I write the type of blog I’d want to read: relatable, jestful, but still informative. I like to read blogs that inspire me, are well-designed and always pleasing to look at. Oh, and filled with pictures. Lots of pictures. Basically, I’m Gaston.

(source)

GPOY (source)

I read a lot of articles on growing your blog, just for fun. Besides an active social media presence, visual design is one of the most prominent points that come up when you’re trying to widen your audience. Photos play a large role in getting your posts seen. Stay on top of those Pinterest-worthy images with handbrushed fonts and VSCO filters to set the mood!

This isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes words aren’t enough, and writing is hard. I’m sure some of you have struggled with trying to craft vivid imagery through words alone. It doesn’t come so easily to everyone, and it takes a lot of practice to be good at it. I know; I’ve written many pieces. They don’t call them shitty first drafts for nothing. Good prose comes with drafting, redrafting, and cutting down that one paragraph that was so good but disrupts the flow of the narrative. It can take months to complete a viable chapter. Blogging doesn’t have that kind of time.

It doesn’t help that the internet has significantly shrunk the average viewer’s attention span. I won’t deconstruct the why’s of this phenomenon, but it simply is. Few people have the patience to read five paragraphs describing what you’re wearing when a picture will more than suffice.

So pictures! Everyone loves them. They’re pretty and easily digestible. Of course, they still take work to get right. You gotta take them at the optimal time, compose the shot just so, and take probably thirty before you can have a one usable for your blog. However, they’re much more accessible. All you need is a camera. There are also plenty of apps to help you edit them to get the look and feel of what you’re aiming for. And I think, more people just find taking and editing pictures fun than writing. I don’t blame them. I think they’re fun too!

But I won’t pretend it hasn’t hurt the words. I read many blogs with beautiful pictures but empty meaning. They’re all the same regurgitated content. But I get it. They’re blogging for the audience, and the audience wants quick and pretty. I’m one of them. I perpetuate the demand for instant gratification.

I guess I just miss writing. I should get back to it. How else could I make you all excited about my day-to-day life? Of the cold that had fallen on the city, slicing through weathered coat like knife through butter? Or of the panhandling dancers on the train, each day hoping for coin? Their shouts were a clap of thunder to all weary from the day’s labor, yet they’ve made it home.

And here I sit, reaching for something I have lost.

Comments

  1. Yeah, I noticed blogging has to have a combination of good photos and good words. I admit, I no longer have the patience to read a super long blog entry that’s like ten paragraphs long. But if it’s broken apart into a list format or has photos to break down the drudgery, that makes it easier XD;;

    And maybe it’s just me, but I don’t care about all the fancy filters/VSO stuff with the photos. As long as it’s not uber-blurry, and as long as I can tell what it is, that’s all it matters to me. Sure, if it looks professional, then great! But if it doesn’t, I’ll still like it :D

    Anyway, this was a thought-provoking entry. Thanks for writing this, and I loved your comparison to Gaston. HAHA!
    Tara recently posted…Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra PerformanceMy Profile

    1. Me neither. I feel bad because I say I love reading but there’s just less time for it now. :( I didn’t have a problem reading long-winded entries before. I wonder if age and having more responsibilities also have to do with it. :’D

      I don’t mind unfiltered photos either, although I edit mine out of habit going back to my LJ days. Even then, I put text on all my selfies hahahaha.

  2. I love how the last paragraph was written.

    I remember in one of my feature writing classes, we were taught to put an image on the readers mind but to not overdo it. I feel like I’m still in the process of being that perfect writer. And you have done your part.

    P.S.
    So agree on photos. Too bad right now my phone camera sucks, my heavy DSLR will be enough for the meantime.
    Jamie recently posted…A Little Down Time in PampangaMy Profile

    1. Hah thanks! It’s not perfect but I tried. :’D

      I have a hard time with writing well honestly. Whenever I look at my first drafts, there are way too much adverbs and I have to cut them all down haha.

      My phone camera isn’t tat great anymore too. T_T What’s your phone model?

  3. haha, I’m a lot like Gaston in that GIF. I’m a very visual person. I have a hard time putting in time to read a novel, but I have no issues spending hours reading comics and manga.

    I agree though. I like seeing images in blog posts if they relate to the post because it breaks up the writing and helps people see what’s being talked about. It’s a little weird to me when it’s random stock images that are there to be pretty and not to help the entry. Like you said, I think in some cases, the written part feels empty because it relies too much on the images =/ There should probably be a balance between the two!
    Cat recently posted…5 more random things about meMy Profile

    1. Oh gosh, all the weekends I spent on manga. XD

      I haven’t looked it up, but I wonder how the bounce rates are with posts of the same pictures, but different copy? Would be interesting to see. I know in fashion blogging circles, many readers express that they’d rather not have text to go with the outfit pictures because they’re only there for the fashion. But they also complain that the accompanying text isn’t all that meaningful s maybe that’s why? I wonder how they’d receive better-written fashion posts.

  4. I’ve always read articles on how to make your blog awesome but never bothered too much.. I have this mindset where, “Okay……. I won’t try too hard or hard at all.” But the tips they give can help others a lot with growing their blog :D. I’ve tried to incorporate some witty literature to my posts before while typing up the draft then deleting it *__*. “Long story short, I’m still obsessed with cars” XD.

    I agree with the internet making people’s attention span so small! Sometimes, I don’t even bother making a fully-detailed post because some people won’t bother with it. But I learned to make things straight to the point; though if you look at design, we went from UBER 3D WOW GRAPHICS to ~flaaaaaaaat~ and ~simply plain~ designs as if our brains can’t process what shadow is anymore.
    Nancy recently posted…Keeping Up With Spring QuarterMy Profile

    1. Flat design is a lot easier to code responsively. XD Although now that Material Design is a thing, I wonder how that’ll influence design trends.

  5. The title made me laugh.

    I think we come from a different era in blogging. When it was basically all text and that was good, because it was how we expressed ourselves and talked about our lives.

    My writing isn’t that great, but I do like photography, so often put a little of that in there too. My blog is made for me though. I don’t try and make it towards any certain audience, I just have it and continue to do it, because for some weird reason I like it. xD
    Kya recently posted…FanlistingsMy Profile

    1. Nothing wrong with that! We all blog for different reasons, although I’m definitely put off when someone’s endgame is to monetize. But that feelings’s from blogs I read that don’t disclose sponsored posts. I’ve also had brands contact me to write a post for them, but don’t mention that they asked me to do it. Ugh, so shady.

  6. Yeah, that’s the problem with society honestly. They lost the will to read, and reading opens up all sorts of things up for people, plus you can share experiences with people and that’s important. Thank you for writing this. It’s really all true, even if I don’t like it being that.
    Michelle recently posted…Superstar MarleyMy Profile

    1. It’s weird because we still do a lot of reading technically (blogs, social media, forums, etc), but most of us just don’t have enough patience for long-form pieces. :O

  7. I too like reading blog posts with images/photos/stuff on it, but for some reason I am too lazy to do the same… Maybe I’m still holding on to how I have always blogged from the very beginning. Maybe just maybe when I get back to blogging after these finals, I will start to take the more visual approach. Also, my iphone camera sucks. LOL
    Kristine recently posted…MeaninglessMy Profile

    1. Haha, which one do you have? XD I had an iPhone 4 before, I liked it a lot.

      I’m pretty bad at promoting on social media and just being “on” all the time, so I’ll never be a ~professional blogger lololol

      1. I still have the iphone 4s! LOL. So old in terms of technology, but eh, I’m in grad school and can’t afford to buy a new phone right now.

        Oh man, self-promoting on social media is also something I’m too lazy to do.
        Kristine recently posted…MeaninglessMy Profile

  8. I like the occasional long read (New Yorker, The Awl etc) but I prefer quick and easy-to-digest. Back in my early days of blogging, there was the need to prove that you could write beautifully. Now, you just have to be able to express yourself well and provide something useful, and I like that. Too many things to read, not enough time in the work day!

    I do miss LJ days, tho.
    Helga recently posted…The Sunday Currently // 17My Profile

    1. Yeah, my blogging circle back then was very eloquent. There were nearly zero pictures so you had to depend on your words to carry your point. Looking back, it was still a whole lot of nothing lol.

      I miss the LJ days too! I’m sad it’s pretty much dead now. I only use it to comment on ONTD occasionally.

  9. Hmm. I actually dislike “quick and pretty,” because it strikes me as vapid. But that sort of blogging is popular since everyone can relate to it easily, without thinking (after all it’s vapid). Still, no one wants to actually ~read~ paragraphs upon paragraphs of this substance-less drivel, so entries must be short and since bloggers want clicks, they stick with superficial subjects. It also doesn’t help that blogging isn’t as anonymous as it used to be.

    When I think of my own blog, I think I somehow ended up in the wrong niche (idk), but I don’t know how to transition out of it so I barely post at all. I look at some of my entries and cringe (not too much but enough to keep me from writing more of the same).

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