Over the past 12 months I have noticed a really interesting shift in people’s online habits, particularly in relation to blogs. I’d like to share my observations with you now. If you enjoy this blog please read on as my observations have led to a few interesting changes which you will need to know about.
Fewer comments on blogs
This blog doesn’t seem to be getting as many comments as it used to. This is an observation; it’s certainly not a moan! I know that people are reading it as my stats continue to grow. But instead of commenting on posts, people tend to interact with me more on social media. For example, when I write a post, it is automatically shared on Twitter and Facebook. People seem to like to comment there instead. Other bloggers have shared similar experiences to mine. The interaction level is still the same, if not better, but people are connecting with bloggers in a different way. Also, I have noticed this change in my own behaviour. I am yet to find an RSS feed reader that makes commenting on other people’s blogs really simple. So I tend to tweet someone if they post something I like on their blogs.
When you start a blog (this one started back in August 2010 although I was blogging a long time before that) you have a rough idea of what your content might be. But that grows and changes as you find your blogging voice. This might affect the frequency of your posts. It certainly has with iMake. For example, in November 2010 I posted 2 podcast episodes, one tutorial and a post about jewellery I was making for my Etsy shop (4 posts in total). In November 2013 there were 20 blog posts! I have no more hours in my day right now than I did back in 2010, so I should perhaps be asking myself “am I guilty of posting quantity over quality, sometimes?” I am not sure when I decided that I’d like to try and blog 3 times a week…
I post lots of different types of content. There are regular feature posts (for example monthly iPhoneography, Etsy Treasury Lists etc), videos (some mine, some other people’s), podcasts, “what I am making” and “what I’ve made” posts, tutorials, sharing posts (sharing other people’s skills, products or services), guest posts, giveaways, reviews, techie posts, Guernsey posts, occasional rants… It’s a long list. Sometimes I wonder if I spread myself too thinly. This is perhaps something that multi-crafter readers will relate to. I occasionally look at my craft room and my bookshelf and think life would be easier if I was 100% a knitter and did not do anything else! That’s not something I am willing to change you’ll be pleased to hear. I love dabbling in all sorts of creative exploits, it makes me happy.
But back to the content. I do have an overwhelming urge to simplify what I do here on the blog. I’d like my blogging “persona” to have a clearer “vision” and it has to fit with my other social media “personas” without too much repetition. Apologies for the excessive use of speech marks there!
So I suppose it would be a good idea to think about the type of content I like to produce here on the blog. I love to write, but it takes SO much time to write lengthy posts without typos ;-) (Rarely do I succeed in this!) The same can be said for tutorials and videos – I love making them but they take forever. So I’ve not done a lot of these recently. I LOVE producing the podcast – that takes less time. However, due to all of the aforementioned “content” I have not been podcasting as much recently. Really, the bread and butter stuff of my blog is what I am making/reading/doing in the lovely island of Guernsey. If I can pepper this with occasional wordy posts and tutorials, as well as podcasting more regularly, I would be happy. I think that’s what I’d like to do.
Short, visual posts
I have to confess, now I am friends with Instagram again, I absolutely love visual, micro-blogging. I have heard a number of bloggers comment that they’d happily give up their blogs if it wasn’t such a big part of their business and move over to Instagram permanently. Whilst I don’t want to give up my blog, I sort of get it. We are creative people – taking photos is creative. A picture can say more than words. It all makes sense. As I said, I am not planning to give up my blog, but it does make me think that short, visual posts that are easily re-blog-able are definitely going to form part of my content moving forward.
A desire for cross-platform simplicity
This is a biggie. Here’s how I write a medium-length blog post:
- Think of an idea.
- Photograph it.
- Get the photos out of my photostream and dump them into Photoshop.
- Edit the photos, resize them, then save them to a folder on my desktop (all my blog photos go in there as a back-up).
- Get online (via my desktop Mac) and go to Worpdress.
- Log in – select new post.
- Write the post.
- Proofread it.
- Add photos.
- Add tags
- Add a category or 2.
- Add a feature photo.
- Preview it to check it all looks ok.
- Schedule the post.
- Check back once it’s gone live that it looks ok.
- Respond to all comments.
Wow. I’d never really thought about my blog workflow before. I’d actually really like to be able to do all of this from my iPhone or iPad. Blogging got really complicated all of a sudden. I am convinced simple things tend to be more enjoyable.
So what about the iMake blog?
Fear not! I am not going anywhere. Being a blogger is very much part of me. But it’s time to start working a bit smarter and carving out a new and exciting identity for iMake. So I am playing around with some new platforms. I am loving the sophistication of SquareSpace, but I am not mad on the cost. Tumblr is actually working out to be lots of fun. It really fits with my short, visual post plan and also I can blog from any one of my devices (win!) Tumblr’s demographic seems quite young, but I figured that my readers here on WordPress are really affected by the platform I use (unless they are actually following me through WordPress or subscribed to receive email updates from WordPress). If you subscribe to my newsletter then you’ll still be receiving a digest of the month’s posts. If you subscribe to my RSS feed then nothing should change (fingers crossed). I am not 100% decided on my chosen home for iMake 2.0 – please let me know your thoughts.
What about the old blog posts?
I plan to migrate the podcast posts over to my new space. I might re-purpose some of the old content and post it again with a fresh take. I will certainly re-post any videos I have made. With regard to recipes and tutorials, I am actually thinking about making them into a free e-book.
And the podcast?
The good news is that I should be able to find more time to podcast – hurrah!
And the magazine?
I think the magazine might end up containing some more of my lengthy writing – that seems to make sense. I still love to write. Incidentally, that does not mean my new blog will just be photos – there will be plenty of words. But posts will not be as long as this one… (word count is now 1245!)
I am hoping to make a decision on all of this and implement changes by the end of April. Between now and then I have a little marathon to run, but other than that, I should have some time. With all of this in mind, posts will be a bit sparse over April. The SnowflakeCAL will continue as normal.
I am really excited about this fresh start. I hope you are too. Stay tuned.