I’ve recently had several conversations about blogging. Someone younger than myself admitted to “not really knowing what a blog was” and while I will keep their identity secret (for now) I couldn’t help but laugh a little as I pictured someone much older saying that. On the other hand, it’s been a few years since my mom asked if she should be blogging, and since then she has given it a try as part of an assignment for a creative writing class she took last fall. However, blogging still remains to be a mystery for many who are either trying to figure out what blogs they enjoy reading or if they should be doing it themselves.
I love blogging because it is a way for me to share recent work and tell the stories of my life as a photographer and the people I photograph. It allows readers to get to know me, and it gives them a glimpse into my thoughts and experiences. It’s a little like writing in a journal, or a letter to a friend but the voice on each blog is different. I know photographers who use their blogs to build a fiercely loyal following, to update people only on their professional work, or who rarely post a preview or two and that’s all. I have always tried to add a more personal touch to my blog and write as if I’m writing to a friend, because that’s what I want people to feel when they read.
Commenting and sharing makes blogging more of a conversation, which is one of the hardest things to overcome when you are first starting out. When it’s just you, sitting in front of your computer typing away, it’s easy to get lost in writing and re-writing until it sounds perfect or you have enough typos to abandon the post all together. That is why often I write posts the old fashioned way first – on paper with a pen so I can sit on the front porch as I spill my thoughts on the page. Getting feedback is important, and I’ve been thankful to have a few loyal commentors who respond regularly enough to let me know someone’s reading and I never get tired of hearing from them. However, for those less inclined to share their thoughts on a post, when I do talk to someone in person and they let me know they like following my blog that is just as rewarding.
If you’re trying to figure out if blogging is for you, I would start by outlining your expectations and goals and answer these questions:
Who do I want to read my blog? | Do I want my blog to be focused on or around a specific topic? | How regularly do I want to post?
You might not have hundreds of readers at first, but if you have a specific voice, an interesting perspective, or new way of seeing things you might be surprised. While there are practices to help your blog be successful there isn’t one right way to start – and when it comes down to it best way to decide if you like blogging is to give it a try. If you have blog you’d like to share please leave a comment and I can’t wait to stop by!