About Blog Posts

After overhauling my personal site, I learned that I dislike the term blog. Instead, I want to be more professional by writing articles. I just recently spent a couple days overhauling my personal site - or as I used to call it, my blog.

That term blog

I’ve been blogging for about ten years, and I made several observations about what I actually put into my blog.

It’s all basically BS, sprinkled with content of value.

And I see this on a lot of blogs. The content is very “point in time” - meaning that it is only relevent within a couple days of the post going out.

For me, these posts included things like “I’m speaking at XYZ conference” or “Here are my slides for ABC event”.

What is a better term?

Articles.

I trimmed a lot of fat from my blog. And instead of calling the posts that got to stay blog posts, I’m adapting the term article.

This approach is designed to fix several issues with my site.

First, the content needs to be evergreen-ish. My post about speaking at a code camp in 2010 isn’t evergreen. Heck, it wasn’t green at all. A hundred people might have read that post and never looked back. Why even publish it?

Where is a better place for that type of “in the moment” posts? Twitter! Facebook! LinkedIn! Social media (or micro-blogging as it used to be call) is perfect for these types of posts.

Second, the content needs to be more commanding. As a professional, it is more meaningful for me to say “I wrote an article about this topic, go give it a read.” instead of “oh, I blogged about that a couple months ago”.

Folks are more likely to share a great article they read versus a blog post they came upon.

Third, there is no need to be a “regular” blogger. The articles I publish have dates on them (see the bottom of this page), but you don’t really have any idea what the latest post is.

By the way, I am looking at adding a “recent articles” section to the sidebar. So I’ll probably invalidate my previous statement.

Where do the “micro” posts go?

This is a good point to talk about? Where should the “micro” posts go? Obviously, it’s a good idea for me to continue promoting activities I’m involved in. But if the content doesn’t fit into the category of “article”, where does it go?

I’ve set up a separate area of the site for speaking engagement, past and future. This is great for an at-a-glance view of what I’m up to, and also allow people to gauge whether I’m worth inviting to their own events. (Psss, I’d love to speak at your event. Just ask!)

But this is a good place for social media. Twitter, mostly. But Facebook and LinkedIn are good locales as well. These places are meant to be short lived. Nobody actively goes back through your timeline looking for what you said three years ago (unless you’re Donald Trump).

Conclusions

I don’t want to knock anyone that maintains a blog. I’m not that type of person, so it’s not something I want to do.

I want my content to be more focused and helpful. I feel really guilty when I don’t post on a regular basis. Blogs give that illusion. It’s “dead” if you’re not posting every week. With my new format of “articles”, I don’t have that guilt.

What are your thoughts? Am I overthinking it? Am I right on point? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Originally published on 2017-05-03 in Deep Thoughts

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