Almost four years ago, The Life of a Thinker was a lifestyle blog in dire need of improvement. I entered the community with big misconceptions about success and statistics, and presumed that any excerpt from my life would be of interest – including a post professing my love of cookies.
Of course, my blog has changed a lot since then, as I fell into a blogging schedule where I would talk about music, writing and my life. In particular, The Friday Article emerged, which at the time was a series where I wrote mock news reports about myself. Whilst it helped me practice my journalism skills, it soon became awfully narcissistic and changed into genuine opinion and journalism.
This brings me on to the recent editing of the blogging schedule. A blog which was initially an online diary for myself soon became the journalism portfolio I wanted it to be. It was a battle between personality and professionalism, and the latter won.
Now, as I look at my blog, I realise that my shift towards journalism has restrained my personality. My opinion still remains on my blog, but it’s presented in the form of reviews and opinion pieces. Weekly Updates were my one opportunity on my blog to present my life without any formal writing structures. This no longer exists on my blog, since nothing worth mentioning has come up yet.
However, it’s the lack of these posts which puts my blog at a disadvantage. Obviously, people will still read my posts if they look for it, but those who see me engage in Twitter chats will know that I stick out like a sore thumb when it comes to The Life of a Thinker. Aside from the clear fact that I am one of the few male bloggers within the community, I am separate from the majority who see blogging as a hobby. I am on a different wavelength to other bloggers, for I write in a more journalistic style.
Yet, as I said, the audience still comes – eventually. I would like to thank everyone who has read and shared my recent post on deaf awareness and Deaf culture. Before I started my journalism course in September last year, I was fearful of feature writing and opinion pieces. I clearly had opinions and were vocal about them, but whilst news reporting follows a very simplistic and repetitive pyramid structure, opinion pieces were a completely different style of journalism to me. Now, I have to say it’s one of my favourite writing styles and one I think I’m definitely getting better at.
I’ve learned so many lessons from blogging over the four years, and listening to your audience is certainly one of them. I’ve heard other bloggers talk about writing for yourself – which, in the most part, is very true – but sometimes what your readers want could be something which can help you improve your blog for the better.
This was certainly the case for my deaf awareness post. In the week before, I asked everyone on Twitter what they wanted to see as The Friday Article for that week – another opinion piece on the latest political news post-Brexit, or something completely different. Whilst a vote for a political post was the most popular, and what I went with in the end, I couldn’t ignore the fact that a readers were fed up of all the Brexit negativity. So this week, I posted something different and the response to the post has been incredible – thank you.
On a final, different note, voting for the Bloggers Blog Awards is now open. It should be interesting to see who gets nominated, and I would love for some of you to vote for me in the Best Lifestyle Blog or Best Blogging Pro categories. Any vote would be much appreciated and you can vote for your favourite bloggers here.
Who are you voting for in the Bloggers Blog Awards? Do you relate to what I said about balancing personality and professionalism? Comment below!