Be helpful or entertain.
Somewhere along the way I read that this was the hard and fast rule of blogging. It makes sense, right? We all have busy, full lives so if you are going to take the time to read another’s thoughts online, you’d like it to serve some purpose.
Help me with a problem I have. Whether it’s simple (how do I roast sweet potatoes so they’re crispy?) or more complex (how do I hold on to my identity once I become a mom?), finding a solution would be a valuable use of my time.
Entertain me. Make me laugh. Make me think. Enlighten me on a new topic of discussion. These are all things that feel like a good use of my time as well.
I totally see this as a blog reader, but as a blog writer, it can sometimes feel like a weight on my shoulders. Helping with a problem, even if it’s area in which I feel fairly confident, can come across as arrogant, which is honestly one of my least favorite qualities a person can have. Entertaining, well, I wouldn’t actually consider that my strong suit. I’m not inherently funny (until after a glass of wine, in which case I become hilarious).
My passion and strength is in sharing and connecting. It’s where I pull my energy from. I love people. I love discussing ideas. I love different viewpoints. It’s probably why it feels like I’m so often waxing poetic towards you (thank you for reading; I love y’all; etc). Because it’s true. The best part of blogging for me is connecting with you and sharing my joy, viewpoints, and struggles of life with you.
As I do my usual year-end overview of the blog, I’m trying to dig into the data to find what works and what doesn’t in this space: topics, engagement-wise, visually. Those results (page views, high engagement, sharing of posts) coupled with the topics I most enjoy writing about is helping me focus in on areas I should keep writing about and those I should leave behind.
I also want your input. I’m not going to be putting together a survey, but in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the following:
- Why do you visit blogs? What are some of your favorites? Why do you love them?
- Do you have any specific topics or questions that would make for interesting blog posts? If you leave a specific one, I will put it on my 2017 list, as I’m hoping to make a reader request post a regular thing. Again, conversations with you are the best.
I know the popular response is to say “write about whatever it is you want!” I think that is admirable advice but writing posts 4 days a week means occasionally (often) I have a blank mind (can I blame that on the kiddos?) and there are only so many pictures of day to day life I can share before your eyes roll back in your head. Hearing feedback and making it feel more like a conversation with a friend ignites my excitement in writing and sharing. So I’d love specific thoughts on topics you find engaging to add to my 2017 brainstorming, which is officially scribbled down on a legal pad. I’m high tech like that.
And because another “rule” is all posts must have an image, let me shamelessly share another from our fall family photo shoot.
Thank you and I hope you are all having a wonderful week!