12 November 2017

creating a cohesive blog when you love all the things

create a cohesive blog with multiple interests

*why you don't need a niche, but you do need a focus

Once upon a time, let’s say back in 2010 ‘cause that’s a nice round number, you could pretty much blog about anything you wanted, whenever you wanted.

Some chose to maybe focus on one particular topic such as a craft or collectors blog, sharing their favourite hobby and connecting with others of the same. Some simply wanted to share their daily activities and lifestyle commentary with whomever wanted to read.

Somewhere along the line though things started to get a little more competitive. And in order to continue attracting readers and a community around their blog, the idea that you needed to be offering something unique in among a sea of similar blogs began the snowball for the idea of ‘niching’.

For many this worked really successfully. So much so that the top ‘guru’ advice out there on the ether continues to predominately be: “you must find your niche (and stick to it)”.

However, what if you are multi-passionate? What if you have many things you are interested in writing about. Many seemingly unrelated things?

Do you start multiple, single-topic, ‘niche’ blogs, as each new interest arises? Certainly many good folks practice this and would suggest this can work.

But while I don’t disagree in theory, starting and running one blog alone is a big undertaking. Multiplying that out is not always the ideal solution for the time-strapped or otherwise. Sometimes such a diversification just doesn’t express the ideas we are trying to get across and I would argue, is a strategy such as that really necessary?

Do you instead “pick one thing”, devoting yourself solely to it and forsaking all others?

Again for many it can work, and certainly it is the easier path for monetization, but for a shiny-object squirrel mind such as a neu-Renaissance one it can become a huge problem when the initial work is done and things fall into an ongoing routine. Routine and sameness that quite frankly sucks for the multi-minded.

| related :: introducing the neu-Renaissance soul


So what’s the answer?

I have gone both the route of focusing on one topic alone and starting over with a new blog (or two) when the direction I felt from the previous had run its course. Anyone who has persevered with me through the various shifts and redirects can attest to this (and if that is you, dear reader, you have my sincerest thanks and admiration in sticking with me!).

However, all this specialism and shuffling about does not truly set you up for a successful long game as a neu-Renaissance multi.


What you need instead is a CONNECTOR.

This is actually one of a multi’s super powers. Because of our diverse interests, we automatically see the connections between things and the bigger picture. Blogging free of the ‘niche’ mentality means putting this innate skill into practice.

Think of your ‘connector’ as an umbrella, or roof that encompasses all your interests: the ones you have now, and the ones that will come to you in future.

This connector is what ties all your disparate pieces together. It can be called your over-arching theme, your focus, your mission, your why, whatever; it is the thread that ties your body of work together and tells your story.

The original umbrella concept was presented to me years ago during a small business course. At the time I didn't fully comprehend its significance to the multi-mind, but it is something that I have come back to repeatedly as I have shifted my perspective towards looking on all that I do and create as a collective whole, rather than having that depleting sense of indecision that we multi types so often get accused of.

So how do you put this idea into practice and ‘create a cohesive blog when you love all the things’?

Read on, my mercurial one...

Bursa, Turkey c/o Bryan Colosky


5 ways to create a cohesive, neu-Renaissance blog

1 :: Change your mindset from the ‘niche’ focus – there are many, many ways to blog and still no rules as such when it comes to blogging, so why trip yourself up with this notion of niching? Humans are complex creatures, with many facets to themselves.

Personal identity can be very much caught up in what we do and to seemingly flit from interest to interest with no apparent benefit can be hard to understand from a traditional, linear career standpoint. But with more and more folks not only wanting to, but having to diversify this rule of singularity is loosing water.

What is arising instead, and is useful from a multi standpoint, is that by embracing this very fluid nature it becomes a far more nuanced and longer story you are telling. One in which your body of work, rather than the individual components express who you are.

2 :: Develop your umbrella theme – looking at your many components, ask yourself what core idea or philosophy is it that runs through everything you pursue? What is the meaning and value that you seek and gain from doing these things and that in turn can be passed on to potential readers?

What message are you trying to impart? It does not have to be ground-breaking or world-changing to have value to others when it solves a problem they are seeking answers to.

3 :: Focus on creating quality content over promotion – fundamentally as a multi-blog writer your primary goal should be the consistent creation of quality content. This realignment will overcome any issues of subject diversity. Promise to be consistently interesting and useful and any apparent failure to specialise will make up for any lack in promotion.

The (infamous) 80:20 rule still applies, but now you can flip it on its head focussing 80% of your effort on content, and leaving the other 20% for promotion.

4 :: Organise that content for easy navigation – this rather goes for any blog, but utilising categories, tags and labels to group specific topics together so that at a glance visitors can find more on a topic should they want to go deeper is even more important when you are building a multi-blog.

For although the general, over-arching theme will be present through all your content, readers themselves will have their own topic preferences for why they visit your blog.

With a diverse range of topics that you frequently dip in and out of or rotate through, making it easy for visitors to find specific groups of articles quickly will help immensely. In the age of the ‘expert’, demonstrating that you have depth of knowledge especially as a multi helps to build the trust and loyalty you will need to make things sustainable over the long term.

| related :: 7 blog sidebar essentials

I’ll be working on this myself over the coming week as I update this space – in the meantime my pixie filing system (see bottom of post) is a short-cut if you are looking for more on any given topic

5 :: Build relationships with your readers + community – in the old days of circa 2010, before the emphasis to social media, this was the only way to build your audience and community.

This old school networking thread of going down the rabbit hole in comments, through sidebar links and post mentions was how you discovered new blogs and connections.

As a committed multi-focus blogger, this is how you continue to build your network and genuine relationships. Blogs no longer go in for old school sidebar links so much, but by utilising relevant links in content and leaving meaningful comments both in reply to the ones received and ones given elsewhere, organic connections can be made to high effect.

As a bonus, and without getting too squishy on folks, creating a call-sign or nickname for your people (eg #themercurialones) further encourages and builds that sense of familiarity and connectedness around your over-arching theme and message.

::
In addition to these five, what I would call core elements, there are 8 more I have identified in being effective ways to create a cohesive, happy blog when you love all the things. Compiled into a handy checklist that you can take away today, putting these steps into place will really step up your whole multi-blog game if you are truly serious at making it work.


Click below to get you copy now >>

create a cohesive blog with multiple interests


| Your turn:

So tell me, are you a multi-passionate blogger? How do you combine your diverse interests into a cohesive message? Did I miss anything in my assessment?

Comment below.


:: beka* ::
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4 comments:

  1. Only yesterday a dear friend, and long-time cheerleader of my now-dormant blog asked me when I'd revive it. In fact, he asks me this every time we meet, which is quite often. Every time (except yesterday) I would explain to him how I no longer write in it because I feel it is just one of so so many (food) blogs out there- that it had nothing special to say. however, this time I did wonder, if my blog really needed to compete for attention. what if, I wanted to write in it and not really worry about its popularity, or lack of. When I started my blog many years ago, it was to dabble in/with two of my (many) loves - food and words. I still harbour those interests and that is good enough reason to continue, no? Your post today was fortuitous, like a cosmic nod, an affirmation of sorts to explore this line of thought. So thank you once again, Beka!

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    1. Hey, Prerna!

      Thanks for stopping by + glad that this was the nudge you needed to revisit the idea once more :)

      Remember the time when blogs were simply online diaries of sorts? I think there is so much pressure (and assumption) that we all want the same thing (fame, glory, accolades, hoards of screaming fans...) that we have become trapped by the idea that is the only way you can blog.

      If you want to blog about your food and writing just for fun, then I say do it. Not all blogs have to lead to book deals or other streams of income. Clearly your friend is quite interested to read what you have to say, and I am sure that if you wrote a blog on Indian (?) cuisine (forgive my guessing here), that there would be plenty of people interested if that's where you wanted to take it. I haven't specifically gone looking, but I would love to see such a thing - we Brits at least certainly have a thing for Indian cuisine ;)

      But even if you just write it for yourself + this one friend (plus me), isn't that enough if you are doing it as a personal project? As for something special to say, I think we all have that nagging doubt at some point. But isn't your 'special something' exactly your point of view? Your opinion?

      One way you could begin could be to have it closed access to only those readers you allow (or not). No reason why it should not be a private affair as you warm up to the idea.

      Who knows what may unfold if you start down this route? These things have a way of holding back their secrets until we take those steps. For myself, that unknown is what keeps me moving forward.

      Much love. xo

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    2. Thank you for your kind words and some wonderful advice, Beka. I am still struggling with... I don't know what really. I can't seem to pinpoint what is it that holds me back (and I am talking not just about the blog!) But I try and show up everyday to write, even if in my journal. hoping the morning pages will help me walk through the fog to the other side. If you feel so inclined, please do drop in and have a look at the site (https://foodoodle.wordpress.com/about/) when you can - maybe you will see something that I cannot. Till next time/ the next update, Prerna xx

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    3. Thank you, Prerna. I certainly will. Speak soon, xo

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