Is it Time to Change Your Blog?

What the heck should I write about? What if no one reads my posts? What if EVERYONE does? What if HE does? Or SHE does?

Many bloggers obsess over ponder these questions early on. Then little-by-little we mature, from little baby blog-o-nitas to blog-alescents until finally, we reach hot blog mama-and-papa adulthood—perfect post, after perfect post. They flow from us like soap bubbles through a blower, impressing every reader equally and never ever causing a lick of stress.

*Falls over laughing* Yes, we gain confidence and skills. But even then, blogging involves continual growth. While that’s a great thing, it can bring growing pains. We may realize we’re posting too frequently or seldom, that our graphics or theme needs work or that we’ve grown complacent, too wordy or sloppy. Blogs grow along with us. It only makes sense that they’d change as we do.

Sometimes the greener grass we seek is right beneath our feet.

I’ve experienced a bit of my own blog-angst recently over a couple of secrets I’ve been keeping from you all. Sorry! Not my preference, trust me. Normally, I write whatever I’m compelled to. But for reasons I shan’t fully disclose (involving technicalities and even legalities), a couple of sizzling-hot tid bits (sizzling to me, anyway) have been growing into untamable flames inside me, making me want to burst on a daily, sometimes more frequent, basis.

So, spill ’em already! I hear some of you saying. Not yet. 😉 I can set the stage, however, by announcing some blog changes I’ll be making pronto:

A new blog schedule. (Did I just use the s-word? Yipes!) Until now, I’ve posted twice most every week, on whatever days I choose. From now on, I’ll aim to post every Monday and Thursday. Guessing many of you haven’t noticed my variance anyway.

Thematic post days: On Mondays, I’ll focus on sexuality, sexual empowerment for women and related topics, such as romance and sexual health. In honor of #ThrillerThursday (a fabulous weekly Twitter event), and my main fiction work, I’ll post on whatever thrills me at the time on Thursdays. This could include writing, books, authors, movies, animals, food, psychology, music—the list goes on, and on… I didn’t mention Mondays’ theme-name, now did I? NOPE! T.B.A. 😉

Perhaps now you can see why the schedule is important. Sex and all-(other ;))-things-thrilling are vastly different channels. If you’re not into sex-related topics, you can skip over my Monday posts. If you LOVE reading about sexuality, or simply want to join in upbeat, sex-related, empowering, sometimes silly discussion, you might opt to read my blog only on Mondays. Totally up to you, as always. I think this shift will make things easier for all of us.

Making these decisions got me thinking about blog changes in general. We all make tweaks along the way. The following have helped guide my ways.

Signs Your Blog or Blog Habits Need Changing:

1. It takes away from other writing. When I started blogging, I posted three times per week. To keep this up, and work on articles, my novel and semi-keep up with housework and other basics, like showering (well, practically), I quickly learned that two posts worked better. To keep my novel work a high priority, I blog after, and occasionally as a warmup or break.

2. You aren’t in love with your topics. Perhaps love is a strong word, but if we aren’t excited or at least interested in a topic, our posts will probably fall flat. As many of you know, authenticity rules in social media. Don’t fake it. Change it.

3. Your gut says CHANGE. This holds true for all writing, in my opinion. If the little voice in the back of your head says, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” and the thought makes your heart beat a little faster, the voice is probably right. Nervousness and self-doubt may try to mute that voice. Don’t let it.

4. It feels like trivial homework. Blogging should be fun. Many of us blog as part of an author platform, but that doesn’t mean we should dread or drag ourselves through the experience. Even informative posts should be pleasurable to read and write. And I bet I’m speaking for many when I say I’d rather read a post someone had a blast writing than a “perfect” one.

5. You’re unfulfilled. Fulfillment derives from all sorts of stimuli. Posts and topics we care about and interaction with fellow bloggers and readers can be hugely gratifying. If you’re low on the interaction spectrum, make efforts interact more. This post by Kristen Lamb, on improving your “Likability Quotient,” is chock-full of helpful insight. If your posts aren’t gratifying, see #s 1 through 4.

Making changes, and committing to them, can be scary. What if our new content doesn’t jive well with readers? Or topics that seem cool in our heads come out wonky? What if a schedule we set for ourselves seems impossible to maintain? The answer, I’ve decided, is who cares? It’ll all work out somehow, and it’s far better to take the risk—especially if your gut says DO. Transitions may go smooth-as-PB or as clumpy freezer burnt ice cream. Fortunately, the latter—like most obstacles—is fixable. (We can always buy new ice cream. ;))

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you changed your blog? Are you considering changes? I always love gabbing with you.

Leave a comment

73 Comments

  1. I think many of us have realized that posting 3-5 days a week is not manageable. I am only posting once a week, but I’m trying to make that one piece a gem. Otherwise, we clutter up people’s readers and they hit delete.

    And maybe that was the best piece you’ve written in a long time. Maybe ever!

    And I like getting more comments per post.

    Plus, this gives me more time to read other people’s stuff!

    So good for you.

    Can’t wait for #MoaningMondays? 🙂

    Excited for the things you have in the works.

    Reply
  2. Haven’t changed anything on my blog yet. I’m still fairly young in blogging years…;-) well, at least on this particular blogging site. I may start categorizing my poetry, etc soon, though… Can’t wait to hear all about your announcement.

    Reply
    • I’d love to read some of your poetry, Kitt. As for changes, I think we all sense when it’s time. Enjoy yougen-hood while it lasts! 😉

      Reply
      • Thanks! I post the occasional poem on my blog… Usually one every week to two weeks. Did one yesterday as a nod to both vampires and Halloween. 😉

  3. Lance

     /  November 1, 2012

    This is the perfect post for me to read, right now. I’m rewriting and editing a novel, to be released within the next 30 days if not sooner. I’m also taking part in a short story contest
    http://www.ebookmall.com/author/lance-burson (Please VOTE!) and writing for two online magazines. I decided last week to stop writing for so many prompts. I do it to help my writing friends with their blogs and sites but it’s taking away from my own stuff. Also, I’m so bogged down by my fiction, there’s no time or room for personal or topical posts.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Reply
    • Learning to say “no” is one of the toughest things we writers face, IMO. Most of us want to help others, which ROCKS, but if our work suffers, it’s time to set boundaries. Friends we’re helping probably want and respect that, too. Good luck with the contest!

      Reply
  4. Catherine Johnson

     /  November 1, 2012

    Great post, August and I love that you said who cares. Everyone who blogs should be flexible and open to change. i changed from 3 to 2 and back to 3 and may go back to 2, who knows. I joined Poetry Friday recently so I have to have a poem a week, I already have metaphor Monday and Perfect Picture Book Friday is really big amongst pb writers. it’s a shame all that is writing related, but I couldn’t stretch to a fourth just to be WANA friendly. The best I can do for now, is keep the topics interesting. Can’t wait to hear all your news 🙂

    Reply
  5. Great post August. I am really looking forward to your revised schedule and content. HOT HOT HOT! You know I’ll be here for all of it…woot woot!

    Timely post for me. Last September I started posting 5 times a week and quickly realized I couldn’t maintain it. I dropped to 4 times a week and for the last year, that’s worked really well for me. However, I just started taking a university course at night and hubby and I got formally involved in our local chapter of MADD Canada and…bam! I started really struggling on the blog. The toughest part, I didn’t want to let my readers down who’ve come to love and enjoy my posts. Not only that but I felt like I had a choice between maintaining my current schedule and/or giving up reading/commenting. Something had to give.

    I made the tough call to drop down to 3 times a week – M/W/F. I have now combined my twisted Tuesday and Monday’s “whatever” post into my Monday posts. For me, it’s been wonderful. I was struggling with balancing both Mondays and Tuesdays content anyway so to combine them really invigorated and energized me. Now content ideas and writing is coming much easier and I still have time to read/comment/promote other blogs, which was something I was not willing to let go of.

    I think prioritizing and doing what’s right for you and your life (at any given time) is key. Maybe I’ll amp back up if life/time allows or…maybe I drop to twice a week someday. It’s about knowing what’s important to you and loving what you do…and being open to the ebb and flow of life.

    Here’s to our renewed journey…can’t wait for those SEX posts! LOL!

    Reply
    • How did I know you’d cheer for sex posts? LOL I adore your enthusiasm, Natalie. And you’re so right about prioritizing and shifting as we see fit. I can’t imagine doing four posts per week—wowzers. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Thanks August – thought provoking as always – there will be changes to mine, now that my own personal goals have been achieved and the readership is now very large and thankfully varied. I have used it as a training platform to hone my writing style to the manner I feel most comfortable with and also to develop technical skills which will come in useful for later projects. The nonsense will continue however, less of it but with a greater accent on the topics the characters will cover. i am also contacted daily by youngsters bullied or teased because they are Gingers so I feel obliged to offer some ongoing practical tips and support.

    Best wishes and I can’t wait for your gossip to be revealed!

    Reply
  7. Running from Hell with El

     /  November 1, 2012

    I am so happy to read that you’re changing things up so that you’re better meeting your needs and interests! For sure, blogging should not be boring or trivial or take away essential energy from your other writing.

    I’ve shifted/am shifting course a bit, and not for the first time. There’s a master plan, sort of, but even that changes from time to time.

    Reply
  8. It’s so funny that you posted this today, as I start NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) with BlogHer. The goal? To post every day. Just for this month. It’s part of some of the changes I’ll be making at my blog. I made big cosmetic changes recently, switched to self-hosting, and will be adding more variety to my blog in the coming months, so NaBloPoMo sounded like a fun way to kick it all off, and introduce myself to some new readers.

    Post November, I’ll be settling into my home a bit more and figuring out what works best for me then. 🙂

    Reply
    • Every day? Wow, Amber. Sounds exciting. 🙂 I’d love to hear how that goes. Good luck!

      Reply
    • Amber, I did the A-Z challenge in April and kicked my everlovin’ petunia! And that was only 26 posts. I am in AWE. 🙂

      Reply
      • Well, it IS only day 2. I’d reserve your awe for Day 30. (Although, it is appreciated all the same 🙂 )

    • I signed up for it, too, Amber! Crazy probably, but am excited about it. I’ve made several changes to my blog recently – mostly switching to a self-hosted blog. Gives me a lot more freedom to do what I want with the design, posts, etc. I’m loving it! Also changed the focus a bit. Used to be all about writing, but since I have so many other loves, especially food, I’ve been incorporating that into the blog, too. So far, so good, but we’ll see!

      Reply
  9. I love your idea. Posting twice a week is enough to keep your readers engaged. I won’t follow those that post everyday. My email notifications get slammed!
    What I love about blogging is we are our own boss. We get to make the rules! I have tried a lot of different kinds of posts and still do!
    How is it that I never noticed #thrillerthursday on Twitter??? Sheesh!
    Sex and thrills! Who could ask for more?

    Reply
  10. Good advice for us blog-o-nitas. Thanks. 🙂

    Reply
  11. Change must be in the air. I’ve got a call scheduled with my genius web designer (Laird Sapir) to make some tweaks to my site as well. While she’s beautifying my site, I’ll be determining a schedule (ACK – that “s” word again!) and figuring out some topics. I’ve been complacent on my blogs far too long, and now I’m ready to make them work for me. 😀
    But I must say that my topics don’t seem quite as exciting as yours. Can’t wait to see what thrills you!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  12. Sound advice,August, as is your style! I am looking forward to your new format but want to say that I have really enjoyed your wide variety of topics … Does this mean no more menus? *wiping tears* Can’t wait to hear the rest of your news!

    Reply
    • Aw. Don’t cry, Patricia! *tissues* Most anything goes for my Thursday theme, so anything nutrition/food-related I find thrilling, I’ll share. 🙂

      Reply
  13. I totally hear you. I did some similar rethinking in September, but have seen a sharp spike in views and comments as a result of blogging more true to myself and my personality. Great advice. It’s scary – going out on a limb like that. Takes courage *salute. Can’t wait to see the result.
    Final thought: can’t sex thrill you? lol Just sayin 😛

    Reply
  14. I made some big changes in the spring combining the Girls With Pens blog that Lisa and I shared with my blog on my site. I just couldn’t keep up with two blogs. Now that I’m getting settled in to my permanent blogging home and am looking toward next year and the books Lisa and I will be putting out, I have some more changes in mind that I’m excited about. They’re a little scary for me too, but I hope to launch into them early in the new year.

    Reply
  15. I changed my blog somewhat a couple months ago. I love doing My Town Monday posts, since my books are all (so far) set in my hometown, but researching for one every week was just getting to be too time-consuming. Yet when I mentioned ditching My Town, people told me they loved those posts (I guess I get lots of lurkers)! So I swap it out with my more personal Misfit Monday posts every other week or so. I also changed my miscellaneous reading topics on Thursdays to WANA Wednesday, when I showcase new releases by my author friends. It’s a great way to serve others, but even better, I love doing them! The changes haven’t noticeably impacted my visits and comments, but I’m enjoying my blog more. Looking forward to your new directions!

    Reply
    • Isn’t it funny (and cool) to realize that we have lurkers? We all have far more readers than commenters, I imagine. Sounds like you found a great way to please your readers and stay personally content. Rockin’! 🙂

      Reply
  16. Hi. I’m coming your way via Lance and his FB shout out that all writers must read, and yes, your post is timely for me too. For a while I ran one blog, then decided I wanted to separate my fiction from my real life, so I started a second blog. I maintained both for a good while, then made the move to wordpress. My posting went down as life came too fast to keep up with both sites.

    Then, my household increased by 2 (teenagers) over the summer and it all went to hell in a hand basket. So I started a new blog since I felt that my old one didn’t apply anymore, and I think I have managed to post 3 times total on the new blog. I just don’t feel like blogging about my real life anymore. I’m much too involved in my fiction, though occasionally I will write a story that comes from my personal life.

    Now my decision is should I just shut down the other blog all together? What about the purpose I started the personal blog for? Am I abandoning it? or am I getting the healing I need by focusing on my writing? Decisions, decisions.

    Thanks, Lance for the introduction. 😉

    Reply
  17. I initially wanted to post on a daily basis but it wasn’t realistic so decreased it. 🙂

    Reply
  18. Interesting. I just finished writing tomorrow’s post, announcing that I’m cutting back on my three-times-a-week schedule. Marcia Richards wrote a post (http://marciaarichards.com/contest-2/the-slow-blog-manifesto-my-style) that got me thinking about this. Your post today is a confirmation that I needed to change. I just hope I haven’t changed things so often I begin to appear flaky. Thanks, August.

    Reply
  19. Kourtney Heintz

     /  November 1, 2012

    Great tips. I’ve found cutting my post size and frequency makes me focus on what I really want to convey in my posts. I like the idea of themed days and schedules. Sounds very cool!

    Reply
  20. I try to hold myself to blogging on Sundays and Wednesdays, with a Sunday Summary and mash-up on Sunday and then a wild-card blog on Wednesdays. (Oh, Wild Card Wednesday…) I used to worry when I wrote a post and no one commented. Now, I just keep blogging until I find what works best. It’s trial and error and I’m okay with that. Good post, August. 🙂

    Reply
  21. I’m getting ready to make a change as well. Like you said, if it feels like homework… I’ve also talked to people who read my blog that aren’t writers, and since they are the people I really want to reach that’s what I’m gearing for. I may slow down through the holidays and come back with more of a story based theme in the new year. No, not blogging my book.

    Reply
    • That’s a great point, Debra. Readers are our audience, and only a portion consists of writers. Non-writers probably have more time to read! 😉 I can’t wait to see what unfolds for you.

      Reply
  22. Another great post August and more great advice. I was blogging three to four times a week and loved it, but my work in progress sat gathering dust. I started to doubt my blog topics and the time it was taking away from my novel. I am still revising and thus have disappeared from the blog world. As soon as I figure out the direction I want with the blog I will return. I love your new direction for your blog. Your changes are inspiring to others who are struggling with the same issues. Thank you.

    Reply
  23. I stopped blogging frequently some time ago because it cut into writing time and especially, new projects. Like you, I’m feeling the need to move on. Looking forward to seeing your changes, August! One thing guaranteed — your traffic will double once you start writing about anything with “sex” in the title 🙂

    Reply
    • Ha ha, Debra. Good to know that there’ll be added perks. 😉 I look forward to whatever you decide to do next, too! Please keep me posted.

      Reply
  24. My blog has evolved a LOT over the past two months. I am thankful for this post too because I was in an intense debate with myself about whether or not it was the right timing to introduce a new upgraded theme to my blog. This helped confirm my decision :).

    Reply
  25. I need to do something like this too. My blog is an ever-changing thing. I feel like I’ve let someone down when I don’t post as intended, but life does get in the way. Like moving, and hurricanes, and novels, and deadlines… perhaps two times a week is a good number for me too! You’ve given me something to think about. Can’t wait to see what Monday’s bring over here 😀

    Reply
    • Seeing as many of us author/bloggers are overachieving, lofty goal setters, it’s easy to set ourselves up for disappointment—in ourselves, more so than others. As you said, life happens. Readers get that. I’ve no doubt that your readers are stoked to read your posts, whenEVER they appear. 🙂

      Reply
  26. Great post August! I’m just about to embark on an adjustment (more than a tweak, less than a full shake-up) of my blog, and this is really encouraging, so thank you.

    Reply
  27. Coleen Patrick

     /  November 1, 2012

    I dropped to once a week. It’s all I can handle right now. But I’m just starting to plan for a shift to another gear in my writing career and making some visual changes to my blog will be a part of that. When I first started blogging, I considered the look to be temporary until i figured out me, my brand. It’s a process.:) I’m looking forward to hearing your news August!

    Reply
  28. First of all, I’m very impressed by everyone here who has been dedicated to their blogging. I’m pretty new to blogging mostly because I couldn’t decide what to blog about. BTW, Jennette, love the “My Town” post idea! Anyhow, October, my fave month rolled around and I posted several Halloween type blogs. Now, my blog looks like a scarefest. LOL! But since I adore everything about the holiday, I’m entertaining the idea of keeping up ghostly posts throughout the year. Thanks August for this awesome post! I appreciate it. 🙂

    Reply
  29. I like what you said about being in love with your topics! My Amazing Words Wednesdays posts are truly enjoyable for me to draft–even when they require a bit of research–and they are well-received. I love ’em, others seem to love ’em…they are a good fit for me and my blog.

    Reply
  30. I can so relate to today’s blog August! Once a week works best for me for now. As for your big announcement, I’m pretty sure what it is. Looking forward to getting to read…

    Reply
  31. Kind of late to the party, but I’ve been thinking about change a lot. I enjoy blogging, and LOVE interacting with folks, but it can get stressful and take a big chunk of time out. When I have a couple of books out there, I’d like to make the move from having a blog to having an author website, with a blog IN it. I’d rather it be about interaction as a writer with my readers than the informational posts I do. But I’m not there yet, since I don’t have a book out. Hard to have an author site up with no book, right? The books are written; I’m just trying to work out the whole publication thing.

    Good luck with your new style, August! Can’t wait to hear your news!

    Reply
  32. Excellent post August, and just in time too because I am currently contemplating changes in terms of WordPress theme and layout. I’ve had the same theme and picture on my blog since I started. Can you believe? A change is definitely needed.

    Love the new schedule and looking forward to hearing about your upcoming developments/secrets 😉 and yes, when you commit to a set topic/schedule it can be daunting but I remember when I started my HML posts, I was so nervous about whether anyone would read it let alone like it, but now those seem to be the most popular posts on my blog. Change is good, and it’s even better to trust your instincts 🙂

    Reply
  33. Hi August,

    GREAT post. I actually recently changed my posting schedule, about two months ago. I was posting once a week, working a full-time salaried job, writing a novel, starting Weight Watchers, and freelancing.

    YEA.

    I finally realized I was losing my mind. I believe strongly in having a set schedule for your blog; however, I cut back to one post every OTHER week, so I had more time to write my novel and lose weight. Now, I post as thoughts arise. Not my favorite choice, but the best one for my sanity right now.

    I’ve also noticed since I cut back, I’m having more fun writing my posts. Which is VITAL for us writers, I think. 🙂

    Reply
  34. My blogs have pretty much sucked lately…and I know it. So I have been pondering changes, especially after reading Marcia’s article. It just confirms several things I’ve read. Then there’s NaNoWriMo…and the total excitement I’ve felt for the past several days. Sometimes I almost feel tipsy, I’m so thrilled to be concentrating on writing the books…instead of everything else.

    So I’ll be cutting down to once or twice a week for the month of November, then playing around with what I want to do on a regular basis after that. Blogging hasn’t just turned into ‘homework’ for me. It’s more like college homework, where every professor dishes it out like his/hers is the only class you’re taking.

    Thanks for yet another confirmation that something has got to give in order for me to spend the majority of my time doing what I love the most. 🙂

    Reply
  35. Oops. Looking forward to your Monday posts, too. 😉

    Reply
  36. after my summer off, I have to get back into a routine. it’s interesting how many of the wana tribe are cutting down to 1 or 2 posts a week. one would be good for me. I always look forward to your posts, August, so write what you want, when you want. I’ll read them.

    Reply
  37. Raani York

     /  November 3, 2012

    I love your blog posts August! And I can’t wait to get the regular ones as much as I was happy getting all of them.

    You know, I’m sure my blog posts have changed a little, but I’m not really sure. I think it should be up to my followers and regular readers to judge this. hmmmm

    Reply
  38. I am considering making changes to my blog. I love interior design/decor, art and good photography. I’d like to purchase a camera so I can add some original content on my blog.

    I would rather write less and showcase good design – photos from the web. My gut says do it, but my insecurity says, what if people aren’t into that? And are pretty pictures enough?

    Reply
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