Inspired by a couple of blog posts I saw on my WordPress Reader this morning, I’ve decided to write today about my experience so far as a blogger. When I first began blogging, I was writing about literally whatever came to mind. I wrote sporadically and on topics that ranged from food to self-image and everything in between. I had no direction, but that I wanted to share my thoughts and use my blog as a creative outlet. I didn’t really take my blog seriously.
Over the holiday break this year, I decided I wanted to start taking my blogging more seriously. I gave my blog a proper name and a real theme, and began researching how to effectively blog. While before I’d written for me, about what I wanted to write and for whomever would read, all of the literature I read on blogging suggested that I write for an audience, a niche of people, and that I write about things that my “audience” would benefit from. I felt as if I were being taken back to my marketing 101 class. I felt confused. I didn’t want people to not read my blog because it was a confused conglomeration of my stream-of-consciousness ramblings, but I also didn’t want to operate my blog like a business. I didn’t want to make a decision about what I’d write about.
By blogging daily, which I have been since around Christmas, I think I have finally reconciled the two. I’ve found that blogging is about me, and about my unique experiences. I’m not going to change those for anyone, not for specific people or for a target audience. I’ve found that blogging is less about developing a target audience and more about developing a voice; your target audience will soon become those that enjoy your voice and thus what you have to say. My readership, based on self-report, has consisted of older adults, my peers, men, women, those that go to Penn with me and those from back home, along with a slew of others from around the world.
I’ve found that when you write honestly, people listen. Writing is powerful, and it’s exciting to move forward with this blog and see where it takes me as I incorporate my experiences into it. I thank all of my readers for listening to what I have to say and I hope to keep producing content that makes you happy, intrigues you, makes you think, or even makes you disagree. But at the end of the day, all of these blog posts are for me, not anyone else, least of all Gretchen Weiners.