New year, new blog: Four simple steps

Are you tired of writing about the same topic you've been working on for a few years? The politics of Obamacare may have felt like a good topic to blog about in 2011, but by now you may have run out of things to say or that interest you about the topic.

If this sounds familiar, it may be time to revisit your blog's focus:

  • Find a new topic that you are passionate about exploring and is elastic enough to stand the test of time. 
  • Don't stray too far from your current focus. You want to keep your current subscribers while attracting new readers.

Try these four tips to make the transition to a new blog topic in 2016.

Zig or zagUse a small shift, a "zig," to build on your current topic while keeping it precisely and narrowly defined. For example, the politics of Obamacare could be expanded to include the politics of social programs in the U.S. Or you could take a bolder approach, a "zag," to connect your blog to currently trending topics throughout the year. For example, Google shows that the Ebola virus is a trending topic. Can you mesh a discussion of the Ebola virus with the politics of Obamacare? It may take more time to tie in to trending topics, but it is often worth the effort. You'll have a newsy, relevant blog that is a fun challenge to write, engaging for your readers, and likely to get more clicks from searches.

Don't lose your voice: The way you write is as important as what you write about. People subscribe to your blog because they like your tone of voice. In essence, your tone of voice is your brand. Keep the elements of your writing style intact and your current subscribers are likely to follow you to a new topic, unless you take them to a new subject area that is wildly off course.

Keep the old, announce the new: Unless your URL is extremely focused on your current subject matter (e.g.,, there is no reason to change the URL and website design you have. Simply announce your new approach in a blog post that describes the reasons for making the change, then start writing. This helps readers make the transition with you. It's also a great way to invite comments on the new blog.

Tag it and forget it: If you haven't already been using categories for easy scanning and tags for keyword searches, now is the time. Label all your existing content with categories that serve as topic dividers for your blog. Last year's categories may include "Obamacare by State" while categories in 2016 might include "Social Programs by State". You want people to find your old posts easily, as well as your new ones. Also be sure to use tags for your old and new content. Tags are gifts that keep on giving; they help search engines find your content, regardless of when you posted it.

Your blog is a living, changeable creature by nature. If you maintain an honest connection with your audience, you should be able to switch your blog's focus with relative ease. With a few simple steps, you can satisfy your own evolving interests and keep visitors coming back for more.