When I was preparing for last week’s Witch Week event, I started to look at and think about the reading preferences of bloggers I regularly follow. I was somewhat surprised to realize how many of them don’t appear to read fantasy at all — their focus being on midcentury fiction, or classics, or simply anything other than fantasy. I read and enjoy their preferred genres (otherwise I wouldn’t follow their blogs), but it doesn’t necessarily work the other way around. And if I blog about a children’s book one day and a classic nineteenth century novel the next, followed by a biography or some historical fiction, such readers might get confused. What is the focus of this blog, anyway?
This made me wonder whether I’m alienating some readers by not sticking to a more narrow range of books in my blogging selections. If they stop by one day and see a book or genre they are not interested in, will they give up on me altogether? Would I build a stronger following by being more predictable in my choices?
I actually have no intention of creating a “niche” blog, because I like to read without boundaries and I want my blog to reflect that. But I do question what effect this eclectic approach has. Is it still possible to create a sense of identity and convey a blog “personality” without sticking to a limited range of reading choices? What are readers looking for when they visit my blog?
This also made me think about what I’m looking for in other blogs. I don’t mind blogs with a particular focus, and find that it does help somewhat for me to “place” them within a certain set of expectations. But if I find that the blogger never reads or talks about anything outside of that box, I become less interested. It starts to seem rather one-sided to me — not that I expect everyone to be interested in everything, but some willingness to branch out seems to indicate a curiosity and openness that is attractive to me.
What about you? Do you prefer blogs with a distinct focus, or do you like them all over the map? Does it completely turn you off when a blogger posts about a book or genre you’re not interested in, or are you still willing to try that blog another day?