Permanent Tourist

The personal website of Mark Howells-Mead

Blogging for myself

A blog is usually started as a place for the author to jot notes and share them with a select few to read; often friends and family. Later, as popularity grows, it’s easy to become drawn into the goal of getting more and more readers and gaining more and more “success”. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. For the individual, at least, the beginnings of the blog are quickly forgotten: to write and to enjoy the process of creating content.

A concentrated effort to be more productive at work has leaked over into my private life and I’ve striven over the past two or three years to make a go of this website: to make it more of a “destination” and more of a resource for travellers and for people looking for good photography. Simply put: it hasn’t worked. A lack of time to really invest in marketing what I have created has had the obvious result: not many people come and all but no-one has responded to my efforts by hiring me for any kind of money-earning work.

It’s understandable: sites like the Swiss tourist board employ a team of people to do what I try to fit into a few hours of my spare time. Other photographers spend day in and day out promoting their businesses and even then, don’t always succeed.

The true value of the site isn’t in the gallery pages, but in the blog posts which I’ve been writing since starting blogging again in 2006. That’s my unique content, that’s what I have always done as much for myself as for others. The website provides me with a place to write a public diary and to allow me to click back through the places and events which have inspired me to write or share photos. In the same way that we organize our homes to make them a pleasing environment in which to spend our time, so I make this site pleasing on my own eye.

So it’s time to stop battling to gain popularity and trying to provide a “resource” of information which no-one wants or has asked for. A project which takes time and a diversion of effort to maintain, when I could be spending my time and effort more efficiently.

The galleries on the website are deleted and I now point you to my Flickr stream, in which there are nearly 6,000 photos gathered in well over 100 albums. That’s an area which I have no intention of deactivating; not just because it has been running for such a long time, but also because it is my own photo album too. Not a place to promote a photographic service, but a place in which I can put photos where family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers can enjoy them without any ulterior motive on my part.

Instead of trying to build a portfolio site with no commercial benefit and spending time making detailed technical changes on the site, I am applying myself to things which really interest me these days. Walking. Spending time with family and friends. Capturing my life instead of living in order to write blog posts about life.

Photographing what I do, instead of doing things in order to take photos.

One response to “Blogging for myself”

  1. Corinne avatar

    I can see your dilemma. I love reading and writing blog posts. Like you I sometimes fall into that trap of doing things in order to have something to photograph and write about, which is always the wrong way around…

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