Today is Part Two of a series on blogging.
See here for Part 1, on Why Did You Start Blogging?
When I started, I figured I would blog about writing. I was deep into my second novel, trying to get an agent, and I figured I needed it for platform. Also, to vent! (Carefully, mind you.)
Early on, I decided to tackle a huge paranoia I had. I feared that other writers would shun me because I had this whole other career as a doctor. I wanted my blog to focus on the writer part, but I felt like a sham. I thought, maybe embracing it would be a better idea.
And so, Medical Mondays was born, along with Mental Health Mondays with Laura Diamond, who uses her skills as psychiatrist for writerly questions too. Sarah Fine came on board later on, to add her knowledge of psychology (specifically, child psychology). It's been a trifecta of goodness.
I am so glad I took that shaky step! Not only do I get a chance to help others, I also learn something fact-checking and doing research for every single post. As for that paranoia of mine? Poof. It disappeared when I realized people embraced these different sides of me and were okay with it. The icing on the bloggy cake is that Medical Mondays garners the most page views and sends the most strangers to my blog from search engines.
The Wednesday blog chain started soon afterwards. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog has changed a few members, but every month we're challenged to answer our own question. Deb, Sarah, and Laura have been great sisters, and great supporters.
I added other themes, like Plot Devices. Deus Ex Machina (after I got the spelling right) was illuminating for me. I also found out what a MacGuffin was (not a slobbish, overweight MacGyver. Who knew?)
Then weird science-related things that caught my attention. The Zombie Ants post was a runaway hit. The Luna Moth one still takes my breath away.
In August, I started doing some Author Spotlights on Fridays. That has been fun, and it came at a time where I was running out of fun things to blog about. Lately it's died off a bit, mostly because I slacked off on finding authors, plus I wanted to blog on Fridays for myself again. BUT if you want to be spotlit for a Friday, email me. I'd be happy to have you. :)
I guess after doing this for two years, I figured out a lot.
- Sometimes taking a chance on content can pay off big (personally, and in page views)
- Be willing to change and experiment. It's your blog, after all.
- Make your own rules, and stick to them. For me, I stay away from cussing, religion/spirituality, and politics. I do not do book reviews. I don't post my own fiction here, not even snippets. I don't show pictures or names of my family members, and obviously, I don't blog about specifics from my day job. (Can you say HIPAA violation???)
- Be yourself. On my blog, I'm silly. I doodle cartoons. This is what I'm like, on a personal level. Yes, my patients and my boss can probably see this stuff, but people and patients I work with know I keep my work sphere very distinct from this one. I've decided I have different facets, and I choose when to show those facets. I am not all things at all times. I am complicated, and I'm okay with that.
One big upcoming question will be about self-promotion. I will have a book coming out on 2013. Yes, I will make announcements on exciting stuff. But no, I will not be shoving my book in my reader's faces on every post when the time comes. I don't like reading that on other's people's blogs, and I won't have it on mine.
My blog, myself, my decisions.
So. How did you decide what kind of content to have on your blog?