Blogging by Topic or Blogging by Life

This little blog started in February 2005 with a rough focus on theology and its application to life, technically practical theology. We didn’t set parameters on topics and sure as shootin’ I began posting on some of my own ramblings, world topics, and whatever else came to mind at the time.

After moving to Vermont in June 2005, I naturally began blogging about Vermont as well. In fact, Vermont has quickly become a rival topic on this blog with theology and general observations/notes about the world.

I bring all of this up because someone with a very Vermont-ish e-mail address signed up to receive my RSS feed by e-mail after I published a series of posts on Vermont. That subscription came to an end very soon after I posted on theology. Perhaps the person unsubscribed for another reason, but I can’t help wondering if it was connected to the theology post: i.e. not what he/she signed up for.

This brings me to the question: Should blogs focus on one particular topic or niche area, or should they be for anything? I think the world has room for both kinds, and I thought that I would share some of the philosophy behind my blogging. I hope this will create some space for others to share their thoughts on blogging: how and why they do it.

Ed’s Blogging Philosophy:

Anything Goes
That includes theology, since I really couldn’t explain myself very well without God in the equation. For example, why did we move to Vermont? Because we wanted to, but also because God gave us some clear direction on it. I want to hit on multiple topics, but generally try to stick to theology, select world events, and whatever I find interesting about Vermont (which generally means posting on where we go hiking).

My models for blogging are Andrew Jones and Jordon Cooper. They blog on theology and God, but they also hit on software, technology, sports, or their house guests. That’s my idea of a good, well-rounded blog.

It’s Not About Hits
If you want to increase your hits, post on Barack Obama. I can’t believe how my numbers have doubled in the past few days. Yes, I think everyone knows that the hottest blog topic is politics. But more hits was not the point, I posted on Obama because the topic seemed relevant and I fancied that I had something clever to say about it.

I’m not interested in attracting many readers just for the sake of having more readers. I don’t read tips on how to increase traffic. I’m just interested in writing about whatever I think is worthwhile. I hope that can stand on its own and the right readers will find the blog.

It’s Not About $$$
Having enjoyed the blogs of Jones and Cooper without ads all over the place, I decided that I would not get very involved in ad placement either. I think that ads can distract from the content and generally do some damage to the material. Suddenly I may find myself posting on topics that will produce key words in the ads that someone can click on.

If you purchase a book from my list I may get a nickle, but these Amazon links really don’t work to haul in the big bucks. Or even the pocket change for that matter. Of course not worrying too much about hits goes hand in glove with not worrying about making revenue.

It’s About Writing
I’m very interested in developing as a writer, so I attempt to put out the best first draft I can crank out in 30-45 minutes each morning.

It’s About Dialogue
I do my best to present topics in a way that fosters discussion. This is a work in progress!

3 thoughts on “Blogging by Topic or Blogging by Life

  1. makeesha

    I’m with ya. I personally don’t like super narrow blogs, I also don’t like "devotional" blogs or blogs that are heavy handed on the academics. However, there are a few that are worth a read here and there which is why an RSS reader is so helpful.

  2. Ed Post author

    I really like some blogs that always hit on the same topic. It’s kind of comforting in a way since you always know what you’re going to get. Of course, these blogs must be done well, since it get dull really quick.

    Theopraxis is a good example of a theology blog that always has something fresh and innovative. I could never do what Scott does.

    As for me and my lap top, we will blog on diverse topics.

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