How to Change Your Blogging Direction Without Going Off Course

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I have a confession to make. I am the world’s worst food blogger. I know, because I used to be one. I shudder to admit it, but I did posts like this:

And posted pictures…horror!…that looked like this (sizes unchanged):

And I did it because I somehow convinced myself that despite the fact that I’m not a great cook, don’t eat a lot of interesting foods and can barely follow a recipe, let alone create one, food blogging was the only way to fit in.

My posts were sporadic, uninspired and did nothing toward my blogging goal — putting my thoughts out here for people to read and respond to.

So, while my blog’s biological birthday is November 2007 (my “Meet Me” post), I think of my blogging really only dating back to March 2010, when I declared “New Blog, New Rules.” I switched domains, rewrote my mission statement, recommitted to only posting about what truly moved me, and took a big breath. Would this be the move that sank my blogging ship?

The answer is no. It was the best thing that I could have done, because it brought me back to WHY I blog and WHO I blog for. And my community didn’t go away — it surged.

So, if you’re in the same rut and want to make a change, here is what I suggest you do.

  • Step away from what you’ve been doing and (from scratch) write your blogging mission statement. Use that to direct every move that you make from here forward.
  • If your existing blog can be tweaked to fit the mission statement, do that. Tell your readers what you’re changing and why.
  • If your existing blog needs a total revamp (like mine did), choose a domain name that fits your needs. In my case, I decided to blog under my own name because I wanted the flexibility to write about everything from food to fitness to social media and travel.
  • Make your moves quickly and in one fell swoop. Don’t slowly start tweaking your graphics or moving posts. People will see it and get suspicious.
  • Do everything you can to bring your community with you. I have a GREAT Web guy that helped with my move so I not only didn’t lose content, all of my old content was redirected to the new site. If you don’t get help, you risk a *major* SEO (search engine optimization) hit. So, if you’re serious about the change, spend a few bucks and get an expert.
  • Be confident in your decision to change. People read your blog for YOU. Sure, if you’re known as a food blogger and you start writing about your real passion, you might lose people who came just for the original content. But you’ll likely bring a majority of followers with you and you’ll certainly gain more.

Remember — people know when you’re not blogging from the heart or being genuine, and none of us are only interested in one topic. So be the best YOU you can be, in blogging and elsewhere.

Do you ever regret the direction your blog has taken? What holds you back from making a change?

Comments

  1. says

    This has been on my mind a lot recently. I have been blogging for 6 months now with a purported mission statement of “self-improvement” but that tends to be all over the map. I’m wondering if a tighter focus on my blog would result in more readers. But then again, why am I blogging–for a million readers, or just to fulfill my own creative side? Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is THANKS for this post. It gave me something to think about!

    • says

      Well you’re WELCOME! :)

      I have been really amazed that the posts I write without regard to number of readers are the ones that get the most love. Like this one!

      Maybe keeping a broad focus (like me) but with easy-to-navigate categories or tags would help people who are only interested in reading specific topics?

  2. says

    Those may be the most hilarious post titles I’ve ever read, I’ll have Naan too. That one busted me up!

    How fitting on a day I’m retiring the original blog, aww, I’m going to get all sentimental.

    I’m a bit different though, it’s sort of in the same vain but with a bigger scope, and I too once thought food blogging looked awesome. But like you I eat boring food and no one should care what I eat, truly, it’s beyond boring (but makes me happy)

    I think a vision of where you’re going/what you want to accomplish is key. If you don’t have something to measure your actions or decisions against, how will you know what to do. The North Star lighting the way.

    • says

      Rita,

      I thought of you when writing this post! I love your move…

      And I’m so glad that at least one other person got a giggle (hey now) about my post titles.

  3. says

    This is going to sound strange, but I’ve actually been resisting my move towards change because I’m not sure what my readers from the past couple of years will think! I didn’t start off as a food blogger, but have slowly been falling into that genre. I’ve been hesitant to take the full leap, because I’ve got a lot of people who read who I’m not sure “signed up for that”. I know that’s dumb, I should just blog about what I want to.

    I’m sure I’m putting way too much thought into this. I’d love for people to hop over to my blog and let me know what they think! http://www.thestrengthoffaith.com

  4. says

    Great post!
    My blog has definitely changed over the year, but for the better! I love my mission statement and incorporating more daily family posts in with my training posts. I think it makes me more “human” (if that makes sense?). :)

    • says

      It totally makes sense! Someone asked me recently what the best compliment they could pay me would be…and I said “relatable.” That’s what I’m going for!

  5. says

    I wonder about this. I had no expectations when I started blogging, other than hoping to find some motivation for weight loss, so could never have envisioned a future as a blogger. But now that I love it, I wonder what that future holds for me. At some point, I will run out of things to say about my healthy living stuff in its current vein. I’d love to add other off-topic posts now and then but have no idea what readers will think. And have wondered if someday I should also change my blog’s name and identity. So much to think about.

    • says

      Isn’t the amazing part about healthy living is that there’s always a new twist? a new challenge? Hard to imagine the ideas will ever stop flowing :)

      You have a great blog name, so I’d be hesitant to give it up. But maybe consider using categories or tags to put your content into special filters so people who are only interested in one thing can find it, while others get a more broad look at your life?

  6. says

    Thank you for posting this when you did! I love my new site now because I feel like it’s more “me” and that I don’t have force myself to fit into world of food bloggers anymore – now that I’m away, I don’t know if I have for a while. I made the right choice!

    P.S. Hope to see you soon:)

    • says

      You don’t have to fit in but you can still hang with them — pretty good tradeoff, huh?

      It was so fun to booty shake with you this weekend. The VegFest looked like a blast, too. Can’t wait to see you again soon!

  7. says

    great post! I’ve slightly tweaked my writing since I started but it is completely different from what I thought I’d write about at first. I agree that readers know if you’re genuine or not and no one has enough time to read posts that aren’t real and coming from the heart!

    • says

      Lisa,

      Isn’t it funny how our blogs kind of document the growth we go through! I love to look back at what I was writing three years ago…and how my priorities have changed (or stayed the same).

  8. says

    Naan. yummmy. What site did you use to establish your own domain name?? I’m seriously thinking about wanting my OWN website. And i like your idea of your name being your domain name so that you can write about whatever you want! I started blogging just to have an out for myself, but it’s turned into so much more than that!

  9. says

    My husband and I just had a 30 min. conversation about this. I’ve been blogging since January and feel like I need a shift in focus. I completely agree that you need to write from the heart and be yourself. Thanks for the great tips!

    • says

      Your blog name cracks me up :)

      Keep me posted on what you do — even if you stick with the same mission statement, refocusing is always a smart idea.

  10. says

    I really love this Katy. I too used to think that the ONLY way I’d fit in, in this blogging world was to be a food blogger. I’m terrible at that. Seriously, I eat the same ol’ thing all the time and I’m boring when it comes to food and I totally mess up about 90% of the meals I try to make for the first time… just see todays post. ha! I finally decided that I have to be me, and if being me in my blog lost me readers, then so be it. I didn’t want to pretend to be anything else. In fact, I feel like I’ve met more bloggers and readers since I’ve been writing my blogs about healthy living, which completely applies to my life. :) Great post, so glad you wrote it.

  11. says

    I love this post! Although I feel I must be following the cliche of the food blogger, I think it will be fun to provide loads of pictures and stories regarding my mishaps and successes in the kitchen and on the pavement! :)

    Thank you for this post, as a someone new to blogging it definitely supported my new hobby.

  12. says

    Great post and advice! I am going down that same road, started out blogging about everything I ate, how boring I thought! Have been slowly changing things around! Thanks again, you have inspired me! :)

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