Speaking from the Heart: Why I Changed My Blog's Direction

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I've been blogging for a long time. A very long time.

My blogging journey began in 2005 with my first business website. By the end of that year, I had three businesses with blogs.

One was a natural mothering online store/blog. Another was a green cleaning service with blog. And yet another was an online store that sold holistic-living products like soaps, soy candles, and nutritional supplements.

Business and blogs. That's what I did.


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Homeschool Blogging

Jump ahead to 2009. I started this blog which was originally called The Holistic Homeschooler. By this time, I'd shut down the two online stores but still had the cleaning business.

This new blog was going to be something! I'd share everything I could find about homeschooling. It would become a valuable resource to those wanting to learn about the Charlotte Mason homeschooling method.


It definitely did well, but I wasn't even very good at keeping up with writing on this blog. Why? Because my life was in chaos. We were a special needs family and I was hiding it from the world.

In the meantime, I had two other blogs that were also not doing well. One was dedicated to humorously sharing posts about life in Florida. It was an entertaining blog, but I never found a lot of time for it. The other was a foodie blog. Same problem. 

People loved them both, but my life was too chaotic as bipolar disorder slowly consumed my life. In time, I shut both of those blogs down.

A homeschool blogger. That's what my online life was reduced to. And you know what? It wasn't working for me. 


Niche Blogs Aren't for Everyone

While it's important for many blogs to have a niche, niche blogs aren't for everyone.

Business blogs. Niche.

  • A cleaning blog should be about housekeeping.
  • A cooking blog should be about food.
  • A photography blog should offer tips and tricks to taking beautiful photos. 
But my life? My life is not a niche.

It's not all homeschooling. In fact, we're so unschool-ish in our ways, that it's not even an easy topic for me to write about.
"I need photos of the kids doing school stuff. Ack! I think they did something last week at midnight. Oh yeah. Those Samsung Galaxy photos in low lighting are going to look FABULOUS. Not."
The truth is, I wanted this blog to be a homeschool resource for others. And it is. I share ideas and write reviews. I want to provide that as a service. I work as a homeschool consultant for the same reason. 

But am I good at homeschool blogging? I don't feel like I am. 

I struggle with each and every homeschool post. One post can take me hours to write. They're so technical and strained. It's hard work for me.

While I'm passionate about homeschooling, I'm not passionate about writing about homeschooling. There's a difference. 
 

Besides, I am nearly 50 years old. Four of my kids have graduated and the last one is in 8th grade. How long am I supposed to write only about homeschooling?

(If you're looking for some truly awesome homeschool bloggers, you can find my homeschool blogging friends here.)


Writing about Bipolar Disorder

When I wrote the post about Robin Williams, my blog exploded. That post went crazy viral! Then it died down again. Then I wrote another post about bipolar disorder, and another. Every time I write about bipolar disorder, the post goes viral.

Obviously, that's a thing people want help with. According to Klout, I am in the top .1% of people talking about this topic on the internet. People aren't getting the information they want and need. I'm happy that my posts help them, just as I'm happy if my homeschool posts help someone.

And you know what? Those posts take about 10 minutes to write. Seriously. Why can I write them so quickly? It's because I am passionate in my desire to help spread awareness of this issue.


Even though I write easily and passionately about this topic, I'm more than a mom of kids who have bipolar disorder, too.



I'm a Mom Blogger

I've always hated that term. Mom blogger. 

Maybe it's because I'm a business woman and my first blogs were about business-related things. I didn't want to be known as a mom blogger.

But here we are. 


I blog about a number of things: art, science and nature studies, green living, or recipes. You may find me writing about any number of topics, and when I do, I hope to do it in such a way that it adds value to your life. My goal is always to be helpful.

I'm a mom blogger.

Some people are critical of the change. I lost a lot of followers on Facebook when I made the change. In a way, that was hurtful, but it was also OK. In the end, I saw it as bringing in my real audience - the people who will be helped by my writing.

This post you're reading right now took 5 minutes to type because it comes from my heart. It's me sharing a piece of who I am. That's why this blog is now called The Heart of Michelle.

This is me. Writing from my heart. Not for a niche. 


Want more posts about whatever comes to my mind and from my heart? More about mothering? Life? Geek cons? Subscribe here. 

10 comments

  1. I was wondering what the change was about! I do appreciate you writing about bipolar disorder because there are several people in my family with it- some minor and some severe- and it is NOT easy to live with. I also am not sure what's going on, but I never get any of your posts in my email anymore. I checked my spam folder, and they're not there. I also tried subsribing again, and it said I was already subscribed. I thought that maybe you weren't writing anymore which is why I was happy to see you on Twitter a few weeks ago!

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    1. Shelly! So glad you're sticking with me. I wasn't writing too much for a while, as we were INCREDIBLY busy with sports, dance, tumbling, etc. But I'm back! Did you get this week's newsletter? If not, check your email spam box and add michelle@heartofmichelle.com to your address book.

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  2. Love this. Writing from the heart is what I love to read. Great job!

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    1. Girl, I just love you. I'm so glad you left this comment.

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  3. Oh yes! I'm a mom blogger too. All the "wisdom" out there says I need to choose a niche but I can't! Life is too messy. I do write about certain things but I don't limit it too much. Good luck with the change!

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    1. Love it! "Life is to messy." No truer words have ever been typed. ;-)

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  4. It's best to write from your heart, and there's more joy in the writing, too. It's sounds like you made the right decision to change the direction of your blog.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. It wasn't an easy decision. It's very difficult to make unpopular changes, or even discuss such difficult topics.

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  5. Hey, Michelle, I'm happy that you've found your new direction on your blog. It totally makes sense why you made the change. Looking forward to hearing all about your life and stuff. You've got lots of wisdom to share with us all! :)

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    1. Michelle, Thank you for your encouraging and kind words. I appreciate it!

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