Wordless Wednesday died on a Tuesday for me. It was a slow death. One that seemed to come about over several months. I didn’t celebrate. I didn’t have a memorial. I just decided it was finally time to put my old friend to rest.
We had been seeing each other for two straight years. Whew! That felt like a LONG relationship. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what to post. Would people even find my life interesting? But I was determined to find my audience and work on my photography skills. What I discovered was a whole community surrounding Wordless Wednesday.
If you’re unfamiliar with Wordless Wednesday, here’s the skinny…. Every Wednesday you post one photo/image to your site without an explanation. The picture itself is supposed to be enough. Then people include a linky where others can share their own Wordless Wednesdays with others.
Don’t worry. Wordless Wednesday is still alive and kicking for many folks out there. But for me, it’s time to let go. As I say goodbye to my good friend, I thought I’d share just what Wordless Wednesday has meant to me and why newer bloggers should consider participating.
Why You Should Participate in Wordless Wednesday
Expand Your Readers
The whole reason many bloggers get involved with Wordless Wednesday is to get readers to come to their blogs. With the linky, you can get people who are participating in Wordless Wednesday as well to visit you. It won’t happen overnight… you need to be proactive and diligent. I often posted my Wordless Wednesday posts on Tuesday night because of the time difference with Australia and Europe.
Once my post was up, I immediately shared it on a general Wordless Wednesday site (www.wordlesswednesday.blogspot.com), made sure I noted I had a linky party connected to my post and then visited everyone else. You can easily set up a linky party through InLinkz.
Create Your Own Blogger Community
When you start blogging, it can be tough to find your own community. I’m not saying that everyone I connected with through Wordless Wednesday were long-time readers, but I certainly found some blogs that I loved and followed and vice versa — some people found me through Wordless Wednesday and kept on following.
Work On Your Photography
While I started Wordless Wednesday to expand my viewership, it was also the perfect excuse to work on my photography. No, I’m still not a professional photographer. But doing a Wordless Wednesday made me think about what I was taking a picture of… how is it framed? How is the lighting? Will it look interesting?
We came across this fishing hole in Central Colorado. Before we descended toward the pond, I looked at the view and just knew that I had to capture it… in black and white. Yes, Colorado is beautiful in color, but I just knew only black and white would really capture the ruggedness of the place. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
What I Learned Through Wordless Wednesday
Your Kids Aren’t Interesting Just Because You Love Them
People think their kids are cute — and that that’s enough to make a picture great. It isn’t! This is going to sound tough, but I don’t care about your kid running around in the backyard. Make the picture interesting! Have a point of view. Tell me why I should be interested in what you’re presenting. The picture can still be of your kid but tell us a story!
I’ve included lots of pictures of my kids, but they always told a story. One of my favorites I took on a really hot day. We were visiting the Naples Bontanical Gardens and my youngest had had it. He sat down in front of this beautiful mosaic and literally put his head on his feet.
I love this photo because (1) he’s still that crazy flexible…. I’ve caught him sleeping like that and (2) it told a complete story about how our kids can just hit the brakes and let us know when the day is done. (Here’s a another personal fave, too.)
Tell a Story
Along those same lines, every post you put up should have a reason behind it. Yes, it’s okay to write a sponsored post, but still make it relevant to your audience. Wordless Wednesday helped teach me how to make something as simple as a picture interesting to others.
Okay, you’re not literally transporting people, but take them somewhere they haven’t been. Give them a glimpse into a different world. Make them imagine what that place must be like. Make them wish they could go there themselves. If you do that, you’ll know you’ve taken a great photo and pulled in your readers.
People really reacted to this photo I took of a wooden bridge. Where does it go? Where do you want it to go? Don’t be afraid to take people on the journey with you.
And it doesn’t have to be a conceptual place. Why not share an interesting destination? We came across an amazing tree house that we just fell in love with.
Share Your Personality
Wordless Wednesday isn’t just about sharing pretty pictures… it’s about sharing who you are as a person. You may wonder… just who am I as a person? Working through Wordless Wednesday helped me figure that out. Here’s a classic WW that reflects who I am. And even though I was new to Wordless Wednesday at the time, just look at how many people commented… because they got it and they related to what I was saying.
Share Your Sense of Humor
Not all photography has to be beautiful — as reflected in this particular post. But people understood my sense of humor after this post and understood me just a little bit better. Not everyone uses their titles to their advantage — but for me, I often used the title as a teaser and to explain what the picture meant.
You Don’t Have to Always Be Wordless
Yes, this kind of goes against the grain. But after doing completely silent Wordless Wednesdays, I decided to be the rebel that I am and start adding a sentence or two for people to understand the photos better.
For example, when visiting a museum, we came across a display where a woman making a canoe from scratch WAS the display. It definitely needed some explanation to round out the photo!
If you’re a new blogger or one trying to find your audience, why not give Wordless Wednesday a try. No, it doesn’t happen overnight. Yes, you have to put the time in not only crafting the post but actually getting it out there and inviting people to visit. But it can be done… and is a terrific experience along the way.