I occasionally read blog posts where the blogger is apologising to their readers for either not blogging for a while or for taking a new direction. I don’t think there’s any need to apologise. It’s your space, for your own pace, your own race. That’s the beauty of a blog – it can be anything you want it to be.
You don’t have to blog every day or even every week. You can blog as much or as little as your time affords. When you don’t want to blog because you’re tired, you’ve got stuff happening in your life, you can take time out. If you really want to commit to producing a post regularly, batch write or keep some posts in draft form so you have some up your sleeve.
And you can take your blog into a new direction. Think of where you were when you started out and where your blog is today. Are you the same person you were when you wrote the first post? Probably not.
When I started out in this space, my blog was a mish-mash of posts about life events, a diary I guess. It detailed what I’d been doing. And then I became focused, writing for the love and development of writing, and concentrating mostly on what it’s like to look different. And my writing has improved too. My blog is far away from that first post. Who would have thought I’d ever be writing about planning a wedding now!
As your interests change or grow, and your writing voice develops, your blog might do too. You might start off having no children and then becoming a parent blogger. Or you may choose to reveal less of your children’s lives online. Your job may require you to curtail the amount of information you reveal about yourself, or you may go from blogging under a pseudonym to revealing your real name. If you want to take your blog from an online diary to social commentary, do it! You don’t have to give all of yourself either. Embrace that change!
I think the only thing bloggers owe their readers is respect. And my Twitter friends agree.
Respect when it comes to checking the spelling and grammar, making sure the blog is easy and a pleasure to read.
Respect when it comes to the comment space – turn off captcha to show respect to loyal readers and moderate comments for spam (captcha makes me not want to comment on blogs). And open up anonymous comments – I find them so rich because anonymous readers are willing to open up about their own experiences and beliefs. Sure there may be a few hateful anon comments, but the good outweigh the bad tenfold.
Respect when it comes to sponsored posts. Disclose up front if you were paid to write about a product, given a product or have included affiliate links. It’s so hard to tell these days what is a gifted product or what a blogger has paid for. I’d like to know the blogger has been paid in some form before I read the post.
And respect when it comes to thanking readers for reading commenting and sharing our blog posts.
Life is a journey and so is your blog.
It’s your blog, do what you want, unapologetically. It can be anything you want it to be.
What do you think bloggers owe their readers?
I recently wrote pieces for Problogger and Kidspot that are relevant to this and may be useful. Problogger’s post is about how success doesn’t have to be the number of visits to your blog; and Kidspot’s post is about setting boundaries as a blogger.
Read more of my blogging tips here.