Never Say Never: The One Tip To Remember When Your Blog (And Life) Starts To Change

by Laura on October 26, 2011 · 7 comments

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.

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{ 7 comments }

Lisa October 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I’ve thought about this a lot too. Lately it seems like a lot of the bloggers I followed faithfully became pregnant and the blog changed. Some of them I continued to read because I liked the blogger a lot and felt like I had a “relationship” with them (i.e. been reading a long time, etc). A few others became 100% about babies and kids and that didn’t interest me as much. I think what keeps me reading is the balance. Life changes but as long as there’s a balance of topics it’s interesting!
Lisa´s last post ..C is for Calories

Rose @ Bind & CrEATe October 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I’m a huge fan of your post. Over a year ago, my life seemed to do a 180, and I had no idea how to deal with it on my blog. So, I started a new one. Some may say it was a silly move because I lost a tremendous amount of readership. I did. But it was helpful for me, in terms of the painful break up I went through, to not see those photographs anymore of the past. I may not be well read, but at least I’m okay with the archives.

MJ October 28, 2011 at 3:01 am

I agree with the idea to avoid using the “I will never be x kind of blogger” statement for two reasons. First, as you pointed out there’s no set standard of what makes one “that kind” of blogger. In spite of your best efforts to avoid becoming “that kind” of blog, you run the risk of contradicting yourself in your readers’ minds without realizing it. For example, you may claim to not be a mommy blog, but a once-every-two-weeks update on how your new baby is because people keep e-mailing and asking could put you in mommy-blogger territory to some. It’s hard to make a sweeping statement like that and live up to it.

Furthermore, I feel like statements like that call even more attention to the posts you don’t want to focus on, and encourage people to look for and monitor their frequency.

Gail @ Shrinking Sisters October 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Yoga pants and Old Navy T-shirts? For a second I thought you were talking about me, but there have been no heel sightings on my blog. Only sweat-encrusted baseball caps.
Gail @ Shrinking Sisters´s last post ..A Halloween-lean pumpkin smoothie

Kristin P October 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Your blog reflects, well, you. So as you grow and change, it sort of does to. But it really depends how you handle the change and how it reflects on your blog.
Kristin P´s last post ..Skal proteinpulver indtages lige efter træning?

Kari October 30, 2011 at 7:05 am

this is an interesting topic-I also thought about it and decided the best way to go about it was to just clearly point out the blog was about my life and well I’ll be writing about that. As interesting or not as some might find it I try to keep it simple but varied. Of course it will change and that is the whole point about life. I stopped reading some blogs that were at first varied and had interesting things to read when they became ONLY about one thing, ie. running stats or a post resembling something for twitter.
It got tedious to open my reader every morning to find they had once again posted about the same exact thing almost verbatim from the one yesterday. Change is welcomed if you give me variety and interesting topics-but I honestly don’t care much for people’s running times and how much water they drank or didn’t drink on a daily basis.
Kari´s last post ..Rain, rain, go away…

Ally October 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm

When a blog has a personality behind it & there is focus on that it is more about the person writing it than the subject writing it then I LOVE it when I start to see a blogger evolve into another stage of their life.

Now if suddenly my favorite music blog starts posting movie reviews I totally get pissed. LOL!

I recently had to update my About me section because I know I’m all over the place so I can’t just blog about one thing since I have many things I’m interested in, yet I know how some bloggers are hardcore FITNESS HEALTH O N L Y and that is great but the reason I do keep reading is because I like how they write as well as the information I am looking for.

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