What does it mean to be a blogger without an (enormous) audience?
My friend Kate Singleton, who writes the delightfully artful blog Art Hound, and I have been going back and forth on this digital existential question for the past few weeks. It’s one of those questions that has no answer: there are as many responses as there are bloggers – bazillions! The discussion could have gone on forever (oh, how we bloggers love to talk about blogging!), but we decided to pose this question to some of our favorite small-time* bloggers in a new series we’re calling BitBloggers. After all, there are so many talented people logging endless hours on their blogs. If they’re not getting paid or becoming famous, why ARE they doing it?
* We’re using a loose definition of the word “small” given how hard (and pointless) it would be to define the term categorically.
So without further ado, here’s Kate, kicking us off with her thoughts on her blogging habits.
We hear A LOT about big bloggers but not so much about the little guys. in your words, small bloggers are important because _________________.
we produce amazing, original content! without editorial teams!
Blogging is a TON of work and rarely pays the rent. Your family think you’ve lost your mind… So what drives you to blog?
The art I find online, especially when it is relatively unknown, inspires me. I think, “Oh my god! I have to share this!” I also love the act of blogging itself. It’s the age-old adage of “when you love what you do…”
Some bloggers are veritable celebrities who snap and tweet every moment. How comfortable are you with being “out there”?
Not very. At first I felt pressure to really put myself out there, but over time I’ve embraced the fact that there really are no rules for blogging. You can be as public or as anonymous as you want. I’m happy somewhere in-between.
Internet culture is obsessed with numbers and rankings. Do you follow your stats? How are they useful to you?
To me stats are important but secondary to actual blogging. I only dig into the data once or twice a month to make sure I’m not missing some obvious change or to see if an ad or shout-out has brought in new readers.
Do you strive to one day be a big-time blogger?
I think I strive to be a medium-time blogger. I definitely want to grow my readership and be known as an expert on independent art, but the idea of being truly BIG scares me.
Could you ever return to a non-blogging existence?
Not anytime soon! If I did give up blogging I’m sure I would stay connected in other ways, through commenting on other blogs, twitter, etc.
What was the first blog that hooked you?
Your guilty pleasure blog? Go.
Dlisted and Jezebel’s Midweek Madness series.
Your turn, ask us a comment or feedback. What’s the one thing about the blog world that’s got you stumped, the thing you’re dying to ask somebody but haven’t?
Has anyone ever had an artist/designer ask to have their work removed from your blog? (Assuming it was properly sited and linked.)
Any short-cuts or tricks you’ve discovered for yourself? Which of your blogging habits need work?
I like to give myself full-reign when it comes to what and when I blog. I pull ideas for posts as I come across them, but I don’t decide what to blog about until I sit down to do it. I relish that freedom.
RSS or Tabs?
Tabs. I need context! I’ve tried using readers multiple times but it’s never stuck.