Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: Reevaluating and rethinking my approach to blogging

Finding a new approach to bloggingIt’s January, so like millions of other Americans, I have all sorts of ideas in my head about things I need to organize. My need to de-clutter kicks into overdrive every year when I’m putting away the Christmas decorations. (Which I haven’t actually started yet, by the way. But I haven’t even been home for a full week yet, so I think that excuses me. For now.)

My desire to organize and rearrange spills over into the digital realm. I need to clean out files I don’t need anymore, because my poor iMac is choking and needs more space. (Anyone else notice that it’s way harder to organize virtual file folders than it is to clean out a junk drawer? Or is it just me?)

And, I feel the itch to reevaluate — and redesign — this blog. During 2012, this blog grew by leaps and bounds, a dramatic jump up from the year before. But then, throughout 2013, traffic remained exactly the same as 2012, almost to the digit. Sure, I maintained the growth this blog saw in 2012, but I feel like I didn’t really build on it throughout 2013. So that’s kind of discouraging — to get to the end of the year and look back and realize this blog didn’t reach the kind of growth I wanted it to.

Interestingly, though, engagement across social media skyrocketed during that time — with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook chatter climbing up the charts. I think a lot of that has to do with how we spend our time online these days. Blogs are evolving as the internet becomes more and more saturated with content, and I am constantly trying to figure out what the “it” factor is that makes some blogs really take off while others remain stagnant.

So, in addition to doing a little visual spruce up in the coming weeks, I’m thinking hard about how I’m going to approach this blog and its content in 2014. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve been blogging since 2004 and couldn’t imagine NOT doing this. But I want to set some big, yet realistic, goals for Oaxacaborn in 2014.

I’m just not sure yet what they are.

What do you love most about this blog? What do you want more of? What types of posts could you do without? I’m all ears!


INSPIRATION :: How Holly Becker’s Post “Trends + Exclusive Content” is Changing the Way I Blog

How Holly Becker's Post on Trends + Exclusive Content is Changing the Way I Blog

This post by Holly Becker of decor8 has absolutely re-energized the way I look at blogging.

Too often lately, I’ve had a misplaced sense of pressure to produce 100% original content for this space. I’ve pulled back from sharing the incredible creativity of others, because of the incorrect notion that I’d be perceived as a copycat for showing you something amazing someone else has already made (despite the fact it would be attributed to the original source, credited, and linked).

Holly writes, “Some blogs only accept exclusive content. Other blogs won’t share what another blogger posted no matter how much they loved it because they are scared to upset someone or appear like a copycat. I’ve been teaching blogging classes online and workshops for over 4 years and most of my students are terrified to blog about something if another blogger already covered it. This can ultimately lead to the death of blogs as influencers and early adopters. Really gang. While I’m all for columns, exclusive stuff, taking your own photos, etc. I think balance and caution is needed.

How can we influence something or adopt it if we fear writing about it because another blogger already covered it?  How can we discuss trends if no one has images to share supporting those discussions unless they take these images themselves – and because they don’t have the images they clam up?…If we all become fearful or run our blogs like they are magazines where only exclusive content is featured and we refuse to share something another blogger covered, what will that mean for blogging?”

To me, what Holly says is even more impactful and powerful because she’s an incredibly creative individual who has loads of original content to her name. I mean, she’s the author of two books (both of which are in my living room at this very moment) and has a terrific blog with an active and engaged community of readers.

If you blog, or are any other sort of content creator, I highly urge you to read the entire article, as well as her responses in the comments section.  It will challenge you and free you, I think.

As for me, I’m done being scared to blog about a trend, a photograph, a brand, or another creative just because a big-name blogger has already pinned it to Pinterest. This space should be where I can share what I love, without fear.

I have a feeling you might be seeing a lot more of inspiration here in the coming weeks.