I was talking to a friend the other day and she asked what my goal was for this blog. (It’s ironic because I’m pretty sure she doesn’t regularly read this blog.) I didn’t quite know how to answer. It started, and mostly remains, a hobby for us. It’s mostly fun and lets us scratch certain itches as they pop up. But I’ve spent the past few days wondering if it could be more.
The standard way to make a blog more than a hobby is to identify a niche, do SEO research on that niche, write exclusively about that niche while incorporating the keywords and other things learned from the SEO research, and get lots of email subscribers. Then there’s a lot of networking and cross-posting and finding ways to get other websites to post links to this blog. It would be work, but it is doable.
There are a few obstacles I’d have to overcome. Jamil and I don’t like, and aren’t very good at, self-promotion, networking, and all that. We’re self-conscious about spamming people if they give us their email addresses. Using key words and other SEO techniques gets in the way of good writing. But the biggest is the niche. Both of us have wide-ranging interests. What would we narrow it to?
Just looking at statistics doesn’t help at all. Jamil’s most popular piece, and the most viewed essay on the site to date, is There Was Always a Better Plan: The DoNo That Might Have Been | Nutmegger Daily – Quality writing on many topics. It’s about what Hartford could and should have done rather than build a minor league baseball stadium. But his second most popular piece is Dragon Ball Z is the Greatest Science Fiction Anime* Of All Time | Nutmegger Daily – Quality writing on many topics, a completely different topic. My most popular is The Maryland State Flag | Nutmegger Daily – Quality writing on many topics about how the Maryland flag is racist and needs to go. My second most popular is Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol – Stave Two, The First of the Three Spirits | Nutmegger Daily – Quality writing on many topics. Again, completely different. Maybe one could argue that our niche is “general interest” or something like that, but I don’t think that will satisfy the SEO gods.
That’s where you come in. We do have some regular readers (Hi, mom and dad). When you read this blog, what do you want from it? What are you expecting when you get here? Do you like some of our topics more than others? We’d really like to know.