Blog It Home: PCV blogger shares her tips and tricks
When Jessica Lavash received her invitation to serve in Mexico, she knew immediately that she would focus much of her Volunteer service on supporting the Third Goal.
“There are so many misconceptions between Mexico and the United States, and I feel very lucky to help showcase ‘my Mexico,’ a place that extends beyond dramatic headlines,” Jessica says. Blogging gives me the opportunity to humanize our neighboring country and provide multiple perspectives to the dialog about Mexico.”
So how does she effectively showcase “her Mexico” for her readers?
Jessica explains that her best-received blog posts are “concise, well edited and follow a theme.” They also include colorful, simple images.
In crafting her blog posts, Jessica focuses on making them relatable for her readers. “This way, even if my readers have never lived in a different country, they can imagine what that must be like and can empathize a bit more easily with different perspectives and worldviews,” she explains. “I write so that my grandmother, who has never been to Mexico, can read and understand the content.”
When looking for topics to write about, Jessica finds inspiration in many aspects of life as a Volunteer. “I keep a running list of blog topics pulled from thoughts that come to me on long bus rides, during conversations with friends and fellow Volunteers and inspired from events that are happening in my life. I try to take these items and place them in the bigger picture. Why are my readers going to care about this topic, and how does it relate to their lives?”
She also keeps a second list of “smaller snippets” that she can include under a particular theme that she’s identified. “I add new items to that list just about every day because I see new things or I see the same things in a different light.”
After only one year of blogging, Jessica’s blog has already made an impact on her American readers. “Many Americans have told me that they have learned so much from the blog, and that they now think of Mexico in a much more positive light. Several have mentioned that they would like to travel off-the-beaten-path in Mexico to be exposed to the culture in a more profound way. Those Americans with Mexican heritage have informed me that they are happy to have my blog posts to share in the United States to help in breaking some of the common stereotypes that they hear.”