Blog Identity Crisis

Fast away the old year passes…and suddenly it’s January 2017, the start of the 10th year of Out and About with the GeoKs. No doubt this would be big news (broadcast, shared, pinned and liked everywhere) if it wasn’t for the fact that there’s a nation-wide party underway to celebrate Canada’s 150th! 😉

Celebration Fireworks

Reaching a milestone is cause for both celebration and assessment. Reflecting on Out and About with the GeoKs is a bit like looking in a fun house mirror…I’m not quite sure what I’m seeing!

Thanks to the many topics I’ve introduced over the years, the very nature of Out and About with the GeoKs is confusing. There’s no continuity from one post to the next except for the fact they’re all written by me! Plus I’ve completely ignored the number one piece of advice that blogging experts freely share with anyone wanting to build a successful blog: choose your topic carefully and stay on that one topic!

With categories ranging from gardening to book reviews, photography to snowshoeing and Lego to hiking, it’s not much of an exaggeration to state this blog has an identity crisis!

What to do?

For almost a year now, I’ve been thinking about whether to delete some of the oldest posts, whether to move some posts to a different blog, whether to start over with a self-hosted site or make some other kind of big change.

I even exported copies of some posts to a new blogging account to try to get a feel for how much time it would take to to give some categories a new home (short answer = more than I’m willing to invest).

So, I’m going to…

Keep calm and blog on

If Out and About with the GeoKs was a money-making venture, growing our subscriber base to increase page views and generate ad and affiliate revenue might persuade me to get really focused. But it’s not. In fact, even though we’re using the “free” account option at WordPress, we get a bill every year for the extra storage space required by all the photos we’ve posted.

Also, we are not a single interest family. Even if we kind of were for a while (those years we went after 1000+ geocaches/yr come to mind), our interests have changed (and will likely to continue to change) over time.

Plus, as people (including me) increasingly rely on social media channels for news and information, it’s easy to curate a personal feed that’s so tailored to our specific interests that we immerse ourselves in self-reinforcing information loops. I like to think a more eclectic blog just might introduce something new to someone’s otherwise closed media feed.

So I’ll continue to ignore the advice from blogging experts and will write new content across multiple categories.

But…

I have revised our About page to more clearly explain the kinds of posts readers can expect.

And I’m thinking through how best to organize things better. For example, I’d like to create a few new pages to orient readers, such as a summary of the hikes we’ve done organized by location or finding a way to group the travel posts by country. Watch for these and other tweaks in the coming weeks.

In addition, just as horticultural pruning is essential for healthy, thriving trees and shrubs, I think some pruning of the fringe posts from this blog is in order. I’ve set up a new (currently private) blog that will adopt those way-outside-the-lines entries (adventures in film photography and making cloth gift bags, for example). The new blog will also be the outlet for my burgeoning interest in the role of arts and creativity in healthy aging. I’ll post an introduction to the new blog here once it’s ready for visitors.

Finally, I’d welcome your suggestions for how to make Out and About with the GeoKs more visitor friendly, so please share your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment. Thanks!

This post is part of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa.

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2 thoughts on “Blog Identity Crisis

  1. Honestly the only thing I would ever suggest is … if you are paying for extra storage, think about getting your full domain name (say thegeoKs.com, or .ca) and then going to a self-hosting server. Many more options. And if you pick the right one (if you ever go this path … e-mail me, this new host I am with is awesome), the new host will move everything for you.

    I like how your blog bounces around. Always something interesting to read!

    Like

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