Sweeping them up,
Then not sweeping them up –
The falling leaves.
Everybody loves autumn: the smells, the crispness, and the end of summer’s heat. People complain about winter and summer, but nobody seems to mind the coming of fall.
And there’s a lesson in that for bloggers. What is it people enjoy so much about autumn? How could these things apply to the way we manage our blogs?
I’ve raked up a few ideas for your consideration. Like a basketful of colorful leaves, perhaps one or two might stir your imagination:
People love autumn’s bluster. While you needn’t become like one of those loudmouth radio talk show hosts, when is the last time you showed a little bluster on your site? By this, I mean opinion. As bloggers, it’s our natural inclination to be liked, and for our writing to be appreciated. This sometimes leads to writing what we think our leaders want to hear. When is the last time you wrote something you really wanted to say?
Autumn is a time of harvest. Lorelle has done a wonderful job pointing out the importance of our archives. What better time than fall to bring out a few of the year’s best posts? It’s a great way to pick up some old conversations, or start a few new ones. You might consider writing a new introduction or branding it as a “Best Of” in some way. Check the original article’s comments. Is there anything great from a regular reader? Drop them a note and see if they’d like to make a fresh comment. If it’s been a while, you can resubmit the article to your favorite social bookmarking sites under its new file name.
Autumn is a season of change. With all the vacations, holidays, and outdoor activities of summer, it’s easy to let your blog coast a bit. Fall is an excellent time to freshen up. Add some color in the form of fresh graphics or perhaps even a new template. Prune your blogroll. Plant a few sidebar perennials. Most readers couldn’t care less what sort of software or back-end changes you make to your site, but they certainly notice when you spruce things up in the layout and design. This sort of change communicates an active site — and that translates to more active readers.
Now it’s your turn. What other attributes of autumn might be applied to a website? There are upcoming holidays, get-togethers with friends, a chill in the air … well, you take it from here. Best idea in comments wins a freshly brewed cup of warm cider the next time you’re in Philadelphia …