Hi Guys, sorry if this topic has been covered already, but here goes.
I've had a blog of some kind since I was 15 (I'm now 23!) I love sharing and blogging but I still don't feel like I've found my identity as a blogger. I love to write proper posts but I'm finding more and more often that a lot of really successful blogs are 99.9% image based, with no text at all. I'm finding it hard to get my head around not generating my own content and instead simply re-blogging somebody else's that I know has already been a popular post. This does't feel like blogging to me - I find that it seems to fit in more with the Pinterest idea of curating images.
I guess what I'm asking is, what do you guys blog? Do lengthy, heavily word based posts work for you or are you an exclusively image based blog?
Svea (a 20sblogger in need!) xo
p.s. If you are a blog that generates your own written content, how do you stop yourselves getting bored/constantly deliver a consistent message to your readers?
...or am I thinking too much about all of this?
a) I wouldn't say my posts are overly long, but they are pretty detailed. I like to always add a photo or two (or three, or four) so long as it compliments the story. I personally enjoy reading posts that have images over posts without, because I'm a visual person. I like to put a face/place to the name. But, as long as the story is interesting I guess it doesn't matter!
b) I generate my own content. I write about my life, recipes I love, TV I love and the people I love. I try to stick to the postive because I want my Blog to be a reminder of all the things that make/made me smile.
I don't worry about boring my readers or delivering a message everytime, I just write for me. I write down things I want to remember when I'm older and if my stories are relatable or inspiring to other Bloggers, that's a bonus! :)
I had a somewhat similar post a while back, asking if pictures really affected the appeal of a blog (for some reason, I cannot get a link to that- it just has the generic 20sb link when I go to that page...). Personally, I enjoy reading about a person's specific experience versus looking at pictures that, while they may be pretty/interesting, don't really give me a full story.
More people responded saying they prefer picture over words, which was really surprising to me because it's the complete opposite of how I feel. Now I try to include RELEVANT pictures in my posts occasionally, but it's just not a priority for me. I am and always will be a words girl.
As far as generating my own content, that can definitely be difficult. I typically write a "diary" style blog where I talk about different things that are going on in my life. I'm a huge fan of questionnaires though, and my next project (after I finish a guest posting series I came up with) will be a series answering 25 Through Provoking Questions- these are actually illustrated so I can also use the pictures given, which is helpful.
I typically Google "blogger challenge" or "blog questionnaire" when I'm having a blank moment. Or I think about something I want to focus on and decide to create my own challenge (ie I need to improve my fashion sense, so I came up with a plan of organizing my wardrobe & will eventually blog about the process). My guest post series actually came from me having a major writing block- I decided I wanted guest posts to take the pressure off but couldn't decide what to have them post about. So I turned it around and asked them to blog about blogging- what are the benefits, why'd they start, what motivates them, etc.
Chances are, if you are thinking about it/questioning it- others are too! The best tip is to NOT be afraid to say "Hey I'm not sure what I'm doing" or put too much pressure on yourself. Sometimes my most random posts that seem to make no sense at all are what gets the most attention.
Personally, I've never much cared one way or another on images... I'm a words driven person, so what's going to get me to follow a blog is generally interest in what the person is saying vs. what they might be showing me in an image, and in general I find I'm mostly with you... Popularity these days seems to be very driven on showing images of pretty objects and outfits, and I dunno.... I guess if I wanted to see that, I'd log onto Pinterest.
That said, I do think there's some value in including a relevant image with a well written post, because images tend to be attention grabbers. A lot of the various blog reader/following services format stuff in such a way where they grab the first relevant image and a teaser (BlogLovin, Hello Cotton, and if you read your GFC followed blogs via blogger.com all do this) and if you don't have an image, I feel like it's easy for your post to get lost in the shuffle.
Maybe that's part of the reason it doesn't bother me- I read all my blogs through Google Reader, so a "words only" post is still going to get the same amount of attention. Google Reader numbers how many posts you haven't read, and that only disappears when you scroll past the entire post. So it doesn't really require the "image teaser" that some other reader services use.
I like to mix things up to keep it interesting
words, pictures, videos, drawings..etc
- I try to keep my posts simple and 'readable' but then there are times where they get lengthy. I don't necessarily worry if people will read everything I write. My blog is a place for me to reflect on my life, find inspiration, and hopefully, inspire others. It's a place for me to keep friends and family members in the loop of what is happening in my life. Also, it makes me happy to look back to see what I was up to at a certain point in my life.
-As far as images go, I think a lot of people are likely to return or keep reading your blog if the visuals are appealing. I always try to post visually appealing photos that are related to my posts. But then there are many blogs that I read that do not use images at all. It's all a matter of personal preference.
I like to mix it up. But I do prefer looking at blogs with pictures more than ones with words. I'm not sure why, but I feel like when I look at pictures, I can visualize what the person did, went, etc. I'm not sure if everyone else is the same, but that's just my opinion.
I try to base my blog on more pictures, with a couple sentences about said picture. I still think blogging should be whatever you want it to be. There are lots of people out there who like reading a blog not for their pictures, but for their context. :)
I personally like a mixture! I like my blogs like a 7 year old likes their books- enough words to make me feel like a big kid for reading but still some pictures to keep me pulled in :) I try to write in that manner too though I'm definitely guilty of doing a mainly video post or two :)
I love the way you've described that, it sums it up perfectly! I think I'm pretty similar. I love blogs with beautiful imagery but with enough story to make me care about the person behind it
That's an excellent question! Great thoughts!!
I try to put a couple of images with most of posts, mainly to make them look more visually appealing. Imagines in a blog's posts isn't particularly something that influences me in deciding whether to read it, or whether I enjoy reading it, but I know it does for other people so I put images in for them.
I've never thought about trying to deliver a consistent message. My posts are pretty consistent in giving my view of life just because I wrote them all, but there isn't a particular theme. I don't find that I get bored really either, my blog is my hobby, I guess, so I blog when I feel like writing. If I have nothing interesting to say I don't bother.
I generally have one stock photo with every post, but otherwise it's all words. I have a blog because I want to share my opinions on things, not to share pictures of my life.
Honestly, I will not follow a blog that's primarily pictures, and I'll unsubscribe from a blog that turns into mostly pictures. I read blogs to be challenged, get ideas, and talk about important topics, not to look at pictures of kids and pets and flowers. But that's just me -- it depends on what kind of blogging circles you run in (or want to). I tend to read blogs with formats similar to mine and attract readers who have blogs similar to mine.