Writing for the spike.

reddit_spike

There are probably many approaches to blogging, but there are specifically two with which I struggle.

The first is the steady, themed blog that consistently offers interesting posts that are linked by a common theme. The guys in my writers’ group, The Weaklings, are great examples of this style of blogging. Bob Evenhouse regularly publishes encouraging posts for fellow writers who are shooting for their dreams while still paying the bills. And Andrew Rogers publishes posts from the perspective of a publishing industry insider who also writes.

The second style of blogger is the one who offers quality content that follows no theme, but is usually worth reading. It has no clear audience, so it is probably mostly read by strangers. In case you couldn’t tell. The example for this style is my blog.

The reason that I struggle with these two is because, ideally, I’d like to emulate the first style, but in reality, I just spout off on whatever enters my head. Why do I do this when what I admire is the consistency of message and tone offered by my fellow Weaklings?

'Murica!!!

‘Murica!!!

Perhaps, I’m more of a ‘Murican than I like to admit, because I love the freedom of being able to write whatever I want. And sometimes, writing along a theme can be hard, so it is easier not to worry if my content follows no discernible pattern.

Also, I’m far too motivated by the spikes in traffic offered by my hit-or-miss posts. For instance, thanks to Reddit.com, last week my blog had its best day ever. I wrote about the woman who married the Eiffel tower, put a link on Reddit’s “Today I Learned” page and next thing I know, I topped my previous best day by 2,819 hits.

But will any of the people who visited on that day be back to my blog? Probably not. Why should they come back if I’m so inconsistent about the type of content that I offer? Hmm.

Maybe I should work the fix for this into my goals for the upcoming year. But how do I decide where to focus? What is of the greatest value to you, the reader? I know that I shouldn’t be writing for the spike, but past that, I’m at a bit of a loss.

In case you can’t tell, feedback is very welcome.

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5 responses to “Writing for the spike.

  1. I’m torn. A 3,000 day would be so exciting I would hardly be able to sleep. BUT that spike would torment me on my stats page until it fell off the timeline. It makes all the other perfectly good days look so…squat.

    I struggle with this same issue of a blog theme. I don’t want to be Random Blogger, but frankly I’m kind of a random woman. And I’ve never found ONE topic that I like enough to discuss three times a week!

  2. I have had three past blogs before settling into the rhythm and themes I’ve established for A Beautiful Fiction. I worked my way through a very personal blog where I spouted whatever came to mind and called it Stuff No One Would Publish (did that for about a year maybe). Then I focused my blog around my many hobbies and called it The Consummate Amateur (that one lasted two years or maybe a bit more). While I was doing that one, I started another one focused on reviews of literary classics called The Books I Should Have Read (I really loved that blog, but it took me so long to read with everything else going on that I didn’t post as consistently as I wanted to).

    I think you should blog how you really feel most natural. You may find that, with time, your posts tend toward a theme more specific than interacting with life in general. But there are two kinds of blog followers as well–those who read for theme and those who read for personality. It’s nice when you can get both–there are a couple sewing blogs I followed for some time that had content that was always sewing-related from people who were very insightful or funny or both. But I also read two blogs that just talk about the person’s life–Pleasant View Schoolhouse and Mabel’s House. I just like the way these two ladies look at life and I like their photographs.

    All that to say, do what you want! 🙂

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