Jim M. Goldstein is an independent photographer specializing in landscape, nature, travel, environment, and event photography for advertising and editorial use. Jim has long been an active member of the online photography community, taking part in photo forums and maintaining a web presence since the mid-1990′s. In addition to his deep passion and love of photography, he is an active blogger, podcaster, and early social media adopter. Jim can be found in many places on the web in addition to his blog, such as
Also, NBN congratulates to Jim and his wife on the birth of their son, Blake, last week.
Jim, why do you blog?
I first started blogging in 2006 to to self-publish my photography and engage in conversation with those visiting my web site. Also, I thought several bloggers at the time were posting mis-information, and I felt an obligation to the photo community to share accurate information. Those reasons are still at the heart of why I still blog and podcast.
What got me started? Having had an online presence since 1993/4 I was interested in exploring new publishing opportunities and noticed very few photographers were experimenting with blogs. With a little extra time on my hands I gave it a try and never looked back. I’ve always been a firm believer that to be successful in blogging you have to let your passion shine through. It’s for this reason my photography takes front and center stage, but I don’t hide my other interests namely social media & technology trends. If you’re not passionate about your subjects it’s tough to blog and do so regularly. Adjust your published writing/photography to hone in on what you’re most passionate about and you’ll find that blogging will become second nature.
What do you like most and least about blogging?
What I love most about blogging, and social media for that matter, is that it’s a great equalizer. Everyone is on equal footing and can do virtually the same things thanks to open source software like WordPress and community developed plug-ins. It also lowers barriers to reach people you might otherwise feel are unapproachable. I used to read and view the work of photographers I looked up to in magazines. It was a one way street in regard to communication. Now I can talk to them directly on their blog as well as my own. The only thing I dislike about blogging is managing spam and dealing with hackers looking to infiltrate my site. When problems arise on this front it takes away from my time to focus on what I love… sharing photography.
Has blogging changed how you think about nature? or how you write?
Blogging hasn’t changed my thinking about nature, but it certainly has clarified and reinforced my thinking about it. The art of blogging is to be concise, accurate, and entertaining. Over the years I’ve found that the process of sharing and writing about my photography and nature adventures has allowed me to hone in on my core thoughts & passions. As a result my writing tends to reflect not just my generic interests, but my unique perspective & personality.
How do you promote your blog and attract readers?
When I first started blogging I primarily promoted my blog indirectly by commenting on other blogs. I let my comments speak for themselves and if people liked what I had to say they could click through to my web site. (Note: Blogs always ask for your name and site URL and display your name as a link to your site… I wasn’t spamming blogs with a link in my site… unless a particular post of mine was relevant to the comment.) After a while people started to find my writing and photography by word of mouth. When I started using Flickr and social media web sites like Twitter and Facebook my blog caught its second wind reaching a larger audience. Social media became a part of my blogging effort as it again lowered barriers to reach people and sped up the rate of interaction I could have with other photographers and photography enthusiasts.
Do you feel you’re part of a community with other nature bloggers?
I absolutely feel part of a community and not just nature bloggers but also nature enthusiasts. There is a large audience out there that can connect with nature writers, photographers, and bloggers based on their core interest in nature. As a photographer I strive to have my work strike a nerve with my viewing audience. Who or what that audience does is less important to me than if I can connect with them. On that note I have made new friends and expanded existing relationships into more meaningful friendships. The nature blog community is passionate, diverse and evolving. Many people I know in the nature blogging community are fast learners and have done a great job in adopting the medium to share their work and unique perspective. It’s been and continues to be a great experience.
Any words of wisdom for new nature bloggers?
Speak to your passion, blog regularly and engage with others in the community (ex. commenting on other blogs).
Thank you, Jim.