A few weeks ago, I opened the un-approved comments section of my site to find one that literally just read: “go kill yourself”. And screw you, Jon– if that’s really your real name- because I can’t believe I’m even still thinking about this. And I’m sorry to all of you, because what a sad way to start a blog post! However, this particularly trolling comment brings me rather nicely to a topic I’ve wanted to speak about for the longest time: your blog can’t be everything to everyone.
You’re allowed to have an opinion…
And when you have an opinion, it’s just that: an opinion. People can agree with you, but they can also disagree with you. Obviously, this automatically means that your blog can’t be everything to everyone. If you blog about fashion, you’re allowed to say you don’t like that dress.If you blog about blogging, you’re allowed to say you don’t like or use a certain tool that everyone else seems to be raving about. You get what I’m trying to say.
It’s okay. Have your opinion, blog about your opinion and just be yourself. People who are your ideal reader will appreciate this. After all, no one likes inauthenticity, and people of the internet can tell if something is fake from a mile away!
If you try to cater to everyone, you’ll end up catering to nobody…
Here’s a thought: stop trying to cater to everyone. Instead, think about what you’re particularly passionate about. Imagine what your ideal reader would want to read (it helps if you also try to picture your ideal reader in your mind) and write for them. This way, you’ll attract a loyal audience by catering to specific passions rather than being all over the place.
If we think about this another way, I’m sure you’ve been into clothing stores where their brand is all over the place. (Oh, that’s another thing: start thinking of your blog as a brand- but that’s a post for another day). You walk in, and you have no idea who the ideal customer for the store is meant to be! Are they older or younger? Do they love contemporary fashion or vintage styles? I mean, who is this store trying to target! In trying to target literally everyone, the clothing store is basically targeting no one.
Well, think of your blog a little bit like the clothing store. You don’t want people to land on your website and be confused! Have your opinion, write about your passions and make sure your reader knows what they are too. A blog is a personal space… so make sure to be yourself. I’m not necessarily saying you should have a ‘niche’. Instead, focus on writing things that you’re passionate about. Things that make you feel alive.
Write about what you’re passionate about
If you are particularly passionate about fly fishing in Alaska, I can guarantee that there are dozens of other people who are too. And the funny thing about the internet (as well as Google search) is that it has a way of bringing people with similar interests together.
Write about what you’re passionate about rather than worrying about your blog being something to everyone. Because, whatever you do, make sure you craft everything you write with passion. There will be times when you want to give up and throw your blog out the (metaphorical) window.
And there will be times when you think that writing on your site seems pointless (read: much more often than you would ever have anticipated). During these periods, it’s important to blog about something you’re passionate about. If you love model train sets, write about them. If you love Global Politics, blog about that. What I’m saying is: blog with passion or not at all.
Finally: there will always be people who hate everything you do…
And that’s also okay. After all, it says much more about them than it does about you.