Posted in Of Bloggingly

To Change Or Not To Change…

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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, ofopinions@gmail.com 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?

Author:

Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

11 thoughts on “To Change Or Not To Change…

    1. Thank you so much, Jo! The possibility of a rebrand does excite me, and the best possible outcome would be writing and connecting more. Maybe I’ll do some research on it and see if it’s worth it. Thanks again!

  1. I’m torn on what advice to offer to you here. Rebranding is a tough thing in the real ‘commercial’ world. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Just ask the geniuses behind ‘New Coke’ in the 1980’s. (As in Coca Cola, just to clarify lol). I can see how it would be exciting and invigorating. It also probably feels a little dangerous, as in the good kind of danger. But then you are left with, but how will people react?

    But to your question, and for what it is worth, here are my thoughts. As to content, that is entirely up to you ultimately. Personally speaking I would never limit myself or restrict myself to things or types of posts I would like to write. Which means you might think it a good idea to limit your humorous posts, but if you FEEL like writing them…then write them. Similarly if you want to talk about mental health because you also FEEL like writing or getting words out to the world that might be beneficial you should do so. I have been personal sometimes in the past, but my last two posts have been very personal about the path my therapy sessions have been taken me lately. They felt cathartic and beneficial to me. So don’t limit yourself by what parameters you think drive traffic. Speak from your heart as a writer.

    On a practical side, I am wondering if instead of rebranding completely you were able to keep Of Opinions in as a tag line of itself. Thereby distinguishing between the two sites. I don’t own my domain (thinking I better should) but last year I added ‘Where Music Meets Photography’ after the title of Soundtrack Of A Photograph. Can you do something along the lines of- OF OPINIONS-‘Thoughts about everything under the sun since 2010’…or something to that effect? It would be a way to keep the two words…which anyone who is of an opinion (a phrase in common parlance) as yours. As someone else said, you can call it whatever you like and I’ll still read and follow you no matter what. Rest assured of that no matter what your choice.

    1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful suggestions Robert! I feel like I must send you a cheque! I will strongly advise you to buy your domain name if soundtrack is that precious to you (I know it is!), because even if you don’t make any money off of it, it’ll still be your own. It’s up to you, of course, but maybe 35 USD a year isn’t as much in the US as it it here?
      I do have a tagline. Same as the book, “Essays on life, love and loneliness” I keep having to answer emails to people, telling them mine is a little philosophy blog and not a news place. I was almost moved to writing something on people in the US not being paid for the month of December (I believe it was just government employees?) given by the number of emails I was getting on it, but this blog really isn’t the place. Maybe I’ll write something on the college admissions scandal…
      I won’t change the content too much. It’ll be the same voice, obviously, but I can’t justify spending all that again without getting some interest here, and writing about writing and blogging just seems to draw people more. I’ve been thinking about how I could shift the focus of this blog more towards that, but a total rebrand won’t certainly be a rushed thing.
      Hope you have a great weekend!

      1. Everything you said makes a lot of sense. I definitely will buy my domain in the near future. Sound advice…save the cheque however!! I guess a change or shakeup is good every once in awhile whether intended or not. I think your approach is a good one!

  2. I haven’t been following your blog for a very long time—only a couple months—but I will continue to do so no matter what you decide to do with it. Best of luck! 🙂

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