Going back to the original “what I ate” style of KERF is something I think about all.the.time. If you’re new here, you might not know that for the first 5 years of this blog, I kept a dairy of nearly every meal I ate. I think I only missed a day here or there due to sickness or technical glitches. KERF was unique because when I started back in 2007, no one was logging their meals in real time. (There was also no Instagram or really any social media, so there’s that.) I loved blogging back in those days, and my days looked very different than they do now.
Then: Because I was writing about my life, I lived more life! Blogging never felt like “work,” even when I was up blogging at 10pm. Posts were super quick to write because I was literally recapping my last meal and few hours. I enjoyed writing commentary on my food choices, and I loved reading so many comments from you guys. There were no evergreen or sponsored posts – everything was written in real time. Thus, when I finished writing about my breakfast, I was done for the time being with nothing to work ahead on (except maybe a blog re-design or freelance project). However, there was never a true day off, even on vacation. But it had a very freeing feeling! Income was solely based on ads, freelance work, and some affiliate links.
Now: I spend my days writing posts to be published in the coming weeks. Posts take much longer to prepare, and sponsored posts can take days to create, especially when there is a lot of back and forth with a brand. I sometimes feel stuck on what to write about, and I am torn between posting real meals that seem boring with the oversaturated social internet and delay and evergreen posts that also seem boring for the lack of personality infused. I spend a lot more time at the computer, but I am able to work ahead so that I can take full days off to spend with Mazen or travel. Income is based on a combo of ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate links.
The internet is always changing – as is my life. Part of the reason why I transitioned into more evergreen blogging is because, as a new mother in 2012, I could not keep up with the “every meal” schedule. And when I switched to once-a-day recaps, I had to write them at night when I was totally exhausted.
My brother-in-law, Matt, has a business degree from Duke, and while we were at the beach last month, we struck up a convo about the future of KERF and where I saw it headed. I shared some of my thoughts, hopes, and fears, and he shared some of his based on his experience working with larger corporations. He explained the concept of value proposition, which answers the question “How will you create value to the market?” Some ways this concept can be applied to blogging is evaluating dimensions like:
- Post frequency (infrequent vs. 3 x / day)
- Topic (broad vs. narrow) – Theory would suggest going narrow … playing up your strengths
- Audience (focused vs. applicable to all)
- Style (picture heavy, word heave, balanced… or short vs. long)
Because KERF has always been about my life, it’s funny to think about it in such an objective way. But his comments had my gears spinning.
I shared the above poll a few weeks ago on Instagram in hopes of figuring out what you guys want. Some of you say whatever shows up in your KERF RSS feed is what you will read and love, and others of you have very strong opinions on what you like best. You might say to me: “Write about what you want to write about,” but the problem is I don’t know! I feel that it has to be one way or the other, even though KERF today is about 50% prewritten and sponsored and 50% current lately/weekend/lifestyle posts. I sort of feel like to strengthen my brand, I need to go one way or the other and narrow my focus a bit, or at least make one the majority and one the minority. I don’t want to give up sponsored posts because they provide such a great source of my income and I enjoy the creativity of working on them, but I want to find a way to weave them in between real-time posts. I’m wondering if each day I could either publish a sponsored post OR 2 posts about real meals, distinguished between their titles somehow.
I’m also afraid that if I just start posting one picture of a meal and jotting some notes about my day that you guys will give up! Posts like this and this. I used to post 5-8 photos of the same meal. Some of you loved that and some of you hated it. I think that’s why I’m I am paralyzed by indecision – because you guys seem so divided! If my poll had yielded 90/10 results, I would have a clear answer. But 60/40 is not exactly a slam dunk in one direction.
I also have no idea what life will be like with a newborn again. Part of me knows I won’t be able to sit and write longer-form posts on topics, so that’s one reason why I’m leaning towards a few pictures of meals (and baby) and some life commentary to go with them. But part of me remembers that I had to give up real-time blogging when Mazen was born, so does that make me insane to attempt it again?
All this is to say that I need more feedback! Tell me the pros and cons. What do you want to see and why?
Please, and thank you!