When you are sitting there watching your 10 month old child play with everything around him, discovering all these new things, being creative, curious and completely innocent all at the same time, it really makes you think about life and the future of it. On top of that, I tend to have one of those minds that is always thinking. The only way that I can really turn it off is by watching a good, captivating film or by playing football (soccer)….As you may have noticed, I took a quick personal trip (which is why I disappeared from Thursday — forgetting to mention on Wednesday) of which I purposely decided to not do any work and thus simply be with my family. But of course when one is not working (and works for him/herself), they are still thinking about work. That thinking led me to ponder about the blog and where it is now versus 1-2 years ago and thus where it will be 1-2 years from now…..
When I first started the blog, I thought to myself, ‘what if I could create “The Sartorialist” version of a shoe blog?’ That was my goal. After all, I wanted to make a change around the world (seeing men wearing and knowing about better shoes), so in order to do so, I kind of had to be that. And while even though I get a great amount of traffic, I am far from that level. I thus think about this and wonder, ‘how can I get there?’ Ever since I created the blog, my monthly readership has increased, bar a few summer months where people are inevitably out and about enjoying the weather as they should be! But since 2014, my blog has become quite stagnant. January was actually my best month ever, but the months since then have not have been as stellar. I then think to myself, is The Shoe Snob becoming boring, redundant, bias etc?
Ever since leaving the day job to focus on my company (which includes keeping up with the blog) I have become exponentially more busy. Believe it or not, what you see of The Shoe Snob and J.FitzPatrick online is all done by me (content wise – do have a web guy who helps design stuff), from ALL of the social media to the emails to the comments (which I am becoming extremely tardy in replying!), not to mention the background stuff that I do. Now please don’t think that this is to pat myself on the back or a moan about how busy I am, but thinking about this makes me concerned about the idea of spreading myself too thin, whether or not this is showing in my writing and thus wondering how I can solve the problem. Of course, the easy answer is: hire people. But that is easier said than done. Then I also think about the idea of why do people read the blog? Is it for my voice, the industry experience sharing, the photo selection? Would it be the same if I had someone else writing it? Could they answer my emails? Would I then lose personal touch? This is my dilemma. How can I replace me without replacing me?
So this is where I turn to all of you and ask what more could you want to see on The Shoe Snob to make it more interesting and captivating? I have attempted contests, done interviews, shared my every experience in the shoe industry, posted thousands of photos, tried to make it fun, but what am I missing? Should I do more guest blogging? Hire others to write? How can I grow, but keep the blog honest, having integrity but also interesting, exciting etc. and not turn into a site that becomes like the rest??? This is where I need your ideas. Bare in mind that in sharing, things will take time to implement as like I said, I am nearly a one man band on the social media side and our company is only a 2 man orchestra as a whole…
Or am I simply over thinking all of this and the blog is great with nothing more to add and the only thing to make sure of is that I never stop writing?? You tell me….????
I await your ideas in eager anticipation….
Justin, “The Shoe Snob”