Dena Dale Crain about "Blogging for Quilters." If you are thinking about starting a blog, especially hopeful that it will bring you fame and fortune and sales of your artwork, she has a lot of good information there. By her standards, though, my blog probably doesn't measure up. Maybe I should worry about this, but I don't. She asks at the outset, if you are blogging, are you doing it "properly and successfully?"Today I read a post by
Properly? Oh, sigh. That makes me tired. Am I "keeping my present and future readers informed about what I am doing and what I am selling?" Yes, sort of. Sometimes. Maybe. Er, not so much. "Not selling yet?" she asks, "Why not? Don't be naive!" OK, OK, I am selling. I set up an Etsy Shop awhile back and flogged it to death here and sold quite a lot of stuff, but I have not had the time to restock lately. I should probably be doing that instead of writing this.
Successfully? What? What is successful? Since I didn't have any concept or goal about what would constitute success when I started writing this blog, I can't really say if I have been successful. If it means has it opened my eyes to things I had never noticed, connected me with terrific people and opportunities, given me another creative outlet, put me in touch with my own life in a way nothing else ever has, then, yes, I am blogging successfully. If it means, fame, sales, and how many search engines access the blog daily, well, I just don't know about that stuff.
Don't get me wrong. I have no argument with Dena's advice and I think she has given this some very good, analytical thought. I was just taken aback by such a single-minded approach to blogging. At one point she says if you aren't blogging to sell something you should switch to Twitter or Facebook where you can share your personal thoughts and photos there.They are, apparently, only worthy of a couple lines and a square inch or so.
You know what I love in a blog? Someone who can write really well. That is what I aspire to. Beautiful photos that take me to another location or a glimpse into someone else's world. I love that too. Humor. The human condition, well told. Travel. The world. Food, though I am with Dena in that I'm not very interested in what you had for breakfast. But I do love those favorite recipes and a great, tasty discovery shared. Art. I love the art, but it is even more enjoyable for me when I have learned something about the artist and what makes her tick.
My blog is an imperfect reflection of me. I'm sure it could be more professional, but it is what it wanted to be. Not for everyone. I am getting old and life is short—too short not to do what I do for my own enjoyment mostly. And for the record, even when you are young life is too short. Maybe I share too much of my mundane life, or maybe not enough. Maybe I'm unnaturally interested in other peoples' lives or maybe reading about them just provides some comfort in knowing how much we are all alike at some deep level. I just never thought of blogs having to be business tools.
Maybe Dena's advice will help someone start a successful blog. I hope it doesn't dissuade anyone who won't want to follow her rules. They can follow my rules instead! No, really I don't think rules are needed for something as personal as a blog. If you wanted my advice, and you probably don't, I'd just say what I'd say about art in general—be authentic. And if you can be funny or profound or make things beautiful—bonus points.