I think I finally figured it out

I’ve spent like six months trying to figure out what to do with my blog.  I really want to split up the blog into multiple subjects where I can write dedicated posts and articles without interfering with my “normal” blog.  I’ve thought about many options.  Here are a few of them…

  • Split up into multiple domains.  For instance, I picked up dumbtv.org so I could make a TV show blog.  I would pick up similar domains for other sorts of blogs.  The benefit is that I would have everything segregated without any sort of interference.  The downside is that people who are interested in more than one subject would have to check multiple URLs and I would have to “start anew” with a bunch of domains.  For various reasons, Google won’t rank my new domains as highly as pages/posts on natarem.com so I wouldn’t get as much traffic for that reason.
  • Just blog everything on the homepage of natarem.com and set up categories and/or tags.  The put some instructions on the sidebar with links to auto-generated pages that would only display a certain tag or category which would thereby allow people to only read what interests them.  The upside is keeping it on the same domain and still allowing people to filter content.  The downside is that I think a lot of people wouldn’t bother.  They’d just see all of the non-standard stuff I am interested in posting and they’d be like “this blog has changed, I’m out of here”.  While I would pick up new readers from other industries as people got to know my posts about other subjects, I’d prefer to let my long-time readers have a seamless transition.  And I wouldn’t lose any of them — at least not because of the change I’d like to make.

For the downside reasons listed above, I wasn’t happy with either one.  But I am also not happy with my blog right now because I really want to blog about other subjects and expand the scope of my site.  I’ve realized I’d like to make WordPress plugins, WordPress themes, SEO posts, PHP tutorials, MySQL tutorials, TV show posts, Software posts, etc.  I don’t really think it’s a great idea to flood the homepage with tips on how to use XML in PHP or whatever.  So, with all of that being said, here’s the plan.

I’m going to make a bunch of subpages.  Kind of like the tv shows and poker SEO subpages now, I am going to set up subpages.  Here’s the difference.  Difference sets of posts will show up on each subpage.  So a subpage like, say, /wordpress-themes/ would have a list of my most recently added “WordPress themes” posts.  The homepage would stay the same — just my normal blog posts that don’t fit into another category.  Stuff about where I’m living, what I’ve been up to, some opinion articles, some pictures, etc.  The normal stuff I’ve been doing for 3+ years.  And I will have two lists in the sidebar:

  • Recent homepage posts
  • Recent non-homepage posts

Each will have timestamps on them and that way people visiting the homepage will be able to easily see if the subpages have a new post and, if so, what it is — along with a link.  That should solve both of my problems nicely.

Oh, and, in addition to all of that, each subpage will have its own RSS feed if people are only interested in one subject or the other.  That includes an RSS feed for just the homepage posts.  There will also be a sitewide RSS feed for those of you who are really interested in everything I have to say (Mom, I’m looking at you…).

So now I just need to figure out how I’m going to lay this whole thing out and then I can implement it.  I know this probably doesn’t seem like a big deal for many of you but you probably haven’t been internally annoyed by this for the last few months.  I have… so I’m excited to get rolling on this.

6 thoughts on “I think I finally figured it out

  1. Bill Rini

    I find myself running into the same sorts of issues but from the feedback I’ve gotten my audience is about 50/50 split on whether or not they like my offtopic posts. Some love to hear about travel and random stuff and others wish I would post strictly about poker related stuff.

    I’ll be watching how things go over here for some clues on how I might make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time . . . didn’t someone say that was impossible? :-)

  2. ispiked

    Personally, the way my RSS reader is set up makes it very easy to just skip posts I don’t want to read. So I’ll definitely be subscribing to the site-wide RSS feed.

    That said, I guess the majority of visitors actually come directly to the site. I could definitely see how these improvements could benefit those users.

    It’s great that you’re doing this. Holding back content due to organizational restrictions really sucks.

  3. Eric

    i vote for putting everything on the home page and adding tags because it’s easier to skip reading something than trying to find something you want to read.

  4. Nat Post author

    Bill,

    I’m going for it :p

    ispiked,

    Totally agree. It bothers me when I want to write about something but I feel like it’s completely missing my audience.

    Sebastian,

    Videos = yes. I am going to set up some video stuff for sure. Widgets I’m not so sure about. That being said, video and widgets are the future of the internet. Also, you owe me 20 bucks.

    Eric,

    I’ve debated it for a long time. I gave serious weight to that option but I just don’t think it works out well for a few reasons. Part of it is user experience and part of it is SEO-driven.

  5. Unknown Webmaster

    I’m one of those people, who usually just skip everything TV related (but read everything else), however, I’m really bored today, since have to monitor a total backup of my computer in preparation of a harddrive wipe due to security concerns (read: paranoia).

    I just happened to venture into the TV show section, and I really like it!
    I have just finished watching Dexter, and now I have an easy way to keep myself entertained for the rest of the night :-)

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