Social Media Sunday – Honing your blogging content

Social Media Sunday on Misadventures with AndiAbout 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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We became fast friends, but our relationship eventually represented something of a 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 remain is 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 a be 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 Iwas recently explaining this to a few people in Momcomm’s Content Brew group (I highly recommend this course!), 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.

20 Comments

  1. Walker Thornton
    September 30, 2012

    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

    Reply
    1. Andi
      October 1, 2012

      @Walker, thanks!

      Reply
  2. Brainy Pint Sizer
    September 30, 2012

    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.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      October 1, 2012

      @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!

      Reply
  3. Lady Jennie
    October 1, 2012

    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.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      October 1, 2012

      @Jennie, I am glad you found it useful!

      Reply
  4. Susan
    October 6, 2012

    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.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      October 7, 2012

      @Susan, so glad you liked it!

      Reply
  5. Walker Thornton
    November 17, 2012

    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!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      November 30, 2012

      @Walker, hope you had a productive time!

      Reply
  6. Jenn Chisholm
    November 24, 2012

    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!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      November 29, 2012

      @Jenn, I think your branches can go from here to infinity so people won’t get bored!

      Reply
  7. The Nomad
    January 30, 2013

    I’m all over the place. Good ideas. Thanks for the organizational motivation

    Reply
  8. Katie @ Domestiphobia.net
    January 2, 2014

    Wow, clarity! After three years, I still need a trunk. :/

    Reply
  9. Katie B
    January 30, 2014

    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.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      January 30, 2014

      @Katie, I am so glad I could inspire you a little bit!

      Reply
  10. Tabitha
    February 1, 2014

    Great advice and so practical. This is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you! -Tabitha

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 1, 2014

      @Tabitha, glad I could help!

      Reply
  11. Raki (Outside the Box Mom)
    February 20, 2014

    What a great idea. I’m terrible at drawing, so I found this free tree printable: http://d33y93cfm0wb4z.cloudfront.net/Lauren/Printables/Apple%20Tree%20Template.jpg
    Thanks for sharing this idea. I’m slowly trying to use more of my right brain (instead of my default left brain).
    Raki

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      February 20, 2014

      @Raki, I LOVE the tree printable, it is PERFECT!

      Reply

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