Saturday, June 29, 2019

Revamp 2.0: Basic questions.

I'm still figuring out my main blog, sure, but I think I'm ready to start taking it seriously. I've variously blogged about blogging, and I'm sure I've said the same then either explicitly or implicitly. But it's for real this time. For. Real.

I considered doing this thinking aloud there, on the blog in question, but then this post became longer and more, arguably, tedious than might be tolerable there, so I figured it was better to do a shorter, to-the-point post there and the full thinking-out here.

Later, in a future post or posts, I may lay out my plans for world domination—or, you know, revamping the blog. At this point, though, I'm mostly trying to feel out basic questions such as the following; some I've asked before on that blog but ought to revisit, and some I don't think I really answered before but ought to now.
  • What do I want to blog about? Why do those things matter to me, and what do I want to accomplish by writing about them? 
  • Who am I blogging for? How do I want to reach them?
  • Why do I blog? What do I want from this? 
I suppose it's obvious, but I expect that answering these questions now should help focus this attempt, both defining the blog and determining what steps to take. I also expect that continuing to ask them going forward, if only loosely and implicitly and occasionally, should keep me focused on what to maintain and what to adjust as things change, or don't, over time.

Time was, back when I started blogging at the tender age of, like, 15 or so years old, that any little thing that riled me up or got me down or caught my attention got the full blast of my nascent pen, for good or ill.

I blogged mostly because I was angry or sad or happy. I was a moody teen and played it up; I needed to vent, a lot. And my blog provided that medium.

I wrote for me, but also to show off at my friends—not even for, just at. I was blogging back before the Socials took root and spread, so these posts were the equivalents of Twitter rants and vaguebooking and so on. I guess I was in it for attention, but I wasn't recruiting followers, really, just hoping my friends would hear me.

(I would like to think that I was honing my skills as a writer and developing my voice; it was practice at an art I was, if roughly, attempting. So while I'm not as proud about the things I said on my first blog, I can say something likely came of it that I can be happy with.)

But pivoting from that to now and what's to come, I can see a few things:
  • What: I don't want to vent like I used to when I was a kid; that doesn't appeal to me, at least not in that raw, unrestrained fashion of those early ventures.
    • I want to blog about things I find meaningful and interesting, not about things that have elicited some outrage or what have you. 
    • I still want, as I'd considered in a previous post, to do thoughtful reviews and reflections and such, but I'm also more open to blogging about things like my garden and little projects and so forth than I was then.
    • Although I still want to share about my life, I don't want to share everything about my life.
    • One thing I'm considering, following up on a past post, is that I'll go through all 300 posts and cull unnecessary tags and hide any posts I find frivolous or oversharing or even offensive. 
  •  Who: I won't deny that I'll still largely write for me, but I want to keep an eye on audience, if with only friends and followers (eg, Twitter) in mind. 
    • I'm not just recording interesting, meaningful things for myself; I'm hoping what I write about and share will prove interesting and meaningful for others, too. 
    • I suppose I still want attention, but it's certainly of a different sort and largely to a different end than what I sought as a teen.
    • I don't expect swarms of followers or even that massive of a following; I'm hoping to draw in people who care through the Socials. Maybe as time passes, and I accumulate posts on certain subjects, I will do that whole reaching out to influencers thing, but I don't plan to.
Although I began assessing those first two points, the what and the who of my blog, and more or less approximated these positions on them the last time I decided to revive/revamp/refocus my blog, I don't think I really gave the third question its due: the Why. I'll probably expand upon the above considerations in a later post, but I think this why needs attending.

I suppose that at some point, I should reckon what the "Palmerpink Brand" represents, but whatever it stands for and however it gets expressed, I need to commit to it mattering. That will, I suspect, speak to the why of my blogging.

I need to decide that, to at least some degree, my voice matters. I may not become some crazy-important influencer, and frankly, I don't want that anyway. I just need to decide that, for what its worth, I have something to say and want to keep saying it—and that my voice is worth something.

I'm not sure that this commitment will change everything—that it'll focus my message and efforts and goals, transform me into a regular even daily blogger, and suddenly bring in oodles of readers and followers. But I think it'll help me take things that little bit more seriously. Maybe.

I think the next steps are to do more research and some planning. Partly that's how I operate—bulleted lists and spreadsheets and all. So I'll do some research and contrive a tiered/staged list of how much I want to do and when/in what order depending on how far I want to go. In and around that, I should probably do more reflections and work through these questions and others regarding purpose, content, audience, and so forth.

Image by William Iven from Pixabay.

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