“So…what’s your blog about?”
My standard answer: “Erm….well…it’s, kind of, well, stuff about words and writing and things like that.”
That’s got you hooked, hasn’t it?! Not exactly the eloquent description necessary to tempt regular readers. I finally realised that my problem describing my blog’s content is that I hadn’t clearly defined its purpose to myself.
So, why do I have a blog?
The honest answers are:
- Because everyone else with a website has one. (Flimsy reasoning, ‘would you jump off the roof if everyone else was?’ springs to mind!)
- I know the benefits when playing the ‘Google game’. (Other search engines are available!)
There are plenty of excellent articles written about how to utilise blogs to funnel traffic to your website, increase overall web presence and build identity through your blog’s voice.
Whilst recognising (and maximising) the importance of these elements, none of them help answer the question of specific content. This is why I’m not going to discuss general blogging matters in depth here. If you fancy more details, I recommend this article ‘Blog SEO Best Practices: a simple 15 step guide’.
Reason Number 3
Somewhere in the background, I also harboured the idea that my blog would be where I could write as myself. This is the important one when deciding what I’m actually going to write about. Any writing work I do is, rightly, in my clients’ voice; reflecting their values, character and identity in tone, content, vocabulary and structure. For my blog I have to define these elements for myself; a feeling of freedom and being somewhat adrift, in equal measure.
Photo by Bess-Hamiti, Pixabay
Who is reading it?
This was my main stumbling block. I couldn’t quite figure out who I was writing for. Everything I’ve ever written has had a known audience as part of its purpose: reports, data analysis, lesson plans, essays, applications, stories, official documents, journal, letters to friends…literally every previous piece of writing.
My clients come from a diverse range of industries, adding to my confusion, because I thought I couldn’t write directly to one sector without alienating others.
Illustration by Elisa Riva, Pixabay
After a reassuring chat with someone who has been in business for many years, it became startling apparent that ‘interesting everyone’ wasn’t the point. I am not a B2B (business-to-business) company that has tonnes of in-house issues, news and developments to share or pass comment on. I’m not selling many different items that I can describe in B2C business blogs.
I am me, offering a range of writing services to a diverse client base – not a problem, but something to celebrate! Sometimes I can focus on a particular industry, sometimes my own, sometimes I can fit a broader lens and write about anything else ‘words-oriented’.
Overall conclusion: I’m going to enjoy this blogging malarkey!
Full disclosure: I have had to quash the ‘why would anyone want to read anything I write?’ question, posed by the self-doubt demon, more than once. And I’m not the only one…this is a great article about this exact feeling.
(Check out The Awkward Yeti, I love it when they pop up on my timeline.)
After some heated and lengthy internal arguments, I’ve shortened my rebuttal to a quick “No, I don’t have time for this, go away” response; backed up by a quick sing-a-long to (currently) the Foo Fighters, if reinforcements are necessary.
And….back to me!
‘It’s my own blog and I’ll write what I want to’, sung to the tune of 80s classic ‘It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to’, is where all this thinking has led me to.
Time to look at things slightly differently; what is the rationale that will underpin every blog, regardless of content? This is the important stuff.
In summary, I aim for my blog to be a combination of the following:
- Informative: researched, with sources if appropriate, offering a solution to a problem or dilemma you may have
- Thought-provoking: (not necessarily controversial), might make someone think ‘Oh, I hadn’t thought of that like that’, or ‘I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that’
- Entertaining: worth your time reading, might raise a smile
- Honest: my truthful opinion
‘Yes, but what is your blog about?‘ you still have to ask
Anything and everything to do with words.
Including – but not limited to – writing, education, being a freelancer, types of words, working from home, literacy, books, reading, thinking, things I’ve been pondering, things that make me laugh and maybe the odd rant!
I might be inspired by trending hashtags – I loved revisiting ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ for #Roald Dahl Day.
3 main categories of content
I do believe that if I’ve thought or felt something, then other people have too and so it might be helpful to share.
Each blog will probably belong to one of these three categories:
- Being a freelancer and copywriting industry stuff (like this one and ‘Choosing a logo for your business’)
- Words; types of words and phrases, old words, meanings and definitions
- Literacy and language in a broader sense; for example, in schools and children’s literature, what I’m reading, advertising and marketing usage, in the news
To look forward to…
I’ve already got some ideas planned out for the next couple of months.
- ‘Hiring a freelance writer’ will be a useful guide to the process of working with a freelance writer
- In my first ‘Words’ focus, ‘Portmanteau Passions, aka Mashup Mayhem’, I’ll be expressing my extreme views on some of our portmanteaus (no, I didn’t already know that’s their proper name and had to look it up, I was happy with ‘mash up’!).
- Moving on towards winter, I’ll take a look at how nostalgia is used in advertising and marketing.
By the way, you’ll hear nothing about Christmas from me until December; I’m not skipping over all the good autumn stuff! But then there’s a good chance I won’t be writing about anything else until January!
You will get consistency of quality and regularity of posting – Wednesday will be my day of weekly sharing.
I’m going with the premise that if it’s interesting or entertaining to me, then it will be interesting or entertaining to you. I am grateful for any suggestions of subjects you would find useful, intriguing or amusing for future posts.
You are the other crucial part of the equation – thank-you for reading.
(I don’t know the name of this artist, please let me know if you find it anywhere.)