Who do we blog for?

Why do we write?

At first glance, it seems obvious: we write because we have something to communicate, something that we consider worth sharing.

But that only invites a second question: worth sharing with whom? With anybody out there? With people that know us? Friends? One single person? Ourselves?

I have more than enough followers to have a sense of community and to feel listened to. I don’t have nearly enough followers to feel like I have a real impact online.

And that’s just fine.

Wild flowers at sunset.
Evening among wildflowers (Germany, August 2021)

I am grateful for the audience I have. I am grateful for the people who take the time to read my posts and look at my photos. Time is a precious commodity. I genuinely enjoy the feedback I get and I always reply. I visit regularly a number of blogs and I like discovering new ones.

Would I want a larger following? There’s a part of me who would say yes. Then again, I see blogs with thousands of followers but very little engagement on posts. What is the point of having a large audience whose members never feel like interacting with your content? Do sheer numbers provide some sense of achievement?

There are so many things in my life that I would have done differently, that I used to regret, that I would have liked to undo. There were so many things that I wanted and expected.

I still regret, want, and expect things. But I’ve learned to pay more attention to what is there now. You know, the little things that happen right under your nose, so close that you can easily overlook them.

I also pay more attention to the things I want just because I don’t have them, and the things I want because they provide something of value.

I am fine with the way things are with my blog. It’s not indifference, passivity, or lack of desire to change and develop. It’s just an acknowledgement of the fact that I already receive a lot. And that things happen the way they happen for a reason. Whatever happens with the things I create, it says something that I can learn from.

Another thing that helps me maintain some serenity is that I pay attention to the content, form, and intention of what I publish. Even if I’m not that pleased with the result, I have confidence in the point I am trying to make, and I know it’s made in honesty.

I don’t care about “content creation”, I care about creativity that leads you to express yourself and expose yourself. I want to see the personal stake and involvement of the author. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in creating for money, influence, popularity or anything else, as long as it stays honest and does not try to pass as something else. There’s already way too much pretend expertise, authority and morality out there.

That being said, I’m not a zen monk. I wish I could say that, once I publish something, I send it out in the world and let it live. It’s not that simple. I sometimes second-guess myself. I happen to worry about likes and reactions. But I’ve come some way towards realizing that it’s just a little psycho drama in my head. It’s not a big deal.

I worry and I regret a bit less not because I don’t care, but because I am more accepting of what there is.

So, coming back to the question: for whom do we publish? Well, in my case it looks like this:

For those who like the language of photography and the confluence of photography and writing.

For those who struggled with trauma, depression, anxiety, and who have searched for a way to reconnect with themselves and with life.

For those who allow themselves to be touched by many things, from a stream hidden deep in the forest to small gestures of kindness.

For my younger self.

I’d love to know who do you think about when publishing on your blog.

  1. Well said. I started my blog because my Facebook followers, most of whom I know, were constantly asking how I took this or that picture. I wanted to give them some insights but also get off Facebook some and have more control over my content. But it turns out that they didn’t follow me here and now I really don’t know who I write for. I think I have about 25 real followers from different backgrounds and 1/3 of those participate. Most are involved with photography to some extent.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think there are limits to how much people are willing to switch between platforms, even if they are interested in what you post. The advantage of a new platform, apart from having more control over your content, is that you attract new followers who are mainly active on the new platform. I follow you because your photography speaks to me. You explain well the technical (and non-technical) details of what you create, and in this sense I guess you still try to address your original FB audience. For me, these “how to” details are less important than the photography itself, but others have their own way of relating to your content.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well, I post on my fb feed a link to my posts here, all they would have to do is click on it and most don’t. It’s ok because it frees me to change my format here as I see fit. Writing photography tips and settings is very boring and I’m considering getting away with it. The hardest part here is really not knowing my followers .

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think once you can justify your actions to yourself, you’re on the right path. For some it’s satisfaction and for some it’s the art of attraction.
    I believe that if I expect respect and honesty, then I must deliver the same.
    I write for the freedom to be me and to be at peace with my thoughts and surroundings. There’s no better way to exist than with the gift of words and the ability to turn them into works of beauty.
    I really enjoy your posts. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. These are all great reasons to write! I write to help those who are dealing with trauma (especially relationship trauma). For people who want information but don’t know where to turn. Who want to feel more understood – because they often feel isolated and alone. If they feel supported then the post served its purpose 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You write for your younger self; I write for my future self. I want to improve my writing and the only way to do that is to write. I hope for feedback in the form of comments to point me in the right direction, and that’s why I publish what I write.

    I agree on everything you said here and I couldn’t have said it better!! I wish non-bloggers knew that most of us who blog creatively are quite happy with our blogs, even if we aren’t “influencers” (which is not my goal). I work in marketing and it just seems everyone thinks if you blog, you are a failure and irrelevant if you have less traffic due to lower visibility. They are missing the point entirely! It’s interaction that counts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Indeed.
      I don’t think that traffic and social validation are irrelevant, but they are not a good metric of success or achievement. Not on their own.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. True – without viewers there is no interaction, either. What bothers me about marketers is how they simply stare at site metrics, whereas my site, for example doesn’t get many visitors because most of my followers are bloggers and I guess many read blogs on the Reader or other feed services. However, I’ve made many blogging pals and host interesting comment chats, so I consider myself very lucky with my blog’s performance. But for a marketer, this means nothing – the site stats don’t tell them that people read the blog through a feed. Long story short: it’s exactly as you said, they are not a good metric of success on their own!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you. I write to share my viewpoint on different subjects. In a way, social validation is important but to a certain extent only. Mainly we express and pen down our thoughts for our own satisfaction, not for getting validation from people. Writing is God’s gift to us and people who read us are a blessing for us. Thank you for sharing this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I blog for many reasons…one, when I am compelled to highlight an issue that’s of concern to all of us as members of the society. Two, I need to keep my creative side alive and kicking and try different styles of writing and three, for my friends who feel, well, that I do write well! Do you agree with my friends…let me know. http://www.chapter18.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

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