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Less blogging, more new site content now – and this is where we’ll announce updates

I haven’t blogged for a week, and I think I might be cured.

Until then, I’d been writing a post a day for the last 7 weeks – and I’d been getting great results … if it was only about the number of visitors I got. Sure enough, more and more people were coming by, and I’ve had great feedback, for which I’m truly grateful.

But the thing is that I’m not running a blog. I’m running a business. But because I love writing and I’m something of a perfectionist, the time I was spending on the blog was more than the time I was spending on the business. While the blog was surging forward, the business was languishing.

I didn’t really realize it until I stopped for essential maintenance to my two websites, this one and Coloring The Wind. A few people had commented that they found navigation difficult. The sites had too many paths going in too many directions. Remember KISS? Keep it simple, stupid? It was time to get back to basics.

That’s what I’ve been doing over the past week. Putting up signposts, trimming hedges, clearing the undergrowth off the paths, taming the sites. The Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest pages too. With a couple of hundred changes, I’m pretty pleased as I survey the landscape now. If you step off the blog and start exploring the rest of the site – HROomph or Coloring The Wind – I hope now you won’t get lost. (If you do, just whistle!)

Being male, I am of course mono-directional. I don’t do multi-tasking. If I’m working on site development, best not to blog as well, or I’ll never get finished. My readership has plummeted in the last week, and so no doubt have my rankings and all the other things I’m supposed to care about. But you know, it doesn’t make a jot of difference, because it’s made no difference to my sales. They were low before and they still are now.

The difference is that after the site makeovers, I now feel in shape for a major product development and sales drive. With some exciting new contributors and products on the way in the next few days, I’m pretty optimistic.

As I worked, I was thinking about the blogs. How many of my new readers arrived on the site because they chanced upon the blog on one site or the other? The answer was simple: none – or none that I know of anyway. So where had all the new arrivals come from? Not from Twitter either. Almost without exception, they’d arrived via Facebook, where I’ve been participating in a couple of blog challenges. It’s all thanks to the communities I’ve been working in that I’ve made so many good friends, found useful critics, and just recently, have been introduced to brilliant contributors.

Of course, it’s true that once readers had come in to take a look around, it was probably because they found the blog interesting that they decided to stick around, or come back tomorrow. But do I really need to blog?

My answer is … probably not. What’s much more important is that I need to produce new site content – because that’s the real business. Every couple of days, I need to release new wall-art or cards for our gift-shop; or a new item in the poetry masterclass series; or artist news. Just like the blog, this content needs to be enjoyable and relevant to my readers. But now only some of it will appear on the blog. With new material scattered all over the site, how are readers going to know where to go to find it?

That’s where Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest come into play. Previously, I was trying to be much too ambitious, much too smart. I planned to use each of the social media for a different purpose, making the most of their particular strengths. But now I’ve changed my mind: that makes everything too complex. Instead, from here on every time I add something new to the website, I’ll announce it simultaneously on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ – Pinterest as well where the content is primarily visual – with a link back to the site. Virtually the same news in each channel. Boring? I don’t think so. Most readers will have their favorite social media site – they’ll go there, not to all four of them. And even if they do, and see the same announcement everywhere, does it really matter?

Most of the real action is in Coloring The Wind at the moment. There’ll probably be two or three significant changes and additions to the site every day as we introduce new products, new challenges, new contributors. Here on the HROomph site there’ll be less activity. This is where we’ll focus on the business development of Coloring The Wind – new directions (like this post), reports on successes and failures, business analysis. Here I’ll continue to blog, but probably not more than a couple of times a week, reporting only on matters of significance. I’ll maintain separate Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages for HRoomph, but since entries will be infrequent, the best way to keep abreast of news is probably to subscribe to the weekly newsletter, which gives a summary of blog-posts and a link back to the original article.

To summarize, I’ll be blogging less, but adding new content more. In my case, that seems to be the right balance. And I’ll use the social media giants as my noticeboard, so you’ll know exactly where to go to find the content that interests you. It’ll start tomorrow. Here are the links – choose your favorite:

Twitter: HROomph & Coloring The Wind
Facebook: HROomph & Coloring The Wind
Google+: Alan Miles & Coloring The Wind
Pinterest: Colwind

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