My blogging has really slowed down these last months and I think I’m experiencing some kind of writer’s block. I’m writing this post to hopefully get some feedback from you all out there.
I think my blog is going through a mid-life crisis of sorts. I’ve been reading a lot of really good stuff at ProBlogger, which has helped me identify some areas of improvement. I think my problem is that I’m not sure which direction I want to take my blog.
What is my theme?
You may have noticed that my blog has no tagline or defined theme. I’ve intentionally left that blank because I haven’t identified a theme yet.
If you look at my categories in the sidebar, you’ll see that the list is really long. I’ve been using categories as a sort of tagging mechanism, but I’ve found that ‘categories’ aren’t quite the same as ‘tags.’ [tags, by the way have been added to the latest version of WordPress]. A recent article on ProBlogger on effective categories and tagging suggests that you keep your category list short, and you file your posts into only one category per post. You then supplement that with more detailed tagging. This will probably be one of my first changes to my blog. Hopefully that exercise will help me stay more focused as a blogger, and to identify a theme.
Who is my audience?
I’m having a hard time identifying my audience. I think the reason I’m having a hard time doing this is because it has changed several times in the last couple of years. Here’s a short history of my blog.
I started blogging a few months before I was hired at Provo Labs. Provo Labs is a web incubator which at the time that I was there was trying to launch several web start-ups simultaneously. The environment was alive with entrepreneurial spirit. We were given 20% of our time to work on our own ideas and we were encouraged to blog. Planet Provo Labs was born, which was an aggregate of all Provo Labs employee blogs. The ‘planet’ became my audience as I blogged to share ideas and thoughts with others within the company and others who were intrigued by the mystery of what was going on inside Provo Labs.
We experienced a Black Friday where almost the entire Provo Labs team was laid off and Paul had to take the company in a new direction, focusing solely on World Vital Records. Most of us stuck together and formed 42Co, working to build TagJungle. Most of our blogs were still on Planet Provo Labs, and I felt my audience was mostly the same. During that time, I made a few affiliate posts about Host Monster, which I honestly like and use, but I feel that may have turned off some of my audience.
During my last semester of school, I was required to blog for 2 of my classes: Information Architecture, and Web Analytics. I enjoyed blogging about both topics, but I felt I may have alienated some of the less-geeky readers as I dug into specifics of SOAP in PHP, XML-RPC, and so forth.
I am now a partner in Apriux, a web development/consulting company. I have found it harder to blog about work because most of our projects are under strict NDAs. Also, many of you who have started your own businesses will attest to the fact that things get really, really busy. So, my blog has pretty much been dead during this growing time, and now I feel like I’ve lost touch with my audience.
So, my goals for the next week or two is to identify who I want my audience to be (and who my current audience is), choose an appropriate blog theme, and begin improving my blog.
What would you like to see?
Feedburner tells me that I have 54 subscribers, so if any of you have made it to this point, please comment on what types of postings you have found most interesting in the past. Also, feel free to give me as much constructive criticism that you’d like. I really would like to make my blog better.