It may be too specific but the ‘bits n bobs’ blog like your own is a obviously harder to ‘promote’ or find a target audience for. Is there possibly something in that? Maybe a ‘how to make your blog your own’? This is me being purely selfish though as I too am of the bits n bobs variety and feeling like a message in a bottle lost at sea. 😀 Anide I am, perhaps, not the most objective person when it comes to non-niche, non-themed blogging – probably because my blog’s theme appears to be “things that are awesome.”
I loooooove non-themed blogs and I wish there were more of them. I love going to a blog every day and not knowing what’s going to be posted there. Relationship advice? Funny stories about cats? Picnic recipes? I want it all! Really, I want something that’s like a magazine, curated and edited by someone awesome. This is why I love Mighty Girl, Smaggle, Kyla Roma, Just A Titch so hard. Also: they’re excellent, funny writers.
Let’s talk about a few problems + solutions of non-themed blogging, shall we?
Problem: You miss out on some Big Deal themed sponsorships
We all know certain fashion brands that love the blogosphere, but if you’re not a ‘fashion’ blogger, they probably won’t come a-knocking. And if you’re not a ‘beauty’ blogger, Lush and Clarisonic aren’t going to fall all over themselves advertising with you. When those companies are googling blogs, your URL probably won’t come up. Sad trombone.
Solution: Add some themed content – and make sure everybody knows it
You shouldn’t write about something just to court specific advertisers or readers, but themed series will give your blog a more cohesive, well-rounded feel. And it makes it more likely that advertisers and bloggers in that niche will link to you and advertise with you.
I wanted to feature more fashion-related stuff, promote community and awesome ladies of every flavor, so I started The Real Life Style Icon series. I wanted to to add a bit of testosterone, so Dear Dude started writing for me. I’m also working on another column that combines food and books (!!!) so I’ll have that base covered, too. Hopefully, this makes Yes and Yes more fun for everybody. It certainly makes it more fun for me which – let’s keep it real – is my primary goal.
Problem: Nobody knows what my blog is about when they get there
So your friends check your blog and they’re all “Wait. What? Today you’re talking about animal besties and yesterday you were talking about gender as a social construct. What the eff is going on here?”
Solution: Write a clever tagline, yo
Did you know that I’m a professional copywriter? Yes. This is where I put on my copywriter hat for you (it looks like a Sherlock Holmes hat, just FYI). If your blog is un-themed, then you probably need a clever tagline. Something like “because everything is interesting” or “being awesome on the internet since 2007” or “food + fashion + funny cat videos.” And yes, you can use any of those. You’re welcome.
Problem: My blog looks kind of messy
If you’re writing about every blessed thing under the sun (and posting pictures about every blessed thing under the sun) things can get visually overwhelming pretty quickly.
Solution: Stick with a color theme and keep your header and sidebar simple
Unless I’m doing a Notes From The Road post, I try to choose photos that use the same colors as my header – blues, pinks, muted oranges and greens. If you refuse to be limited to a certain color palette, try a header/template that’s simple and crisp so all those colorful images will look bright and engaging, not busy and tacky. Also! Making your images the same width as the text column = lovely. Full justified text = gorgeous.
Problem: Writing about everything ever makes me seem unprofessional
As established, I love non-themed blogs, but I do think it’s easier for a non-niche blog to seem more Livejournal and less WordPress.
Solution: Amp up the professionalism
It’s true: you may have to work a bit harder to be taken seriously if your blog doesn’t have a defined theme. The markings of a ‘serious’ blogger?
* Posting regularly – the same time every day, the same days each week (behold the glory of the pre-scheduled post!)
* Clean layout, nice images, lack of auto-playing music and blinking gifs
* No 2,000-word posts railing against a co-worker none of us know
* Typo-free posts
Problem: There are a looooot of un-themed blogs out there, how can I stand out?
Fact. The blogosphere is rife with ladies taking pictures of themselves in thrifted outfits, showing off their tattoos, promoting their etsy stores and taking pictures of their pets. I know this because I read and love all those blogs!
Solution: Find and amplify your Point of Difference
I write a lot about long-term travel (also: anthropomorphism). Maybe you live in South Africa. Or you’re a 20-year-old mum. Or you’re in med school. Or you’re six feet tall. You don’t have to make your point of difference the point of your blog, but play it up! You’re an expert at that thing and I bet other people want to hear about it!
Next time, design + template resources and preventing your blog from looking ‘homemade’!
Do any of you have non-themed blogs? Tips/tricks to share?