For those that have been following and reading this blog for some time you’ve most likely noticed a few changes here and there, some of which you might have liked and others that you may not have agreed with completely.
If you’ve been paying attention you will have noticed a few of the following things:
- Changing my “tagline” (or the thing under my blog title) from “Blogging for Fun & Profit” to “Startups, Blogging, and Human Capital”.
- Focusing a bit more on startups, entrepreneurship, and the daily challenges of running a small business instead of exclusively on blogging and online publishing.
- A bit more about the startups that I’m involved in and some of the other projects that I’ve got going on.
- A little bit more content surrounding me, as a person, and my personal struggles.
- Lower engagement in the comments. The reason for this has less to do with a strategy and more about how busy I’ve been recently with some of my more pressing needs. But this feels ok and it fits a bit, somewhat.
For sure there have been a few of you who have noticed and have given me some private acknowledgements, both positive and some that I would consider very negative, but it is what it is.
You see, for good or ill it happens – your blog will change and evolve as you evolve. This makes sense since you’re in constant motion and are evolving and growing as a person and if you’re blog is at all personal then you’ll find that your blog will change with you.
This is neither a good or bad thing – but it’s important to recognize and plan a bit if possible. Strategically planning the change in your content and your blog’s focus will help minimize the impact on your readers and help retain the majority of them as you pivot.
You won’t please everyone, you can be sure of that. For example, here’s an email I got from a reader who noticed the content focus change and didn’t like it:
This wasn’t the first negative email and certainly wasn’t the last but his opinion and perspective is his own and I respect it. Sure, he could have gone about it with a nicer tone but I was able to thank him for his perspective. I may have responded a bit in turn as well:
We went on to have a few more conversations and he was apologetic and we ended on good terms. I don’t always respond to things like this but I was in the right mood and this particular comment got some attention.
The point is that you won’t please everyone and so if you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings then you better not consider it! But if you’re writing is vastly more important than a few hurt feelings then proceed!
Here are a few things to consider as you contemplate the changing your blog content:
- It’s your blog. Remember that. you command your content and you do not owe any favors to your community. Sure, some of them have been around for a long time and are loyal fans but they didn’t become loyal fans because you were like everyone else and they certainly haven’t stuck around because you were servicing them every morning with the content that they were expecting. I feel like the loyal fans I have are invested in me, as a person first, and blogger a much distant second.
- Start experimenting lightly. I started lightly expanding my categories and testing out content to see how the reaction would be. No one appeared to notice right off the bat and it wasn’t a major disruption from the typical flow of things. Adding a new category is an easy way to do this and writing once a week on a new topic is a small but fleeting interruption. This is for you and your audience as you might just need to talk about something different for a time instead of changing the entire direction of the blog!
- Get ready for candid feedback. Like the one shown above you need to just brace yourself for some kickback. This is natural and a part of the evolutionary process of changing. It comes at a price, sometimes you pay most of it and sometimes your readers feel like they are paying for your random experiments. It just comes with the territory.
- Have fun and provide value. Continue to have fun in all that you do and continue to provide value to your readers, even if it’s bit different. Your audience is there because they believe in what you have to say and believe that you have and will continue to provide value to them. Give it to them!
Changing your content’s focus can be a very enriching activity and could be the start of a significant internal rebranding effort on your part (or could just be a small one). This is an exciting time for you and may even renew your passion for blogging to an entirely different level.
Love to know your thoughts!