What I’ve been doing here since May just isn’t working. It’s not a bad blog, but it’s one piece of a byzantine maze of social media accounts that Diana, Jeremy, and myself are using with specific goals in mind. The approach I adopted here in the beginning was based on the idea that Sourcerer would take a year to get off the ground, and this blog would need to post frequently for a few months until contributors came on board and Part Time Monster was thoroughly established.
I chose to make it a writing blog because we already had two with much wider spectrums of content. I felt like I needed a narrow focus here. Since writing is the thing I’m most qualified to focus on, and since I love to talk to writers about writing, it seemed like a no-brainer. In general, the larger project has developed as I expected it to. Both Sourcerer and Part Time Monster have evolved distinctive characters and attracted regular readers more quickly than I dared imagine they would, and I realized at some point that the focus I chose for this blog is too narrow.
The consequences of all this are two-fold.
- There’s nothing I can do from this blog to help the others, and pretty much everyone who reads the others is aware this blog exists and has made their decision about following it by now, so they can’t really help me here, either.
- Since PTM and Sourcerer have developed in very interesting and unanticipated directions, this blog as it exists doesn’t fit into the overall scheme as well as it did in the beginning. It’s out of synch. I’m amazed that it’s still, inexplicably, picking up at least one follower on most days.
This means that unless I want to shutter it and hope the people who like Just Gene’O best will follow along at Sourcerer, I need to take three steps if I want to help this blog:
- Revamp it so that it looks and feels as good as the other two,
- Adopt a realistic posting schedule, and
- Make sure that when I do post, the content is of the highest quality, including a significant amount of the blogging focused on reading, writing, and literature.
So, here’s my to-do list to get Just Gene’O back on its feet.
- Change the theme to be more reflective of my personality, incorporate real menus and make it easier to navigate the “Collected Works” pages.
- Look at my content – particularly what I posted here in June and the early part of this month – and develop a more coherent and appealing content plan.
- Figure out how often I can post and get myself prepared to stick to it. If that means once a week, that’s what I can do. This blog can survive until spring with once-a-week posting, especially if I get a little more savvy about sharing links to appropriate places.
- Change all references to The Writing Catalog to Just Gene’O on my social media. This should have already been done.
In short, I need to re-imagine this blog the way you re-imagine a story that isn’t working. I need to keep the best parts but turn it into something different.
Here are a few ideas I’m toying with.
- Setting it up to display a static front page rather than the most recent posts.
- Making it solely a weekend blog for awhile, and arranging my schedule to post here on either Saturday or Sunday, or
- Since it’s somewhat-focused on reading, writing, and books, moving the Top Ten Tuesday feature over here and letting that be the weekly post, aside from occasional personal things and writing chatter.
That last idea makes sense for several reasons:
- Sourcerer rarely has a shortage of content on Tuesdays.
- Tuesday, organically, seems to be the best day of the week to post.
- The Top Ten Tuesdays allow me to list a link at the Broke and the Bookish. This is helpful to Sourcerer, but I’m wondering if it might be even more helpful, long-term, here.
Just thinking on these things. I figured since I had to write all this down to get it straight in my head, I might as well do it here instead of in a notebook. That way, anyone who cares about the nuts-and-bolts of blogging can follow along with this process.