A road sign reads "New Chapter Ahead," against a sunrise.

Since I started my first blog sometime around 2008 or 2009, I’ve had to reevaluate my content strategy many times.

My first blog was part tech experiment, part creative outlet, part rant. I wrote in response to social media discussions, events in the news and other blogs — mostly animal-oriented blogs from the same insular group of bloggers. My work was stale and uninspiring, and the lack of engagement was discouraging. After a while, I could see it wasn’t working.

Time after time I promised myself I’d attend this fun event or that fun event in Seoul and write about it later, but usually I’d run out of energy and end up not writing anything. And the pressure to produce amazing content took most of the fun out of the activity. 

Eventually I changed platforms, bought a domain and narrowed my focus. For a while, my blog became mostly a personal diary about my dog and the health issues she was struggling with at the time. But I couldn’t help posting pictures of my cats too, or rambling about animal shelter trips I’d taken part in.

I couldn’t do justice to the medical information, and more importantly I couldn’t maintain a clear sense of purpose. After my dog died, I wrote a memorial post and then wrote about a session with an animal communicator who may or may not have really talked to her in the spirit world. My blog was becoming a sad place, and I wasn’t getting many views.

A few years ago I decided to revamp the blog and focus on interesting, socially relevant, interview-based content centered on Korea and some of the cool people and animals I’d crossed paths with over the years. I got some great interviews, and people shared powerful stories. But over the past year or two, I realized my efforts just weren’t cutting it. I tried splitting my blog from my personal website to create more of a “brand,” but that only caused more headaches.

Next steps

I still didn’t want to take my posts down because people had given up valuable time to talk to me, and those stories had so much potential. But it was time for an upgrade, so I decided to start an e-book series.

Now I’m reorganizing many of my old blog posts and hope to republish them in book form. But I want my books to be more than just a recycled blog, so I’m conducting fresh interviews too. 

That’s a start, right? Well …

The scope of my project has grown way beyond what I originally envisioned, and it’s intimidating. I’m going to have to do a lot of self-editing and a lot of fact-checking, but the first book is already taking shape. It’s a collection of stories about expats who’ve spent time in Korea, what they’ve learned from their experiences here, and how their Korea journeys have changed them. One more interview and a few sessions with a writing coach might be enough to get it past the finish line.

For books 2 and 3, I’ll probably collaborate with a Korean-speaking friend or colleague to gather more information and verify a lot of the information I already have. I’ll probably seek out another interview or two as well. 

Please send positive thoughts so I can stay on track and get my books out there, hopefully this year. In the meantime, I’m restoring a few of my blog posts with some tweaks for 2024. I haven’t given up on blogging, and I’ll be back with more rants and rambles as soon as I catch my breath.