Finding my blog’s story

by Ginger on December 17, 2010

in Blogging & Social Media

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I’m trying to rewrite my about page (which I kinda sorta did, but I’m still not happy with it) & come up with my one word to describe my blogging self. Well, one word is proving nigh on impossible, as predicted. But that’s not stopping me from thinking about this stuff.

Then recently, Anna over at ABDPBT Personal Finance was talking about One Line Bios and Figuring Out Your Blog’s Story (and the follow up post). Basically, she postulates that to have a truly successful blog, you need to know what your “thing” is–what differentiates your blog from everyone else’s. Not what genre (mommy blog, green blog, fashion blog, etc), but what makes it uniquely you. The thing she says that has stuck with me  is (and I’m paraphrasing), if someone was describing your blog to someone else, they’d say “Oh, she’s the one who _______” and that will be what your blog is known by. And it’s that ________ that should be uniquely you. (but with the caveat that it’s not going to be the ONLY thing about you, just your one line bio type thing). And, once you know that thing, THAT’S what you market. It’s a great, thought-provoking read if you have ever thought of growing your blog at all–be that in terms of making it a business, making it more popular, getting more traffic, or even just solidify what it is that you want your space to be.

This line of thinking is perhaps a little easier in some ways than the one word challenge, though harder in others. Part of my problem, like the vast majority of bloggers, is I don’t have a “thing”. I don’t think. It’s not enough that I like to talk with my readers, or that I’m a working mom of a toddler, or that I’m prone to overusing ellipses and dashes. It’s not enough that I work in marketing, or I’m in my early 30’s and have no idea WHO I want to be when I grow up or…any of the nonsense I write about. Because I don’t write with a theme, I write whatever’s in my head. I’ve always said that RambleRamble is the place for me to explore my own thoughts and discover who I am–but even that’s not enough, because isn’t that what all blogs are in a way?

This goes back to the challenge I have with writing my about page–what is it about me (the blog me) that people should know? That will make people want to spend more time here, with me, with us? Because if I can’t describe my blog–if I can’t say “Oh, I’m the one who_____”, then no one else will ever be able to either, right?

(now is the part of this post that’s going to get a little free-form, but it’s Friday, no one reads on Friday’s anyway, so whatever).

I’ve come up with a few glimmers of ideas…some little hints of direction that my one line bio might someday take. I’m not sure if any of them are right yet, but..well, let’s see:

I’m the one who is a working mom married to a stay at home dad. I don’t think this is quite right, but I think it’s something that is a *little* unique. Most of the bloggers I find are either a stay at home parent with a working spouse, a working mom with a working dad, or two work at home parents. Now, I obviously have not scoured the whole of the internet, but I have scoured a lot of it, and I don’t know that I’ve seen many people who write from that particular vantage point.

I’m the one who has made her blog into her own mommy & me club. Again, not quite right. This isn’t something that’s unique to me, but I feel, strongly, that I look at RambleRamble as a place where I get the social interaction and mommy connections that I don’t get in real life. I see that on other blogs (though not all), so that can’t be it though.

I’m the one who asks a lot of questions and really DOES want people to answer. Not the big questions. The mundane, every day questions. The ones that you can actually answer. The one’s that I’d ask my neighbors, if we talked, or my friends, if we were in person, or my family, if I ever called them. I ask a ton of questions on this blog–practical, non-theoretical, not just small talk questions. I don’t see that changing, uh, ever, so maybe building it into my blog’s story makes sense?

I don’t know, I feel like I’m not quite there. Maybe it’s that I just…don’t have a story yet. Maybe I haven’t come up with the thing that would potentially separate this blog from the millions of others out there. That thing that people can grab onto, and hold as the idea of “hey THAT’S Ginger from RambleRamble.” But I’ll keep thinking, to see if I can find it.

What do you guys think? If you were talking about me/my blog, what would you say?

Kathleen December 17, 2010 at 6:45 am

What about “a place for neighbourly chat?”

I think the key is to focus not on the topics you cover but on the tone in which you cover them. I agree that you are very conversational and approachable. Neighborly. So maybe focus on that. 🙂

Ginger December 20, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I’m so glad you think I’m neighborly! I wasn’t actively going for that, but I do love that that’s what has happened here.

And you’re right, I think it shouldn’t be about the topics, necessarily (though some of that may play in a bit). It’s just that topics are so much easier to focus on than tone or personality!

KT December 17, 2010 at 7:54 am

I think out of three possibilities that the last one comes the closest to your blog. But maybe it is better to think of it the way Kathleen did- that you like to create a community with your blog.

I have absolutely no idea what my “blog voice” is either. 🙂

Lisa December 17, 2010 at 9:46 am

I think of you as the artist’s wife. That’s probably bad, because you are MUCH more than just a wife and I don’t want to define you by your husband. It’s not that I think that is all you are, but rather that is a big thing that sets you apart from the rest of us.

Ginger December 20, 2010 at 11:00 pm

You know, it’s funny, because when I first started blogging, I meant to write more about that aspect–being married to an artist is a unique thing sometimes. But that never really happened, for a variety of reasons.

I do know that it’s something that sets me apart from other people, even if I”m not defined by it. I just don’t know if it’s something I try and explore more (embrace that aspect of my life more on my blog), and if so, if it’s something people would want to read about…

becky December 17, 2010 at 10:08 am

I read Anna’s post, too. I’ve been thinking a lot about it and have no idea what my “thing” is either. And I’ve been blogging for 8 years! It’s all just “what’s in my head” stuff.

clara December 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm

“I’m the working mom with the stay at home husband who’s always up for a great conversation.” ?

I haven’t really been reading you long enough to know. But I feel comfortable here, and welcome. You’re like that nice neighbour who’s in her backyard gardening and always takes off her gloves and leans over the fence to chat. And the chatting is never awkward or irritating – just enjoyable.

Ginger December 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm

You’re making me all gushy. Seriously, I didn’t start this post looking for compliments, but the fact that THAT’S the feeling you get here pretty much makes my day. That’s how I hope everyone feels here!

(Though I can’t garden to save my life…plants don’t stand a chance with me. But standing over the fence chatting? I can do that all day).

bekah December 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Id have to go more along the community theme with you. In a totally good way. You kind of have a thing going where I feel like I can add my .02 and you will read it. You might not agree, but you let me speak my mind…does that make sense? Like…sometimes I comment on peoples pages, and I can tell that I am just another #, a follower, comment #12 or whatever. I dont get that vibe from you.

I kinda feel like if I lived near you and I was feeling lonely or bored I could come over, have a cup of coffee, and just chill. Its that kind of feeling I get from your blog.

Ginger December 20, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I just love that you feel that way! (And absolutely, if you’re here, come over anytime! Just don’t mind the mess, Jackson’s a little tornado…)

I’m so glad that so many people feel welcome and part of the “community” here–I know community can get a bad rap online, but I do feel kind of like all my readers are my friends (or will be soon), and that I totally want to hear opinions and viewpoints. I’m just glad that other people feel that way too!

The Sweetest December 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm

I read Anna’s post, and it got me thinking, too. Not sure if my “thing” comes across to readers or not. If I even know what my thing is. As for you, hmm. If I had to put on word on you, I’d say introspective. oh, and I agree w/ kathleen- approachable.

kate January 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Aack – I finally got around to reading this one. I guess you were right that “nobody reads on Friday…” or Monday, Tuesday and any day in between. 🙂

You are the person I can relate to. The lack of local friends. The juggling of life, family, work, everything. I don’t know how to put that into words, but that’s what you are to me and why I read.

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