blog awards: a question of netiquette…. (Public domain image source)

  • The main reason why I say no is because I dislike the ‘chain letter’ aspect of blog awards: they all require the recipient to pass on the award to a specific number of blogs. Yes, it’s great to share the blogging love but I prefer to do that by commenting on posts which I like. I love giving and receiving blog comments and, with a few exceptions, I rarely follow blogs whose authors never respond to comments. In my opinion, the comments section of a blog post is like a conversation. You wouldn’t ignore someone if they spoke to you in real life, would you?

 

  • Another reason is that I don’t follow a huge amount of blogs; I have a select few which I like to read regularly. Because one of the conditions of accepting a blog award is to nominate other blogs, I would simply run out of blogs to put forward. I wouldn’t want to ‘spam’ my favorite blog authors by bombarding them with awards.

 

  • Responding to awards is time-consuming. I appreciate the sentiment behind award nominations and I hope I don’t offend anyone by declining them. But they do require the recipient to spend a lot of time putting together an acceptance post.

 

  • Admittedly, sometimes it can be fun to accept awards and answer the questions which come with them, but if I accept one award then I feel obligated to accept others, so it’s easier just to say no to all of them.
What do you think about blog awards? If you’re a blogger, do you choose to accept or decline them?

Cultural Life turns two!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Cultural Life! Public domain image - Happy Birthday In Sand by Petr Kratochvil

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Cultural Life!
Public domain image – Happy Birthday In Sand by Petr Kratochvil

My WordPress blogging journey began two years ago today. I have enjoyed every minute of blogging so far and I am glad to be a member of the WordPress blogging community. In the past year, a lot has happened in my blogging life: my number of followers has grown significantly from a mere 60 this time last year to 619 (and counting!) at the time of writing this post. And I was Freshly Pressed in February! That was a wonderful experience and getting a personal email from the editor of WordPress made me feel very honored.

To mark my second blog anniversary, here are a few highlights from the past two years of Cultural Life:

Reasons why I want to move to Maine – this post, with wonderful Maine photos courtesy of Karen at Back Road Journal, is one of my most popular posts. It seems that a lot of people Google “reasons to move to Maine”!

Saying Goodbye – This is my Freshly Pressed post, about the emotions I felt when saying goodbye to my mother before she was wheeled into an operating room for lifesaving surgery.

Valencia Orange Cake – a delicious recipe with no flour, making it perfect for gluten-free diets. The cake is simply amazing, especially when served with cream.

Photo Challenge day 1: Resolution – I took this photo on the first day of this year; it’s a pretty view from outside my home.

Thoughts on reading The Hunger Games – when I first read The Hunger Games in November and December 2011, I became hooked on the series. When I was going through a stressful time last year, I re-read the series a couple of times. I find that I take inspiration from Katniss’s grit and determination.

Thank you to my readers for supporting my blog and here’s to the next two years – and more! – of Cultural Life.

Blog on Fire award

Thank you to Lisa at La vie éclectique for nominating my blog for the Blog on Fire award. Knowing that people read and appreciate my blog makes me happy and very flattered. Thank you, Lisa! 🙂

As with all blogging awards there are a few requirements to follow for the Blog on Fire award:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link to them in your acceptance post.

2. List a number of things about yourself.

3. Link to the same amount of blogs as the number of things you divulge in step 2.

I’ve chosen to pass the award to three of my favorite blogs and so I’ll divulge three things about myself.

1. I’ve recently become interested in dystopian fiction. I blame The Hunger Games for getting me started on that one! But I don’t like dystopia which is very fantasy-like: I like my novels to have plenty of human drama in them too.

2. I sometimes dream about opening a café with an indie bookstore attached to it in a little town in Maine.

3. I miss riding horses a lot. I used to own a horse and one of my ambitions is to own one again, when the time is right.

Two Horses by Charles Rondeau

I’ve nominated:

Lulu’s Musings — I found Lulu’s blog when I was surfing different blogs for stories of life in Maine (my spiritual home). And it’s full of lovely stories and photos.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… — when I’m not dreaming about living in Maine, I’m riding horses, chasing stray cows and exploring the North Dakota prairies (also in my dreams!) Jessie Veeder’s blog is brimming with wonderful, atmospheric photos and prose. Take a look!

Finger, Fork & Knife — I enjoy browsing food blogs for inspiration and recipes and I was delighted to discover Kate’s wonderful blog. Scrumptious recipes and photos….check it out!

One year ago today…

…I started blogging! I’ve had a lot of fun sharing all kinds of things with you over the past year — book reviews, movie reviews, recipes, photos and more. My blog traffic stats, although modest compared to a lot of other blogs, are continually growing. I also have an increasing amount of followers (60 in total); thank you all very much for reading. Thank you to all my readers and followers.

I have plans to make a cake to celebrate but unfortunately I don’t have time today. In the meantime, however, I made lemonade! I used the recipe from Mama’s Gotta Bake blog:

Thyme Lemonade

I highly recommend her lemonade recipe as it’s really simple and very refreshing. After tasting this, you’ll never want to drink store-bought lemonade again!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
Public domain photo: Lemon by Petr Kratochvil