On Blogging

bloggingI’ve been blogging for little over a year now. It’s been fun. I’ve got the chance to connect with people from all over the world and learn new stuff. Also, I kind of realized my words matter.

But the guy who’s sitting in his chair, staring at his computer screen, asking himself whether or not to start a blog might be wondering whether or not he has something to say.

Do I have something to say?

Yes. But that’s not the problem.

I meet a lot of aspiring writers who are basically trying to tell the world something it doesn’t know. They want to discover new lands, so to speak. But contrary to popular belief we love being shown something that’s hidden in plain sight.

Don’t tell me something I don’t know, but tell me something I’m only aware of at a subconscious level.

Also, don’t tell me something about yourself, but tell me something about myself. The best personal stories you share on the web are the ones that people can relate to.

What I’m really trying to say is, we are eerily similar. All of us. We feel, we act, we react, we imagine, and we dream in similar ways. But what sets people apart is their unique ability to express those feelings.

My best posts are the ones in which a lot of folks feel that I’ve expressed something they’ve been thinking or wondering about but couldn’t put into words.

A great blog post either entertains or informs. Try to give people something meaningful to read, something that they can smile to or laugh to, something interesting maybe.

Basically, you’ve got to write the blog that you’d like to read. This is the trickiest part of all. Because there’s no one to help you. You’ve got to ask yourself:

What is it that I’m really passionate about?

What are the things that you love or hate? The things you’d like to see change in this world?

Even if it doesn’t sound cool enough, even if there are a million other bloggers writing about the same thing, if it’s something you’re passionate about, that passion will come through. Always.

I found my niche early on. I write these sort of short essays about unpopular facets of an artist’s life. But that’s what I really care about: art and artists. I’ve been writing about these sort of things long before I started this blog.

How many people are blogging about writing right now?

A lot of them.

How many people are blogging about writing the same way I do?

Not many, I suppose, otherwise I wouldn’t be so popular.

Not to overly philosophize on the subject, but people spend an awful lot of time trying to come up with something special or unique. The great idea. But very few realize that what makes them special can only be found inside their souls.

If there’s something you’re really passionate about, why not blog about it? And while you’re at it, you might find out some interesting stuff about yourself as well.

I would have never thought that I’d end up reading personal blogs. I mean, I thought only famous people were allowed to write about their day to day lives. But somehow I ended up loving some of the folks who write just about that. And you know why? Because I can relate to their stories. They make me laugh or cry or whatever, but they give me something.

So this is probably the most important questions you should ask yourself, beginning blogger or not:

How do I make people care?

***

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72 comments on “On Blogging

  1. Aaran Sian says:

    Wow, such a great post, so inspiring and uplifting and motivational! I loved it. I’ve been blogging for about a month, and I love it. There are times when I’ve thought I haven’t got enough likes as I’d have liked to get, which gets me down for like a second. But I’ve met so many other great people and read loads of interesting stuff which has opened my mind to other interests and lives.

    • pmahaney says:

      This post is one of the best, and you are right there are many good post, plus exposure to the various styles of writing with new insights does inspire.

  2. stormy1812 says:

    “Don’t tell me something I don’t know, but tell me something I’m only aware of at a subconscious level. Also, don’t tell me something about yourself, but tell me something about myself. The best personal stories you share on the web are the ones that people can relate to.” Excellent! I think that’s an awesome observation particularly the part about telling someone about themselves. Readers do want to be challenged or somehow identify with the writer; they want that connection and it’s so much easier to connect when that passion exists. I’m still working to find my voice and to find that connection and there’s been times I’ve been ready to give up but your posts (along with a few others) remind me that it’s worth working through the growing pains because there will be rewards. Patience is needed along with some perseverance. Great post!

  3. This is so incredibly true: writing connects you with the world. We all share a story, a feeling, a sad or happy moment of our lives, no matter how old we are or how far we live from each other.

  4. HI There, I began blogging in February, mainly as a distraction for the daily grind. I am slowly finding my voice, but more importantly, I do feel the passion simmer now inside of me as I piece a post together. I want to get it out there, to see who else feels the same way, and as importantly, who disagrees with me. All opinions matter.

    I don’t know if I’ll make a difference in anyone’s life or alter an opinion. I don’t really even know who is reading my blog and when. But I do find it fascinating to see how far my posts have reached and what insight I’ve gained by reading their comments and their blogs. Yes, many of us write on the same topics, but each with our own voice. It’s the same as the millions of songs written about love, yet each one is different.

    This is a new venture and, so far quite an interesting one. Who knows where it will take me. LMA

  5. Jan Wilberg says:

    ‘The most important thing about writing is having something to say.’ I think that’s very often something that is ‘hidden in plain sight.’

    Even the simplest thing can be messed up with overthinking. I think that’s what snarls up a lot of bloggers. Just tell a story – one small enough to fit and big enough to matter. Thank you for the advice – always, always useful.

  6. Great post, great read!

  7. Talicha J. says:

    Really awesome post! I really think you nailed it and made me think about what it is my blog is saying! Thanks for sharing!

  8. mzsusanb says:

    My blog started at a means of expressing my changing life as I approached fifty; now it’s that and a travel blog too, but as a travel blog, I don’t focus on *all* of a place, I focus on one aspect of a place. For example, when we went New Orleans, we didn’t try to see everything there; we focused on the French Quarter and next time it will be the Garden District. Last weekend, I went to Paducah, Kentucky, where I visited one art/craftsman gallery.

    I have kept personal journals since I was thirteen years old and blogging is a natural extension of that practice. What’s changed is now I write for an audience (albeit a small audience), and I include photographs and link to my Flickr portfolio, because that’s where my passion and my voice lie: in the travel and the photographs. Blogging has just given me a wider audience potential to share my view of the world.

  9. “you’ve got to write the blog that you’d like to read.” How true! Not only content but also style. I try to have a chatty, informal style when I write, as if I’m chatting to a group of friends – which is exactly what I am doing, even though I’ve never met them and they are spread over the face of the Earth!

  10. Thank you for this article. I am in the beginning stages of blogging and still stumbling around, whether it be with my writing, photos or technical issues.

    It is a real ego boost when I discovered that writers such as yourself may be interested in what I have to say. Still finding my voice, but having a great time hearing (reading) those of others!

  11. Johnny Knox says:

    Interesting post and some good points about writing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  12. I agree with your observation that readers are looking for material they can relate to. I have received past comments from readers thanking me for putting their own feelings into words. Even people who seem very different may find that they share an emotional connection.

  13. My name is Marilyn and I’ve been blogging for less than a month. I initially blogged because I wanted to get my name out there so people would recognize me as an author. But I have found that I do have something to say every day…something that I think is worthwhile. I’m still struggling with getting people to follow me and recognize my name, but at least I have a new creative way to express myself. I hope people can relate to my topics and feel my passion. I could really relate to your blog, Cristian. “We feel, we act, we react, we imagine, and we dream in similar ways. But what sets people apart is their unique ability to express those feelings.” Yes… so true!

  14. ScullySpeaks says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head. The best thing to do, is just write. You’ll find your way. I LOVE studying the way blogging works, how it effects the community around the blogger, and what engages people. The way social media intertwines with blogging, and how underneath all of that, is the desire to be loved and be heard. Nice post.

  15. Serish Rana says:

    This post has come at the perfect time for me. Having only started blogging two days ago, this gives me inspiration about topics I want to share. I don’t just want to ramble about everyday things but things that I have experienced which others can relate too.
    Thank you for this post!

  16. Ashina says:

    JUST LOVE İT!

  17. lovethystyle says:

    you totally answered so many of my questions regarding blogging…thank you and please continue blogging.

  18. Melissa says:

    Great post. Expresses how I feel about blogging perfectly. I was afraid to start a blog too, but I made up my mind by starting it as a brain dump and journal for myself.

  19. Katy says:

    “Also, don’t tell me something about yourself, but tell me something about myself. The best personal stories you share on the web are the ones that people can relate to.” THIS is so great and so cool. It’s what I hope to achieve as a writer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as only you can!

  20. Marie Rogers says:

    You hit the nail on the head: “Don’t tell me something I don’t know, but tell me something I’m only aware of at a subconscious level.” Little gems like these are the reason I keep reading you.

  21. Interesting! I never thought about it that way: blog about things people already have on mind but can’t express in words….

    I think you hit the nail on the head with this blog post in that sense, too! I’m going to try thinking like this… I’m glad I took the time to read your blog today. :)

  22. so thought provoking. I love it

  23. Conna Bond says:

    Such a valuable reminder…!

  24. A good post on the blessings of blogging. To paraphrase Flannery O’Connor on writing –

    “Everyone who has survived childhood has a story to tell.”

  25. nimslake says:

    Another great topic. I do find it hard to write simply. And I am sure I’m one of many who ‘over-analyze’ and so do not write much. Passion…never thought about writing on that manner. I learn something new every day. :-)

  26. Thanks for sharing. I am new to the blogging world and have only been blogging for a little over a month. I have never had much of a passion to write, but recently I started keeping a journal and later started the blog it has increased my hunger to write. Hopefully I can stick it out.

  27. Stephanie Buosi says:

    this is great advice. I have been trying to find my niche for some time now, and I’ll admit that it’s difficult. But you are completely right. We must pursue and write what we love and interests us.

  28. anacruiz10 says:

    This is fantastic! I love how accurately and thoroughly you described the process in which someone needs to go through to decide if they want to be a blogger and how to get over insecurities, keep up the great work!

  29. Susan Reed says:

    I’m not a writer – just a geek. I just started a blog to help small business owners understand how to use social media platforms and SEO (search engine optimization) in their websites and blogs to help them rank high in Google. I do this for a living – so it just kinda leaks over into my personal time too because I’m passionate about it. Geeks are known for being left brain and not that great at communicating our thoughts so I thought maybe if I just try to start writing hopefully non-technical people will understand me. I hope people will leave me comments so that if I didn’t do a good job of explaining something I can try again.

  30. “it’s not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it,” I believe the old adage goes. I think this post definitely defends that statement. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  31. galaxiesofmystery says:

    I’m not sure how legit this is, but I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award I hope that you accept but you don’t have to. Check out my page for rules and procedures!

  32. Great post. Content is key, and also how you express yourself in the blog, so that readers want more!

  33. deepa says:

    Thanks for this wonderful post! The conviction that throbs in your words when you write about something you believe in draws others in.

  34. Honestly, never thought I could be more intrigued in a blog, being a beginner myself, this has inspired me and I really understand what you mean. The way a blog should be something someone can relate to, it made me think about asking a question that others and wondering or perhaps know the answer too. Just brilliant.

  35. harveycd says:

    Really good post, I use my blog to promote my work but I find the beauty of being an author is that you want to be more personable so you have posts on different areas you like such as computer games, sport and movies. I feel that a blog needs a purpose but also needs the entertainment factor you talked of, many people follow a blog because they want to know more about that person and not just what they are trying to promote. I feel that if an audience find you likeable they are more likely to buy into what you are selling/promoting. Another good thing is it gets your ideas off your chest and also some responses inspire me to write stories.

  36. Shine says:

    Thank you. It is what I needed today as I ask God, incessantly, what do You want me to write about (because I’m sick of writing about myself but know nothing about anything else that’s interesting). So instead of being stuck on questions of topic you remind me, as my old car salesman roommate used to say, “Its not what you say, its how you say it.”

  37. Thank you so much for this~ it is transformative. It came right when I needed it; still developing my blog, which is still pretty fresh, and I’ve been struggling with not only what I want to show passion about, but how to make it more of an effort of giving back than just receiving affirmation. It really is a platform for generosity, isn’t it? Thank you so much, Cristian.

  38. “don’t tell me something about yourself, but tell me something about myself”

    so very true!

    http;//gay-male-art-blog.com

  39. jamieaaron03 says:

    Thanks, I was literally just thinking I needed some motivation for my blog. These were just the right words to do it :)

  40. Lani says:

    Well, dear, you have a lot of glowing remarks, but as a fellow writer, I know you will not tire hearing it again. Bravo! :) Oh, and since I’m new to your blog, I didn’t know art was your first passion, so let me introduce you to my friend Eric at: http://artoferickuns.wordpress.com/ >>>>>Cheers.

  41. Adrian B says:

    Thank you. Now I know what’s the problem with my blog. Multam mult.

  42. derb523622013 says:

    Excellent advice for us newbies! Thanks.

  43. no words to say about ur writing the first time, i read it, i’ve fallen in love in it. keep a good work:)

  44. mariannatarvainen says:

    And this is why I started my blogging. Writing is always a journey into your thoughts, to your life and your soul. You have to keep an open mind and not set the route beforehand, or you might miss out on the actual passion. You have to follow your feet, where ever they take you.

  45. Kim Rdz says:

    I tend to write about what is going through my mind at the time. It helps get it out so I can move on.

  46. adekonyin says:

    Thank you soooo much for this! I have just started a blog and will most definitely be using this page as a guideline

  47. Celena G. says:

    Hmm. Love it. Very thought provoking. My problem is I have so many interests, lol. I’ll just express them the best I know how & grow & learn & adjust as necessary over time!

  48. Great post. Words have a power. Whether we want it or not. It only depends on us wheteher they have positive or negative impact. Are inspiring or destructive.

  49. siobhanjs says:

    Excellent thoughts!! Love your advice, I certainly remember spending over a year procrastinating starting my blog as I was so worried about trying to think of something new before I just decided I should write about what I feel and my experiences as they are… there are so many travel blogs, but I don’t think anyone has lived quite the same life that I have. :) Thank you!

    Siobhan
    Wanderlust

  50. Deborah says:

    I so needed to hear this today. I’ve only been blogging for four weeks and already I’m wondering if I’ve found my true voice yet. That is really helpful.

  51. alygeorges says:

    thanks for the insightful post. it gave me a lot to think about…very inspiring. I only started blogging two months ago, even though I’ve been writing for the longest time now… and I must say, i’m honoured you spared a few minutes of your time to visit my blog…thank you.

  52. Great insight and a reminder to make a blog likable.

  53. Great post, lots of wisdom shared. Thanks!

  54. cvdanes says:

    Very nice! I started my blog as a reason to write every couple of days or so, and to hone my skills, which were starting to get rusty.

  55. I liked the reasons you gave for doing a blog. Everything I read about being a published author said you needed to do a blog. Made me wonder what they did 50 years ago before the WWW. So, I started a blog without really wanting to do one. I didn’t have time for blogging; I wanted to use my time for writing. I did not want to do a blog on one book only. I doubted that would be enough to garner any following. I am a retired nurse, so health and nutrition seemed a good fit, but there were already a few out there with the same idea. Let’s try writing helps. Not the best idea since I consider myself a novice writer. Forty plus years of writing Nurses’ Notes and Verbal Orders don’t count in the least. What next? I had called my blog quirkywritingcorner only because I had no clue what I was going to talk about next. I covered a variety of general topics, including a few of my own short stories and poems. When I don’t feel up to writing myself I reblogged someone else’s. It’s doing okay. I think some like the variety. I thought I would reblog yours and add an explanation about my quandary with starting a blog.
    Blogging is helping to hone my writing skills. I enjoy reading all the other blogs. I guess this blogging thing will work out okay.

  56. Some day I want to be on your level, thank you for being my inspiration !

  57. That was really inspiring and helpful! Thank you for sharing :)

  58. Thanks, this is great encouragement!

  59. This was a really good post. Informative, clarifying and easy to read. :)

  60. Marusia says:

    Thank you for this post! I love it!

  61. bethcb says:

    Thanks Cristian you have a gift of writing. It has encouraged me as I start my blog. I once heard “write what only you know about”. And I love this line from your blog: “But very few realize that what makes them special can only be found inside their souls.”
    This is truth!

  62. I began my blog in March 2012 and started telling some personal stories that I thought people could relate to. The problem was lack of consistency. I did not post often enough for people to see and even try to relate to my love for other cultures and “culture” in the sense of the fine arts. Then this summer I hosted a group of Latino poets based in Toronto, Canada and started blogging about how we participated in a poetry reading and what their stories and work meant to me. I got six followers in one day, which was a big number for a newbie blogger.

    Recently I started telling funny stories with a grain of serious truth about choral singing and becoming a professional vocalist later in life. I think I now have the ingredients for the passion and the personal stories that tell the reader something about him/herself.

    Thank you for the advice in the form of a blog entry, and for following “Culture Collage.”

  63. Jan Edwards says:

    Essential reading for anyone starting a blog . . . simply excellent.

  64. This is a great post about why we blog, Christian. So happy to find you! We all want to be heard, don’t we? And I love your line: Also, don’t tell me something about yourself, but tell me something about myself. The best personal stories you share on the web are the ones that people can relate to.

    I love stories that help me to learn something about myself. Or stories that show our commonalities. :-)

    Thanks, too, for joining my blog. :-)

  65. itsmejoan_up says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I became quite motivated to write better, thanks to you!

  66. BullaTech says:

    You just hit the bull by the horn. If we all can articulate and express our inner thought prefectly, the world will be a better place for us to live in. Nice one

  67. Love what you’ve done over time to your site! SO powerful!!!!

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