Friday, February 21, 2020
How do you keep a blog fresh?
I think my blog is getting into a rut.
My general rule of thumb with each post I make is that it should somehow be original, something that can’t be found elsewhere on the vastness of the internet. Otherwise, why would anybody read it?
Running a blog on a very niche topic is a pretty good way to make that task easy. There are only a handful of other blogs or websites out there fully or partially dedicated to Japanese baseball cards, most of which you can find on my blogroll. The small size of the community means there are massive gaps in publicly accessible information about Japanese cards into which a little blog like mine can step to help fill the void. Blogs about American cards can’t just do a post along the lines of “This is what a 1987 Donruss card looks like” and expect anyone to care. Japanese card bloggers can get away with that kind of post though since with a lot of major sets there isn’t any basic information online and putting it out there serves a purpose.
The downside to this is that it encourages a certain amount of laziness. My blogging output recently has been almost entirely posts structured along the theme of “Hey look at these neat cards I have.” (See: post about these neat cards, and these neat cards and these neat cards and these neat cards and on and on and on).
Those posts feature cards about which there isn’t much info online so they tick my “Post must be contributing something original” box, but at the same time they collectively have started to give the blog a somewhat monotonous feel to it. There are only so many iterations of that kind of post you can do before things just start to flatline.
I try to mix them up with posts in which I either analyze some broader issue in the hobby (like this one) or lay out some autobiographical story about my own collecting (like here). I think they tend to be a lot more read-able and give the blog some much needed variety. But the thing is, those types of posts require both 1) a good idea to ground them, and 2) a lot of time to compose. Good ideas and free time are hard to come by. "Look at this card" posts on the other hand don't require coming up with a new idea and can be dashed off in about half an hour.
Ideas in particular seem to present a problem since the laws of diminishing returns kick in after a while. When you start a blog, you have a pretty good inventory of ideas for things you'd like to talk about. But over time you start using up those ideas faster than you replenish them with new ones, and eventually you just reach a point where you can't think of any great ideas but have a stack of neat cards and start to rely on them for most of your content, which is kind of where my blog is right now.
This post itself is evidence of that. Its one of my "idea" posts, the idea being that I'd do a post about how I am running out of ideas for posts. Ironic, isn't it?
Out of curiousity, for all you other bloggers out there, how do you keep your blogs "fresh" over time? Ever feel like you have run out of ideas and are relying too much on simple "Look at this card" templates for content?
Posted by Sean at 7:18 PM