On blogging for different audiences

Hey! How’s it going?

Today, let’s discuss what it’s like blogging in different contexts! Fun!

I have lots of experience blogging in different contexts, and I haven’t taken the time to sit down and think about how those contexts have shaped me as a writer. So bear with me as this post (like most of my posts, tbh) is going to consist of me thinking all of this out as I write it. Fun!

I think the easiest way to think about this topic is to go context-by-context, discussing the ways I’ve developed and the ways I shift style when I blog in different places.

1. Micro-blogging: or, who is even reading these posts? I started off on Tumblr, and I used that as a micro-blog in the sense that I would post mostly pictures of books or creative-writing related things. I also posted reviews, poems, and short musings and had a coherent theme around literature and writers. But micro-blogging is quite different than normal blogging because it is simply that: micro. Posts are shorter, and there is very little feedback or communication with the readers of those posts. No comments, no discussion. You know SOME people are reading your posts because you get likes, reblogs, and follows, but who are they? Who knows! I think this is the reason Tumblr ultimately fizzled out for me – it was stagnant. On WordPress I am always responding to the thoughts of others; people know me, and I know them. More on that later.

I have so much to say, but no one to listen,

2. Blogging on a small public site: or, I feel bad that no one reads these posts. Once upon a time in college, I blogged for a local arts and entertainment site that featured content specific to the college town where I went to school (the site is no longer around, in case you were wondering). This was the “best” blogging experience I had in that it forced me to really learn my “craft.” Many of my best posts were on this site that no one ever read (hence why the site is no longer around). This was due in part to the pressure of feeling that someone might read it – after all, the site was part of the larger media company of the entire school, so people did know about it. But more importantly, I had a word limit that I had to adhere to, which forced me to contain my sloppy, long-winded tendencies into concise postings. Maybe I should start giving myself word limits again……

3. Blogging on a large public site: or, holy shit, people actually read these posts! So as many of you know, I write for MuggleNet.com, which is the largest Harry Potter fan site on the internet and gets A LOT of traffic. When I write for MuggleNet, there are many different standards that I have to adhere to (which I will not bore you with here). Typically, I feel like I have more freedom on MN than I did during #2, but I still have to control my voice a bit. I know that A LOT of people might be reading, and that is scary shit. I normally won’t post anything remotely boat-rocking because I fear potential backlash. I had 2 posts on MuggleNet that got a very large amount of feedback (both positive and negative), but guess what? Both of those posts originated here on Rose Read, where I am not as afraid to post my potentially boat-rocking opinions. (My boss read them and decided they needed to go on the site.) I was thrilled at the attention those posts got, but now I’ve toned it down and write about innocuous things on MN because the stress of those 2 posts was enough for me to realize that if it became a constant thing, I’d be driven to an early grave. People on the internet have lots of opinions.

I bet they're saying all kinds of things about me.

4. Blogging for work: or, GOD DAMN, I wish I could swear in these posts! I also post blogs for my job at the library where I work. This is the most vanilla of blogging and it is not very fun. Mainly because I am a low-ranking position at my library and I’m afraid to let too much spunk show in posts or else get fired. One day when I’m a *real librarian,* I hope to blog with more personality (though still no swears) when I am in a position to feel more comfortable about that.

5. Blogging here: or, FEEDOOOOOOOM (in these posts)! This is the place where I feel the freest to blog whatever the F- I WANT. Yes, I have a theme, but that doesn’t stop me from saying anything in any way I want. Additionally, I actually know many of the people who read my blog because we have developed blogger relationships via this medium. I’m comfortable. Does this result in my best work? No. Probably not. Which leads me, I think, to my point here:

My Point:

Constraints, depending on the level, make me a better blogger. As does the experience of blogging for different audiences. It has allowed me to learn about what works where and what doesn’t. I’m still trying to test boundaries and create within the spaces I have. I know the audience I have on this blog is incredibly generous, which allows me the comfort of being able to say just about anything I want, which is fabulous because that is exactly how I started this blog in the first place, and that has yet to change (I hope it never does). I have almost no constraints here (yes, yes, there are always a ton of invisible constraints regarding social norms and discourse, but I’m not talking about those here…I’m almost at 1000 words already….#apropos). This blog is first and foremost for me, whereas in the other contexts, the posts I write are for other people. But there is a drawback to this comfort. The lack of constraints and excess of comfort make for sloppy post writing, I admit. But does that matter? For me, it doesn’t. For you, it might! Because I blog in so many different contexts in which there are constraints, I need a place to just vomit my thoughts, and this is the place. Sure, it’s not exactly random vomit; it’s controlled. Controlled vomit. In any case, I’m not as concerned about the quality of my posts here because this is my free space, a space to breathe (and vomit). Apparently that can get people reading, too – people are reading. You are reading! Thank you for reading!

I’m curious if you’ve learned anything about yourself from blogging in different contexts. Let me know if your experiences are similar or different or *whatever!* Cheers!

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23 thoughts on “On blogging for different audiences

  1. Green Onion says:

    Absolutely agree with the freedom of having a personal blog. I’ve done some articles for different sites and it can bring a certain pressure. I feel I can be pretty sloppy on wordpress too, but it does come out more personal and real. Great post, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Krysta says:

    I do like the freedom of blogging on a personal site. You don’t have to keep the same types of content. If I want to post about something that is less book-related I can and people seem to like it. However, I agree that writing posts when you have a larger audience can be scary. I’ve had several negative experiences in the past few months and it was usually in regards to content I had written that I thought fairly innocuous. Sometimes I know I’m inviting backlash–like when I write that book piracy is theft because that usually ends up with people telling me I’m insensitive and elitist–but other times I really confused about what I said that people found so offensive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emily | Rose Read says:

      Interesting! I’ve never written about something that seemed innocuous and got backlash, but that must be a bewildering feeling! I definitely expected backlash with the posts I referred to in this post, so in that respect, I was prepared. I can see how that might happen, though, especially with a lot of followers.

      Like

  3. Briana says:

    I like being able to do whatever I want on my own blog as well, but sometimes I do feel that it makes me lazy. It’s just a hobby and there’s no real oversight or standards beyond any I set for myself. It’s easy to be like “Well, this isn’t well-written or well-supported with evidence, but oh well!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    This was so interesting to read about!! I’ve only ever done “one offs” on other sites before, but I agree that there are so many constraints when you have to do them. I don’t really find it all that fun- actually it can be pretty stressful, especially when I’ve had to do it for work- but… wait- there’s no but- it’s just stressful. That’s why I love writing on here- as you said FREEEEEEDOM!!! Also, I try to minimise swearing on my blog- although sometimes that can’t be helped 😉 – but the *hardest* thing for me to keep to on other sites is not writing in slang. Not cos I can’t write without slang (hehe just imagined trying to submit essays with “cos” and “gonna” in them), it’s just that in the context of a blog and wanting to sound natural, slang just feels so right! Anyhoo sorry for rambling- it was so interesting to hear from someone with so much experience in this!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ravenclaw Book Club says:

    I love Tumblr but I don’t think it works for book blogging. I would never read something as long as a book review on Tumblr, simply because when I use it I’m looking for comedy mostly. Memes and all that good stuff. 😃
    I’ve recently started blogging for my university archives, and I get what you mean about there being certain restrictions. I still find it really fun tho. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. looloolooweez says:

    When I was a lil baby librarian I was in charge of the “teen” blog, and I was excited about it at first… until I realized that the vast majority of teens don’t give a shit about a public library’s blogs, regardless of content. One of the first things I did upon promotion to department head was to convert that waste of intertubes to a static website.

    Tumblr is fun, but the whole microblogging thing feels more like social media than like blogging, IMHO. But I guess these days it’s more of a spectrum than clear-cut categories? I’m barely 30 but I already feel like An Old when it comes to this sort of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Zezee says:

    “a space to breathe and vomit” – exactly how I feel about my blog. It’s an outlet I need and I relish the freedom. But I agree that lack of constraints sometimes lead to sloppiness and laziness, too, because I don’t challenge myself as much as I do at my job.
    I’ve written for my job, a newspaper, a few times but I didn’t enjoy the assignments until I was done with it and even then I’d hardly read them over. So many rules and the articles were news pieces so no hint of personality in them.

    Liked by 1 person

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