A Blog With No Theme

or, How Nickie Refused To Be Typecast

When you're devising a new blog - and that's an entire blog, not just a blog post - there are two extremes to choose from, and a whole spectrum in between.

For many companies, it works best to choose just a couple of very specific topics, and stick to those - giving your blog a clear topic structure, and allowing you to focus on a handful of SEO keywords that you'd like to rank highly for.

But for a personal blog, you're not necessarily so worried about highly competitive keywords and search engine rankings - at least, not at the outset.

Nickie O'Hara is a shining example of how a scatter-gun approach to choosing your blog topics can actually serve as a solid foundation for a highly successful blog.

Her blog, Typecast, has been shortlisted in the finals of the Most Innovative category in the MAD Blog Awards for 2012, as well as a second nomination for Nickie as Most Helpful Blogger.

Typecast is just three years old - and Nickie explains that it did not begin life as a particularly cohesive attempt to create an award-winning blog.

"I started writing my blog in 2009 to document some major life changes and it's grown from there," she says. "My blog doesn't have a theme, which gives me the freedom to write about every subject.

"It's wonderful to know that people enjoy reading what I write, and I'm really excited to have reached the finals of the awards."

Building on Humble Beginnings

In Nickie's case, Typecast is more than her modest description of it - in the space of just a few years, it has grown to offer not only the wide-ranging blog posts that attracted her initial audience, but also several features that are suited to readers who want more structure.

Among other things, she is part of the Blognonymous network, a collective of like-minded bloggers who allow their readers to publish anonymous requests for help - on everything from troubled marriages to suicidal tendencies.

It's a potentially life-saving regular feature that often provides some of the most compelling content, and the liveliest debate, alongside the everyday articles that help to lighten the mood.

Meanwhile, in terms of her 'Most Helpful' nomination, Blognonymous is just one aspect of Nickie's contribution to her readers, which extends across several social networks and an impressively active online and in-person approach to networking in every sense of the word.

You may have seen her asking the questions in the Friday Twiz on Twitter; you may have heard her on her local radio station, talking about her role as a mummy blogger; you may have bumped into her at a blogging conference.

Wherever you've seen or heard her, there's plenty to learn from this seasoned mummy blogger, whose fresh outlook on life pervades her blog posts and continues to attract interest not only from fellow parenting bloggers, but from readers across the internet.

For more about Nickie, visit her blog, I Am Typecast.