One of the most important things I took away from yesterday’s workshop was to stop panicking about my blog. To stop putting pressure on myself and expecting it to be perfect straight away. It’s not going to happen. The only way I’ll get better at this is if I keep doing it!
I’m the first to admit that my blogging skills are by no means good and I think that’s probably what stops me doing it. I’m a perfectionist and it kills me when things aren’t instantly brilliant. My perfectionism is what drew me to photography – I loved drawing but my sketches never looked exactly like the real thing; but in a photo they can do. I thought that photography could be my way of achieving perfection instantly. But life doesn’t work like that. Any talent or hobby or anything is never perfect unless you work at it. It didn’t take long after I started photographing things that I realised my photos were anything but perfect, they’re not perfect even now. And as I’ve come to love photography and learn more about it, I’ve been able to understand that striving for perfection but not quite getting there is a big part of why I love photography so much. If my images were always perfect, with no mistakes, what would there be left to achieve? I don’t want my images to be perfect, I want to be constantly keeping trying and learning and each time I press that shutter to be more proud than I was of the image before it.
And I think that that is the perfect attitude to have towards my blog. I’m going to make mistakes, and produce posts that I’m not always proud of, and there will be times (similar to lots in the past) where there will be lulls and gaps in posting. But I’ve realised IT’S OKAY!
“…it’s hard to take that pressure off yourself”
It seems like such a simple concept now that its smacked me in the face, but when it’s just you sat with your fingers twiddling above the keyboard having no idea what to write, it’s hard to take that pressure off yourself and admitting that its okay that your not sure what to do.
Listening to bloggers like Amy and Chris who spoke at the workshop, was really useful. Both of them have had blogs in the past that they didn’t like or that didn’t work and it took them a while to find a style that worked best for them. Everyone struggles with it at some point and hearing that from someone else makes you feel like your not the only one, and if they can do it then so can I.
“Blog for yourself first and audience second” – Amy Roberts
The workshop was focused on motivation and ideas and I think now I’ve figured out the motivation part, for me ideas is something I’ve always struggled with. I want my blog to be interesting for people, I want them to want to come back so I think I put myself in my own way. I’m nervous about writing about what I like, what interests me and what is related to my business because what if it doesn’t interest anyone else??!
Amy said “blog for yourself first and audience second” and that really stood out to me. I would have never thought of approaching it in that way but it makes so much sense! If your not writing about things that interest you or that your passionate about your audience will be able to tell. The more passionate and honest you are within your posts the ore interested your audience will be. They won’t want to read something that the writer is bored of writing. The whole audience thing ties into a big piece of advice that Chris gave – DON’T LOOK AT THE ANALYTICS. Now this is something I admit I do all the time. The first thing I do when I log into WordPress is click on the stats button. I always tell myself not to because I know that there aren’t many people who read it and it gets to me and I think what’s the point! Yet I still keep clicking that button!
But now, I think I can confidently say I know what the point is. I’m not going to press that button and worry about who is and isn’t reading it because I’m going to blog for me, and I know (well hope) that by doing that I’ll find the audience who are right for me.
Thanks Laura, Mike, Chris and Amy… I have loads of ideas now and can’t wait till next time!
Laura & Mike, founders and editors of The Double Negative, http://www.thedoublenegative.co.uk
Christopher Brown, journalist, former Regional Arts Editor at the metro
Amy Roberts, writer & blogger, shortlisted for Blog North Awards 2012