Thursday, December 3, 2009

Feed The Beast?

The internet abounds with informative and educational articles on how to keep your blog fresh and growing.
"Create a blog on a topic about which you have a passion or interest". I can get on board with that. It runs along the same lines as the axiom "Write what you know".

"Set aside time each day to write your posts".
"Take your blog seriously".
"Provide helpful information".
"Take pride in your work".
All good suggestions.

"Controversy sells". Whether I like this one or not, it's a fact. People like to have their opinions heard and when debate is encouraged on a blog, commenters will flock to have an opportunity to express themselves. (You guys are my favorites, you know...)

But what happens when you start writing to your audience? As a blog cultivates an audience, the blogger is often faced with the challenge of staying true to themselves or writing to please their "following". Is "the customer always right" in this case? Should bloggers tailor their writing to the tastes of the readership or risk falling into obscurity by writing for themselves alone?
It's all a matter of degree of course, but I'm interested in your opinions, both from my fellow bloggers as well as my loyal readers.


Something Different said...

I think my blog caters a lot to my readers. I don't think that's what I intended when I started it a year ago, but I have been loving it, so I won't complain. :-)

Leora said...

You have to strike a balance between what you like to write about and your audience. If your audience isn't responding to any of your topics, you need a different audience. If your audience is responding to some, then you can concentrate on those topics. And figure out ways to get an audience for the others.

I'm bad at controversy.

ProfK said...

What draws your readers to you is the "you" that shows up in the postings. If readers choose to agree or disagree with what you write, fine. It can lead to some lively discussion. But the focus should remain on you and what you want to write. Trying to constantly write in someone else's voice doesn't let your voice out. My feeling is that if readers want to read only those items that fit 100% into what they believe or feel like reading on any given day, let them start a blog and write their own postings.

G6 said...

ProfK -
I totally agree with your standing regarding the importance speaking in your own voice.
The blog post also questions what motivates the "track" a blog takes.
There's always a temptation to focus more on the topics that one knows are more "commercial" as opposed to what might interest the blogger.
I suppose it depends on what the blogger's goals for the blog is as well.