In which I am oddly, publicly introspective and still try to say something of value to someone other than me. Skip to the end for some useful links if you’re not into this and are asking YOURSELF questions about blogging.
In my case, to some degree, “Why should I blog?” is a rhetorical question. As someone who pretty much lives and breathes WordPress development & design these days, I shouldn’t even be uttering this question aloud.
“It’s good promotion.” “It’s good for SEO.” “It allows potential clients to become more comfortable with you.” All of these things are true. But.
I admit it, I’ve been stuck. I’ve been self-editing before I speak, to the point of not speaking (both here and on twitter). I’ve been having conversations in my head about where to take this blog, “finding my voice”, beating myself up about how sadly neglected my websites are in content, design, structure, the whole shebang. (What does shebang mean anyway?)
This blog was started in 2003, before blogging was cool, before there were 10 million sites telling you to “define your niche” and “create a publishing schedule” and “have a commenting strategy”. Before most people knew what a blog even was. I started it because I could, and because it was a way to learn (Movable Type at the time), and because I was inspired by the blog of a brilliant programmer I worked with. At that point I could talk about whatever randomness inspired me in whatever way I felt because pretty much nobody read blogs. Essentially blogging was just for me.
Fast forward some years and I’m fumbling my way through a new life of being a full-time freelance designer, and becoming more self conscious about what I publish in the blogosphere. Not that I was ever raunchy or overly personal, despite the porn-worthy words of my first post, but I began to feel like I have to present myself as An Expert. That I have to be writing for My Audience (which one?). That I should be writing more and more for my clients. Trouble is, that’s not what this site is about.
In the beginning of my freelance adventures I threw together a quick portfolio site. It does the job, barely, but enough that I’ve hobbled along for far too long. I don’t much like it so I rarely update it and cringe when I hear new clients say they’ve been reading my site. Of course they have. And to them, it’s probably fine – they contact me, after all. But to me, it’s a sorely dissatisfying representation of what I can do. It runs on WordPress too, but I blog over here. The silliness of this does not escape me.
And here is where I often find myself when I write: wondering how I can get to the end of the post with a nice ribbon tied up around it. *sigh*
Before I wrap up I will say that there’s some clarity at the end of the tunnel. I’ll be relaunching with a new webdesign portfolio soon. Then I will be able to blog with my different hats in different places and feel so much more comfortable in them. Maybe I’ll wear a silly hat here more often. Maybe I’ll get over my self-editing a bit more. We’ll see.
Wondering why YOU should blog, and how not to make an ass of yourself in the process?
…she says, putting her Expert Hat on.
You’re not alone. Here are some links I recommend on the subject.
- Blogging Therapy series by Havi Brooks (see bottom of the post for links to topics like mean comments, what if nobody reads my blog, etc.)
- Why you blogging? and Why you hiding? by Karen J Lloyd
- Sonia Simone’s Remarkable Communication – perhaps Slow Blogging or The Sweeney Todd Guide to Blogging.
- Skellie. Especially this recent a-niche-isn’t-required post… there’s hope for me yet.
If you have any thoughts or related links to share on this, I’d love to hear them in the comments. Fire away!