When you know why you want to write a blog, and what purpose your blog is meant to serve, it’s a lot easier to assess the importance of things like optimizing your SEO or having catchy headlines. You would like people to read your blog, but not so much that you’re willing to alter your content and tailor your creative output to satisfy a bunch of algorithms. There’s one last bit of “conventional wisdom” that you need to wrestle with, however, and that’s topic? What is your blog about? What can readers expect? It can be hard to pin down if your blog is more than one thing.
I started out as an RPG blogger back in the 1990s. Once I was even called “the father figure of the RPG bloggers”, but I don’t think today batch even knows who I am, or at least who I was, and most of the folks who might have thought of me that way are no longer blogging. Because my site had a topic, I got pushback if I ever used that space to talk about anything else. Fair enough, because I’d set an expectation. It would be like going to McDonald’s and they’re suddenly serving lobster. You might like lobster, but it’s not what you went there for. It’s also not what they’re known for, so you’ll probably be suspicious about the quality of the lobster they’re serving.
Eventually I started a second blog for non-rpg stuff. This blog is the spiritual successor to it, although there were various iterations along the way. Some had strange titles, some had distinct themes, but I always struggled. It wasn’t that I didn’t have things to say. There were simply rules about topic and theme, and I needed to be able to provide some elevator speech or mission statement as to what the blog was about, and then stick to that narrow focus forever.
More than a few people are talking about returning to blogs as an alternative to social media. If nothing else, my posts are in chronological order. There’s a sense of control, not just for the blogger but for the reader. You can come here, or subscribe for email updates, and be assured that you’re going to see everything I’ve posted and no banner ads or “sponsored content”. I think that social media has also made it easier for personal blogs to be accepted. If I just want to write about my life, my career, the things I experience and the things I create, that’s essentially the sort of content people post on Facebook and Twitter. The theme is me, nothing more, nothing less.
The revised tagline on this page is “writer / minimalist / human“. The first is what I do, how I identify professionally. The second is how I do things, and reflects a huge chunk of my philosophy of life. It was important for me to put “human” there at the end, though. Ultimately, that’s the sum of what we all are. There’s your overarching topic. There’s your theme. I’m just a person.