When to Let Your Blog Go Off-Topic
We decided to blog because we are passionate about something specific, be it a hobby, lifestyle or topic. And we formed an entire platform around this passion so that we can share our knowledge and experience with others who share our passion for travel or fashion or DIY or cooking or whatever it is that you blog about regularly.
For me, my passion is writing. That’s why I blog about creative writing tips, editing strategies and grammar rules as well as social media tricks and marketing advice.
It’s usually not difficult for me to decide what to write for this week’s blog post. Even after years of blogging, there’s still so much that I haven’t blogged about yet!
Then there’s that one week where you lose your blogging inspiration. Where did all those great ideas go?
And sometimes you just want to blog about something else that’s far from the theme of your blog. But should you do it?
Remember your blog isn’t about you anymore.
You started your blog because you enjoy sharing your knowledge and experiences with others. And a blog is a platform that’s meant to be read by an external audience that’s everyone but you.
So don’t treat your blog like a diary. It’s not there just for your own personal record and just for your personal enjoyment. You now have readers to think about.
Think about the blogs that you read. You make an effort to find this blog and then take time out of your day to read what they have to say. And you enjoy reading that blog because it’s consistent in delivering content that’s relevant to your interests.
What if one day you click on the latest blog post and its topic was way off base? Wouldn’t you feel like you wasted your time reading a boring blog post in anticipation that it would turn around and match your interests?
Same goes with your readers. They come to your blog with certain expectations and they leave when those expectations aren’t met.
In short, you can’t blog just about anything because that’s your mood of the week. You have to be more strategic.
That doesn’t mean you can’t follow your inspiration.
That’s what drew your loyal readers into your blog in the first place. Your readers love your passion, your voice and your authority on your chosen blog’s theme.
So how can you write an off-topic blog post without losing your readers?
Simple: You craft the approach of your blog post so that it will interest your readers.
The truth is that your readers do have more interests than just the one discussed on your blog platform. Your readers are multi-dimensional beings with unique personalities and complex likes and dislikes.
So your readers don’t mind reading about something else that seems irrelevant as long as you make that strong connection to what is relevant quickly and noticeably.
The beauty of blogging is discovering how to turn an experience or thoughts that seems irrelevant to your blog’s theme but then finding that connection. It’s called creativity.
Try taking on the perspective of your reader. How would this off-topic blog post interest you? What would need to be said in order to draw you in as a reader?
Don’t assume that every reader is dying to know every rambling thought inside your head. Even if you probably do have one or two that are genuinely curious.
I’ll give you an example.
A few months back, I took a solo trip across the country by renting a car and driving along the highways of northern New Mexico. It was captivating. It was life-changing. And I wanted to share that experience with everybody.
But my blog isn’t about travel. It’s about writing.
Travel blogs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. And I knew my readers were expecting a post on something about writing.
So I brainstormed ways to make my blog post still about my travel experience as well as about writing. That’s when I realized that I spent much of my trip discovering ways to improve the stories I was writing. And I crafted my blog post from that approach.
If you’re curious, you can read it here.
If your readers come back week after week to read your writing, chances are they do want to discover more of your personal story within your posts. So don’t hesitate to venture a little off your usual course as long as you don’t fall completely off the trail.
Do you ever let your blog go off-topic? If so, how do you make your post relevant to your readers? Share your approach in the comments section below.
Ha! I just did a completely off-topic post on my blog just last week. And didn’t even try to tie it in theme-wise.
I did explain why I was excited about a thing?