To what extent is your blog a place for your own self-expression and creativity vs. a site designed to attract readers? How do you balance that? If sticking to certain topics and types of posts meant your readership would triple, would you do it?
In my blog, I usually attempt to address the Daily Prompt, for better or worse. I like to write and the Daily Prompt challenges me to write to something external and so I do. Sometimes my writing pleases me, and also my readers. Sometimes I’m not too thrilled with my efforts, but my readers seem to like what I’ve written. And there are days when nobody is too happy with what is in my blog when I’ve made a colossal mess of the Daily Prompt. But usually, I can make a half-way decent stab at a blog post of the prompt. So the prompts are a good thing for me. I know for many people, they are just another “block.” Other bloggers have told me that they just can’t seem to use them to write. Most times, I find that they give me a way to start writing and are therefore good for me. I like the Daily Prompts, for the most part. Sometimes, they are beyond me and then, if they really do nothing for me ( a rare occurrence), I do skip them rather than write a real non-starter. These are usually prompts that ask for a playlist (I don’t listen to a lot of music except top 40 in my car and classical at home; I don’t think WP wants a list of classical pieces); a list of movies or movies lines (I don’t see a lot of movies and I certainly don’t memorize movie lines, except for a very few); and I don’t do science fiction or fantasy (not my genre). But almost anything else is fair game. Oh! I also don’t go back and revisit my prompts and rewrite them or repost them or critique them. It takes too long and for what? So “original” prompts, given these caveats, I write.
The other blog posts I write are book reviews of books I’ve read for my book challenge. I have set a challenge for myself to read 150 books for this year. So far, I have read about 60 books for the book challenge. Each time I finish I book, I write a review of the book for my blog. These posts usually run to about 700-1000 words. I give a synopsis of the book with its characters and the plot, and I try not to give away the ending, especially if it is a mystery. I read quite a few mysteries, since that is my favorite genre. I decided to write book reviews as a way to bring closure to reading a book and a way to say to my readers, “There. I’ve finished a book for the book challenge. I’m closer to my goal. Now let me share with you what this wonderful book was about.” And most of the books I read really are wonderful. There are some that I have had to slog through, but I actually persevere and get through them and write the review. I tell my readers that I had a difficult time of it and why. I also tell them when I loved a book and why it was wonderful. I include a picture of the book cover (even though I read the book on my Kindle Fire™) so people can get a “feel” for the book. I see the cover of the book on my Kindle, and like that very much. My readers seem to like my book reviews. I get good feedback from readers about the reviews. So even though i write them as closure for myself, my readers seem to get something out of them, too, so I’ll continue to write them.
I don’t know if I have the creativity or drive to come up with topics to write other piece for my blog. I suppose I could do pieces on current events or topics that interest me, but the Daily Prompts and my book reviews serve me very well. If there was something else that readers wanted me to address, I might try that as well. But for the moment, I’ll stick with what I know.