Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day.
~ Thornton Wilder
Last week, a friend posed the question Why I Blog. (Why Do You?) The post was perfectly timed, because I had been struggling with the premise behind this blog for the past few weeks.
Technorati’s 10 most popular blogs as of November 22, 2009
Lately I have become disenchanted with the blogsphere, by the mere corporatization of the blogging world and its community.
I no longer consider the top blogs blogs. I consider them internet magazines, run by staff, featuring multiple writers, subject to corporate scrutiny, and driven by profit.
Little by little, I found myself glancing over their headlines, ignoring them, then unsubscribing to some altogether.
I began to work hard to discover “the little guys.” Mind you, they may have massive followings and make a pretty profit from ads and sponsors. Or they might be an obscure writer publishing under the default WordPress theme, unbeknownst to the world save a few lucky souls who happened to stumble upon their blog one day.
The only difference is that these bloggers write of their personal lives and innermost thoughts, bearing their hearts out to the world. They have no niche. And while millions may fit this mold, what makes these bloggers rise above the rest is their ability to draw the reader into their lives merely by their superb storytelling and writing prowess.
I want to be like them.
The problem lies in the fact that my writing ability is nowhere as great as these scribes. With 133,000,000 blogs in existence, how can I set myself apart from the rest without becoming commercialized?
The answer is simple.
Create a great written AND visual experience.
I have been told I am a decent writer. Why not add my eye for design into the mix?
This post is the start of a new direction, and I will continue to introduce visual changes to this blog. From this day forward, I vow to do the following:
Showcase my best work in each blog post. Take hours to write that one post. Read, re-read, and only publish the best. Take the time to include additional visual stylings. Take a clue from the bloggers featured in The Death of the Blog Post, and make each blog post a separate work of art.
Categorize each blog post. Written works will take on the format above. When I want to share a product, picture, video, hyperlink…even a tweet or a Facebook status, I will do so under a separate, appropriate category. And yes, each category will be styled according to its purpose.
Establish myself as a brand. Sure, I may not have a niche, and my life may not be too interesting. But what this blog represents is myself. I am my own brand. Let this blog best represent who I am as a person because who else can do a better job?
I once read that it is harder to get 500 subscribers than 1,000. I see this in action every day not only in the blogsphere, but in all facets of social media. The popular keep getting more popular while the smaller guys struggle to gain even modest growth.
Perhaps this change is what Geek in Heels needs to finally push it over that 500 mark.