Thinking about what I want to do and where I want to go with this blog

A friend of mine is a big fan of Firepole Marketing and other blog-related marketing sites, so a lot of his advice for me has been focused on building audiences and information products. It’s been quite useful—look, I finally got around to all these little design tweaks!—but there’s something niggling at the edges of my brain, and that’s usually a sign I should slow down and reflect on it. I notice that I hesitate.

I need to sort out what I’m hesitant about just because it’s unknown or something I’m shy about, and what I’m hesitant about because I want something different.

What I want from blogging

The things I love the most about this blog are:

  • Sharing all these small, varied things I’m learning about, and not worrying about sticking to one topic, making sense, or writing too often
  • Having these amazing conversations spanning miles and years (Raymond Zeitler, Clair Ching, Chris League, and a few other people have been commenting for more than five years – I’m so lucky!)
  • Bumping into all sorts of amazing people through chance conversations and connections
  • Following the thread of our shared curiosity into new questions
  • Answering people’s questions with blog posts from when I was trying to figure things out too
  • Knowing that no matter what happens, good or bad, it’s something I can learn from and possibly share

There’s a lot of good advice out there for people who want to “monetize their audience” or build a business around blogging, but… maybe I have the space to explore something different. What would this blog look and feel like in another ten years? More of this, I hope, and better. Better at learning, better at sharing, better at organizing, better at connecting.

Sometimes people pay more attention to what they pay for. Hmm, maybe optional payment, or saving payment for individual help? I don’t have a mental hangup about being paid for consulting, because that’s stuff that clearly creates a lot of value for my clients and doesn’t really give me things I can widely share as a way of helping others. I don’t have a hangup about earning a little bit from affiliate sales (since it’s entirely optional, and only the stuff that I like, and I point out non-affiliate links or alternative ways to get things like borrowing books from the library). I’m sort of okay with the idea of making collections of blog posts and sketches and selling them for a nominal fee as an experiment, although I’m tempted to just make them all freely available and then perhaps add a pay-what-you-can system or a donation button.

Anyway, we’re doing well, so I have some space to focus on learning and sharing. =) I want to make the most of that opportunity. Can you help me figure out what would make this better while keeping it real?

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