Michael Hyatt just drew my attention to a couple of important issues for bloggers in his articles, Why I Stopped Reading Your Blogs, and Do You Make These 10 Mistakes When You Blog?
Two things that stood out for me relating to blogging were
Hyatt suggests putting as much time into choosing a title for your blog as you invest in writing it. Well, I admit I don’t and probably won’t do that. There is just something in me that resists putting a disproportionate amount of time into a six word title.
But I’ve realized recently that it is not enough for blogs to merely reflect their content in their titles, like news articles. Blogs are like storefronts. The more interesting the display the more likely people will be drawn in.
If we are just reporting news, we can get away with a title that is just a summary. But if we are writing a feature article we are competing for attention and need to be creative. My articles on this site fall somewhere in between and this may be why I don’t feel compelled to wow people with my headlines. My blog is more of a resource and, as my husband pointed out, people need to find key words in my title. So, I probably won’t write something as attention getting as “You Got Me at Hello.”
Hyatt also nailed a problem I have with one of my blogs. My blog Writing for Life lacks focus. Referring to blogs like mine, Hyatt says he gets “lost in the forest of [our] eclectic interests.” Ouch!
I know it’s true. I feel it myself and I’ve known it for sometime. Now, to figure out what to do about it.
Believe it or not, we all love blogs where we know exactly what to expect. We keep returning to them, like a faithful friend. You know the kind of blogs I am talking about. They may be blogs on knitting, or traveling, or jumping for joy, and it sounds very narrow, but this is what we want.
The best comparison I can think of is the dining out experience. I may want Chinese, or Mexican, or Italian, but I don’t want everything served at one place. I have a special Pho place where I like to go for soup. There is a Thai restaurant where I get my favorite–Chicken Rama in Peanut Sauce.
We like specialty shops and brand names that define a product. And our readers, surprisingly, want consistency and predictability.
I have a few focused blogs and I notice that, even as a writer, there is a security in knowing what goes where. Although I really like the freedom of “sharing the journey,” I admit that I hesitate to write, because I keep on asking myself, “Why this?”
I can see I need to do a little soul searching. Maybe I can find a single theme that will represent what I want to share on my currently eclectic blog. Or I may need to lay out my “wide-ranging, broad-based, extensive, comprehensive, encyclopedic; varied, diverse, catholic, all-embracing, multifaceted, multifarious, heterogeneous, miscellaneous, assorted” (Thesaurus) interests and pick a couple and create a few specific spaces.
I have already commented on this blog but then decided that you might like Eric Vance Walton’s blog. He has written a book that was published and writes some terrific poems. He is reading my blog now and I thought you might like him to read your blog. I loved his poem “The Kiss” Have a great day and somehow we will have that cup of tea soon.
Thanks very much for the follow – even if my blog also commits the sin of being unfocussed! I started off planning to focus on writing – but I’m not sure I actually have anything new and interesting enough to make a post two or three times a week without going a bit wider (and I might not, of course, manage that even then!).
Agree absolutely with the point about post titles, though I’m not sure I could go as far as spending as long on them as the post itself either. I will try and take a bit more time on this though.
Thanks for the advice and here’s hoping we both manage to find a way to follow it! 🙂
It’s not really advice, just some ideas to think about. =) I agree with you that there is a limit to what a person can say on a subject.