The Evolution of a Blog

When people ask me what my blog thekitchensgarden.com is about, I often find myself pausing to think a moment. My little blog has developed and blossomed in a number of unexpected directions. Like a bloggy middle-aged spread. It is not only about my big kitchen-garden anymore. It is so much more. It has a personality of its own. But to describe it in a couple of words is difficult.

Is it a sustainable farm blog? A farm food blog? A homesteading blog? A lifestyle Blog?

Many of us blog straight from our eclectic hearts and our blogs evolve during the journey. So after a while it is hard to pin us down to only one genre. Has this happened to you? Has your blog evolved, and changed over the years? Has it come very far from its beginnings? Is your blog a toddler, or a teenager or maybe even All Grown UP?

Comments

      1. No more hassles of managing a blog. Adding tags. Playing with themes or plugins. It just works out of the box. It is definitely not for serious bloggers. I now blog casually and about random things not aimed at any particular audience so Medium suits my need perfectly.

  1. My blog has definitely evolved from a gawky site built on WP.com using the default Kubric theme to a self hosted WP blog today..

    Many design changes, many structural changes later it is quite polished now and is doing quite well considering the niche market that I write for..

  2. Great question! I’ve been blogging for 3 years now and it initially only started out as a school project. After dedicating more time to my blog, the focus of it has changed a little now. It’s still about writing advice but has now come to include a more personal touch and open-ended questions toward my followers.

    It’s still a little toddler though and I hope it’ll go through some more growth to be a self-hosted site one day πŸ™‚

  3. When I started my wine blog, I had a few ideas and didn’t know what to expect. I got lots of ideas from reading other wine bloggers — seeing what I liked from other people (or couldn’t find but wished I could) really helped me define what belonged there and what didn’t. When I got pregnant and had my first kid, I couldn’t/didn’t drink (terrible morning sickness, etc), but my husband — thankfully — kept me from deleting the site, and now many years later I still blog about wines and wine tasting, much more casually than I used to before kids, but I am glad I kept the blog, even if it doesn’t get all the attention it once did. Heck, with two little kids underfoot, lots of things in my life don’t get the attention they once did. πŸ™‚

    1. Andrea. I LOVE that you blog about wine. Just as much as i love wine actually! So I look forward to reading more of your work. I bet your beautiful children are worth every moment of that attention. Hopefully when I come to Portland we get to sit down and have a glass together!.. (after bed time of course!) c

  4. Great thought! I started out thinking I would just give an opinion now and then. In the nearly three years since, I have also used my blog to inform about issues dear to my heart, ask for help, and tell stories I never dreamed I’d share.

    More than all of that, I had no idea that it was possible to meet so many marvelous people that I am proud to call friends now.

    1. I visited your blog and was thrilled to read the quote in your header “Did you forget you could Fly!” I can see why you have attracted so many marvelous people to your pages. Our readers make it all worth it, don’t they!.. Thank you so much for your comment.. c

  5. When I floated my blog, JarusHub, in March 2013, it was intended to be a general purpose, multi-niche blog.

    However, in a manner that even I myself cannot explain, the blog started narrowing down to career within 3 months of floating.

    I later formally re-wrote my ‘about’ page and refocused the blog to career. Now, it’s a well known career blog in Nigeria.

    I think I’m good for it. Career is a relatively underblogged niche in Nigeria. Also, being a 9-5er, I have to avoid controversial topics like politics that a multi-niche blog may write about.

    Most importantly, career is an area I’m most comfortable discussing. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that at the time I wanted to open the blog.

  6. Some blogs do morph. Despite the advice of pick a focus and stay within reasonable guidelines/topic so readers will know what to expect (and return seeking that sort of post), many bloggers start having no idea where it’s going except that it’s fun. I like the way you stated blog evolution: “Like a bloggy middle-aged spread.”
    Still, I read some blogs that stay on task and consistently deliver uniform style/topic posts time after time. Impressive they can stay on track. ( Examples: Photography blogs, travel blogs, publishing blogs, experienced bloggers giving the rest of us a clue, and the journal of personal growth/trials.)
    Guess blog change is a personality thing as well as the blogger’s purpose for having a blog.
    Kitchengarden is a blog as much about life as it is a I’m-learning-about-farming-and-running-as-fast-as-I-can-while-chatting-with-friends blog…..sort of…Messy is good!
    Always a delight on the farmy (the rest of you should go there….go ahead. Click on over…)

  7. I started out blogging about adventures with my two grandchildren who I love dearly. But, what the heck – they grew up. πŸ™‚ They are happy, healthy, and busy teens. So, I had to do some soul searching and had to grow up myself including refocusing and changing my blog. I’m still enjoying blogging about my other loves – gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling. The best part of blogging is the other bloggers and readers that you meet. I love reading other blogs and commenting back and forth. πŸ™‚

  8. I started around 2000 with a combination of personal journal, collection of links of stuff to look at online, record of bands I’d seen live, books I’d been reading, etc. Later it morphed into more professional topics, and included a hiatus of several years. Now I tend to throw everything there that doesn’t end up somewhere else by default (like Twitter).

    1. Your poetry challenges are looking fascinating Jen.. pity I am not a poet.. I cannot keep up with Twitter, I try to honestly, but i am always way behind trying to play catch up, this is why I love blogging ..it is all so easy.. c

  9. This is great! A bloggy middle-aged spread πŸ˜‹ i’ve been blogging a year, and intentionally began as a ‘musing and amusing’ blog. In looking back, I think I’ve stuck to that theme, but I still struggle to define my blog when people ask me about it. Am I an essayist, a columnist, a creative non-fiction writer? What do I write about? Musings? Perhaps some if my quandary is still not being sure I can call myself a writer!

    1. Evidently not only are you a writer but an artist as well! And the snow art today was great to see, I have whole fields of snow, and never thought about creating an artwork out there.. thank you for the inspiration Sammy D! .. c

  10. Love this. Feel like it gives me permission to do whatever. Started blogging to promote a book, but now I’ve retitled my blog to include “ramblings…” And I ramble about life, aging, Chicago, whatever. Eclectic. I, too, enjoy reading other bloggers.

  11. Cecilia, I think of our blog as about the life of a real woman. You’ve had many adventures and experiences, and you write about them so vividly. Your blog reflects your own personality. Vivid, descriptive, unique, yet so universal. Human to human, you bring people in…I’m so honored to be part of the Fellowship of the Farmy!

  12. Good morning Celi, how nice to see you wear another of your versatile hats! If I had to put a name to your blog, I would say it is a Personality blog. People come for You, your point of view, your interests, your thoughts, your generosity and your tough-but-tender attitude to the creatures under your care. Personality blogs make wonderful friendships because we visit not so much for opinion but for gossip, insight, support and a window onto the writer’s life. Your blog is big and beautiful now. Mine is still that favourite word of yours, a toddler, but I hope to achieve one day the same level of beauty, information, friendship and support. Keep up the good work. Kate xxxx

  13. I love your blog C and have enjoyed watching it change. My favourite pics are of Sheila of course : )
    My blog is in it’s fourth year and has grown into so much more than I thought it would be. I like sharing my creative makes with readers and interacting with them

  14. Hello Miss C : have been with you awhile now and if asked why, I guess it is because I feel I belong to a family of likeminded people right around the world – this is both comforting and fun . . . a wonderful place to which to ‘retire’ and have one’s say!! A second home perchance πŸ™‚ ??

  15. I think thekitchensgarden.com has evolved from a blog to a phenomenon! Whether by accident or expression, it facilitates connections that I’m not sure many of us realised we were lacking… like moths to a light!
    My blog evolved from writing for myself and blogging to see if I could do it/what it’s like to a sanity saving device capturing moments & colours of ordinary things & day-to-day life in snapshots & stories over 3 blogs to a consolidated blog of the same also including stories about past & present, people & places.
    Bets of all, both blogs – mine & thekitchensgarden.com have evolved into communities πŸ™‚

  16. Miss C, I came to the farmy by accident–one of those referrals from a referral I believe and found something quite unexpected in your words, and pictures, and ideals. They combine to provide readers with the sense that we are talking to a dear friend about life, no matter where that life happens to be. You are genuine, although I don’t think WordPress has a specific genre for that πŸ™‚ I feel as if I could walk onto the farmy, pick up a rake or some feed for the chooks and we would be conversing as if I had known you all my life. By engaging so thoughtfully and directly with your readers you create something bigger than the normal writer/reader relationship. That is why your blog sustains and will continue to do so.

  17. I know I complained when you changed the theme Celi, but now I’d complain all over again because I’m used to it and I love it…lol. It’s so comfortable to click over to you every morning when I’m in Van and every afternoon when I’m in OXON. I miss you on days when you can’t manage to blog and am so happy for you at some times, cry with you at some times, worry about you at other times, and try to be there for you always. I love it.
    I also love my blog. It’s not defined as an art blog or lifestyle, but it is about life, about anything that grabs my fancy, about Chloe and Robert and the cats and cars and gardening, and lovely moments, and surprises, and home in Vancouver and England, and creating all sorts of art, usually with very little idea of what I’m doing, and sending that art out there into the world. I’m also fickle…you know…a year ago I enjoyed blog hops which shared tea cups, I also wrote a lot of poetry on Sundays for a poetry link, and just now I enjoy drawing challenges, but, if things get to be a chore, I generally pull out. Work is hard enough without my hobby being the same. I guess the blog is actually for me, you know? Just for me, and when other lovely people do me the grace of reading it, I’m always amazed. I think it comes form a really deep need to record. I’ve been an editorial photographer for a million years, and there’s only a limited amount of images I can actually sell. And the need to record the rest is so strong that my blog is a good repository for that to keep my sanity. Actually, I have to admit to sometimes reading all four years of posts just for the pleasure. In there is my life, just like a personal photo album, just like a collection of beautiful days. I have no plans for the future…except to keep sharing everything I know, everything I’ve learned, everything I see…because it’s extraordinarily fulfilling to keep this record going.
    Big hugs, I’m so glad you’re safe back home. πŸ˜€ Also, trying to orchestrate a to visit Portland!

    1. Your blog is divine and has evolved into a treasure, what a wonderful idea to read back over it.. i should do that more often.. and Portland!! Oh I hope you can make it.. that would be so brilliant! Just brilliant, then I will have someone to sit with at lunch! Let alone listening to all these great talks .. c

  18. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now and I am charmed by the adventures of the animals in your farm and my…they have names πŸ™‚ Yes I think, my blog has evolved. Been blogging for more than five years now, started sharing my plight as a cancer patient/survivor in my earlier posts and ended up with a smorgasbord of posts about daily life, my family, about faith, a little of politics and almost anything under the sun. Been so lucky to have lots of viewers.

  19. I agree with Vivinfrance – no need to define your blog, it is what it is! I started mine partly to keep a record for myself of what I got up to in Spain but initially to try out my stories on the site. These have now been taken down as I found a publisher for my book (which then fell through – perhaps I should share them again?!) and has now evolved into a bit of everything…recipes, sewing, quilting, travels. I’ve met some wonderful people (that’s you miss c!) and learned so much from reading other blogs – it’s a wonderful community to be a part of.

  20. My blog has definitely evolved. I like your description of ‘middle-age spread’. I began blogging about five years ago. Initially it was to promote my writing, but it’s now so much more. It’s an eclectic, ( a posh way of saying messy) mix of the stuff that happens to be in my head and I think may be of interest to other daft old bats like me. I’d say my blog is about halfway through primary school – not a teenager yet.

    I’m now off to visit the kitchengarden and philosophermouse – and then the blogs of other commenters here. Now look what you’ve started! πŸ™‚

  21. Hi Celi. You have an amazing blog. It is one of the one ones I find time for each day as I find it so motivating and is also a lovely read. I even used the photos in your blog to calm a hurt kid while waiting to see the doctor; The animals were a great distraction.
    I try to keep my blog on track as a garden blog and not wave around too much because that is what I know about, but from time to time other interesting things happen, like travel. Don’t stop, you are a super star. Cheers Sarah : o )

  22. Great question! All the experts say “pick a target audience and blog to them and keep your focus narrow”. Well I am here to say that is not me. It is not It’s Just Life -Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary. I have too much to say, I guess, to stick to one subject. My blog started in 2008 as a way to keep in touch with family back in the States when we moved to Australia. Then I found out I had a lot to say and loved the interaction so I just kept on doing it once we moved back. It has definitely morphed over time as I find my voice but the best part of all is being able to connect with other bloggers who “get it” and understand why we do what we do. I love the interaction, the friendships I have made and the wonderful insight that so many bloggers offer on subjects that are close to my heart. So whether it is book reviews, travel photos and experiences, inspirational pieces, Comments for a Cause posts or even Teapot Tuesday it appears that my blog is a little bit of me in every single post and I love reading the comments and finding new folks to follow. Which reminds me –I need to wrap this comment up and go follow some of these other fabulous commenters!!!

  23. I started blogging in 2007 during a very stressful renovation and when it was complete and I put that blog to rest I discovered that I missed it. My Kitcheninspirations blog has morphed from being a repository of recipes for my own use and entertainment to a public place where I have met some incredible people, shared some wonderful stories, experiences and recipes and made a few new friends. Now I cannot imagine not blogging.

  24. Hi Celi, If the title β€˜Freshly Pressed’ was not already taken it would describe your blog perfectly! Each day we share in the news of the farm inhabitants – animals, helpers and visitors. From the kitchen comes the baking (I can smell it across the pond), soap making and book planning. All with photos as young as day old chicks and in about a week…. We might have them too. I have my fingers, knees and toes crossed.

    As for my own blog, well that began with an online chat: β€œMum I need a favour!”
    My daughter was going to the first Barcamp in Ireland. Her topic was β€˜Getting Granny Podcasting – Technology for the elderly’. I was the guinea pig and had three weeks to set up a blog, write a post and then prepare and attach a podcast. That was back in September 2006. So my blog, face and voice went to the event and I stayed home and followed the event as it happened. I thought I could stick with it for a few weeks and then let it slip into the byways of life.

    Almost nine years and no grandchildren later, I am still blogging. In that time, I have almost closed up the shop, but realise I would be the loser. Through blogging, I have made friends across the globe and met about 300 bloggers in person, some have come from as far as Utah and India. On days when health issues prevent me from going out, the world comes into my home through my blog.

    Celi, you are a daily inspiration for so many of us, better than a box of pills any day.

      1. Viv, my blog posting is suffering from a little drought at the moment, but blog reading is a great distraction from pain and discomfort. If I do not appear for a week, Elly gets emails to know if I have kicked the bucket! πŸ˜‰ Seriously, I have met some very caring and helpful people through blogging.

  25. I’m guessing ours is a child rather than a toddler. It has been a year and a half of blogging our attempts to be domestically sustainable. Whilst we are still on a ‘free’ blog we pay extra for picture space and are considering moving to a fully self hosted WP blog. We try and blog at least twice a week; not easy considering we both work full time, have kids, animals and the garden to look after!

  26. Celi, I am in my fourth year of blogging now. I started it as a way to gather recipes for my daughter so she wouldn’t have to hound me every week when she flew the coop for “how did you make that??” I posted one blog a day for the first 30 days, then realized it wasn’t sustainable with a young child and having to work about 60-70 hours a week at that time at a software company. I since cut it down to once or twice a week, and I am happy with that. I mainly focus on “recipes that are good, with instructions you can clearly follow” (read: my daughter could make it following the instructions) but I also post a few blogs about my vacations and such. I have read EVERY SINGLE ONE of your posts since I started following you! I may not comment much, but I feel forlorn when it is not the first blog I read. Love you Celi!

    1. Oh thank you.. such a kind thing to say. Now, does your daughter read your recipes? Mine calls me and says you know that ‘whatever recipe. I know it is on the blog BUT What is the last spice or whatever, she does not even look them up, she still calls me. Though that is kind of nice too! c

  27. Just checked out your blog–sigh–gorgeous photography/layout and those animals! Meanwhile, back at the comment ranch: I started my blog without having spent much time reading other blogs and not truly understanding what the term meant. My first blog post had no pictures (my readers would be astonished to know) and the first brave souls to check it out said “where are the photos?” because a story about ducklings just had to have photos, right? My blog began as a suburban homestead diary and by the end of the first year, morphed into an elastic vehicle for topics as far-ranging as the environment, technology, food, travel and world events. When the world gives you ducklings, there’s no limit to what you can make. πŸ˜‰ Have fun at the conference!

    1. Ducks. Oh I did want ducks, but Boo wanted to play and all three of the ducklings dropped dead. He brought me the bodies, it was all very sad, the look on his face. Sounds to me like you have a blog from the heart too. wonderful! c

  28. I didn’t have a specific niche when I started, and I suppose I still don’t really, although I can summarize what I write about in a sentence. I evolved from only writing personal stories with some sort of connection to a larger audience into writing about stories, social justice, travel, photography, book reviews, etc. Kind of whatever strikes me. I love the freedom of it.

  29. I’ve been with you much of the way, Celi, and have enjoyed every word. I’m sure your blog will continue to evolve but its most important component, your voice, is sure to remain true.

  30. I actually started my blog to help process my feelings on the death of my close friend. I made those posts private eventually and found other things to ramble about. I feel like I need more focus, so my blog is probably a kindergarten boy with itchy underdrawers having a hard time sitting in one spot. Maybe it will grow up one day and know what it wants to be.

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