Do you ever struggle with blog identity? I’m struggling now and could really use your help!
What is my blog all about? Where’s my focus?
Here’s the thing: I’m a big fan of the do whatever you want philosophy. That means blogging about whatever you want. And in my case, that means posts about:
That’s a lot of topics. Sometimes I look at my blog and think, what am I doing here?
If this was just a personal blog, I wouldn’t think or worry about it. But Nose Graze is both a personal blog and a marketing front for my business so I feel like I can’t just ignore this topic.
I look at other blogs and see focus.
Sometimes I look around at other peoples’ blogs and business websites. These people are freelancers, designers, developers, coaches, and inspirational people of awesome. Almost all of them have a clearly defined focus.
Their blog is about freelancing.
Their blog is about blogging.
Their blog is about design.
Their blog is about business and marketing.
See what I’m getting at? They have one clear topic that brings people to their site. And while I know you shouldn’t spend too much time comparing yourself, I compare my site to theirs. It feels all over the place.
I look at those other peoples’ sites and I’m envious of their big, clear, focused taglines. They say things like:
“I help creative people with big dreams jump-start their businesses.”
“I help bloggers turn their sites into profitable businesses.”
“I help freelancers save time by streamlining their processes.”
“I create amazing copy that will help you triple your income.”
What would mine look like? Maybe..
“I help book lovers and freelancers and creatives find great books to read and launch awesome WordPress-driven blogs that can eventually turn into businesses. Oh, and I post coding tips too.”
This lack of focus became painfully evident to me when I tried to write a tagline that described what Nose Graze is all about.
How much do you drive people away by having multiple blogging topics?
When I post book reviews, most of the freelancers and coding addicts who read my blog tune out.
When I post business posts, most of my bookish folks close the window.
And I’m not mad at any of you for doing that, because I TOTALLY GET IT. I’m interested in all those things, but most people probably aren’t.
I’m merging very different topics into one online space because I happen to love all those things. But how many people am I driving away because they’re only interested in ONE of those things and don’t want to be bombarded with the other?
I’m struggling between doing things FOR ME and focusing on MY BUSINESS.
All the business advice out there says to “niche down” and “find a focus” and “choosing a niche for your blog [is] truly the most important thing you’ll do for yourself, your blog, and your audience.”
My business would probably grow more if my blog was constantly writing to my ideal clients. But Nose Graze started as a “for me” kind of blog and I don’t want to let go of that. I don’t want to drop the topics that I love and care about, even if logic tells me I should. How big of a mistake am I making?
But then there’s also the problem that my ideal clients are two different markets. My pre-made products cater to hobbyist bloggers, but my custom services cater to designers and bloggers with bigger budgets. How can I market to two different groups?
Ashley: Expert brand butcherer.
Visually, I don’t have a brand.
Because I keep killing it.
And I’m about to kill it again.
Hi, my name is Ashley and I’m addicted to redesigning my website.
I last redesigned Nose Graze in March 2015 and I’m already looking at redesigning it again. It’s like I get this itch and it WON’T STOP ITCHING until I scratch it.
After the launch of my last redesign, I told myself that I would let myself redesign my website when I got that itch again, but when I did, I wouldn’t actually launch it. Instead, I’d release it as a new pre-made theme. I’d let myself scratch that itch by PRETENDING I was designing for me, but then I actually wouldn’t be. Well, that’s a pretty good idea, unless I completely ignore it. I redesigned Nose Graze last week and LOOOVED it so naturally I wanted it all for myself. So now I’m coding a new design all for me.
I don’t have a brand identity.
There’s nothing that makes Nose Graze recognizable because I change all the visual elements 1-2 times a year. As soon as my readers get used to something, I change it.
So, once again, how big of a mistake am I making?
I love redesigning my website because it’s fun and I fall in love with new designs and ideas. And again, if this were a personal blog, I’d say there’s nothing wrong with this. Redesign as much as you want—GO WILD!
But Nose Graze is also my business, so branding feels important. It’s important to become visually recognizable in your industry and niche. It will help readers instantly recognize you, whether it’s via your website or a business card or a logo on someone else’s site.
How much business am I losing if I’m not visually recognizable at all?
Sometimes I wish I could be one of those people who has one design for like three years before they ever touch it again. That, my friends, is branding.
But at the same time, if I was one of those people then I’d lose this process that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE. I love building a new site for myself. It’s incredibly fun for me. And for stupid, selfish reasons, I don’t want to give that up. I enjoy the process, the new ideas, and the new features.
Help me out of this crisis!
I think I’m just having a major identity crisis here.
- Who am I?
- What is my blog all about? Who is it for?
- Why do people read my blog? Why do they hire me?
- What is it that I do for people?
- How can I even describe myself and my site in one sentence?
- What should I have for dinner tomorrow?
I have to say, it does feel good to let this all out there, even if I haven’t actually solved anything with this post. Maybe you can help me out?