Experimental Blogging

29 Jan

The great thing about blogs is that nearly every aspect of them is easy to change. The color scheme, the layout, and the formatting of your posts can all be changed with just a few clicks of the mouse. The direction of your blog can also be changed with just a few blog posts.

Some people are tinkerers by nature and will experiment with all visual aspects of their blogs. No one exemplifies this better than my friend Harold Shaw, Jr. to whom I once said, “you change blog themes like underwear.” Others of us are less inclined to tinker and might only change the visual scheme of our blogs once a year. Either approach is fine because as long as your content is good people will keep coming back to read your new posts.

Experiment with style of your blog posts until you find the one that works for you and your readers. These experiments could be as simple as breaking-up your posts into clearly delineated sections (something I’ve been experimenting with lately) or as difficult as moving from the style of news sharing to a personal narrative style.

Blogging is not just writing. Blogging can be creating and sharing videos, podcasts, and other multimedia stories like those developed with tools like Metta.io. Perhaps writing a personal narrative is struggle for you. If that’s the case, consider creating a personal narrative podcast with a free service like SoundCloud. Or perhaps you love to explore new places but you fear that your words alone won’t capture the excitement of that new place. In that case take out your phone and shoot a video clip to share with the followers of your blog.

What’s Your Blog Experiment?

In the end you get to choose the direction and style for all things on your blog. Enjoy the process of figuring out what works for you while keeping yourself and your readers engaged. Podcasting is my next experiment for this blog. What’s yours going to be?

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  • Gwen Lehman

    I stumbled upon your blog a couple weeks ago and have been reading
    through your posts. I don’t know if you’ve been inspiring yourself, but
    I’ve been getting more inspired as I read. I’ve had a blog at work for
    the last four years – I’m a tech integration specialist for our school
    district – but am sporadic in my posting. I have had some good streaks
    of writing, but have been lagging the last several months. So, I’ve
    been working through your suggestions of defining the purpose of my
    blog, generating topics in advance and setting a schedule. My biggest
    struggle right now is the schedule. I know I want to post 2 times a
    week and that I do my best work in the morning, but at work mornings are
    the most interrupted times and the idea of getting up before 5:30 to blog just isn’t appealing. I appreciate the challenges and topics for thought that you’ve presented so far as well as the hints of humor (changing your blog theme like underwear – Ha, that’s so me). So, thanks for the inspiration and pointers that are helping me refocus with my own blog writing.

    • richardbyrne

      Hi Gwen,

      Thank you for you reading and commenting. I happy to read that you’re finding some inspiration from my efforts.

      One of the things that I’ve done to help me stick to my schedule for this blog and my iPadApps4School blog is to write up a bunch of posts when I have a blog of time. For example, this post and two others were written while I was on a plane. When I was able to reconnect to the web I scheduled the posts to appear on the schedule I’ve set.

      If your posts are more narrative style than how-to style, you might consider using an app like SoundCloud (available for iOS and Android) to record short audio posts. I’ve also used Evernote with its voice transcription option to dictate some posts that I then just copied, pasted, and formatted later.

  • autism plusmath

    My blogging experiment has been an ongoing self-reflection of what I want to share with my readers. The more I create posts on new topics that I haven’t explored before, the more it seems that even greater opportunities to explore open up: it is only the second week of February and I’ve published over fifty posts in 2014. In expanding my range, I know that each post may appeal to only a small segment of readership, but I view that as an opportunity to create multiple “small tribes.”
    What I’m currently struggling with, and not finding answers, is whether and when to allow comments on my blog. Because as much as I want the conversation, if I flip the switch to allow comments I’m concerned that my blog will appear to be a ghost town until I receive a regular flow of comments on recent posts. I’m also concerned that the need to feed the comment monster may narrow my posting to only topics that draw significant feedback, which would be destructive rather than productive.
    Oh, and thank you for creating your blog: I continue to learn LOTs and it is much appreciated.