(too) many categories, segments, themes and all that jazz
In my reflective post about the survey feedback I received, I mentioned that I don’t blog about my personal life much anymore.
It’s not because I have been too busy or because I am hiding things from people who read my blog. It’s because during the times I didn’t have much to write about, I started to think of themed posts and segments to keep me blogging and keep me motivated, so that I could write and post regularly. And that’s how I ended up with a plethora of blogging linkups, segments and other regular themed posts.
‘Setting an expectation will put pressure on you.’
I now know, that despite my advice I gave in a recent Girl Geeks talk about blogging – where I mentioned that you shouldn’t set an expectation or make a goal you aren’t ready for – I think I’ve come to the point where I need to slow down.
I go back through my archives and everything is from one of the segments/series I’ve created. It’s not working for me anymore. Fashion Friday every fortnight. 2 minutes and 40 seconds interviews every fortnight. Reviewing subscription boxes. A Day in the Life. Timeless Thoughts. Nick’s Fashion Quarterly. The Best Friend Lunch. Small things, but small things add up. I don’t dislike all of these things I have created for my blog. But perhaps all of them at once is just a little too much.
If I glance at my calendar, there is a post required every week from one or more of these segments. A Day in the Life becomes the only day I really write about what goes on during my day, because with regards to the other segments, I actually want to write about things I learn in web development, and I want to write about my journey on living simply. And suddenly, writing about your life becomes interesting, instead of boring (which is what most people think). But I love reading about what people are up to, and about people’s lives. I know that that kind of stuff interests other people who read my blog. That’s why we all became friends, right? :)
That said, I’m going to do a couple of things to remove the sort-of clutter from my sort-of second home, and that is why perhaps you have noticed that I haven’t had those segments around in the new year yet. ;)
Real post excerpts
I was sick of the way I used post excerpts, which was just copying part of the posts. I recently changed this to use actual post summaries of what is inside the post, rather than just a copy. This gives people a better idea of the content of my last handful of posts, by providing more understandable summaries rather than making people ‘read more’.
A Day in the Life will return this week
You can visit the linkup page to check out the dates for this year. January’s linkup will be on the 15th – that’s this Friday. Since some of the regular participants mentioned that they didn’t know what to write about, I’ll be including themes, or prompts/questions to answer to make it more fun and less chore-like. I might publish those on my blog the day before the linkup to allow people to take a look before participating, or publish them on the linkup page itself.
Some things that won’t change
- TBFL (The Best Friend Lunch) will remain ad-hoc and continue as normal, since I don’t see Lilian all that often anyway.
- NFQ (Nick’s Fashion Quarterly) will remain a quarterly and season-based series. We aren’t keen to make this any more regular, and it makes the series more well-rounded and reinforces the guest-post rubric. I’m only making a point, but this truly is my blog – not anyone else’s!
- Timeless Thoughts will continue to be hosted by both me and Tara (alternating each month). When she hosts, I am still able to post within the two-week period that the linkup runs, so there is no pressure to post on the same day every month.
Some things I have decided to change
- 2 minutes and 40 seconds has had an amazing run – but I have decided to reduce its frequency to once a month. I was thinking ad-hoc, but I might make it run more to a schedule (on the same day each month). I have plans to make it a more fun segment with an actual recording and a typed-up transcript – but I won’t commit to that until I feel comfortable with the time it requires. The nature of the segment will still remain as it is. I know it is quite unique and usually funny which is why I have decided against making the interviews more standard. I also know interviews are not the most fun thing for people to read.
- Live simply. I want to dedicate a lot more time to this category, as I have a lot of ideas and things that I want to write about. A few readers also expressed how much they liked the series.
- Reviewing subscription boxes – I am not subscribed to any boxes anymore, and I don’t think they are that interesting unless someone is interested in the content. I love reading reviews, but I’m pretty sick of subscription box reviews myself. I will still review products if a company has asked me for a review, or if I have a product that I want to recommend (disclaimer will be provided!).
- Best/recommended posts. For many months I have wanted to have a list of some of the best posts I have written. It might just be a more refined version of the ones I started to publish at the end of each year.
What may change
- Fashion Friday. It has been quite a bit of work doing this every two weeks. That is twenty-six outfits a year, compared to a mere twelve if I were to change its frequency to monthly. But twelve seems like quite little. I don’t think there is an in-between I can work with, but for the most part, I have enjoyed this series a lot, and it always seems to be getting better and less boring. I think it has really taken shape over the past year. I haven’t started it up again this year, but it’ll be back.
- Pop 101. It is a bit boring, I admit, and is just a summary of things, but I really want to improve it somehow. Not everyone likes music (or even the same music) but it is still one of my passions. It will still be ad-hoc but I may write about more focussed topics if I garner more ideas. Some of my readers missed me writing about music which is why I want to continue writing about it somehow. I have just been writing a lot for Casual Band Blogger so a lot of my music-related writing is over there.
The year just started but it’s already very busy, I actually haven’t posted as much as I have wanted! I think that everyone is busy – I am still catching up on all the blogs I follow. I think I have seen other people trying to do the same thing, as well as making changes on their blogs. Let me know what you’ve been up to with your blog or what you’ve decided to change (for the better!). 👍
Today, I got a haircut. And instead of going to the same cheap and crappy place where I often had to wait for an hour just to save a bit of cash, I went somewhere new, not too ‘upmarket’, and was in and out in a flash. 💇🏻