26 September 2016

Are you blogging for yourself or for your audience?

Blogging for Creatives: How to Build A Blog Readers Love (Blogging Guides): 101 Questions to Ask Before You Launch Your Blog
This blog is due for another overhaul. What keeps me up at night is how to properly classify my blog content. I am stumped with the following question:  Am I blogging for myself or for my audience?

A. Am I blogging for myself?

I can treat my blog as primarily for myself to define my personal brand. What is my personal brand? In Twitter and in LinkedIn, my tagline is Social Media and Space Weather Scientist. So my blog header should have at least two menu categories: social media and space weather. Or what I broaden the menu to media and science. I can add another one: teaching, but it's not in my main tagline. Of course, in my university, I am more known as a physics professor and less as a content marketer. This would create a triumvirate: social media, space weather, physics teaching. These three categories should be orthogonal: any article should fall on one and only one category.

Social media, space weather, and physics teaching looks like orthogonal categories, since they correspond to my different day jobs:

  • Social Media: Blogger, Webmaster, and Social Media Manager of the Department of Physics of Ateneo de Manila University
  • Space Weather: Head of the Upper Atmosphere Dynamics program of Manila Observatory and currently a visiting professor of the International Center for Space Weather Science and Education of Kyushu University
  • Physics Education: Assistant Professor of the Department of Physics of Ateneo de Manila University

B. Am I Blogging for My Audience?

Ideally, one audience is to one blog. If my audience are business people, then my blog should only contain business related writings. If my audience are physics teachers and students, then my blog should only contain things related to physics education. My problem is that I am interested in too many things and I spread myself out too thinly like butter. I need a blinder, such as those of a horse, so that I can keep focus.

Focus. I need to focus.

I already have a good audience in Twitter. They're mostly people interested in social media and technology. If my Twitter audience is my priority, then this blog should only contain those that caters to my audience's interest.

On the other hand, I already gave my blog address as part of my signature in my work email: qsugon(at)ateneo.edu. So my administrators and colleagues will definitely take a peak on my blog, and maybe even those scientists whom I correspond with. They are my audience, too. Also, next year my co-authored physics textbooks for college and high school may be published. I need a Blog and Twitter platforms to promote these books. It is already difficult to manage multiple blogs and Twitter accounts. Maybe I'll just stick to one blog and one Twitter account for both marketing and physics related topics.

C. Possible Solutions: Google+ Collections and Twitter Time Splicing

This may not be an either or problem. Perhaps there are creative solutions.

Google+ collections, for example, allow bloggers like me to classify my blog content into different collections intended for different audience. In this way, I only have one hub for all my content.

In Twitter, I can also splice each hour as follows:
  • 0 min: Curated content on social media related news and technologies
  • 30 min: General interest articles on marketing and from my blog
  • Random: Content for physics teachers and students
But I am wary of doing this since adding physics education to my content mix may dilute my Twitter brand. Wait. My problem before was that my Twitter deck of tweets is indistinguishable from others in my community. How do I stand out then? Perhaps those physics tweets would reinforce my personal brand:
  • Quirino Sugon Jr: Space weather and social media scientist 
Once I decide on what to do next would change the flavor of my tweets and my audience mix as well. These blog changes are structural and long-term and it would be difficult to overhaul again if my brand positioning takes root as my audience grows. I do not wish to be the person who planned to make a store house but only accomplished in laying the foundations:
Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?  Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ (Lk 14:28-30)
So right now, I am still weighing the pros and cons. Maybe I need a blogging retreat to make a good discernment on what to do with this blog.


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