Monday, January 29, 2018

My New Content Plan and What That Means for My Blog

On Friday, I mentioned that I finally, after almost a year, figured out my content strategy for this blog. Honestly, it wasn't a minute too soon.

I'd been feeling like I just lost steam after my disastrous year in 2014, and my blog got lost with it. Sure, there are some of you die-hards (thank you!) who kept showing up and saying hi, but I definitely noticed a dip in my traffic. And to be honest, I really don't blame those of you who fell away.

Why? Because while I occasionally happened to post something that I felt was worth reading, it was mostly a reactionary, almost spontaneous process. Some things hit, some things missed. And because I was constantly behind on literally everything, I never knew what I wanted to write about most of the time.

My YouTube channel, incidentally, suffered from the same thing. I enjoyed writing for both this blog and for my channel, but often, I'd be at a loss and spending way too much time on figuring out what I wanted to write about. As a result, I more often than not ended up skipping altogether. Because let's face it. While blogging is awesome, it can't (and won't) be my priority. It will always come second to my books and job.

But.

I'm not one to give up, and when I saw this book by Meera Kothand, it seemed like my blogging muse was telling me something.

The One Hour Content Plan: The Solopreneur's Guide to a Year's Worth of Blog Post Ideas in 60 Minutes and Creating Content That Hooks and Sells by [Kothand, Meera]

The One Hour Content Plan is mostly aimed at bloggers who actually want to directly earn money from their blogging, as opposed to only partially augmenting my other earning activities. That said, I found this book invaluable simply because it put what I was trying to achieve into perspective.

And that perspective helped me realize why I had felt that my blogging last year was unfulfilling both to me and to the readers.

It basically came down to this:

I was aiming at the wrong people.

For example, I would share my YouTube posts here, and you guys would be completely unenthusiastic about it. And I didn't really get it, because the content on my channels was the exact same thing I had been writing about basically since I came to blogging in 2010.

But that's what I realized. Many of you guys have been with me since 2010 (THANK YOU!), but you, like me, are not the same people you were back then. We grew. We gained experience. We've learned lessons. We've become better at what we do.

And if I write something that's about "how to write a book," 90% of my audience here won't care, because 90% of you guys already wrote at least one book already.

So I could revamp my blog and change everything to recycle my audience and attract more new writers, but I happen to like you guys and I want you to stick around.

And so, I'm going to play to my strengths here in a way that you guys will hopefully find interesting. The best responses I get are to my goal-driven posts, posts about the industry, posts about making it as a person making a living at this writing/editing/publishing thing. The other good responses I get (and that I don't want to lose) are to my more personal posts, because I feel that blogging still is the best way for people to know me, and giving that up would basically be missing the point. And lastly, some of my most popular posts do have writing craft and technique advice, but not the basics. Instead, you guys enjoy posts that make you say, "Hmm. I haven't really thought about it this way." or, "Oh wow. I always forget this, thanks for the reminder."

Here's the thing, though, those kinds of posts are not the ones that are popular on my YouTube channel. So I'm going to split the two. My blog will be bringing you the content I think will be the most relevant to you guys, and my YouTube Channel will be aimed at readers and new writers looking for advice from an old veteran.

To sum up, this is what I have planned for this blog for at least the next year:

  • Survival Tips and Craft Advice
  • Advice on Goal Setting, Time Management, etc.
  • Lessons and thoughts I have regarding writing, editing, the industry, etc.
  • Advice and opinions on the business end of being a writer.
  • And then, because I enjoy doing it and would like to do more of it, I would like to regularly share some more graphic-design-y things I've been doing. 
I really hope that you guys will be as excited by these changes as I am about making them. If you have any thoughts, comments, or blog topic suggestions, please do leave them in the comments section below! I will definitely take a look. 

So what would you like for me to write about? Yes, I do have a plan, but the plan is flexible, so I'm always game to address something if you want me to. 

32 comments:

  1. That sounds like a good plan. Cater to your audience.

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful plan. My blog started with posts on how to write a book during the first year. Then it went from there to how to write specific scenes, characters, etc. then to publishing and marketing. After I wrote everything I could on those topics I had to find something else to do. Last year was my first year doing that with my diverse characters list. And this year, I have my organizational tips posts and new ideas for my IWSG posts. As for 2019...who knows? Now, my blog changes yearly. But my YouTube, which I started last year, pretty much started from the beginning. To me, my blog and YouTube channel, are two different things.

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    1. I hear you. I think it's necessary to cater to the needs of your audience as it grows with you. I think it was a mistake to try to make the YouTube and blog work together. And now that I've decided to split them, it just feels so much freer.

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  3. Thanks for mentioning that book. It sounds helpful, and I think you have a great blog plan.

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  4. My blog has no plan, but you are right- the personal stuff seems to do the best. My mother told me that years ago and she was right! Good luck with the plan.

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    1. Yeah it just feels wrong not to have at least a little bit of me in the writing for people to connect to.

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  5. That sounds like a fantastic plan that's well thought through. Each year, I try to take a step back and assess what I'm doing with my blog and make any adjustments as needed. Cheers - Ellen

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    1. That's a good strategy. I'm planning to do a step back next year around this time too. :-D

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  6. Just finished my taxes and I'm depressed. Anything that reminds me how little writing pays is DePressing. Imagine earning off my blog

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    1. I don't know... maybe I'm a bit old school, but I'm not a fan of all the product-placements and adds and stuff some blogs to get. To me, blogging is about a relationship, and doing all that stuff to make it earn makes everything feel so fake.

      That said, I have on occasion earned BECAUSE I blog, simply because I use my blog as a sort of portfolio when I do some writing gigs.

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  7. Sounds like a good plan. Maybe I need to check the book out too.

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    1. It's definitely worth taking a look. :-)

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  8. It sounds like you've got a great plan here - I'm never quite sure I have a plan that is organized. Gotta get to that :)

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    1. It's something I've put off for a long time, so it's actually such a relief to have a map of where I'm heading. :-D

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  9. Sounds like you've got some great topics and a great plan. I've had to rethink what I do and tweak it and look for new friends over the years of blogging. But it's a great way to connect That book sounds good.

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    1. Tweaking is definitely necessary. I definitely should have tweaked more at least two years ago. Oh well, guess I gotta learn from my mistakes, eh?

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  10. Well done Mischa ... so glad you're working things out and plans are coming together ... cheers Hilary

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  11. Sounds like a plan, Misha. I think I could do with a bit of a rethink too, thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. I think doing a rethink every now and then is good.

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  12. That sounds like a solid plan to me. I've never really had anything concrete in place, but it's definitely something I should do!

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    1. I can tell you I'm pretty glad that I did do this.

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  13. I'm interested in learning more about the business side of being a writer. Currently I'm not at all businesslike and I think maybe I should be a bit.

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    1. Yeah I'm looking forward to doing more of those posts.

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  14. Sounds good to me - looking forward to seeing it all come together :-)

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  15. That sounds like a great plan! I've been hit or miss, too, because of life in general. I do really like your blog. I like your youtube content, too, but I'm less of a youtube-watcher, so ... I think that effects me, too. I have been trying to figure out my content on my blog, too, so it's interesting to note that I'm in a similar part of the process - except I don't know what I'm doing yet.

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    1. I think we're both due to think about our blog directions, since we're more or less on the same phase of our blogging and writing activities. :-D

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  16. It's awesome that you figured out a plan for your blog that fits your current audience. The book you shared sounds interesting; I may have to check it out. :)

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    1. I think it's worth it, although I guess it depends on what you want to achieve.

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