With every thing that is going on in todays world things get confusing. I live in my own world of which I created five years ago while pondering which direction the country would take with a new person in the Oval Office. I decided to pay attention but make every attempt to stay out of the fray. My answer to this was to create an E-commerce web site, which I did quite well at. The most important part of that however were the aspects of a web site I did not fully realize of which have become a rewarding part of my life.
Two of which have become an interesting force in my life, 1) Blogging 2) Photography.
Blogging is the catalyst that started it all in motion, it was begun to enhance the website and get people curious of what it was all about. In the beginning I did not fully understand what a blog was, I had no problem developing the web site. But the blog was a challenge, I watched many videos and read every article I could find. I took to heart all of the suggestions offered by the “expert” bloggers.
Nearly to a person each “how to blog” article stated the same ” no less than 2,000 words”. Project yourself as the “expert” in your niche and make lists. They also suggested that having photographs was instrumental in a successful blog.
I shortly made the discovery that most of this is so very wrong it only works in very particular situations. Word counting is a tedious, boring and worthless task as I found myself more intent on how many words instead of meaningful words. That is how ideas are repeated in a blog numerous times, I refer to it as “circle talk”. After a year of chasing words I made a decision to just write as I always have done and let the words tell the story not some obscure rule that makes little sense. It has proven to be the correct path to follow, if the blog is 200 words fine or 2,000 that’s ok to as long as the story is told. However grammar is the glue that holds writing together, if a person doesn’t understand it then educating oneself is in order. There are numerous free grammar courses on the internet.
Presenting one self as an “Expert” in a niche of which one has no experience and very little knowledge of is a sure way to present themselves as a “know it all” which should be avoided at all costs. The word expert is overused in our society and has all but lost its meaning.
Bullet lists are about useless as well they come off as “what you need to do is take advantage of my list”. Actually I really don’t “need” to do anything except avoid lists made by someone else for me to follow.
Avoid blogs written by people telling us how to blog, they’re learning themselves and there are no set ways to write one. But they also have the most followers until they figure out the blogger is full of it.
The one most useful suggestion from every article is to use photographs liberally. That is what started my interest in photography, I knew nothing about taking snapshots when I began my first blog. I began using Google images, none of the pictures on my first 2 years of blogs were mine. It made writing a blog very difficult because the pictures only kind of expressed what the writing was about. The disconnect was very real plus there was always the concern that a copy written photo was in the mix.
At the same time I started a YouTube Channel using my cell phone to make videos of a few “how to” shorts. I had mixed results most positive so I decided to make nature videos and post them, which led me to purchasing an inexpensive video camera. I would glean photos from the videos to use in my blogs and it worked well. I used the video photos because my cell phone did not have the distance I needed to take pictures on the Slough I live on. I then began to use a 20 year old Canon Rebel my wife had purchased for her business which was no longer being used.
The more of my own pictures I used the more sense my blog made, I was not where I needed to be however. I had no intention of this becoming a way of life but the more I photographed the more I wrote and more it made sense, one picture is truly worth 1,000 words. I now write a short paragraph then post a photo from earlier in the day and the words form themselves. It has been a huge learning experience from the beginning when my pictures were really bad to now where I have a mixed bag; but mostly keepers after all of these years. Each of the photographs in this blog is capable of carrying it’s own weight, in fact each one has been the feature of a blog; it really works.
I suppose I can now call my blogs “photo blogs” although I prefer to lean heavily on the writing side, I tell people I’m a writer not a photographer. Now I run into people who think of me as a photographer that writes, we cannot define ourselves without much confusion.
No pictures are helping to carry this blog, that was not my intent upon beginning it. I merely was thinking about how I ended up at 70 years of age with all new interest that have very little to do with how I made my living for 50 years or so. I will leave with what I have determined to be the secret of blogging.
“Use your own photographs, allow them to tell the story, someone will read it.” and don’t worry about any thing else.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter