With social media leaking into every facet of our lives, it's hard not to get tied up with a specific label or brand, no matter what your affiliation or lack thereof. You'll have noticed, I think, that I've been working over the last several months to develop an aesthetic on this website that matches my brand, with the help of my artist, Red.
But there's a catch to that, and I think some of you already know what it is.
If you have a Tumblr account, or an Instagram account, or a Twitter account that's any sort of popular, then you know that your followers expect a certain kind of content from you. Book photos, traditional art, dog stories, Star Wars memes. Whatever it is that you fixed on as your "thing," that's what people started following you for, and now the pressure is on to provide more of the same.
I've seen entire blogs dedicated to "incorrect Jane Austen quotes" and "snake pictures." The common wisdom is that the more consistent and specific you are, the better you'll do. But that's not always true, and it's leading a lot of people into a dangerous dead end.
By claiming a brand or a label as your "thing," you end up limiting yourself to that one thing. Whether it's book reviews or stick figure comics, it's not likely that one thing will stay interesting forever. Eventually, you'll want to engage with something else, and when that happens - what happens to your audience? Well, some of them will disappear, because they were following you for the memes, and not all of them are interested in text posts.
So, as a friend of mine recently said...
Don't depend on a label to draw your audience. Post the sort of things you'd be interested in seeing, and trust people to remember that you're a person, not a meme machine.