Changing Blog Genres

sarah-running-thatsquatbot

Never, ever give up, or so the saying goes. But at what point do you realise you are putting your heart and soul into something that isn’t really going anywhere.. And move onto something new?

I did enjoy Fashion Dotty for a long time. I considered my blog to be in a niche; my style is alternative, so I didn’t expect it to appeal to a mass market, and I relished the relationships I built with my small amount of readers.

Perhaps I had reached a ceiling. It had come to the point where my followers and pageviews stopped growing, and even started falling. What was I doing wrong? I grew resentful, putting a lot of work and effort into my blog and gaining nothing.

My interest in health and fitness began to bloom around this time, and I searched for blogs related to this. There weren’t many out there, and that’s when it hit me: I could do this! I could create the content that I wanted to read.

Although I was a little jaded with fashion blogging, to simply change Fashion Dotty to a fitness blog would lose readers’ trust as it was too different a subject. Besides, previous posts I’d written about fitness lacked engagement. WordPress was a blogging platform I’d heard a lot about – specifically, how good it was for your SEO! – so I decided to launch my new blog there. And so, That Squat Bot was born.

I began by introducing my blog to the new market doing what I wish I’d known to do at the start of my fashion blog – by engaging other bloggers with comments, likes and visits. I made new friends and was enthusiastic and excited about the blogs I was commenting on and the content I was creating which showed in my work.

Eventually, I started to promote That Squat Bot on Twitter and introduce it to the followers of Fashion Dotty. I was unsure of the crossover in interest due to previous low engagement, but I actually had many supportive comments. It proved to me that the reason people love blogs is because they are genuinely interested in the person writing.

Fitness and health interests me because it is broad – you can be a lot more inventive with your content. That Squat Bot is split into seven categories – Eat, Kit, Life, Op-Ed, Run, Train and Yoga – so if I am stuck for ideas I will read around these subjects until something strikes me. My posts are fact-based and require research and references, though I find I enjoy this more than writing about what I wore and why!

Photos are not as integral as they were in my fashion blog, but I still try to use high quality, relevant shots. Blogs and websites are visual things and even I get bored of reading a full page of writing, no matter how well written or researched.

There were only a few fitness blogs around when I started mine, and there still are. That means everyone knows everyone and it’s a very supportive community. Whether you’ve just got a new 10K Personal Best or you’ve made a new healthy cake recipe, they are there to cheer you on.

So how is That Squat Bot doing now, nearly six months on? My readership is growing so it gives me a sense of achievement, but not only that: I also really enjoy creating content. I am able to use my own knowledge and learn new things along the way – about nutrition, fitness, and also myself.

Have you ever changed your blogging genre? How did you go about it?

Sarah Harradine

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