What is a Blog Actually? [and Why Do Hawaii Life Blogs Keep Popping Up Every Time I Surf the Net?]

maui beach

What is a Blog Exactly?

A blog is a “Web Log” that got shortened down to “Blog.” It’s a personal, subjective point of view on anything, really, accompanied by dynamic images. Blogs are a direct way to express your opinion to the world, like an online journal. In the past century, when I was a communication major in college, the only way we could get our voice heard without paying anything was via graffiti or flyers plastered on the walls or perhaps a letter to the editor in a local paper.

It’s important to write catchy titles to get people to click on your blog. I suggest using a question or a call to action. I read somewhere that brackets attract attention [so I am trying that but have no proof it actually works!]

Original, good quality photos that you took yourself are one of the main elements of a killer blog. Using your own images is essential; otherwise you could have a copyright issue. In this blog, I uploaded a few of my favorite fun images I wanted to share even though they don’t really relate to the content. But will anyone complain? Probably not!

playing in the ocean

Hawaii Life has this super strong search engine optimization that magically boosts our posts. It has something to do with “long tail searches,” which is not a hair-style website. It’s when you type a few words into Google, for instance, “site map of Puamana,” and my Hawaii Life blog pops up in the first few choices on your page.

When we write a blog, we also add tags that are cross-referenced, and those attract you to our blog. Also, we title photos, so they will show up if you are searching “Maui Oceanfront” or whatever. The idea with the Hawaii Life blog is to reach a larger audience and connect with people who are looking to buy or sell properties in Hawaii. Rather than hitting you over the head with a property advertisement, our blogs are more informative, so you can get to know our personalities.

puamana maui sunset

I like to write about something that I’ve been thinking about. For instance, the other day, someone asked me what “Blog” meant, and I had to look it up. So I thought I would address the basics of a blog with a blog!

Anyone can write a blog and write about whatever you want! It’s important to find your own voice. For instance, I’m not a big numbers person, and my eyes glaze over with too many statistics or graphs and pie charts. So in my market updates, I write about what’s happening in the neighborhood and on the beach. I don’t try to appeal to everyone. There are different types of personalities, and chances are, someone will relate to your point of view.

If you want to promote your friend’s bar in town—da Suck Em Up Bar—don’t just write about that one bar but about all the bars in town. Then say your favorite one is the Suck Em Up Bar because you love the dollar tequila milkshakes on Tuesdays.  If you want to sell real estate, write a tip about the area you live (but please don’t give away your secret surf spot).

misty mountains ocean

Curiously enough, one of my most popular blogs posts was on predicting the weather, old school, by looking at the clouds:

My most popular blog is the one I wrote about speaking pidgin received over 26,000 views. So clearly my blogs are not about selling you real estate in Hawaii, although that is my job.

maui sunset

Here is my entire blog; note that blogs are in chronological order with the most recent on the top of the list: Anna Severson Blog Posts 

Share your blogs on your social media platforms and create your own content instead of sharing another video of a chicken running around with doll clothes on (although those are pretty hilarious). We use the program WordPress, and if you know how to type and you know how to upload photos, you can write a blog and navigate WordPress! Other advice: it’s important to cut down on the number of exclamation points and get your English flowing and the grammar correct. IKR, gurl, OMG!!! I’m telling you, it’s very gratifying to see your ideas and images up on the World Wide Web.

wooden door stone walls

Does anyone read until the end of the blog? Who knows! I usually add a paragraph at the end about avoiding evil one-use plastic water bottles just in case someone is reading to the end. Like you are now…

The number one good choice anyone can make is to avoid single-use plastic water bottles or soda bottles. The tap water is fine to drink in most places in Hawaii. Most condos will have a water filter on the refrigerator or one of those filtered water pitchers and reusable water bottles at your disposal. Let’s be aware of this and avoid the packs of bottled plastic water and Gatorade at Costco… Contrary to what everyone wants you to believe, most islands do not have a plastic bottle recycling facility, and the trash does not get shipped off the island, so the bottles go straight into our landfill or possibly dumped in the ocean. Congratulations! You read all the way until the end of my blog — now get going on your own!

girls surfing on maui

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Jeremy Stice

September 25, 2019

Aloha Anna,

Very entertaining and informative post, I loved it. And yes, let’s all do our best to cut down on single use plastic- this is so disheartening to see how this is dealt with here. We are considering supplying all of our vacation rental properties with Hawaii Life Vacations stainless steel water bottles to help cut down on this and I am hoping that we see some positive traction here. Please keep the posts coming, love em!


September 26, 2019

> Good news about the reusable bottles for your vacation rentals – the tricky part for us will be how to educate visitors before they arrive in the islands and drive straight to Costco and buy the pallets of water in plastic bottles.

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