Why do I blog? Week 3 of my blog redesign project

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Hi! How are you? (Seriously, leave a comment below & let’s chat!) Thank you for stopping by my blog, I really appreciate it.

Here we are in Week #3 of renovating my blog. If you missed Week 1, you can check it out here: http://www.crazycatnerd.com/site-news/2018/8/28/what-sort-of-blog-week-one-of-my-blog-redesign-project. In that post, I explained that I’m redesigning my blog and finally “getting serious” about blogging. I tried defining what sort of blog I wanted. I discovered that my preferred style is somewhere between personal and lifestyle. There was no redesign post for week 2, instead I discussed misconceptions you might encounter when starting a bullet journal. I’m going to be going back and forth between the redesign and other things I want to share. Here in week 3, I’m going to look at the purpose of my blog.

Before I get into the purpose, I just wanted to highlight a few changes that I’ve made over the last week:

  • I’ve created a “Blog” page (found in the navigation bar). I’m keeping the remaining pages intact for now, but I do plan on pulling everything into a single blog. However, you will still be able to navigate to the various categories (it’ll just be a single feed).

  • When you first visit the site you now land on the “blog page”. Since it’s the main focus of the site, it should be the first thing you see.

  • There’s an email subscription button in the sidebar. While I currently do not have a newsletter, I intend to have one eventually. For now, I’m just collecting the emails of interested parties.

  • I’m continuing to only post on the “Site News” feed and only on Fridays. I might eventually do two posts a week, but I’m trying to work on consistency and quality first.

Why am I blogging?

    I’ve been reading this post: https://www.codeinwp.com/blog/setting-blog-goals/ that highlights the importance of not only figuring out your purpose, but setting up actionable goals. Determining the purpose behind the blogging has been mentioned in several other articles as well. It makes sense as a good first step. After a bit of writing, I determined the three main purposes of my blogging hobby:



  1. To Connect- Written communication, whether it be online or in a snailmail letter, is my preferred form of communication. As I write this post, my anxiety is non-existent. I don’t fret about social interactions that are written, especially when I have plenty of time to do the writing. Therefore, it is easier for me to connect with others this way. Blogging about my hobbies and interests helps me find others who share those interests. I can meet new and interesting people in an environment that I find comfortable.

  2. To Help Others- I enjoy helping others find useful information. I’m constantly seeking to share the information I’ve learned. I love teaching people how to do new things and sharing recommendations of things I love, so others can love them too. I want to help other people lead joyful and stress-free lives.

  3. To Have Fun- Most importantly to me, I find blogging FUN. Fun is my life’s purpose. Everything I do is so I can have more fun!



Now that I’ve determined my purpose for blogging I need to create small, achievable goals to help me move in that direction.


To that end, I have a question for you. Do you prefer blog posts that address multiple topics or a single topic? An example of a single topic would be this post, as well as my last two posts. We are either talking about blogging or bullet journalling or mental health or the Sims, etc… If today’s post had been on multiple topics I might have talked a bit about the blog redesign project, mentioned the current game I’m playing, lament a bit about the incoming hurricane, and maybe thrown in a cat photo for good measure.  

Single Topic vs. Multiple Topics
Do you prefer a post that covers just one topic? Or do you like posts that have a few different things going on at once?

I’ve also been brainstorming ideas for posts, and how those posts could fit into categories. From what I’m reading, I should select as few categories as possible that cover the range of things I want to discuss. I’ve been creating a mindmap:

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These are just some of the ideas I have- the mind map is still growing! I’m curious which of the following posts you would like to see next week. I will likely do one of these next week, and I’d like to know what current readers are most interested in hearing about.

Which post would you like to see next Friday?

That’s all for now! Have a fun weekend!

What sort of blog? Week One of my Blog Redesign Project

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As I’ve threatened numerous times, I’ve decided to redesign this website and get serious about blogging. Yes, I know. You’ve heard it all before. Promises, promises. And, honestly, who knows what will happen this time? I have too many hobbies and I get distracted by shiny new projects and spreadsheets. On the other hand, thanks to my bullet journal and my recent focus on my own well-being, I’m becoming increasingly more committed to my goals and organized in my task lists. I’ve been bullet journaling for about a year and a half, and I’ve finally figured out what works best for me. My spreads are changing less and less.  It’s pretty exciting. While I’m still overwhelmed by the things I have to do, I’m setting more reasonable expectations and feeling more productive. So, I’m hopeful my focus on blogging will go better this time.

The current personal and family events going on in my life have led to a lot of big-picture thinking and life prioritizing. Some fairly major stuffed happened- including one totally unexpected loss of a young(ish) family member. There’s been pondering and contemplation. This time in my life happened to coincide with the transition to a new bullet journal. Consequently, I did some Wheel of Life and value-sorting exercises to help me generate some personal goals. Two of my more important values fit well with blogging. They are ‘helping others’ and ‘teaching/mentoring’. Actually, blogging fits nicely with several values and goals. Now, I’m hoping to use my blog as a tool to accomplish some of my goals, live in alignment with my values, and continue my personal growth journey.

The first step in my blog redesign was to read a few articles about starting a new blog. I figured I might as well go back to the beginning and see what I might have missed. Based on my reading, I came up with a focused question and some basic goals for this week:

Week One

Question: What sort of blog do I want?

Goals:

  1. Create a (reasonable!) schedule that I can stick with

  2. Read one article on blogging

  3. Write, edit and publish one post

  4. Comment on someone else’s blog

  5. Post on Twitter at least five times

The Question

During my research over the past couple weeks when I’ve been entertaining this idea, I read a lot about finding your “niche”. Some articles said you needed to choose a very specific topic in order to have a successful blog. Of course, they are defining success by popularity, the quantity of readers and profitability, which is fair. However, I don’t really care about those things. In fact, I wouldn’t want to be that popular- it seems overwhelming. Also, I can’t just talk about one thing. I LOVE TOO MANY THINGS. I have way too many obsessions, passions, hobbies, collections and loves to talk about just one thing. That sounds boring...for me, anyway, if you happen to really love one thing, go for it!

If you don’t want a niche blog, your options then come down to personal or lifestyle blogs. Personal blogs are about the stories and experiences of the author. Lifestyle blogs are more about the interests of the author. In Lifestyle blogs, the reader can anticipate getting some recommendations, advice, ideas, instructions or information from each post. There appears to be a lot of overlap with these two though as both are focused around the author’s life. I think I would put myself somewhere in between with a leaning towards lifestyle. I tend to give lots of recommendations- podcasts, books, bullet journal spreads, apps- and information- how to plan a Disney trip, WDW news, foods your cat can eat safely. Of course, I overshare as well. I think that might be more of a personality trait than a blogging style, though.

For now, I’m going to embrace the term “lifestyle blog” and see what happens. Honestly, though, I never considered myself worthy of such a thing. Who on earth would want to get lifestyle information from me? The term just seems “role-modely” to me. I don’t seem to have my shit together enough to be qualified for one. But maybe taking this approach will help build my confidence?

The Schedule I Created:

Sunday- Off

Monday- Plan the post

Tuesday- Write the post

Wednesday- Consider creating and adding images

Thursday- Final edits

Friday- Publish (1 post per week)

Saturday- Share

I’m writing this and it’s Tuesday. So...so far, so good. I also scribbled some notes down yesterday about what I intended to write about.

First Major Change:

The first thing that will impact you, my lovely readers, is that I’m going to be posting only on the “Site News” feed for now. If you want updates on what is going on, make sure you check that page.

Do you have a personal or lifestyle blog? If so, please post the link below so I can check it out!