Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Celebrating four years of blogging at Minnesota Prairie Roots July 15, 2013

Me and my camera, a tool in the writing profession I love.

Me and my camera, a tool in the writing profession I love.

FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY, I launched Minnesota Prairie Roots.

As the adage goes, “time flies when you’re having fun.” After writing more than 1,400 posts, I’m still passionate about blogging.

My approach to blogging hasn’t changed since publishing that initial post on July 15, 2009. I pledged then to write from the heart—about everyday life, about places I visit, things I do, observations I make about the world around me.

I told you then, and I’ll repeat now, that my writing reflects my down-to-earth personality and my appreciation for the simple things in life. I am the real deal. I really do like small towns and gravel roads, the prairie and sunsets and endless skies.

I’m the woman who hangs clothes on the line, relishes a good book, shops garage sales, savors the tang of rhubarb crisp, breathes in the intoxicating scent of freshly-cut alfalfa and appreciates Minnesota, the place I’ve called home for nearly 57 years.

Via my posts, I strive to show you those ordinary, yet extraordinary, people and places often overlooked.

To you, my readers, thank you for supporting Minnesota Prairie Roots via your readership and your comments. Some of you have become my real life friends, an unexpected blessing along this blogging journey.

I am also grateful to individuals like Bob Collins at Minnesota Public Radio for featuring my work in his online NewsCut column and to the folks at MinnPost for often choosing my posts for Minnesota Blog Cabin. Both have introduced my work to wider audiences.

Twice my work has been Freshly Pressed, meaning my posts have been selected as among the best in the world for a single day on WordPress.com.

Four years ago I was averaging about 50 daily views. Today that number is close to 700.

I also owe deep thanks to my dear husband, Randy, without whom I could not continue to pursue my passions of writing and photography. He has always been my strongest supporter and I am grateful for his encouragement.

My goal remains to someday earn money from blogging. Unrealistic? Perhaps. But a writer and photographer can dream. I’ve already sold quite a number of photos through my blog. So if you need/want a photo for professional or personal use or need a proofreader, editor or writer, contact me. You’ll find my email on my “About” page.

In all I write, photograph and do, and how I live my life,  I remain true to my values and upbringing rooted deep in my native Minnesota prairie.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


33 Responses to “Celebrating four years of blogging at Minnesota Prairie Roots”

  1. Mark Ritchie Says:

    Congratulations and thank you for brightening my days – each and every one.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Mark, thank you. So kind of you to tell me this. If not for my readers, my blog would not be a success.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    So glad that I “found” you, too!!! Your writing is down to earth and honest and that is perhaps the most refreshing thing about where you take your readers. Your talent with photography just lends itself to illustrate your travel stories and is a bonus. I look forward to seeing that you have a new post and am happy to say that I am one of your real life friends now. Carry on, Audrey—here’s to at least another 4 years of blogging and sharing your life and journeys with us. Hugs!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Oh, Beth Ann, thank you. Yes, you are indeed now a “real life friend” and for that I am blessed. Readers, Beth Ann blogs at It’s Just Life, and if you have not read her posts, do. I promise that you will be uplifted daily.

      • Beth Ann Says:

        Aw heck—you are too sweet! Seriously—it has been such a joy finding that “Audrey character” and being able to have a real friendship with you. Here’s to many more years of that!

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Indeed. “That Audrey character.”

        Dear readers, as a way of explanation, I met Iowa blogger Beth Ann last December when she drove with her husband, Chris, to hear me and another poet do a poetry reading at the Faribault library one evening. She just showed up unannounced. We’d never met before, only knew each other from our blogs. I recognized Beth Ann from her blog photo. She is as genuine in person as on her blog. Since then we’ve exchanged countless emails and last week Beth Ann stopped in to visit en route back from the Cities to Iowa. Chris has affectionately (I think) termed me “that Audrey character.” New-found friendships like this are an unanticipated blessing of blogging. Last summer I also met Worthington area blogger Gretchen O’Donnell and her family. Ah, yes, this circle of bloggers…

  3. So glad you ventured out in 2009 into the blogging world. Congratulations on this milestone and keep up your execellent work!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Dan. Actually, I had previously blogged for 18 months for Minnesota Moments magazine (now defunct). The editor could not keep up with my posting, so I stepped out on my own. Best thing I ever did as my readership is skyrocketed after that.

  4. htrax107 Says:

    Congratulations to you Audrey. I am so glad you dipped your toe into blogging. You have made a true art of making the simple both entertaining and beautiful for all of us who follow your blog.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Harriet. I appreciate your precise peg of my blogging content and style.

  5. Jackie Says:

    Love your blog, everything about it, I look forward to your writings, photography and on-line friendship! Congrats on your 4 years of blogging, I’m looking forward to the next four and more.

  6. Congrats Audrey!!! Love your writing flair and explorations and adventures:) Keep On Keeping On Sweetie!

  7. Kristen K Says:

    Congratulations! I’m glad that I found your blog–I love it! And because of it, I have several places I now would like to visit.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I am cheering, Kristen, because this is exactly what I hope, that my readers will explore some of these places I visit and begin to appreciate our small towns, etc. I have more to show you from Iowa. But tomorrow we’ll travel to Walnut Grove because I have a timely piece from that southwestern Minnesota community.

  8. Bernie Says:

    Congrats Audrey!…Your stories and pics are always amazing!

  9. DeLores & tom Johnson Says:

    Hi Audrey,
    Congratulations! If we didn’t have a tornado in Belview I would never have
    known about your blog! I had been reading your articles in Minnesota Moments and knew you were from my area growing up, so I knew about you but not your blog. Now I don’t miss a day reading it, sitting in my cozy chair every morning
    and just loving it. Keep it up and you are just GREAT!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Oh, DeLores, something positive coming from a tornado. Now that’s something.

      Thank you for being such a loyal and supportive reader. I appreciate your enthusiasm. That means a lot to me, coming from another prairie dweller, especially.

  10. Your words “I strive to show you those ordinary, yet extraordinary, people and places often overlooked” I think sum up much of blogging, it’s about the local, the everyday, that makes blogging such a wonderful format. Here’s to the next 4 years and realising your dreams!

  11. treadlemusic Says:

    Huge “Congrats” to you and very much deserved! Although we haven’t had the wonderful opportunity to meet face to face, your phone conversation was a huge blessing! I feel as though I’ve known you as a trusted, dear Friend for a long time and consider it one of the many gifts the Lord has showered upon me. Hugs and blessings to you (and your family!)……..

  12. Erin Says:

    Congratulations on your 4th Anniversary, Audrey! I’m so glad I found you a few years ago while googling Amish in MN. I absolutely love following your blog. I have discovered so much about MN that I would have never known about. I also have a better appreciation for my own roots. Keep on capturing those great photos and writing!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you kindly, Erin. I hear that often for readers, that they learn, via my writing and photos, of places they now want to visit in Minnesota. I’m delighted that readers embrace my suggestions and realize there is truly much to discover and enjoy right in our backyards.

  13. Congrats! I love your blog, it inspires me to travel in Minnesota.


  14. Congratulations, so glad to have met you!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you and likewise here, happy to have you in my circle of blogging friends.

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