After blogging for awhile, you may find yourself looking to broaden your topics or pare down to focus on only a few subjects. Maybe you are feeling burned out in your niche, but also know you still have valuable things to say on other subjects. Although there is nothing wrong with shifting the direction of your blog, it’s important the transition isn’t disruptive if you desire to keep your current readers engaged.
Once you’ve established a reader base, you should always remind yourself that they found you to help them solve a problem, and they continue to read for a reason. The topic you are writing about is essential to your reader. To take it a step further, while you are far along on your journey, a new reader may be just beginning theirs. Finding your archives is like winning the lotto to a newbie.
So how do you balance meeting the needs of your audience with your desire to shift your blog content? The decision begins with asking yourself several questions.
If you are considering shifting blog directions begin by asking these questions:
- Why do I want to add/delete content subjects?
- What are my blogging pain points?
- Will I ever want to focus on these subjects again?
- Do I want to continue to serve my current audience or am I looking for a new one?
- How will the content change help my core reader?
Take time to reflect on why you want to make a change. You will get clear on the direction your blog should take and whether or not a shift will help you accomplish your goals.
By answering these questions, you may realize your motivation to shift blogging directions is more about wanting to follow a trend or achieving a short-term gain. These motivations may not be best in the long run for your current blog readers and overall brand.
It can be tempting to repeat a “trick” or method a fellow blogger has completed successfully in order to increase blog readers, but if you aren’t attracting the right readers this won’t be helpful long-term. You could also discover what you really want is an updated website.
Check out Principles Over Hacks: Why Short Cuts Often Lead to Failure for more on short-term vs. long-term blogging metrics.
I love this post from Rebecca Livermore who sums it up best, “And the bottom line is that if you’ve lost hope when it comes to your blog for whatever reason, it may be time to change the direction of your blog. Or it may not be. “
If you’ve determined a blogging shift is the best thing for you there are several ways you can implement the change. Some are more extreme than others. There isn’t a timeline requirement for a blogging shift, so take it slow and be intentional with each decision.
Ideas for Shifting Blog Content Focus:
Add a Page
This might seem simple, but depending on your blog template, your blog niche, or even your website URL, it might not be as easy as it seems. Still, if you determine that keeping your blog intact is the best move forward, consider these steps to get going.
- Write a blog post announcing the shift and why you are making it. (I love this example from Tsh Oxenreider.)
- Change or update your blog template to accommodate the change.
- Update your blog description and About Me sections to include all the subjects your blog will focus on moving forward.
Rebrand Your Blog
This version is more labor intensive, but rebranding is necessary at times, and you may find that it’s the best move for long-term viability. Consider changing the name of your brand to your name. Many authors find that once they publish a book, it’s easier to have a website with their name and separate pages for each book they publish. As a brand expands by adding a podcast or merchandise to sell, this format offers flexibility. Additionally, people searching for your website via Google will do so quickly with a name search.
As a side note, if you haven’t established a website yet consider if it is possible to use a broad term with an even more general description if you have long-term plans for brand expansion.
Create a Second Website
This is probably the most complicated solution, but in some scenarios, it might be the best choice. For example, if you have a niche blog for a small business and want to expand to also have a blog about parenting or an entirely different hobby than your business, having two separate spaces is best.
This may double your audience with little overlap, or you may find that readers follow you from one space to the other. Either way, keep business business and personal personal.
What is the Next Step?
Regardless of if, when, or how you shift your blogging content it’s important to take your time and make informed strategic decisions. If you decide you need a website facelift we suggest a Growth Driven Design approach for the best real-time analytics. Most importantly, remember, there is no timeline for a blogging shift, so take your time.
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