No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. And no, my blog title doesn’t contain a typo.
I really am 400 today! Or rather, this is now officially my 400th blog post!
By sheer dogged perseverance, I’ve pushed myself hard to relentlessly churn one post after another since April 2019. My pace doubled in 2020 when I decided to blog thrice a week. Why? Because “quality” is achieved by stubbornly dishing out the “quantity” week after week.
Come rain or shine.
Even on days I feel I’ve nothing to say, I’ve soldiered on. Bringing me finally to this “400-day”!
So now that I’m here, what’s next you may ask? Another 400? 4,000?
400…oops, I mean 5 thoughts to muse over
Truth be told, I’ve been tossing a few ideas in my head of late.
First off, should I cut down to one essay post a week instead of two? Should I post one poem a month instead of a week? Cos “less is more” right?
Secondly, should I focus on just one niche or cornerstone content area instead of four (autism, parenting, writing, and life)? After all, most in-the-know would tell you specialization is the way to go for bloggers if I want to avoid confusing my readers while simultaneously increasing my number of followers.
Assuming that chasing followers is my goal.
Thirdly, and following from the previous point, should I split this blog into four stand-alone sites covering each of those four areas? That will at least ensure no confusion or ‘dilution of brand’. The downside of course is I will certainly quadruple the monthly cost of maintaining my blog!
Fourthly, how long do I see myself blogging? And related to that is the question of how do I properly curate and archive the posts? So far I’m just categorizing and tagging them with keywords. But what happens when I reach 500, or 1,000 posts? Or does it matter?
Finally, is it time to take stock and see if I need to switch, rebrand or adjust this blog’s identity? For one thing, I’ve had a bit more good fortune this season with teaching gigs coming fast and furious. While most teaching is still done online which means I’m working from home, most will soon toggle back to in-person. Can I still call myself a stay-home dad? Would that be misrepresentative?
Your guess is as good as mine!
At this point, I don’t really have the answers. So the best way forward? Learn from others!
Unfortunately, a cursory Internet search reveals several useless (for me) tips for bloggers on quitting.
Tips like quitting because you’ve lost your passion for blogging. Or because there are no readers. Maybe you’re not making money. Perhaps the well has run dry for ideas on what to write. Could be it feels more like a chore now. And you’re too busy to stop long enough to think, let alone write. Or perhaps the niche areas you’re blogging about are no longer in existence (eg blogging about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games).
Nope. None of these apply to me now even as I pen post numero 400.
Why? Let’s see…
I still get a kick outta publishing each post. It may still be glacier-slow but I do pick up new subscribers every now and then, and my posts are read even if they aren’t always ‘liked’. Then again, chasing after eyeballs is less of a goal compared to the opportunity for self-expression and the honing of my writing craft.
I never set out to turn this into a money-spinner so the absence of any commercial benefits is a non-issue.
My well of ideas hasn’t run dry yet; for ideas are everywhere so long as I keep my eyes and ears peeled.
And I do.
And though I’ve gotten busier of late, I’ve never seen my blogging as a chore. In fact, it’s been an anchor and a comfort for me on days I feel overwhelmed.
Finally, the beauty of my chosen niche areas to blog is that they are ‘evergreens’, affording me endless amounts of content to muse over til Kingdom comes!
“Stay home dad” or “home-based” dad? My identity is secure
Yesterday as I was musing over this post, I asked my firstborn if he thought I should change my blog’s tagline. The one where I declared myself a stay home dad.
As I came to discover through recent conversations, the label “stay home dad” often conjures up for many the image of a good-for-nothing chap busy wolfing down potato chips while esconced on a couch watching NFL all day. So to avoid being seen so, maybe I should call myself a “home-based” dad instead?
My son’s response? “Puh-leese dad!” (followed by the requisite eye roll) “It’s all the same.”
Wisdom from a 13-year-old.
It dawned on me there and then that it doesn’t really matter what I call myself. So long as I’m secure in my identity as a dad. Besides, that label is a reminder and a homage to this blog’s genesis. And that’s all the justification I need to keep this blog’s themes and taglines intact and unchanged.
In marking 400 today, I am more than before deeply aware and grateful I’m still living and writing. Just the way I had envisioned this journey to be since it began.
So here’s to staying with my niche areas in this blog for another 400 posts. And (fingers firmly crossed) counting!