3 Reasons Why I Continue to Blog
I began my blogging journey almost four years ago, at a time when I committed to learning photography properly.
I had been interested in photography on and off for a long time, but on each occasion that I came back to photography as a hobby I allowed something to get in the way of my progress and so my hobby went on the back burner.
Four years ago, I was determined that would change as I set about getting serious about photography once again.
To aid my progress I decided to chart my journey in a series of blog posts. I had no idea how many posts I would write, or how often I would post them, or indeed what I would write about, but I reckoned nothing ventured, nothing gained, so in September 2018 my first post was published.
I often cringe when I look at my early posts, yet they serve as a reminder of where I started and I can now look over my blog, 184 posts later, and see where my journey has taken me.
I have often remarked in my blog that photography has opened many doors for me apart from the obvious ones. It has encouraged me to slow down and led me into becoming more purposeful and mindful about what I do. It has brought me down a path of self-discovery, it has introduced me to the work of some wonderful creatives in many different fields, it has given meaning to my life in a new way through the appreciation of nature and the beauty of the world around me. All these bonuses have been reinforced for me as I reflect on them in my blog.
Photography has given me a new appreciation of the world around me.
My blog has gone through several different phases. It started simply as an online diary of a new photographer that I hoped might help someone else starting out on a similar journey. It progressed to an appreciation of photography as a life-enhancing journey of discovery which has spun off in many different directions. I have followed the directions in which I have been led without too much analysis or over thinking. I am not trying to monetise my blog or aiming for thousands of viewers (although a few more would be good). I am not interested in SEO or email campaigns or capitalising on this or that trend.
So, why do I continue blogging four years on?
I think there are three main reasons:
1. It reinforces my learning
My original purpose in starting my blog is still relevant. By writing down my thoughts, my learning about photography, my discoveries and experiences, I am reinforcing what I am learning, both about photography and about myself.
Many of the photographers working today, whose work I admire, tend to weave their photography into their philosophy of life. Far from being a means to an end, these photographers see their craft as an avenue to becoming more appreciative of life and of the world around them and they share this appreciation in the context of their work. All are willing to give generously of their knowledge and experience and acknowledge the contribution that their viewers make to their successes.
I have discovered many different types of photographers, all with something unique to offer. Often, I am led to a new photographer through the channel of another and I enjoy reading the comments in the supportive communities that subscribe to and follow these photographers.
There is always something new to learn, a new approach to take, a new direction to follow.
By having my own blog I have the opportunity to experiment, to change my display whenever I want to and to be answerable only to myself.
2. It provides an outlet for displaying my images
My second reason for continuing my blog site is that it gives me an outlet to display my images. While I do have a social media presence on Instagram, it’s not my favourite way to show my images. It is true that I don’t use Instagram to its full potential, but I find that the simplicity of using my own blog to write about my images, what they mean to me and how they fit into the current stage of my journey, has more personal meaning.
When I visit an interesting location and capture some images it is good to have a space to display those I like.
3. It (hopefully) offers something to my readers
I’m always delighted when I look at my statistics and discover that I have had some views on my latest posts.
For a while I became obsessed with increasing my readership. It felt like failure if I was writing and no one was reading.
I took an online course on how to start a blog, I studied how to write catchy headlines, I researched what successful bloggers were doing to gain their thousands of readers.
I wondered what I was doing wrong and why no-one was reading my blog.
I began to think that people were just not interested in what I was writing.
But that was never the case.
I always had some readers; not hundreds but there were always some people who wanted to read what I was writing and I began to realise that if I stayed true to myself, if I wrote about what was meaningful to me, at least I was being authentic.
I’m no longer obsessed with the number of readers I have. I value and appreciate those who do take the time to read.
I want to continue to share my experiences with those who want to read them.
I want to pass on advice that I find useful, share information that may benefit others, pass on articles or video clips that have meaning for me in the hope that they will have meaning for others.
It is the readers who keep me writing online.
Of the three reasons for continuing to blog, one stands out above the others.
My first reason for blogging, that it reinforces my learning, is not confined to an online blog. I could achieve the same result writing about my progress in a private diary or journal.
My second reason, that it provides an outlet for displaying my images, is relevant to this blog but the same result could be achieved by finding other sharing platforms, some of which might expose my images to a wider audience.
But it is the third reason that is the real reason for continuing to blog. To those who enjoy reading about my journey, or who have been helped in any way by what I write, I want to keep on giving.
So thank you, my readers. I really do appreciate that you take the time to read my blog and I hope I can continue to provide some value in exchange for the time you spend reading.
As always, if you would like to leave a comment, I’d love to read it and if you think someone else would like something I have written, please feel free to share.