Yesterday, I was following a Twitter discussion about the nature of blogs, building readership and standing out in a crowded blogosphere. My input to the discussion was none of that matters if, you as a communicator, are not first writing for yourself. Personal passion is conveyed in writing.
Passion in blogging takes a number of forms. Passion can be found in the words one writes, but can also be found in the connections one makes. I lived on an island of whisky when I made Islay my home a couple of years ago, but Gal Granov was on a whisky island of another sort when he started blogging. Gal lives in Israel, which a few years ago, when he first began enjoying single malts, had him essentially marooned from the whisky world. His passion persevered and today he has 1,500 Twitter followers landing on the shores of his whisky blog, Whisky Israel.
In his words, Gal is now, “swimming in a little puddle but causing very big waves” when it comes to whisky blogging. It’s true. I’ve followed his blog for a long time and have seen his connections grow to encompass the world. Where once he was practically alone, hunting down a precious narrow and highly expensive whisky selection in Israel, he now shares the finest drams imaginable during online tasting sessions with fellow connoisseurs in dozens of countries.
Gal had something to say about whisky and he wanted to be HEARD. And there is a huge difference when it comes to writing between wanting to be heard and simply wanting to be listened to and admired. Wanting to be heard comes from so deep inside you have no choice but to stomp your foot and say, “Hey! I am going to speak!” Gal did that with his blog. He needed the whisky world to know one of their own was on an island and was ready to get off to join the party, especially if that party involved peaty liquid from another certain island.
“A whole new world was unraveling before my eyes. It was fascinating to get to know,” he says. “I was writing and sharing information and [with blogging] had the ability to be ‘there.’ It’s one of the most important factors to sustain a blog – to talk with people about your experiences.”
He brings up a very important issue regarding writing, blogging and storytelling: What is the ultimate goal? For Gal, it is to share his passion, not only to be heard but to also gain more knowledge about whisky through an exchange of information with like-minded people. As a result, he has built a devoted following and discovered something he finds even more rewarding.
“I have made good friends,” Gal says.
Other writers and bloggers have their own reasons and intentions for putting themselves out into the online world. For some, like me, the goal is to share a passion and to tell a story. For others, it is to have as many people pay attention to them as possible. I will explore that in my next piece.