It’s been three years since I started this blog and I thought it was time to show it a bit more love. I’ve changed the header and the colour scheme…. what do you think of the green, too dark, too green? I might play a bit more with that.
I’ve also added a new page on the books I’ve been reading and completely redesigned the much neglected recipes page. I’ve even rewritten the about page to reflect what my blog has become.
In the process of making these changes I got thinking about blogging in general. Why do I blog, what do I want to get out of it, what makes a good blog? I’m not sure I have all the answers to these questions but I certainly have some thoughts on them.
Why do I blog? I started because of a desperate need to do something for me and something that took a little bit of intellectual energy when I was at home with one child and expecting the next. I enjoyed the creativity and the writing process and it added something to my day that wasn’t about children (though I do write about them). Blogging and the community of other bloggers that I discovered inspired me to do all sorts of things. I converted my entire garden to a vegetable patch after being inspired and educated by other bloggers, I started experimenting in the kitchen with things like ricotta and bread making. My views on parenting, feminism and politics were influenced by great blogs I discovered. I started to challenge myself to try new skills like crocheting. And I started to set goals, achieve them and even reflect on them. Blogging has enhanced my life in a lot of ways and I missed it when I was too busy juggling two little girls, the house and a demanding job.
What do I want to get out of blogging? Here’s the tricky question. Do I care about my ‘site stats’, do I want to hit a certain number of views, subscribers or followers or is it enough just to write it for me, for friends and family, for my kids when they’re older and for a smallish group of fellow bloggers or followers. To be honest I’m not sure. I’ll admit I love getting comments and knowing that people are reading it and think that what I have to say is somewhat interesting. So do I want to grow this? Maybe. How do I grow this?
What makes a good blog? This is an interesting and very subjective question. I think it firstly has to have some visual appeal, something that I’m working on improving. Then I think it needs some direction, something that ties it all together. I think this is where I really need to put in some work. The blogs I read the most are those that have a clear identity, perhaps they’re a cooking blog, a gardening blog, a kitchen garden blog combining the two, a blog of feminist ideas, a political blog, a book blog. I tend to do a bit of everything, which others do as well successfully, but to do that you need to have an over-arching identity or direction, a reason you’re delving into all these areas. Otherwise it can be just a little too random.
I’m hoping that by putting in a little extra effort and by reflecting on the reasons I like blogs and blogging I might find even greater enjoyment from it and in the process make it a better blog for readers as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
My comment is not working! And it was long and thoughtful and now I have to clean the kitchen and put my children to bed! Curse you cyber world!
Oh no, darn technology. Now I really want to read you long and thoughtful comment, especially as I’ve just sat down after cleaning my own kitchen. Hope the rest of your nights was less frustrating.
You are one of the most consistent bloggers I know. I go through ebbs and flows, but you can tell that you get so much enjoyment out of putting your thoughts down in writing. I was very glad to see you make the move to Ballarat – I hope the girls are enjoying the new community.
I have tried to keep it up, though I really did struggle last year. Most of my posts then were harvest monday posts – which I can’t wait to get back to, I just need to grow something so I can harvest it.
Our move has been wonderful so far, but I’m hoping it warms up soon.
God writing will keep me reading someone’s posts even if they’re away from my area of interest. And you’ve got the added bonus that you can write about whatever takes you’re fancy, unlike some of us who get blasted if we go ‘off topic!’
Yes, that definitely is a benefit of not stating a definite topic for my blog. Good writing it something I aim for, though often don’t think I quite achieve. I have a tendency to over-use certain words, I have to delete lots of ‘so…’ before I publish. I don’t even realise I’m using it half the time.
Good writing, even. :). And proof reading. :))
And here I was thinking you were comparing me to the Big Guy.
I think about this all the time as I don’t really have a niche either – I’m a little fashion, a little food and a little bit of the crap I’m doing week to week. I also feel very self absorbed posting pics of myself posing in outfits, but I love the little blogging community, the friends I’ve made around the world, the process and of course the thrill of a new comment! I don’t care about stats, or who reads, for now I treat it as more of a diary that I can share with my kids (if I’m ever lucky enough to have any). You have a lovely blog and I love a little variety in posts as it adds a realness to the read.
I love your blog and want to try just about every recipe you have on there (well the ones I’ve seen so far, I’ve gone back about a year I think). I really admire your fashion sense too, not all of it is something I could pull off, especially considering I’m at home with kids and usually smeared with vegemite! The colour and patterns is what I love, plus your shoes – oh how I wish I could wear some of those shoes. I’ll keep enjoying your regular updates.