How am I blogging ?
I’ve now been blogging for about four months and am keen to get some feedback on what you all think of my site. Let me first of all tell you a little about what I tried to do when I started out and my current thoughts.
I’m new to this blogging lark but did quite a bit of research looking at other blogs and themes to get a good feel for what others do and what might work for me. There were a couple of key factors that influenced my decisions:
- I wanted to have a blog that is a hybrid of crossover between a personal blog and a website. I liked the look and feel of the Triton Lite theme, with a strong focus on photos to illustrate posts on different topics, as opposed to something like Twenty Ten that lists posts in chonological order. In other words, on a ’structure versus freeform’ axis I felt a more structured site is easier to navigate than the ‘stream of consciousness’ variety; and
- Since there’s a connection between many of my interests and hobbies – ie exploring Scotland’s wild places by foot, kayak and camper van – I felt it was best to have a single blog that covered these related topics.
So, after four months of blogging, what’s actually happened ?
- I haven’t made any major changes to the site at all since I started and it seems to be able to accommodate everything I want to do with it;
- the number of views of my site have steadily increased as I’ve added more posts. I’m now getting over 1000 views a month and have clocked up views from 75 countries (largely the UK and US). I’m now up to 17 followers;
- the most popular posts seem to be about VW camper vans, followed by Top 10 Scotland and finally, my walking and kayaking exploits (although to be fair, I haven’t been kayaking at all and have only written about walking a few times over the last four months – expect to see many more posts on these topics once Spring and Summer arrive). Interestingly, my recent half marathon post has generated interest from what is quite clearly an active running community on WordPress;
- while I’ve had a number of comments in total, feedback has been less than I’d expected. Perhaps this is due to the style of the hybrid site (ie a focus on articles rather than personal observations and thoughts) or perhaps my writing style ? If possible I’d like to make changes to generate more interaction.
This leads me to review what I’m currently doing and what changes I could make. In particular:
- Should I stick with one site with multiple (but related) themes, or split the topics into different blogs ? The advice from experts seems to be mixed, suggesting that the former might generate more crossover traffic while the latter stands a better chance of generating close followers who share similar niche interests. If I were to split the site into two blogs I guess the main option would be to leave the Scottish posts on the WildaboutScotland.com site and create a new blog on VW camper vans.
- Does this theme (Triton Lite) work for you or would a different theme be better ? I’m interested in any alternative views since my current thinking is that I really like it. I suppose some people might find it a bit ‘different’ to conventional blogs so I’m not sure to what extent this might be off-putting. Are there other design changes that might improve the site ?
- How could I stimulate more feedback and discussion on posts ? Is this down to the look and feel of the site (the theme) or my focus on ‘articles’ rather than personal reflections ? What’s worked for you in generating more feedback ?
I’d really value any thoughts on these questions – or any other things you’d like to comment on. In particular, I’m interested to get some specific feedback on what you think the focus of the site should be.