Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Dicotomy of a Blog Post

These are some deep feelings I'm about to attempt to explain in the next few paragraphs. I am not sure if I even understand the give and take read and write symbiosis of blogging.

I know a lot of people accuse bloggers of writing things to get followers, or writing things to get attention. Like when a blogger (such as myself) chooses to post about something extremely personal. I'll see comments like "you only wrote about this to get attention". Or my favorite "get over yourself, sweetheart". Usually I delete these types of comments (and I don't get that many), but recently it's got me thinking.

I don't want to write in a vacuum. I don't know any blogger who wants to write in a vacuum. The reason I have a blog and not a handwritten diary that I store on my shelf at home is because I like interacting with other people and forming online relationships. Furthermore, I enjoy raising awareness about many issues through my blog. Adding my voice and personal experience to issues that are important to me is fun. It's more then fun, actually. It's healing, wonderful, amazing, and interesting.

That's the give and take I'm talking about. It's like a pool. I write about my life. And I read about other people's lives through other blogs I follow. Take Mishmash, one of my favorite blogs. I read her blog because I like seeing through her eyes. I don't read her blog because I think she wants attention, and I know Michelle does not write because she wants attention. I don't know exactly why Michelle writes, but boy am I glad she does because her blog posts are some of the most literary pieces of enlightened humor that I've ever read. I've learned things about life from reading her blog. And you know what else? I feel like I've made a good friend too. My husband and I actually went up and met Michelle and her husband and hung out with her and it was one of the most awesome and fun days. She showed me around her city and boy was it confusing and I'm sure I stuck out like a awkward tourist with my camera and my million questions. Michelle was sweet and kind and well amazing, even when we both didn't know what to say to each other because I was like omg I'm meeting the amazing and awesome Michelle and yes I don't know what to say and I hope she likes me and does not notice that I am a flaming weird panda. It was that kind of day.

Okay, I think I lost track of my point somewhere. What I'm saying is every blog has a different agenda. Some want to reform the fashion world. Some what to make money. And yes, I'm sure there are bloggers out there that write for attention.

Personally, I write because I like sharing my story. And I hope you read my blog because you like hearing it. Or because you find it helpful. Or because you googled "sexy kitty girl" (actually, I take that one back. Those people only spend like half a second on my blog anyway. hah. Guess I'm wearing to many clothes for their taste.)

But there is this dichotomy, like I said. A blog isn't really a blog if no one reads it. All bloggers, I'm sure, enjoy the feedback they get from posts. And I myself enjoy the community of bloggers I've found here on this little corner of the internet. And I don't think there is anything wrong with trying to grow a brand or get more readers. It's when the idea of "getting more clicks" becomes greater then "creating good content and cultivate relationships" that I start to have a problem. I mean, we all know those blogs that get big and then are suddenly swarmed with ads, guest posts, and updates about all the amazing free stuff companies are throwing at them. Nothing turns me off more. I mean, I love a good review now and then, and I understand an ad or two, but the reason I come to your blog in the first place is to get to know you and hear your story and be a part of your journey. If you suddenly start to try and sell me miniature moose statues in every single blog post I can assure you I will lose interest quickly. And I won't buy a statue. 

Anyway, while I do like the attention my blog has brought to me, and the success I feel I have achieved, (I mean, I was on Good Morning America!! That was amazing!) I'm not writing for attention. I'm on a journey. I have thoughts, I have ideas, and I want to share them with the world. My blog has helped me both with emotional healing and in the area of friendship.

And I am so thankful for the opportunity to share with you all.


Rachel G said...

Of course writers want to be read. Even pre-internet, authors hoped that their books would actually be bought and read by someone outside of their immediate family. :) Before I blogged, I wrote excessively long emails that were probably pretty similar to my blog posts except for slightly more scandalous to my mom all of the time and I know she loved them and has saved every single one--I was never much one for journaling, I love telling stories, so that I can remember them, of course, but also because real-life stories are my absolute favorite form of entertainment. I believe if you're a writer, working hard to build an audience for your writing is completely appropriate. However, if you are not a writer, but merely a sharer of advertisements, I fail to understands how tens of thousands want to read your blog...

Angela said...

I finally started a blog, and your blog was one of several that really inspired me to go for it. I'm looking forward to writing publicly and not hiding behind a password protected Word doc anymore. This is out of my comfort zone, but I'm excited. Thanks for the encouragement, and for sharing your views, story, etc.

Cliff Coates said...

So, where can I buy a moose statue? That would make a great Christmas present for my Mom! :)

Brita Long said...

For real. I would totally buy a moose statue. Which bloggers are hawking moose statues?

Brita Long said...

I think it's weird that people criticize writers for wanting readers. If I didn't want anyone to read my writing, I wouldn't post it to the Internet.

Like you said, there is a balance to doing things to grow your blog--and get compensated for your work--and remaining authentic. I know that my book reviews and travel posts don't garner tons of page views, but I enjoy writing. I also know that my posts on marriage, feminism, and fashion are most popular. While I do try to work those in every month, they're still a genuine reflection of my interests, even if I do strategically write them to maximize page views.