Your Blog, Your Way: Post 10

Tips on blogging by Seth Apter If you are reading this post, I imagine that you fall into one or more of the following three categories: blogger, potential blogger, and/or blog reader. Blogs, as we know them, began in the 1990s and gained popularity at the very end of the 20th century. Today there are over 150 million blogs and counting. With so many possible links to click, it might seem almost impossible to imagine that anybody might find yours. This is, in part, what this series ‘Your Blog, Your Way’ is about: creating or recreating a blog that stays true to your authentic voice while at the same time maintaining and increasing readership. To this end, a framework for developing your blog called the 10 Cs has been introduced. Prior posts have covered Consistency, Continuity, Community, Content, Comments, Composition, Censoring and Creativity. In each of these posts, different aspects of blogging were discussed. In all cases, the focus has been on the blog itself. Today, in contrast, we turn our sights onto the blogger rather than the blog. Today we introduce the concept of Cultivating. The word cultivating has many meanings, all of which seem applicable to blogging and to the blogger: to grow or tend; to promote the growth of; to nurture and foster; to form and refine; and to seek the acquaintance of. We all want to promote the growth of our blogs. We all need to tend to them as well. And we certainly all seek the acquaintance of others to visit our sites. Following the guidelines suggested in the previous posts in this series will help you to cultivate your blog. But equally critical in creating and maintaining a successful blog is cultivating the blogger: in other words . . . yourself. By cultivating ourselves and sharing our developing identities as artists in our posts, we step closer to creating a blog that by all definitions is a success. It is always important to remember that our blogs are our public faces. They are our online identity and, in many cases, our only identity to our readers. We will, by far, never meet—in real life—the majority of people who visit our blogs. You probably have heard the expression “you are what you eat.” Well for our purposes, “you are what you blog.” So how does one go about cultivating the artist within? By ensuring that you:
  1. Make your responsibilities as an artist and blogger a priority in your life and let others know this as well.
  2. Continue to educate yourself on your craft—whether that is via online resources, live workshops, or connections with other artists.
  3. Stay on top of your artistic community by visiting other blogs and websites, as well as by keeping abreast of new developments in your area.
  4. Educate yourself about the history of art and keep aware of the larger community of present day artists.
  5. Create a set of artistic goals and periodically revisit this list to make sure you stay on track and to revise your goals as needed.
  6. Remember that what you say online represents who you are—and will be available for all eyes to see 24/7/365.
In the end, taking the time to make the artist in you a priority and fostering your own development as a creative person will help you to create Your Blog, Your Way. Next month: The 10th C   Seth Apter is a regular contributor to CreateMixedMedia.com, the voice behind, The Altered Page and the author of the forthcoming book, The Pulse of Mixed Media. (North Light Books, Spring 2012) You can listen to a podcast with Seth right here.
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