Once upon a time, people wrote on paper. They kept diaries, journals, notebooks and photo albums. They wrote letters; and shopping lists; and To Do lists. Now it seems that everyone keeps a blog instead.
On Saturday, I attended Nuffnang Blogopolis – a huge blogging conference, drawing an audience of 300 of Australia’s top bloggers (and me) to Melbourne, to discuss all things bloggy. It was amazing. It was inspiring. It was scary. I mean, how on earth do you introduce yourself to someone whose whole life you follow, but they have no idea you exist?
There were bloggers from all genres – food and fashion, parenting and personal, sport, travel and business. For most present, blogs are a personal outlet, a way of sharing their journey and passion with the world, no matter what the niche.
It was pretty apparent that the future of blogging in Australia is rosy indeed, and that comes as no surprise, considering that blogs speak to the very heart of who we are as humans.
For blogs speak a universal language – that of the story.
Blogs are an easy way to record the day-to-day events of our lives, our innermost thoughts, our achievements, adventures, discoveries and frustrations. They’re a great way of keeping and sharing photographs too. Many a mummy-blog started as a way of sharing baby photos and the funny little things that happen each day with friends and family. Some grew into much, much more.
For some, a blog has created an income stream, brought about a book deal, speaking engagements, overseas travel, a string of goodies from brands that “get it”.
For others, a blog has built a community of like-minded people. The support for those bloggers who have put their heart and soul “out there” is extraordinary. To do this requires incredible bravery. And in return, bloggers receive the confidence and strength to get through life, or even just through the day.
So is a blog the new journal?
Before you start a blog, it pays to think about why you are blogging – if you simply want a creative outlet, or to have a rant, or get your thoughts out of your head, blogging may not be right for you. It is worth remembering that a paper journal is for your eyes only. Your blog, on the other hand is public and permanent (relatively – see note below). You are putting yourself on the line here… and you need to be able to support your “brand” in everything you do, in real life as well as online. Would you be happy for your grandmother (or mum, husband etc) to read what you write, or would you prefer to have the comfort and safety of a private space? And of course, no computer can match the look, feel or smell of a special paper journal.
On the other hand, a paper journal doesn’t connect you with others. There is no feedback, no support in troubled times, no community, no sharing of ideas. That is what a blog can do best.
Here are few tips if you decide to go down the blogging journey.
The rest will take time… After all, we sat there for 7 hours on the weekend, learning, madly taking notes, tweeting (it’s weird being at a conference where you’re encouraged to keep your phone on!), eating chocolate and mints.
I have one piece of advice if you do decide to go down the blogging route (and this includes those of you already blogging).
*** Make sure you keep a hard copy of every post that is important to you. ***
While we often say that what we put on the internet is there forever, we don’t actually know that. Servers die. Technology changes. Even Google could go bust. At the end of the day, paper will outlast you, and be there to share your stories with generations to come. Note to self… must take my own advice!
Here are some suggestions of blogs for you to check out:
Business and Information Blogs
If you have any favourite blogs you’d like to share (and not just your own(!)), feel free to comment below.