“You should always end your blog posts with a question,” he reminded me. “Otherwise people won’t know you want them to leave a comment.”

“Isn’t it possible,” I replied, “that people would know it’s okay to respond or share or speak up, regardless of the punctuation mark at the end of my sentence?”

“Blog readers are different.” he said.

“So blog readers go around all day not responding in conversations unless they’re asked a direct question?” I pressed. “Some of them must know that conversation happens even without direct questions.”

“I think you’re being stubborn. And naive.”

“Entirely possible,” I sighed. “Entirely possible.”

::

“But look at [Person1], [Person2] and [Person3]’s sites,” I protested. “They write all about stuff beyond their ‘core topics.’ They write about their life and what they wonder about, not just about their ‘business topics.'”

“They also have much larger audiences than you,” he responded (accurately). “When you get to [big number] of readers per month, you can broaden your topics too. Until then, you need to focus on traffic, and to do that, you need have all of your articles very focused and on-topic.”

“What if I declared my topic to be whatever is present and real for me as a solo-preneur who works with other solo- and micro-preneurs? Then nothing would be ‘off-topic.'”

I could hear his eyes roll in his why-won’t-you-just-see-that-I’m-right exhale. “People don’t read websites like that anymore. Now people want business lessons and bullet points. They want Seth Godin. They want Problogger.”

“So how about if I plan on the people who want Seth Godin reading Seth Godin, and the people who want Problogger reading Problogger, and the people who want something different reading me? And people could very well want all three, right?”

“I think you believe you can have a successful website and business without following the formulas all of us know are effective,” he said, frustrated. “Do you really believe that’s possible?”

I paused.

“Entirely possible,” I admitted. “Entirely possible.”

Image by Niklas Morberg | CC License

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