HAPPY 2 YEAR BLOG-IVERSARY TO MEEEE!! Wow, just wow. I simply can't believe it's been 2 years since I started my blog. As I celebrate this milestone, I really want to take some time to reflect on my journey and how I've been able to fuse together my various interests into a cohesive yet multi-dimensional lifestyle blog.
I started blogging to give myself an outlet to share my multiple interests, hobbies, and adventures with others in hopes that I would inspire them. I've always been a person who enjoys trying new things and I have always been good at many different things. For example, I enjoy making things with my hands, I love home decor and I'm very creative. I also love to travel, cook, and I have raw talent for photography. On the surface, one might wonder what any of these things have in common.
It took me about 5 years to start my blog because I really didn't know how I could blog about this seemingly random set of interests to an audience - that definitely drove me to "blogger paralysis" and kept me from starting my blog. However, I soon realized that my interests aren't as disconnected as I'd thought. At the core I realized that I was an adventurer, and my interests were part of my life's adventures. For example, I just remodeled my entire kitchen, which is something I've never done before because I'm a first time homeowner - can you say ADVENTURE!? Babbyyy painting cabinets for the first time was definitely an adventure, hoping that I wouldn't mess them up! So is me traveling solo, as is trying out ax throwing for the first time and hoping to come home with all my limbs. Life is an adventure and I fully embrace it. Am I fearless when I try something new? By no means, but that's part of the adventure - trying it anyway, and hoping that facing your fears would inspire someone to do so as well.
If you are a blogger who likes multiple things, let me encourage you to not be afraid to find a way to connect them with a common theme. In the blogosphere, you hear a lot that you should only blog about one thing (e.g. makeup, fashion, travel or family) in order to be successful. I don't necessarily agree. I think the things you discuss depend on the goal and intent of your blog in the first place. If you love fashion and your goal is to inspire creativity with clothing, then by all means, be a fashion blogger. My blog is a reflection of me and my life. My brand is essentially who I am - someone who loves adventure. So that's what I blog about, and I'm ok with the fact that that might manifest in various forms.
However, in being a multipontentialite (i.e. someone with more than one interest - a fancy word I learned from a TED Talk) doesn't mean your blog content has to be haphazard or confusing to your audience.
So how do you pull together various seemingly different interests? Based on my learnings over these 2 years, I'll share with you a few tips that have helped me channel my multiple interests into a cohesive storyline.
1. Decide on a small set of interests (up to 3) that you are passionate about, and commit to making those the topics you discuss regularly.
You can't talk about 5 million topics and you likely don't have the time to. So start with the top 3 things you are most interested in. These should be topics for which you can generate great and engaging content. It's important that these are topics that you are passionate about because readers/followers can tell. It's also easier to blog when it's fueled by genuine interest. Part of what makes my blog successful is that my content is a reflection of my authentic self and I write about topics that excite me. You want that excitement to show through your content.
2. Find the theme or common thread that connects these interests.
Find a theme or "thread" that connects your multiple interests and ladders them up to one main thing that will underlie the content that you provide. This is what we call in business your "value proposition." Meaning, this is what you will be known for among your readers/followers. Living Life to the T's value proposition is all about finding joy and adventure in everyday life, and inspiring others to do the same. So my audience can expect to get a front seat to all the adventures I go on, big or small. To figure out your theme, ask yourself, what do my interest have in common and how could I organize them? Maybe you are a nurse who is passionate about eating right, exercise and faith - then a possible value proposition could be that you promote whole person health - mind, body and spirit. Remember, your content is bigger than the smaller topics you discuss, but rather the overall message or theme that you consistently discuss and is at the core of your content.
3. Develop a calendar to help organize the various topics you discuss.
You have to get organized (I'm telling this to myself too!). A great way to help your followers process your various topics is to devise a calendar of when you will discuss which interest. For example, Mondays and Wednesdays you can discuss eating right and exercise, and on Fridays you can discuss faith. But it doesn't have to be that stringent. Maybe you commit to taking about one of those each week, or you dedicate one month to exercise and the next to eating right etc. However you choose to organize your topics, just find a way to balance your topics because it can be easy to talk about one way too much and another way too little. But if you remember to focus on your common thread or theme, you should be fine.
4. Stay true to your brand and value proposition
Once you've decided on the topics you'll regularly discuss, stick to them and be consistent with it. Don't veer off to a topic that is not connected to main blog theme. You can't discuss every topic under the sun (which can be challenging for lifestyle bloggers), but you can discuss topics that connect with and reinforce your brand proposition. At the end of the day, your blog represents a brand and you have to build that brand. You do so by consistently staying true to who you say you are to your audience. And if people follow you because they love your perspective on whole person health (to use the example above), then that's how they expect to connect with you. It's easier for followers to engage with you when they consider you an "expert" on a particular set of topics - it's because they are used to being on that journey with you. Don't try to be everything to everyone - just be you. I encourage you to go deeper into your theme and get creative with it. It's not hard to be creative with something that you're passionate about!
These 2 years have been a learning experience for sure. I might not have all the answers, but these small tidbits are things that I've learned along the way. Blogging is so much more fun when you talk about the things you love. And honestly, that's what keeps me going. I've learned that once I focus on connecting my experiences with a common theme, getting organized and staying true to my brand, it's easy to connect with and inspire people.
Here's to more years of adventure!