I guess ‘re-brand’ would be a better word for it, but here’s the situation:
As soon as my WordPress Personal Plan ran out this time last year, some news website bought the same domain name. As in, there are two Of Opinions in town now, my old curiosity shop which hasn’t seen much business lately and the flashy new superstore, which seems unlikely to ever be unable to pay for the domain name, unlike the previous owner who has yet to make a dime, though she has been in business for over five years.
Now, so far she, i.e. me, hasn’t done anything about it. Even when WordPress gave me really good, discounted deals on its various plans, I didn’t consider it because my blogging activity has reduced over the past year. I have wondered various times why it is so. Am I too busy? Have I “outgrown” blogging? Does it not interest me anymore? Have I run out of ideas? Have I exhausted my primary subject of inspiration, which is having a nervous breakdown on the internet? And well, since we’re talking money here, not getting paid for it?
Now, purely from a business sense, that is stupid. Some social media presence is better than no social media presence, unless you’re in a career where it isn’t required, or you’re a person who simply isn’t interested. As a writer, it makes sense to have something out there. It’s not the most high profile of jobs, not really photogenic unless you know how to take aesthetically pleasing pictures of laptops and notebooks, which I don’t. And that is the very reason to do it. If you have some presence, even a modest number of subscribers, that is still better than being a ghost. Even if you need to re-brand yourself for some future endeavour, you have something more naive and sincere to create some controversy with. I am not going to make this amritasarkar.com (God, I hope that one isn’t taken), because I am not ‘there’ yet. There is no vision, as of now, of something so definitive. The question therefore is, what kind of content will this blog see in the future?
I am not going to ditch this one and start afresh. I have nearly 3000 subscribers, it would be stupid to assume they would just go and resubscribe to the new blog. Plus, even if I do change direction, I believe this blog has been strong enough on its own, despite other people stealing its name. As of now, the real problem, besides the lack of content, is emails. I keep getting emails for the news website. Some people just assume they have a gmail account, but no, just to clarify, firstname.lastname@example.org is mine. Little, old me, with the semi-humourous blog that has been featured on Freshly Pressed and Discover. As much as I sympathise on ‘the wall’ and conjecture that if humanity can break into high security areas, they can climb over a wall, that content isn’t for my website.
Coming to the question of content, I have thought about decreasing the humourous, existential bits. Those are my favourite to write, though they bring in fewer readers, but they are also the hardest to work on. Because they have to be authentic, otherwise there is no point. I stopped putting out mental health discussions a couple of years ago, because I felt those things should be left to the truly professionals. I am considering putting out more ‘culture’ stuff, though that brings in the least amount of readers, because this is not a dedicated music or books blog. It could be, if I posted on those subjects more frequently. Let’s see if we can do more of that in the future.
I am still keen on writing content that brings in the most number of readers – writing and blogging. Those are also the easiest for me to work on, and might motivate me to work harder on those two areas as well. Does that necessitate a ‘re-branding’? Would you be on board if I changed the name of this blog to something more in keeping with writing/blogging/both? I have often told you how crap I am with names. I am sure I can come up with something that doesn’t sound massively uncool, but do you think it is a good idea to, you know, let ‘Of Opinions’ go?
It does break my heart. And also scares me. I am a creature of habit, to the point where I get too comfortable and fear change more than death. Well, death is a category of change too, and we don’t want this blog to die, despite it being relatively senile. I am not asking you to go on protest marches to save this old shop, but I am asking, well begging, for suggestions on how to keep it alive. Reinvigorate it. Make it a bigger deal than some news website, or is that too mean?
Just make it something that it is proud to be, even if it can no longer be ‘Of Opinions’.
Any ideas? Please, please, please?