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    • Hey, Folks,

      I am new to Cake and not quite sure how it works, but what the heck.

      A little about myself:

      I am a singer/ songwriter/ musician/ bandleader of 40+ yrs (and a very poor typist). A little more than a year ago my wife and I moved from the SF Bay Area to the Southeast. We both felt we were in ruts and that a big move could lead to a grand new adventure - and it has! We love the south, are weathering our grand adventure, and we have no regrets about the choice we made.

      What I left behind in the Bay Area were all my musical connections: musicians with which I had formed decades long relationships; venues at which I had cultivated long-term professional relationships; a network that had become very comfortable & rewarding for me. I knew full well what I was abandoning when I made the decision to move, and once again, I have no regrets.

      But needing to remain creative while I establish similar musical connections in my new home, I have turned to blogging. This is not something I would have seen myself doing a few years back, but I had had for a while the desire to do features on a musical genre that has long been a favorite of mine: train songs. Last summer I began writing and compiling posts with each one focusing on a particular train song; it's author and/or recording artist, and what place the song may hold in our popular culture. I found that Wikipedia has an alphabetical list of over 1,000 train songs, so I think I have plenty of source material.

      Along the way I realized that another favorite musical genre - cowboy songs - would make an appropriate companion to the train features, and while it is all still a work in progress, you can view the gestated offspring at:

      https://crburganmusic.com/a-train-song/ & https://crburganmusic.com/a-cowboy-song/

      Now that I have hung up my shingle as a blogger, the challenge of course is to find readers. I suppose that is why I am exploring the Cake environs: hoping that I may encounter experienced bloggers, who have tasted success in finding an audience, who may be willing to impart some crumbs of wisdom. I am also hoping that there may be other Cake users out there that enjoy the same musical genres as I do, which may even lead to material for future blog entries.

      Maybe this initial post has become somewhat wordy. As I mentioned, I'm new here. I'll sign off for now, but would love to hear from anyone who may have the slightest interest in what I have described.

      Thanks,

      CRB

    • hoping that I may encounter experienced bloggers, who have tasted success in finding an audience, who may be willing to impart some crumbs of wisdom. 

      I hosted a niche blog where I cranked out over a hundred posts in two years, including interviews with inventors, software app developers and medical experts. I am happy to share whatever crumbs I have left. (Welcome to 🎂!)

    • Thanks for the reply. I am using social media to attract followers & readers, but I am open to other strategies, as well. What worked best for you in attracting readers?

    • One, only publish your absolute best content. Many times I would spend hours crafting a blog post and then, instead of hitting publish, I deleted it. Be brutal with editing your work and trash it 🗑 more often than you’d like.

      Two, Publish content at least once a week. You may need at least 50 posts before your content gets noticed in Google search. If you can publish twice a week you will reach that milestone in half the time.

      Three, Widen your audience whenever possible by writing stuff that will appeal beyond your niche. It’s a balancing act because you don’t want to annoy your core audience, but occassionally writing essays geared to newbies can help you tremendously. It’s incredibly hard to do well: if you’ve been in your domain a long time it’s easy to take foundational knowledge for granted.

      Would you mind telling me a little about the best post on your blog right now? It’s a lot easier to provide specific suggestions to help if I have a point of reference.

      And what do you want to get out of this blog? New gigs? Fans to attend your shows?

    • Welcome to Cake!!

      Offer them a sample of your work - music, blog, images, whatever.

      If you Ctrl-C copy your web address in your browser window, and then hit Crtl-V to paste it into your post here on Cake.co, and then type Return, it should appear in your post here on Cake.co as a link, not simple text - so your readers can just click on it and not have to type it into their browser themselves.

      A steam engine from the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad near Chama New Mexico

    • Thanks for the tips. Very much appreciated. As far best post on blog - that would depend on your taste in music. But I strive to make each post of general interest, so that even if you are only a casual music fan, and not necessarily a devotee of cowboys or trains, you may still find something that catches your attention.

      The format, as a reader will quickly learn, is that each post features a particular song - usually beginning with a stanza of lyrics - then delves into biographical info on the author/artist, or background into the subject matter of the particular song. I try to keep each post to a length of 12K-18K words, with a YouTube video link to the song at the end of the post.

      I would eventually like to attract advertisers, and sell original products (T-shirts, coffee mugs, vinyl stickers, etc.), and I need traffic for that. But first & foremost I am doing it because music is a subject that I am deeply passionate about, and I love sharing musical knowledge with others.

      https://crburganmusic.com/2019/10/14/i-hear-the-train-a-comin/

      https://crburganmusic.com/2020/03/09/hes-ridin-and-hidin-his-pain-red-headed-stranger-part-i/

    • I do - I actually have several on line on my website which I will link below. Normally I would tell you to search for a keyword there, but my personal experience searching for "train" or "railroad" there is a pretty sad showing. Not sure why, as most of my images should have train in their title or their keywords, but apparently not

      I am not a real train afficianado, so much as a guy with a camera looking for good images, so I may disappoint you.

      This is the Jacobite ( the train's name has real significance if you grok Scottish history at all ) crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a famous scene in Scotland I witnessed last fall.

      I have a few more of the Cumbres &Toltec RR shot by racing uphill against it with motorcycles - many of the are not on line at this time.

      And I have a few brief galleries at the link below - most are old and not that great.

      I'll take a pass through my LightRoom catalog and see if anything interesting pops up - do you prefer steam or diesel-electric? I have a bit of each.

    • Welcome CRB!

      I'm relatively new here as well. This is a great community with folks wanting nothing more than to inspire or be inspired.

      I look forward to more of your contributions.

      Welcome to the Southeast! Care to give a general idea where you now reside?

      I'm 7th generation Floridian (which will not even buy me a cup of coffee in Kissimmee, where I was born in the early 50s and where a mouse from CA moved in and eventually took over) now living just north of Charleston in a small shrimping village.

    • FWIW, I’m a big fan on blogs of promoting your next post at the end of your current post. Perhaps something like, “Next post, we’ll talk about Train I Ride, written by Sam Phillips and Herman Parker, Jr and the comparable Mystery Train by Elvis Presley in 1955.”

      You put incredible detail into your reviews of I Hear the Train A-Comin’ and Train I Ride, and my suspicion is that people would subscribe if they read more than just one of your essays.

      Since you have a love of all things music, may I recommend checking out @Apocryphal’s 50 Years of Music? It’s a deep dive into a wide range of artists and you’ll likely discover some that escaped your radar.

    • When I used to be involved in providing consulting internet marketing services for small businesses in the early years of the 2000s, one of the points I would make repeatedly to those business owners who were considering blogging as an audience development tool was this:

      Your audience doesn't really care how well you can "rock and roll", they want to know how you can make them "rock and roll".

      Provide fresh content that empowers your audience and they will keep coming back for more.

    • Greenville, SC. We're practically neighbors. Thanks for your reply. If you're interested, you can get to my blogs with the links in my initial post.

    • There's definitely something to be said for picking a niche or two and doing them really well. I'm currently reading the classic Japanese novel Musashi (English translation) and the author frequently mentions the tea ceremony, sometimes comparing it to sword-fighting in its precision and ritual.

      That got me thinking about a world where mastery was a cultural trait, and everyone would pick something at which to strive to true mastery. I think a world like that would be one of intricate discovery, where each time you meet someone new, you might be let into their little world of marvels.

      What qualifies as a train song, btw. A song about trains, sure - but what about a song that's not lyrically about trains, but still sounds like a train?

    • Thanks! Will do!

      You live near my old stomping grounds in the mid 70s, Clemson.

      We were torn between Travelers Rest and our little village on the coast. My wife is from the western NC (Waynesville). We met and married in Charleston, so we decided to move back to no-see-ums, mosquitoes and pluff mud once we both were retired.

      Main Street, rush hour, actually any hour!

    • Hey, Munch. That's a nice photo. Scenes like that are why we have fallen in love w/ SC.

      We have a daughter in Summerville, her company moved there from Northern Idaho. We love visiting Charleston, but have only scratched the surface there.

      Whenever we take day trips we usually head north to Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard, Cherokee. Or we head over to GA. We want to start exploring more of northeastern SC. Where should we go? We love small towns, historical bldg, and old cemeteries. Also, my wife is a vegetarian, so if you know any restaurants with great veggie options, give a shout.

      Thanks!

    • Pendleton and Seneca are small towns that aren't so small anymore.

      As well as Liberty, Pickens and Pumpkintown.

      All are no longer the little sleepy towns of the 70s.

      Head up to Lake Jocassee. Cross over into NC and spend the night at the Brook Trout Inn.

      Or head over to Mountain Rest and then north up SC28. This road sort of meanders along the Chattooga River where Deliverance was filmed. Of course the area was never anything like the movie. The river was designated a "study river" when the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was signed by LBJ in '68 and added to the Act in '74. I've spent many hours and days kayaking and camping along the river. Still a beautiful, protected area.