It’s true readers, Returning Videotapes turns 7 today! At least, officially. I dabbled with blogging a little before 2011, but the true date of publishing with some frequency is April 19th, 2011. Woo! Longtime readers will know my blog(s?) has been through ups and downs, multiple languages and platforms, and many different faces. Most of the time, it wasn’t even called Returning Videotapes!
I don’t think I have ever celebrated a blogiversary but this year it felt different. And so I thought I’d mark this date with a post about the things I love the most about blogging. After seven years of doing this, there’s certainly a lot to be thankful for, and a big part of it is you. And if you’re wondering wether or not you should start a blog, this post could be insightful, too. So let’s look at some amazing things that happen when you’re a blogger.
Seven Things I Love About Blogging:
Celebrating my 7th Blogiversary!
01. Having a voice
I have always enjoyed talking about the things I love but let’s be honest, there’s no 24/7 audience in real life. However, log on to Twitter any time of the day, and you’ll find a film community that is always there. Better yet, a post can make a conversation last days, or even weeks. Your thoughts, written down on the internet, can spark conversations years after you hit publish.
With blogging you have a lasting voice that can reach a huge audience or, perhaps most importantly, the right audience. Of course such a near-eternal medium has its disadvantages… Sometimes you will look back at things you’ve said and cringe – it’s inevitable. But you’ll learn to deal with that and, perhaps, being more patient and forgiving towards yourself will be something else you learn through blogging.
02. Having a creative outlet
Writing is one way to express yourself, but owning a blog can be about so much more than the written word. You’re effectively creating a space for yourself on the internet, and you can decorate it and fill it with whatever you want. I took full advantage of that and have always enjoyed playing around with my blog’s design.
From graphics, to illustrations and photography, video and audio clips – on the blog itself or social media accounts – there are so many ways to exercise your creativity, if you wish to. I’ve found that with time, my love for all these things has grown even more, and they’re honestly half the fun when it comes to blogging.
03. Constantly learning and discovering new things
Would I be so damn excited for Infinity War if it weren’t for a handful of bloggers sharing their own enthusiasm for MCU all these years? Would I ever have gotten into Old Hollywood if it weren’t for the classic movie bloggers I followed 6+ years ago? Probably not. Blogging is for me as much about creating as it is about absorbing. Reading other blogs, following people with the same interests on social media – without that, this blogging thing would be pretty weird and boring. Perhaps worse than that, I would never grow.
And then of course, there is research. When planning out content, you intentionally search for subjects to talk about – in my case, movies, tv shows, books. I watch and read far more than I would if I didn’t blog, not because I write about everything (god knows I really don’t), but because being in this culture bubble makes you thirsty for more. And so, you never stop learning.
04. Developing skills, both old and new
Pretty much everything I know about graphic and web design, podcasts and more, I learned through blogging, because I had to. I wanted to change my blog’s look, make custom graphics for posts and social media, and so I went out and learned how. Writing? English? Definitely something that gets better with practise, too. Even today I’m still learning and am sure I always will be. Right now I’m practising audio and video editing, for our podcast and a future project 😉. Hell, instagram is making us all get into photography!
05. Finding an alternative path
So I’ve blogged for over 7 years now, of my own volition. It was never homework, or a job – never a chore. That’s the way it is for thousands of bloggers who simply do this because they like to. A couple of years ago I would’ve wanted to make it my full time job, but always dismissed it as what it has always been – a hobbie. But these days? Blogging can be your business, or at least the stepping stone towards the career you want. Even if it doesn’t work out, having that option is vital for me.
06. Giving back: helping + inspiring people
I wrote about all the things blogging and its community gives to me, so it makes sense that, as content creators, we are giving something back as well. I don’t expect this blog to be life changing for you, but I always aim to send a bit of joy and inspiration your way every time I can, mostly through sharing movies, tv shows and books that I enjoyed discovering. More directly, I love helping people in whatever way can! Advice on a given decision or move, business plans, graphics, or just a boost of confidence – I can’t explain it, and it won’t necessarily be your case, but it gives me so much joy.
07. Making Connections: specifically, the film loving/blogging community
Finally, the last one – which is actually the best thing about blogging. I know you hear it so often it’s becoming clichéd, but it really is the truth. As I said above, writing into nothingness and without seeing what other people are doing is not for me. I mentioned specific things we give each other through publishing and interacting on here or social media; but another side of blogging within a community is what we can achieve together.
That could be through web events and shared features, such as blogathons, or in collaborations. The most obvious example in my case, is one of the things I’m most proud of: the movie podcast Nikhat, Mette and I created, of which Getter is now a part, too. It never ceases to amaze me that we do it! I know there will be more projects like this, and collaborations with other creators is definitely something I will strive to have more of from now on.
Again, thank you SO much to everyone who reads or stumbles upon this blog,
and to fellow bloggers who help me and inspire me, and make it all worth it!
What are the things YOU love the most about blogging, or following blogs?5