One of the questions that came up in the comment thread in the post "I Stopped Reading You Today" was deciding what to blog about.
A lot depends on your blog's focus. If you want to draw other authors, definitely talk about writing, publishing, and books. But if you want to reach potential fans, put yourself in the fan's shoes first. What would you like to read about if YOU were the fan?
Let's preface this with "fans who don't want to be authors" because we all know we follow other authors just to glean some of their wisdom. For the sake of argument though, let's concentrate on fans and followers who think the lives of writers are devastatingly interesting.
To appeal to a wide audience, I don't think it's necessary to be topic-centric. It's okay to have a lot of interests and talk about them.
I used to fret about this a lot in the beginning. I wondered if I should start a separate blog for all my interests, but I realized it would be too hard to keep up with them. Besides, what if I wanted to talk about goats one day and my core readers expected to read about the publishing industry?
I made a decision then and there to talk about what interested me first. My theory was that if I talked about what I liked, eventually I'd find others with similar interests. Water finds its own level, right? My other hunch was that if I had fans who enjoyed my writing, they might also enjoy a glimpse into my everyday life.
But this brings up another important point.
Don't try to be everything to everyone. I have no interest (or experience) in gaming, singing, or reality shows. When people blog about those things, I choose not to comment that day.
If that's all they talk about, I probably won't be following their blogs. But if they blog about a lot of different topics, they'll probably net a visit from me on some other day.
Regardless of the topic, the only demands on you is to make it interesting. And that's the trick, isn't it? Your writing ability is put to the test every time you blog.
So what do you think? Do my theories seem feasible? Or do you think a blog should be very specific in its approach?
I was going to mail a get well card to Mike Keyton today, but it's Labor Day in the US and the post office is closed. If you want to add your good wishes to the comment stream here's his post. He has no internet, so I'm sure he'd love to hear from you even if you're not on a first name basis.
I missed August's State of the Homestead update, so I'll do one this Thursday. Wait until you see the scorpion picture. You will not believe your eyes.