Over the past few weeks, I’ve really been struggling with writing for my blog.
The combination of the everlasting winter and the everlasting knee replacement rehab certainly contributes to my Debby-downerism, but it’s more than that.
On one hand, all the SEO tips and blogging experts tell me that I need to focus on one area and write compelling content about that area.
On the other hand, the reason I started blogging was to write about what was on my mind and to share information and visuals that I thought people might be interested to see.
I took the advice of the blogging experts and spent the last year trying to pare down my topics.
I’ve written primarily about food and home decor, as well as doing restaurant reviews. I’ve loved learning how to photograph my tablescapes and both Music Man and I have enjoyed having a pretty table set up every week. While not totally focused on one subject, I’ve developed a nice following of new blogging friends who like restaurants, dishes, and recipes. I’ve really appreciated their commitment to commenting regularly — it makes me happy to know that people are enjoying my work.
But what about the rest of me? I’m a well-rounded person, in all senses of the phrase.
Since I do watch my SEO pretty closely, I know that tablescapes and travel-related posts continue to be very popular. People seem to relate well to my stories about England and France and the monarchies of these countries. Compelling stories, indeed!
But in the middle of all my tablescaping, and pretty much out of the blue, two different people contacted me about areas of my blog that I’ve mostly abandoned, book reviews and writing about retirement. One of them was an author who wanted to write about Louisa May Alcott for my blog — remember when I wrote about my fascination with LMA and her family and tried to do a book challenge? The other was a representative from a web site who wanted me to write an article about retirement. She found me through my now-defunct blog called Retirement 365 that I started in 2012 and abandoned about three-quarters of the way through the first year of retirement.
I feel as though the things that I used to write about (and still care about) have taken second place to a desire to improve my search engine positioning and my number of hits. And it’s made me sad.
So, my dear friends, I’m going back to my happy place where I might post a tablescape during a week, and I might not. I might do a book review or two, but I might not. I might post a new recipe that Music Man and I have enjoyed, but I might not. What I will do is write about what makes me happy, and occasionally, I’ll write about something that makes me mad. I’ll continue to share my family stories; after all, who am I without my family?
Contrary to advice from social media gurus, I’d also like to suggest that you sign up to follow me via email. I know that our email accounts are filled up with stuff we would rather not have to plow through, but it’s the easiest way to ensure delivery of our favorite blogs. I’m signed up with Facebook and Bloglovin’ and I think there might be a future for Google + if we all participate in it. I will continue to feed to all three places, but I personally prefer delivery to my email account. You might want to try it, too.
I hope you’ll stick around for the ride — my blogging train is going to have a few more sidings on it.