Changes are Coming. Personal Topics are Back!

In/Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article by Wendy McCance

For months now I have struggled with this blog in terms of content.  When I began this blog in 2012, the entire blog was focused on my personal journey.  I talked about family, health issues, career challenges and my kids.  I also wrote many articles about navigating through life and how I saw a deeper meaning in the most trivial of topics.

About 6 months into my blog, I began focusing on writing and blogging in more depth. Those two topics were becoming a big part of my life.  Being on my mind quite a bit, I discussed what I was learning and how I could help others who were going down the same path.

By 2013, my blog had become 85% a writing and blogging website.  I was so immersed in what had become a full-time career that I wrote about what was on my mind (my career) continuously.

At one point I questioned the direction my blog was going and did a survey to see if people were more interested in the personal topics I used to discuss or the career topics I was writing about all the time now.  The results were close to 50/50.  I was torn about the direction I should continue with the blog. On the one hand, I wanted this blog to focus on “professional ” topics because so many potential clients were visiting the blog to get a sense of what I was all about and to view my writing style.  I had a hard time envisioning writing about some of my personal topics and having a client read what I was addressing.  On the other hand, I missed the feeling of freedom from opening up and letting it all hang out.  I was frustrated that I had no place to put my personal thoughts anymore.

About 2 months ago, I decided to begin a new blog, Skipping Puddles.  I figured I would write my personal stories there and focus solely on writing and blogging here. After juggling the two blogs for a bit, I came to the conclusion that I hated the separation of topics.  It felt strange to share part of my life with one audience and another part with a completely different group.  I felt as though I wasn’t being real with my readers because I was censoring what each group would see.

The other day I began reading some random blogs about topics that were about anything but writing and blogging.  I realized something while reading what other people were putting out into the world, I had stomped out the magic of my site.

What made my blog stand out was the fearless way I would talk about everything that popped up in my head.  If a reader came to my site, they would leave feeling as though they really understand me because I shared everything.  I loved the blogs I was reading that let it all hang out.  That feeling that you had met a new friend and knew what they were all about.  It was that breezy, carefree style that I had lost and wanted back.

I began to look over my stats.  Were people still interested in the type of topics I used to go into depth about?  I was surprised to see that all of those old articles were still being read as much as the writing and blogging posts.  It was in that moment that I knew I wanted to go back to what I loved.  I have decided to put all the topics I once discussed back on this site.  I will still touch on blogging and writing.  As I learn more information, I will share it with you.  It’s still a big part of my life experience.  I am going to revamp a few pages and smooth out the site so that there is more fluidity between subjects again, but I did miss the personal side of my blog and want to integrate in into this site again.

I have to admit, I got caught up in all the advice on the web.  That warning of mixing topics that are incompatible soaked into my head without me realizing that it had affected my decisions.  I was so afraid of ruining my blog, that I broke apart something that was actually working.  Instead of seeing the fluidity between everyday struggles and having a blog or how a reader might also be trying to change their life by pursing a new career, I viewed my topics more stiffly.  I had personal topics and professional topics and I couldn’t see how they were integrating with each other.  In all reality, it’s all part of our life and personal decisions are what make the professional choices.  It can be mixed together because it’s all about life experiences.

A long time ago I was invited to be in a mastermind group.  I joined the group but quickly realized it wasn’t for me.  The group was fantastic in that new information was shared, the people were supporting each other and the group was made up of smart, hard-working folks.  At the same time, I felt that I wasn’t able to concentrate on my own voice because there was too much attention on one goal for all.  The group would come up with an idea and everyone was to carry it out.  By being in that group, I would have lost my own thoughts on where I need to venture next.  Everyone is on a different path and hearing your own voice and trusting and implementing your own ideas was what I needed to focus on.  For me, it was too difficult to divide my attention.  I have realized that I have had the same problem when I am researching information on growing my blog or finding success as a writer.  I have had to stop and reflect several times on what was right for me.  There is so much information that can be gathered and when you see the same advice over and over, it’s hard not to buy into it.  I have found I have made decisions that ended up being a wrong move simply because without realizing it, all the advice I read had unwittingly made an impression and I did it without questioning if it was a good move.

The longer I have this blog, the more I learn about what I want to get out of it, who I am and how I want to express myself.  It’s what makes having a blog magical.  It’s a never-ending journey to the center of your soul.

I am curious to know if you have experienced a tendency to rework your blog as you grow and change.  Have you tried new techniques?  Were there times you were disappointed with the results?  Have you gone back to the way you presented your blog in the beginning?  I’d love to hear about your own experience.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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23 thoughts on “Changes are Coming. Personal Topics are Back!

  1. Great post Wendy. I have always enjoyed your blog and just love reading different things you post. Great job. I feel comfortable here and that you are ‘real’, if that makes any sense at all. 🙂 I also understood what you meant when you mentioned ‘getting caught up with all the advice on the web’. I find all of that too overwhelming. Just keep on doing what works for you. Thanks Wendy. 🙂 Renee

  2. Hi Wendy – seems to be the season for change and reflection. Got a bit of that going on, too.

    I can see why you would want to distinguish the writing into two audiences and sites but, have to say, I liked where you were at, here, before you split. Before, we had you all in one package — professional and personal. Whatever you decide, I know we’ll always get your best and that works for me, my friend. 🙂

      • You’re welcome, Sherri. Hubby had surgery and spending a lot of time looking out for him and home stuff. He’s home now and much better but I had less time or, truthfully, desire to get onto the computer.

        So, time went by and I found myself more unplugged and in a different place with writing. My heart and head were in a different place, as well as looking more within.

        It’s been interesting and good. Coming out of it and getting back on track, I find I’m more tuned in and, hopefully, it will show in my writing.

        Thanks for asking, Wendy. I’m excited for Spring and these coming months. Who knows what will unfold on this journey but, when it does, part of it will be writing about it. 🙂

  3. Hi Wendy, I am thrilled that you are going back to being yourself. I understand your dilemma. I would say I have gone from being more clinical in what I write, to far more personal, and I open up a lot more. I started my blog years ago to talk about my favourite subject that is writing, and to help others who want to write. When I read a post one day that said it is good to talk about related topics rather than just the same one to keep a blog fresh, I decided to gov it a go. Now, although I continue to write posts about writing, I write about far many more topics than I could have ever imagined, and I get more followers because of it. What I have discovered is that people want to know what makes a person tick. They want to know what fills the mind of a writer and to know where that writer is coming from. They want to get to know me. I am very open and honest about a ton of things and I no longer have a fear of that. When I publish my Break through the barriers of redundancy book, it will have a link to my blog, and some may argue that it has a lot of personal rather than professional content. However, my community of bloggers are the most important readers to me, as they are the ones more likely to buy my book, and they like me talking from my heart. As I intend to write a range of how-to books covering lots of different topics, I think it’s a win-win situation.

  4. Hi Wendy – this seems like the right choice. This is a lesson for me, too, because I’ve been waiting and waiting to launch my blog because I feel like the posts I’ve stockpiled are “all over the place.” But maybe that’s a good thing? I think you’re following your heart and also the feedback from your readers and you can’t go wrong with those 2 things. I always love your posts! Good luck, Jill

  5. ‘It’s a never-ending journey to the centre of your soul’. I think this best sums up everything you wanted to share in this post Wendy. Blogging is indeed all this. I’ve written a few times about the ‘ebb and flow’ of blogging, it being a living, breathing thing that is written as we flow with it. I have enjoyed all your posts, whether more personal or more business like and I’ve read this with great interest.

    In answer to your question, I recently started taking part in a couple of photo challenges thinking not so much as a way to ‘re-work’ my blog but more that I wanted to try something new and to create a sense of discipline for my blogging. I love taking photos anyway and I’ve always used my own to illustrate my posts so I saw these challenges as a natural progression although I did still want to keep writing too. As a result, I’ve found that these challenges have become the perfect way to unleash more creativity as I didn’t want them to be just about the photos but also about my writing which is the most important to me.

    So far I’m going to continue with this as it seems to be working and I’m loving doing it but also hopefully my readers will continue to enjoy them too. I was worried initially that I might be changing the face of my blog and I didn’t want to lose anyone but I seem to have gained a wider response (which wasn’t my aim as I was doing what I felt was right for my me and my blog and hoped that my readers would agree!) so I’m thrilled with the wonderful support.

    It’s what really grabs us at the end of the day and if we feel it is right then it needs to be done, as I know you’ve said many times! You are following your path and having stood at the crossroads you are now changing course as you journey on what can only be the right path and I’m sure all your readers will agree!

    Well, I’ve written another essay, sorry about that! I look forward to your posts as always, and I’m glad that you are putting them all into one blog. I always enjoy what you have to share Wendy!

    Have a lovely day 🙂

    • Sherri, I love that you will just pour out your thoughts in the comments. The longer comments are the best because I get to really know the person behind the words. While reading your thoughts on the topic, I immediately thought, “Exactly.” You are going through the same thing, you get it. I think the changes you have made will be a terrific addition. It just shows more of who you are and that connection seems to be the key to a great blog!!

  6. Wendy! What a wonderful surprise! I used to love your personal articles and definitely lost touch once all the business content took over. In fact, this article is exactly the tone I love!

    Why can’t you keep both going? Build trust with your personal articles and offer services to anyone looking for more. It’s just a matter of simplifying your menu into two choices: THOUGHTS ON LIFE and HELP FOR WRITERS, or something like that. Even if you were into muffler repair, that can work! The fact that you’re into WRITING, and your personal articles demonstrate your craft, makes it’s easier.

    Happy journey!

    • Thanks for your comment Ando. I can’t even begin to tell you how much your thoughts mean to me. It’s hard to gauge what the best moves are sometimes and to have this reassurance is fantastic.

  7. Hi, Wendy. I feel like my cat blog has changed a little over the past year. Now that I am using almost exclusively personal photos of my cat, it changed the flavor of it a bit. I still do informative posts about cats, but I also do posts that are only about my cat and her experience/behavior with certain things. In my case, I believe this evolution of what I write about can be attributed to changing from generic photos to personal photos. I like the change and I am open to learning what new changes this year will bring, too.

    • Hi Beverly, thank you so much for sharing your experience. It sounds like you were able to get more comfortable opening up on a more personal level. I think that is terrific. I really believe the best blogs are the ones where you can really tell what a person’s personality is like. 🙂

  8. Wendy,
    I can only speak for myself, and the truth is, I started reading your articles because the were “personal” I have never met you in person, however, your stories speak volumes about you and your character. Frankly it nice to see an old “friend” back. Regards

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