Eco Blogging Series, Part 4
Eco Cat Lady Speaks is a frugal living and cooking blog by Eco Cat Lady, a self-proclaimed ‘noveau-hippy’ from Denver, USA. What makes her blog unique among eco blogs is its clever use of lol cat memes (see images) to lighten up the subject matter, to the effect that her blog is as much fun to read as it is insightful and informative about eco issues.
Every time I read her blog I laugh out loud. That’s a real achievement. On her blog, instead of feeling annoyed and dejected about the state of the world while reading about eco issues, her posts make me chuckle and let off steam. She cares just as much about what’s wrong about our cultures – from artificial food, to wastefulness, to hoarding – as I do. Yet she has taught me that there is another way to vent about the insanity of western habits of consumerism. And that way is to write about it all with a good dose of cutting humour.
If more eco bloggers could lighten the tone once and a while, perhaps wider audiences would be interested in learning about these important issues. And then maybe they’d be inspired to think differently.
As much as Eco Cat Lady is funny, she is also a perceptive critic of American culture. Each post has a personal or moral message from which we can all learn. She critiques culture from the perspective of an eco outsider who is dismayed at the insanity of the world around her – a standpoint from which anyone with eco eccentricities can identify with.
Though I do not know who the real Eco Cat Lady is (behind the pseudonym) I feel as if I know a lot about her, as the blog is very personal in tone, even diary-like. She doesn’t shy away from writing about relationships or about sad life events but instead incorporates her life experience into posts that are on-topic, and concern eco issues.
By fusing personal experience and eco opinion, Eco Cat Lady has created an original and memorable blog. (That’s made even more enjoyable with a liberal dose of lol cat images)
Eco Cat Lady’s blog is vastly more readable than most blogs in the eco blogosphere. This has as much to do with the form of the text, as it does her excellent content.
Eco Cat Lady doesn’t overwhelm readers with large blocks of text. Practically every paragraph there’s a relevant, funny image to break up it up.
The images are high quality and have required time and effort on Eco Cat Lady’s part. People aren’t really interested to see random images, so endeavor to make them on topic. If you want to make lol cat images or images of another internet meme you will find easy to use image generators online
Eco Cat Lady’s blog consistently makes use of lol cats as a meme – which can be likened to an internet ‘in joke’. Lol cats is a highly popular meme and plus a lot of people adore cats = using lol cats is a win win strategy for blog traffic!
Heads up to Mrs G at myzerowaste.co.uk and littlegreenblog.com for being a great blogger (#1) and also being particularly good at choosing blog names which resonate with people and move then to click, comment, and subscribe.
Imagine you had heard about the concept of zero waste, were intrigued by it, and wanted to know more about it. The first thing you do is put ‘zero waste’ into Google. At the time of writing, myzerowaste is the second site in the search results.
Out of all other search listings, the site also has a compelling and accessible description, which states, ‘Read the Green family’s blog about reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill each week’. From the search results, for most people, myzerowaste is likely to be more clickable than its rival options:
Zerowastescotland – is too geographically specific
Zerowastealliance – looks too official: ‘ZWA is a non profit organisation…’
Zwallianceuk – is also a registered charity. It offers no description.
Mrs G is a very good blogger who always stays the right side of personal with her audience. Many people choose to read blogs because they prefer a personal register, and enjoy belonging to a community of people who are interested in the same topics / issues.
We seek out blogs to assess a unique point of view that isn’t reported in mainstream media and therefore it goes down well to be personal and friendly with your audience. When I’m browsing for blogs I avoid the big eco blogs (Treehugger et al.) which simply churn out press releases. Any signal given in the website name that the blog is written from a personal perspective will mean I am much more likely to follow the link to that site.
Imagine I had never heard of myzerowaste before and it appears before me in the search results. I would rightly infer the blog’s stance is personal. I am interested in reading blogs written by individuals not organisations, therefore, I would visit this site.
Littlegreenblog is also an exceptionally well-named blog. It comes in on the first page of search results for ‘green blog’ – a major search term with the capacity to regularly drive thousands of visitors to Mrs G’s site. More than this, highly targeted traffic is delivered to her site. The people who have searched ‘green blog’ are people like you and me, who want to discover eco blogs to read, and are merely browsing for content. Being among the first search results means that people interested in her content can easily find her site.
Your own content may be just as interesting to the people who visit littlegreenblog, however, if you don’t perform well in the search results, people who like your content will never discover you.
My advice to you is to visualise the topic you want to write about and think of a search term you would enter into google in order to find it.
Find frugal blogs London
When you have your search query, strip it back and remove the search verb command.
Frugal blogs London
When you’ve done that, decide whether you want to be geographically specific (it can be harmful to your traffic flow)
Search the domain to see if it’s already taken (this one is…)
Frugal cook ; frugal shopper ; frugal writer ; frugal blogger
Keep playing around with the name until you find something a) descriptive and b) available
Many successful eco blogs document the life of the eco blogger. I call this kind of blog an ‘eco lifestyle blog’. Typically, an eco lifestyle blog is in diary form, though posts aren’t necessarily published everyday. The blog is used to document the blogger’s eco projects. The blogger is in effect sharing their ‘econess’ with the audience.
Sometimes an eco lifestyle blogger will share their eco expertise with her/his readers. It could be in the form of photographs showing the outcome of a recent project, it could be a tutorial, or it might be a recipe. Readers of this kind of blog are interested to see what the blogger makes and to read about their creative endeavours.
Some readers seek out this kind of blog for inspiration for their own projects. For many other readers, visiting an eco lifestyle blog is like paying a visit to a friend. These blogs tend to be personal, and going to visit one of them gives you a window into someone else’s way of life. You may not be as ‘eco’ as them but you do aspire to be more like them.
Eco lifestyle blogs can be about anything but to be a part of this diverse genre of blog (from blogs on making cakes to vintage furniture) the blogger has to be a hands-on person who makes stuff. For me, if the blog doesn’t have any tutorials or share knowledge, then it belongs in another genre of eco blog (more on the other genres in future posts).
I’m a big fan of the The Last Biscuit blog and enjoy reading about Susie’s creative projects. Her blog is all about making stuff
The tone of the blog is uplifting and personal. Susie is a very creative person and I imagine her to be making stuff all the time. Her projects are awesome and she has inspired me to be a more creative person.
There is no single way to approach making your own eco lifestyle blog. I think it helps if you are creative and hands on. If you make or cook a lot then you would make an excellent eco lifestyle blogger. If you don’t like writing very much then this kind of blog is also perfect for you because you can show your audience the outcome of your projects with pictures.
Some hints and tips:
If you haven’t checked out her site yet, you can view it here