We’ve all seen it happen. Your favorite running blog starts to feature a few wedding-related posts. A blog that is usually devoted to donuts now features the occasional reference to diapers. A health blogger that lived in yoga pants and Old Navy t-shirts all of a sudden has a few outfit posts — complete with heels and no sight of spandex — thrown in.
Our blogs change over time because, duh, our lives and our interests change over time. It’s natural and healthy and something to welcome, in both life and blogging. If we didn’t change and our blogs didn’t reflect that, reading blogs would be a LOT less interesting.
The thing is, everyone has their own way of dealing with changes on their blogs. How a blogger handles these new blog topics depends on so many variables — her style, what she is comfortable with, her rapport with their readers, etc. Some bloggers handle it by starting a side blog, others categorize their posts on different pages, and others just put in their new content/interests and let their readers figure it out.
No single approach is right or wrong. However, there’s one thing I strongly, strongly urge you not to do if you find your blog is going in a different direction:
DON’T play the “I will never ever….” card.
In other words, don’t ever grab your blowhorn and proclaim “this blog will not turn into an [X kind of] blog.” Or “I will not turn into an [X kind of] blogger.” [Insert wedding/mommy/fitness/any other subset of blogging for X.]
Apart from my own superstitions about jinxing yourself, it’s just not good practice.
It sets you up for falling into that very trap that you don’t want to fall into. You may think now that you won’t be that kind of blogger. But what does it mean to be (or not be) that kind of blogger that you said you wouldn’t be? What actually constitutes turning into that kind of blogger — two posts in a row about a certain topic? Taking a certain viewpoint on the matter? Tweeting once a week (or once an hour) about that new topic?
Saying you will never turn into that kind of blogger also puts you into dangerous territory because you just don’t need to go into that yet. Your blog is yours alone (sponsorship and advertisers notwithstanding — that’s a totally different topic!). Because this is your blog, you are within your rights to figure out how to deal with new subject matter as you go along and you need to give yourself the space to get used to that new material and to deal with it however you see fit. The last thing you need is to lay down edicts that you’ll later regret — and on which your readers could potentially call you out.
So, if you see your blog changing and going into a new direction, go ahead and acknowledge it if that’s your thing — or not. Give yourself the time and the space to figure out your blog’s new balance, how it fits into your blog’s big picture and meta-narrative.
Just don’t lay down the law hard and fast about what you will or won’t do.
It’s like saying you will never say that one thing your mother says that drives you absolutely crazy. We all know how that ends.