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Possible blog?

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Brock Varty


I have been turning over some ideas in my head about possibly starting a blog(not on LST) about my experiences with tattooing in general.

For any of you that have blogs has your experience been? I have never participated heavily in social media or a blog. I don't know how they work and what I would specifically talk about. What makes a blog that people read and enjoy?

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I blogged pretty regularly for a while in 2011 -I was trying to do a post every day which worked for most of the summer before I stopped for a week and then never got the momentum back. "Your experiences with tattooing in general" is plenty specific enough I would say for a blog. The emphasis though needs to be on the 'your', as in people aren't really going to read your blog to hear about tattooing - there's lots of places to read about that. What will set yours apart is that you share what you are going through, your struggles and triumphs.

The more people get to know you, the more the will want to keep reading. Slowly but surely your readership will build.

Read this on being a better writer ,then read a few more of his posts that catch your eye as well.

As for what platform, etc., I'll let someone else chime in on that but I think Wordpress is pretty popular unless you're going to go Tumblr - heck maybe there's other better stuff out there I don't even know about. Good luck!


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never did the blog thing but i do like to read thoughtful stuff about tattooing and since you're on here...well i'm pretty sure it'll be thoughtful!

just do it! (please nike, give me money for using using your catchphrase)

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my 2cents:

• If you don't know what to write about, don't do it.

• like [MENTION=4349]Shaun1105[/MENTION] said, make it personal, about your experiences. I've seen many tattoo blogs come and go (well, lay dormant) because the writer wanted to be the NYTimes or National Geographic of tattooing. The best blogs (of any subject) are narrow in focus and very personal. You don't have to catalogue the trials and tribulations of your life, but share your perspective.


This is the blog everyone thought of writing but didn't have the stamina for writing or tattooing, myself included.

would be good if Daniel ([MENTION=3336]Our Endless Days[/MENTION]) could be bothered to link to the sites and provide contact information alongside the photos he steals. If he could do that it would raise it above
Just another Instagram harvesting parasitic blog
. - label this one as wasted potential until he can be bothered to do a good job.

This is (in my opinion) a weak, not necessarily bad, example:
Want's to be a news-site but is updated infrequently, has a too-heavy bias for friend's shops and work, regularly makes the mistake of presuming 'everyone' knows such-and-such a person and often engages in petty vendettas against crappy tattooers.

Shit, almost forgot [MENTION=969]ShawnPorter[/MENTION] 's excellent
- a perfect example of personal focussed, well-researched, intelligent blog writing. Shawn really brings something new to the table here. Remember he's been blogging for decades, yes, decades - that's not an exaggeration. So he knows how to write, link and geek-out about things in an interesting way that leaves you wanting more. He also adds new information or opinion, not just copy-and-paste from other sources. This blog would be good without the VHS rips but they take it to a whole new level of awesome.

• If you're making a tattoo blog - Remember to link to tattooer websites, blogs, twitter etc. and use up-to-date contact information for them. If you can't provide contact info, don't use photos of their work. There's enough scum-fucks who trawl instagram to populate their ego-boost blog. We don't need another.

• Which brings me to: Don't be lazy. Just 'cos it's on the internet, that doesn't mean you don't have to check your sources, reference and spend the time to credit material and quotes.

Q) Which platform?

A) - Get a Free Blog Here

Well, wordpress gives you more control and is easier to manage in the long run.

I would suggest a wordpress that makes posts to twitter and re-posts to a tumblr of the same name. (these can all be controlled from wordpress so you only need to make one blog entry there each time you post.)

What makes a blog that people read and enjoy?

Interesting content that they can't find anywhere else. ...or tits, but tits are easy to find on the internet so I suggest interesting and original content.

But you'll probably be better off ignoring my words and grabbing photos from Instagram and blogs. Then you can make t-shirts and stickers and maybe you can make a living on the periphery of tattooing by posting other people's photos of their work. You'll probably get laid a lot too. (Im talking about a specific site but it don't want to link to it from Last Sparrow)

Good luck.

note: I don't seem to be able to get the 'mention' function working in a post with hyperlinks Sorry to the people I mentioned but didn't get 'mentioned'

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[MENTION=212]Stewart Robson[/MENTION], you didn’t seem to think I was just another instagram harvesting parasitic blog when I reached out to you about posting about your documentary/blog or when I offered to help you transcribe shit. Oh yeah, I almost forgot that you also told me that my blog was better than 99% of blogs out there because of the fact that I was crediting tattooers worked. I'm assuming that last bullet was directed at me. I don't get any ego boost for anything I do for my blog. I do it because I enjoy doing it, and because I just want to spread the word about quality tattooers. I've received far more positive feedback from tattooers than negative feedback. I don't think that it's a coincidence that pretty much the only negative stuff I've ever received about it was from you and Valerie. I've written about both of you and had nothing but nice things to say about the two of you. Thanks for the kinds words though, dude. Stay classy.

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[MENTION=3336]Our Endless Days[/MENTION] wow. I guess putting work online elevates you above criticism.

• I do still think that your blog is better than 99% of blogs. I also said you had an eye for a great tattoo. If you take the time to properly credit and link to the people who's work you use, your blog would be great. If you added original content, it would be fantastic.

• I also expressed gratitude that you offered to help my project and asked to post a video clip of mine. I noticed that you didn't ask permission to post my tattoo photos. I'm guessing that you're deleting my photos as I type this.

• I also remember taking time to have a conversation about contact details and checking that they are available, regardless of platform.

• I remember giving you advice on how to get the most value for money with video equipment.

Because we had a decent, mutually beneficial conversation and I liked what you'd started to do with your blog, that doesn't mean I'm 100% cool with everything you do, ever. Nor did it mean that I didn't think there was room for improvement. Improvement that never materialised.

I'm pleased you liked some of my work enough to include it but "Spreading the word" means nothing without up-to-date contact details. Thank you. This is the same argument we hear all the time from blog owners, Instagrammers, tumblrs etc.

If you've had 'negative' opinions from myself and Valerie it's been to remind you to credit the source of your content and add contact details. Instead you removed the photos. If we thought your blog was a total piece of shit we'd ask you to never use anything of ours. We didn't do that, we asked you to credit ALL tattooers and add contact information for ALL tattooers. We were trying to help you make your blog better. Instead you removed the photos because adding contact details takes time. I understand that not everybody has time to update thing properly. That's why tumblr is full of re-blogs to the point of it being almost impossible to find the original creator of any works posted.

I'm guessing your sarcastic sign-off means you don't care about doing something really well and you'll discount anything I say in the future as sour-grapes from the mouth of a back-stabber. Please prove me wrong.

'Last Bullet'? If you mean the site I didn't want to link to, no. It's not yours. It's a site that started like yours, didn't link or add contact details but now the owner makes a decent living (i.e. He doesn't have a 'real' job and his business is built on posting tattoo photos he didn't ask for) from the site by selling merch online and at conventions. If you're talking about the ego-boost blog comment, see 99.9% of tattoo blogs on

I just like seeing decent blogs and sites by people that give a shit. Sadly they are in short supply.

[MENTION=4349]Shaun1105[/MENTION] I guess this string of comments lets you know what you're in for regarding tattoo blogs. Just make it a good one.

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[MENTION=212]Stewart Robson[/MENTION], it's one thing if you want to provide constructive criticism, which I'd gladly accept, but it's quite another to veil being a huge dick in the guise of providing me with constructive criticism. You were singing a completely different tune in our email conversation. You were really nice to me in your emails, and I said to my girlfriend, "He's just as nice as he comes off in his interviews." You mentioned that you didn't see any kind of credits on the photos I posted when you went to my blog on your phone. You then said that when you went to the site via your computer, you were able to see the credits and then made a brief comment about adding a link and contact info. Seems to me like you're just regurgitating what Valerie said to me. Truthfully, I did not know that I was able to add an actual link when I post photos the way that I do on WordPress. I tried it but was only able to post an unclickable link, so I decided not to post any links. I did, however, figure out how to post hyperlinks now, so I guess something good came of this. I deleted Valerie's pictures on my WordPress because I didn't know I can easily put a goddamn link along with the name, which would appear as a hyperlink when you click on the picture. I did, however, go back and link as many photos of her work, along with adding info for Frith St to any picture I could find of hers that I posted on Tumblr.

I don't not post that information because I don't want to. This is a one man show. I tried doing what you and Valerie suggested to me, but because I do this alone, and work full time in a demanding job, I straight up did not have the time to do that. I would like to, and maybe if things were different I could, but I can't. It became to much for me while at work, and while at home, and I had to give it the ax. I do add links on Tumblr, but there are still times when my time is so scarce I have to forego doing that. I'm not sure you realize how much time I devote to this. Now that I know I can add links to photos on WordPress, I will most likely start doing that.

What pisses me off about your comment is you blatantly mentioned me and were malicious in your comment, which you clearly wanted me to see. I'm not above criticism. I accept it, as I do hope to improve what it is that I do. But when someone is being an asshole, I don't view that as any kind of constructive criticism. You want to talk about doing something for an ego boost, what kind of ego do you have to have to put someone on blast and being a complete fucking jerk about it?

I don't run this blog for any kind of fucking cool points that you and Valerie mentioned to me. I do this shit by myself, which takes me several hours a day when you combine what I do on Tumblr and on WordPress, and I do that shit each night joyfully. It's been suggested to me several times that I try to make money off of my blog because of the amount of traffic it gets. I have no intention to do so. Would it be cool to make some money off of it? Sure, I'm not gonna lie, but that's not why I do it and I don't want to go down that road. What is awesome is when I get to shake Thom deVita's hand and have him thank me for writing about his art show, or I get to meet someone like Chris Grosso or Mike Rubendall because of what I've done with my blog, or when I get a hand written letter from a tattooer thanking me for writing about them or posting their work. If that's the kind of ego boost you're referring to, than sure, I guess I like that shit because it's pretty awesome to receive thanks and compliments from people I admire. That to me is worth it because I enjoy tattoos so much.

The other thing I don't understand is what you mean by IF I posted original content. Yes, I post photos of tattooers work, but I also write about tattooers, books, shows and documentaries. If you're so inclined, you can use the categories portion of my blog to sift through different posts that I've tagged accordingly. I've done interviews, which I mentioned to you in our email discussion, and I currently have several interviews and projects in the works. So, I'm a little confused by that statement. Maybe our definition of original content is different.

If you go to my blog and search your name or Valerie's, you'll see I have had nothing but nice things to say about you guys. I won't delete what I posted about you. I will go back and try to find photos of your work and add a link as you've requested. I assumed that it was cool to post your stuff because you gave me the go ahead about posting some other stuff of yours. That was a mistake for which I apologize for. And honestly, maybe others might think completely different, but it takes two second to google search someone. That's how I was able to learn about so many amazing tattooers, which eventually led me to this place. I also have a pretty detailed list of tattooers, which state they tattoo in, the name of the shop, and a link to their site, on my blog.

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[MENTION=3336]Our Endless Days[/MENTION] Ok, before this gets really out of hand and scares [MENTION=3970]Brock Varty[/MENTION] into never writing anything about tattoos, ever...

If I used harsh words, I apologise. I always reserve the right to be a dick but I usually try to have a helpful intent, especially on the internet, well everywhere on the internet except twitter.

I just checked your blog again and noticed that you did, in fact post original content. Sweet, now your blog is doing something great. I guess you're not just harvesting Instagram then. Awesome.

It's not for me to tell you what to do with your life but you're blogging about my livelihood / profession / whatever, so I thought it appropriate to offer ideas to improve what you do and help you achieve what you set out to do i.e. promote quality tattooing.

If it's a battle between quality and quantity, it's your call. When you're posting 30+ photos each day without contact info, maybe 10-15, with info would address that. But probably not. I for sure know how time-sucking a keyboard and blog can be.

Here's a suggestion. I'm definitely not trying to be a dick this time: make a static page with links to the tattooers you feature regularly. Update it when you start adding a new guy or girl.

If 2 tattooers say the same thing to you, does that mean they are just playing parrot? While we live and work together, Valerie and I are different people who often approach things differently. Though we both feel strongly about crediting creative or craft work wherever possible.

Re: permission. It's not required, but it's certainly appreciated.

You need to understand that it's a touchy subject because we have been through this many times, even in the last couple of years. Not many blog owners or contributors listen to what tattooers say and people bring us uncredited tattoo photos printed from tumblr and ask for the same thing. I've had someone bring me a photo of Brian Paul's work and tell me it's mine. While flattering, it's not very helpful to me or Brian.

Each time someone is brought to task, they say the same thing: "I'm just a fan", "I'm spreading the word to help you guys" or "I don't need info 'cos everyone knows those guys" and "People can google the artists names" I had a similar themed discussion with Lochlan and Dari when LST started adding categories for the image galleries.

In December, when we chatted, I mentioned in a p.s.

you seem to have an eye for decent tattoos, in my opinion you should make more of an effort to credit tattooers in relation to their photos. While a list of names and links helps search engines, it doesn't help human readers.
by 'help human readers' I meant to include contact information. Then when someone likes something they see on your site, they can look up their shop. (A shop name often yields much more useful google results than a tattooers name. I share a name with a UK football coach/manager/whatever which takes me back to why I'm deliberately a dick on twitter)

So yeah, I didn't change the intent, I just changed the tone. Because the first one left you thinking I was super-nice and everything's cool, while the second may well have instigated a change for the better and a constructive discourse. - this is the same tactic older tattooers use to critique younger tattooers work. It hurts but it works - but only on people who give a shit.

I guess if you add a links page, your "wasted potential" label gets erased and changed to "Sweet Blog, Doing it Right" while I get labelled "Pushy Dickhead"

It's a result that benefits everyone.

Again, thank you for the kind words regarding my work, they are appreciated.

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my 2cents:

Shit' date=' almost forgot [MENTION=969']ShawnPorter[/MENTION] 's excellent Occult Vibrations - a perfect example of personal focussed, well-researched, intelligent blog writing. Shawn really brings something new to the table here. Remember he's been blogging for decades, yes, decades - that's not an exaggeration. So he knows how to write, link and geek-out about things in an interesting way that leaves you wanting more. He also adds new information or opinion, not just copy-and-paste from other sources. This blog would be good without the VHS rips but they take it to a whole new level of awesome.[/indent]

SHUSH, Robson.... if you mention that I've been doing this for decades, then everyone will know that I'm OLD.

Now we've got a blood feud going, fella! I'm going to come to England and shoot a video of you telling every single woman that I'm flirting with online that I'm only 25. Seriously. :)

Thanks for the kind words otherwise.

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Oh. And also... @Stewart Robson is responsible for the recommendation to have Hooper do my palms- my most painful tattoo to date. So he's indirectly injured me AND is trying to cockblock me by pointing out that I'm old.

Happy Valentines day, nemesis! :o

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[MENTION=212]Stewart Robson[/MENTION] I appreciate the advice. My intent at this point is to make a blog regarding my daily interactions in the shop I work at and with people I get tattooed by. I have the good fortune of being a customer to some cool tattooers and being around some really cool people daily. I think, at this point, my intent is to deal with my personal experiences. I feel like I can make a strongly written blog based on my own experience. I don't know that anyone would really care to read what I have to say, but, I do want to say some things regardless. I feel like I am in a fairly unique situation with my life and tattooing, and that people may like to read about my perspective.

Being a younger person, who currently is wading into the "good tattooing" waters, I feel like I can help other people make good tattoo decisions and think about how they act. It may sound rather pretentious to think that I know better than someone else, but I believe due to my exposure to quality people and tattooers that my experiences are worth documenting.

I realize the importance of providing proper credit for any others work I use. It is important to me on a personal level, that I strive to be an honest and direct person. The result of which would be my diligent citing of anything used and proper credit where it is due.

I have not decided to go ahead with this yet. I keep a "regular" job and then go work at the shop I am at, so my schedule is packed really tight. Through thinking about what may be involved in keeping an active blog worth reading, I worry that I may not have the time. I think that it would be better to not blog than make a shitty one that only gets updated every now and then. If I am going to do this, I need to make sure I have the time to devote to this to make a quality read for others. I need to evaluate whether or not I can make an honest effort into a blog before I go much further.

@ Everyone

I appreciate the advice and tips. I have talked with a few close tattooer friends about this and they feel the same way I do. ie. If you can't make a quality documentation of your experience, then don't do it. I value all of your opinions and words. I am very thankful to be involved in tattooing in some way and very thankful to be exposed to the quality people on this site. I would like to think I can carry the positive side of this community out into the world.

For anyone who read this far:

I use the blog function on LST to just voice some of my thoughts; please don't take what I post here as complete, polished writings. Instead, view what I post as personal musings and "open air" thoughts put out into the world for some feedback. Aslso, reading back through my post, I feel it important to say that I do not tattoo. I am currently working towards an apprenticeship and will not be doing anything regarding actually tattooing for quite some time, if ever. It is important to me that I earn anything I get, and that I always conduct myself in a manner that would be approved by you guys. Tattooing is something that I hold a very high regard for, and I am not above keeping myself out if I do not belong

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My advice?

There are a lot of tattoo blogs out there; before starting your own... submit.

Contact Marissa over at Needles and Sinns. Talk to that handsome (AND YOUNG) blogger what runs Occult Vibrations about an article you have in mind. Our Endless Days (I suck at tagging) has original content up on his blog, see if he'd like to publish an article. Get into the habit of writing and having it out there for people to read; new blogs don't get a lot of traffic. The first few months of OV, I got less traffic than I get per day now. It's discouraging to take the time to write stuff if no one is reading it.

So submit. Get your stuff out there, get people reading it (while also uploading it on your own site, for consistency) and eventually, when you've found your stride and your voice, start working exclusively on your own project.

You never know... some day someone might dig your site so much that they ask you if you'd publish one of their pieces.

Oh. And Robson is still my new nemesis.

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I should have thought about doing that. I will turn some ideas over about that before I do anything. Seems like a solid idea.

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I've thought about doing one devoted to New England tattooing/history as apposed to " here is my life,I'm special" type blog. Occult vibrations is one of if not the best because Shawn has what is it now 20 years? as a true tattoo lover/enthusiast and you can feel that shine thru. Nothing false about it. I asked to write for occult vibrations but I had to check myself sit back and realize I need more years in this even just as a lover of tattooing etc. Not everything needs documentation,not everything is worth presenting to the masses. Does that stop people? Nope and it's your right to take up Internet space talking about whatever the fuck you want but if you want respect on any level then step back and ask yourself is it that important or worth my time? And am I doing right by tattooing? Nothing wrong with experiencing life/tattooing and not telling everyone about it on the Internet it just makes the stories that much better in person. That said listen to Shawn submit to other blogs and if it works out then break off and do your own.

Ps....I think our endless days is doing good stuff Stewart has good points esp from a tattooers persepctive but that blog is going in the right direction and I hope he does more interviews and original content.

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[MENTION=969]ShawnPorter[/MENTION] we have child actors, maybe you were a child blogger?...

I could do with another youthful nemesis to add to the list of "people who's day I ruined" a palm tat surely does that. Glad I could help :)

I always wanted to feel like Ming the Merciless.

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[MENTION=969]ShawnPorter[/MENTION] we have child actors' date=' maybe you were a child blogger?...

I could do with another youthful nemesis to add to the list of "people who's day I ruined" a palm tat surely does that. Glad I could help :)

I always wanted to feel like Ming the Merciless.[/quote']

Minge the Merciless? :)

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[MENTION=969]ShawnPorter[/MENTION] don't be discouraged. i check your blog out on the regular. keep it up, man. thanks for the kind words, [MENTION=1877]eisen777[/MENTION]. i have thought about having other write some stuff for my blog, but have been somewhat hesitant by it. if either [MENTION=1877]eisen777[/MENTION] or [MENTION=3970]Brock Varty[/MENTION] want to hit me up with some ideas, feel free.

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Also, I had found a plugin that would make it possible for me to add clickable links for pictures that I post in a gallery. The plug-in doesn't seem to work, so I'm only able to post unclickable links. If anyone familiar with WordPress has any info on had to remedy this, I'd greatly appreciate it.

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[MENTION=969]ShawnPorter[/MENTION] don't be discouraged. i check your blog out on the regular. keep it up, man. thanks for the kind words, [MENTION=1877]eisen777[/MENTION]. i have thought about having other write some stuff for my blog, but have been somewhat hesitant by it. if either [MENTION=1877]eisen777[/MENTION] or [MENTION=3970]Brock Varty[/MENTION'] want to hit me up with some ideas, feel free.

Thanks man!

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[MENTION=969]ShawnPorter[/MENTION] don't be discouraged. i check your blog out on the regular. keep it up, man. thanks for the kind words, [MENTION=1877]eisen777[/MENTION]. i have thought about having other write some stuff for my blog, but have been somewhat hesitant by it. if either [MENTION=1877]eisen777[/MENTION] or [MENTION=3970]Brock Varty[/MENTION'] want to hit me up with some ideas, feel free.

Thanks! If I come up with something worth while Ill let you know.

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