Honing your blogging content

About a year or so into my blogging career I began floundering a bit, not really sure of the direction I was going with this space or having a true understanding of how I could improve metrics such as traffic, comments, my Alexa ranking, etc.

At that time I was fortunate to meet someone online who I bonded with immediately.

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Honing in on Your Blog Content

We became fast friends, but our relationship eventually represented something of an astronomic being. Like a star, it shined bright and then burned out quickly. It was an amazing experience and I sometimes look for that star missing in the constellation that symbolizes my blogging life.

What remains are the ghost whispers of a mantra from my first blogging guru: “find your tree” a key tenet that has guided me ever since.

The content of your blog is represented by a tree. The base of your tree is the thing you are most passionate about, it is the topic that all your posts should tie back to. Every post should have a branch that “stems” from the trunk. This will allow you to “root” your blog to a place where people gather and know what to expect when they do.

My Blogging Tree
A VERY rudimentary illustration of my blogging tree.

For every decision I make about my blog I think about how it is tied back to travel. Even if it doesn't seem obvious to you at first, there are many ways of harvesting your content to fit your trunk. As I was recently explaining this to a few people in Momcomm's Content Brew group, I have a series called J'adore which I typically publish on Mondays.

Oftentimes the items that I share have nothing to do with travel, they are just things I have spotted that I like. But each time I write the post I frame it with something like “things I have spotted while traveling the interwebs…” I bring virtual travel into it.

It is very subtle, but it works. This is obviously not going to work for everything…and guess what? That is where you draw the line. If you can't make it tie to your trunk, you don't do it (or at least not very often!).

Since defining the trunk of my tree [travel] and sticking to it, writing had become even easier for me.

Just a little tip that has helped me immensely that I am passing on to you.

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  1. Excellent advice. I’ve never seen the tree used as a representation, but it’s so ideal! A nice reminder to keep it all connected

  2. This was so nicely put, but I don’t know if I should feel positive about what *could be* or putting the nail in my coffin with the blog. I need to take a breather. I am a little fragile about blogging (and tweeting). I passed this post along with the hope that it helps someone out there.

    1. @Brainy, it is overwhelming when you first start out, more great advice I got when I was first starting out was “YOU own your blog” don’t feel dictated by anyone, in the end its yours and you do with it what you want!

  3. This is a really good instructional. I think my blog tends to be consistent, but when put this way, I’m not so sure. I’ll have to make a tree for myself.

  4. Love this post! I think that’s something I try to do with all of my posts, but I’ve never been been able to articulate it so well.

  5. Even though I’ve commented here before, this post draws me with it’s brilliant simplicity. I”m spending some time today focusing on my writing and blogging!

  6. I am working on planning my blog content for 2013, and I have never seen an analogy quite like your tree method. In my head i am worried that others will get sick of my main topics BUT… I DO realize that we all get sick of our own messages before others do. Thank you for the reminder!

  7. I am looking to restart my blog and this has been so helpful. I now realize that I am not all about paper crafts but about helping people connect to one another. This opens up a lot of possible topics for me to write about while having a unifying theme. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. What a great idea. I’m slowly trying to use more of my right brain (instead of my default left brain).