Blog Birthdays and Musings

Blog birthday and brand musingMonday marked my blog’s 14th anniversary.

And just like any other adolescent, it’s wrestling with what it wants to be when it grows up. 🙂

When I first started blogging, bloggers were like neighbors visiting over the back fence. Blogs—at least the kind I ran into—were chatty and varied. Some were fun, some were serious, some were inspirational. But my favorites were a combination.

Then blogs became Business.

And now, while learning all I can about publishing to be ready when I get my book finished, I find writers are encouraged to develop their “brand” so readers know what to expect from them. Readers who like Amish fiction, for instance, don’t want to pick up their favorite author’s new book only to find they’ve switched to science fiction.

I see the wisdom in developing a brand. But I think it’s possible to make a brand too narrow. If someone writes only about finances, I know I can seek out their books if I have a questions about finances. But I don’t read about finances often. I love WWII fiction, but I don’t want to read only WWII fiction. I love writers like Kristy Cambron, who writes historical fiction, but in a variety of times and places. I’m told it’s hard to drum up a whole new audience if you write both fiction and nonfiction or different types within each. But I think some of the audience would follow a favorite author into different forays. I’ve read books in a different genre because an author I liked crossed over to it.

So as I consider what elements I’m passionate about and what might make up my brand, these come to mind:

  • I want to encourage women to develop their own relationship with God.
  • I want to encourage women in their walk with God in whatever stage of life they are in.
  • I want to encourage women to get into the Bible for themselves, not as an end in itself, but to get to know God better. My book-in-progress is on this topic.
  • I want to encourage women to look at everything through the lens of Scripture.

I’ve written a lot about having a quiet time with God in His Word, but that’s not all I write about. I’ve written a little about marriage, parenthood, becoming an “older” woman, caregiving—not as an expert in any of those fields, but sharing what I’ve learned along the way. Occasionally I’ll ponder current issues and try to view them through the truth of God’s Word. I love reading and love sharing good books I’ve found. When I did a blogging preference poll a couple of years ago, people’s preferences about what kinds of posts they liked best varied.

When I saw that well-known Christian blogger Tim Challies called himself a generalist, a light bulb went on in my mind. Maybe that’s what I am, too!

I’ve tried to narrow things down a bit, yet not too much, to hopefully present to a future publisher. If I needed to sum it up in one sentence, it would be that I want to encourage women in their walk with God. I don’t know if that’s catchy or original enough, but that’s my desire.

By the way, although I have women in mind as I write, I don’t mind if men read along.

Thank you all for being here. I didn’t know, when I started blogging, that I’d make so many dear friends that I’ll likely not meet in person until heaven. Your kind comments encourage me and make my day.

I’d love to know what you think about author and blogger “brands” or anything else I’ve mentioned here. Do you read or follow those who write in particular niches, or those who write generally?

(Sharing with Recharge Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee)

20 thoughts on “Blog Birthdays and Musings

  1. Happy blogging Birthday, Barbara! I am grateful I leave encouraged when I stop here, and that is why I return to chat over the fence with you 🙂 May God continue to bless and use your writing!

  2. Happy blog birthday, Barbara! May you continue to be yourself as your writing journey wends it way forward. And may each step bring you joy and anticipation of what God has for you in the season ahead …

  3. Your present goals are quite worthy & i pray they continue as you are the first blog i ever signed on to receive & it was exactly for the reasons you state ~ God has used your posts to help deepen my walk with Him. Also,i love your Laudable Links posted on Saturdays. Keep on keeping on as God has directed & directs you. :0)

  4. Happy blogging birthday! Our church’s motto is “His word, our walk” and that reminds me of your writing. I do find your posts to be encouraging and thorough, and I like that. I remember from my writing conference (almost 10 years ago, wow …) the emphasis on a specific niche. I remember too though, when I started my blog, determining that I wasn’t sure there was a really specific thing that I would be interested enough in to commit to for years of postings. So, I too like the “generalist” idea. Blogs I read regularly and loyally tend to be because I feel I’ve developed some sort of relationship to the blogger — like you! Some I never even comment at, but I keep returning because I feel I kind of “know” the writer and I enjoyed reading what they have to say — on a variety of topics.

  5. Happy anniversary, Barbara. I love your varied blog. I don’t want to be pigeonholed, and I can understand that you wouldn’t want to be. I don’t want you to change anything! Your blog is my favorite of the many I read. Every time I open yours, I never know what to expect. It’s like getting a surprise dessert! May God guide ylou. Have a blessed day.

  6. Wow Barbara, fourteen years of blogging that truly is inspiring! Congratulations!

    I am with you, I like to read & follow those who share their lives as it happens & life is full of everything!
    I write in the same manner, with my relationship with God as the overall focus sharing what I have learnt along the way 😀
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

  7. Happy blogging birthday! I must have been blogging for at least that long – I’ve been here on blogger since 2007 and I was on various platforms before that. The important thing to me is that it is MY blog. I do it for me, not for anyone else. That sounds selfish and I don’t mean to be. Of course I love it when people follow me and comment on posts but I’m certainly not into turning it into a business. It’s a way of journalling, meeting up with people and so much more. I’m not a partcularly religious person but I enjoy reading your posts and keeping up with your life. Keep on blogging!

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  9. Congratulations on 14 years! I enjoyed reading about the changes in blogging over the years. I think the blogs I enjoy reading the most now are the chatty ones. I struggle with the idea of a brand. I like to write about my thoughts on God and I hope that it helps other women (I think the majority of my readers are women) think about their own relationship with Him. But I also enjoy writing about family and running too. My thoughts are all over the place and that is how my blog posts go too! Anyway, I am so glad I found your blog. Your posts are always so well written and they make me think, which I like.

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  11. As you may have noticed, I’ve quit writing on my Blessed, but Stressed blog because the focus was too narrow (cancer caregiving). I don’t know that I’ve done much better with a ‘brand’ over at AnitaOjeda.com, though–because I write weekly book reviews, self-care Sunday posts, and posts about social justice and Five-Minute Friday posts. I guess that makes me a generalist, too ;). Congratulations on 14 years of blogging–that’s amazing!

  12. Oh, it’s your BLOG birthday. I misunderstand what you wrote in your FFF post.
    I miss the days of just blogging to be sociable, not having a business on your blog. Being a generalist is a good thing.

  13. Happy Bloggiversary! I like the “generalist” approach. I miss the old blogging days when we made “friends” through blogging. We wrote about whatever was on our hearts and minds whether it was fun, serious, silly, inquiring or encouraging. It helped us to get to “know” each other. When it turned into business is when it became not so fun anymore but more stressful to produce the right kinds of posts and to have to numbers up and check your views everyday and have focus. Oh I struggle with focus. LOL. I still read the blogs where I feel it’s like friends having a chat over whatever topic happens to be discussed at the moment and lose interest in the ones that are just focused on one topic. Looking forward to that book!

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