Off Topic Blog Posts

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Today I went to the dentist for my semi-annual cleaning. I always schedule them for the early morning as it allows me to get to bed earlier. Graveyard shift sucks….

What does that have to do with this blog? Well let’s see, is this blog about dentistry? No. Healthcare? Nope. Is this a personal blog? That’s a big no, once again. So what does getting my teeth cleaned have to do with this blog? Nothing. And that brings us to our topic: Off topic blog posts.

What’s an off topic blog post?

Most blogs are about one topic, like golfing or gardening and you expect the posts to be about that topic. Unless you have a personal blog, meaning a blog where you post about your life in general, and there’s nothing wrong with having that kind of blog, then you need to keep personal blog posts to a minimum.

That does NOT mean you never post about details in your personal life, though you don’t have to if you don’t want to. It just means that almost all of the posts should be about your blog’s topic. Even my post, Video Training Series Delays, where I touched on my Clinical Depression (which I could have just listed as a major illness instead if I didn’t want to share any personal details) was directly related to this blog’s topic as it interfered with my deadline for getting my training videos recorded.

How many off topic posts are too many?

I don’t have any ratios, no magic percentage of off-topic posts to on-topic posts. Offhand I’d say over 95% of your posts should be on-topic. So here’s a few guidelines to keep in mind:

Suggested guidelines for posting off topic:

Will it benefit your readers in some way?
Unless it’s just big news you want to share, for example if you just got engaged or something, then it should somehow benefit your readers, even if it’s just to explain what’s happening.

Is it too private?
Your blog is not private nor are your readers your best friend. Don’t share something you don’t mind being completely public. No one is obligated to keep your secret and if it’s a secret then you shouldn’t share it.

Is going off-topic becoming a regular thing?
If the amount of off-topic posts are a regular habit of yours, than either rethink your blog topic, or schedule your off-topic items. Maybe an “Off-Topic Tuesday” perhaps or a monthly “feature”. The point is to let your regular readers know that you respect the fact that they want to read about your thoughts on your blog’s topic, not on your personal life, and thus have fair warning about when you’re going to be talking about something else.

A little consideration goes a long ways.

What are your thoughts for sharing off topic blog posts?

– Jeffery