Blogs By No Name (Even When They Have One)
Written by
Janis Greve
December 2011
Written by
Janis Greve
December 2011

What if you can’t say what your blog is “about”?  Or, what if you could say, in so many words, but resist saying because you don’t want to over-categorize yourself? 

I know that I need to identify what my blog is “about” if I want it to have a distinct presence in the blogosphere—and my blog is the vehicle for my writing, which makes that all the more important.  It’s not supplementary or promotional; I intend it to stand solely on its own two legs as—I hope—good, writerly, writing that others might read and enjoy.  I don’t want to write a book.  I just want to write a really good, well-crafted blog. 

“About-ness” comes up in all kinds of ways, of course: when seeking my target audiences, registering my blog on directories, or just mentioning it (hesitatingly) to friends.  My profiles on Twitter and other on-line communities also pressure me to claim a more precise blog identity, partly because I do think my blog has a shape and I do want it to have an identity.  But often I’m not at all happy with what I come up with it. It feels forced, and worse, I fear I’m not drawing the readers I want to attract.  Or any readers. 

I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself, but it’s difficult when your blog has multiple strands , re-invents itself with each post, and squirms away from categorization.  I’m sure I’m not alone here.  Is my blog about my experience with breast cancer?  Yes and no.  Is it about menopause? Yes, but blessedly, not all the time.  Is it about the challenges of growing old?  Often that’s the undercurrent.  Is it about being jealous of my twenty-three year-old daughter and her fabulous, gym-tastic physique?  Decidedly.  

Maybe I’m being naively optimistic, but I believe that someone who has never had breast cancer, stopped having periods, had a daughter or gotten old might enjoy my posts.  My chief concern is to tell a good story.  But how to find my audiences if that’s the case? 

I’m feeling cranky about categorization because of all my recent forays into social networking.  My blog has a general focus on aging, but because it's not about one thing, it's hard to search for potential audiences.  I’m wondering, too, what to call the kind of blog I write—is it an “art blog”?  That seems pretentious!  Still, I’m hopeful about joining this community.  I'd be grateful to hear from anyone in relatively the same boat--or even out of that boat.  Thank you for hearing me out.  And please do dip into my blog.  My pieces are short, if that's any enticement.

Let's be friends

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  • Janis Greve

    Hi Bridget,

    Thanks so much for responding to my vaguely whiny post!  I've now added a link to my blog.  Networking is relatively new to me and I never know when to promote myself--it always seems like it could be a turn off!  I'm going to try to be more bold...Anyway, I plan to take a look at your blog (I'm assuming it's on your page.)  Thanks again--Janis

  • Bridget Straub

    Well first off, you should have added a link to your blog! I know what you mean about categorizing. My blog started out as a way to promote several novels I'd written, but now it has to do with parenting and perseverance and a series of Happiness Tuesday posts, etc. It's a little of everything.