Monday, July 9, 2012
Going the Distance-5 Questions You Must Answer to Become a Better Blogger Today
It goes without saying that blogging affords today’s writer increased visibility, the opportunity to build a fan base, and a way to be “heard”.
Which is why blogging has become hugely popular, with millions of sites launched in to the blogosphere since its inception.
But, just because something is “popular” doesn’t mean that everybody ought to do it.
Crazier still, is blogging without any real direction or goals.
Or let me put it this way…
Most of us wouldn’t dream of navigating new territory without a road map in hand to guide the way, save time, and have fewer detours. Right?
Well, a similar concept applies when it comes to venturing the path of blogging.
If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get there?
To permeate your “blog fog“, here are five questions every blogger must answer to go the distance, avoid burnout, and yield maximum results...NOW.
1. What is your blog’s brand?
We’ve discussed this before, but it bears repeating.
Branding involves knowing your strengths and weaknesses, your target audience, and your U.S.P. (Unique selling position). Essentially, it’s how you want your blog to be perceived and distinguished throughout the blogosphere. You should be able to establish it clearly and consistently.
2. Why should readers hang out with you?
In other words, what’s in it for them? We know what’s in it for you. :-)
Will you court controversy? Educate? Increase awareness of an important cause? Entertain?
Think of why you give repeat business to your favorite restaurant or retailer. Assess then apply.
3. What are your goals?
When I first started out, it was to build a platform. Then I wanted to connect with quality, like-minded folks. Then I wanted to reach 100 followers. Then it became wanting to make a "real" difference. As time evolved, I wanted to make some money too. Next year, it’s to be named by Writer’s Digest as a top blog. My point? Goals will govern your actions, keep you motivated, and increase your productivity.
4. What’s your game plan?
How will you maintain the momentum?
Sure everybody can blog. But to blog SUCCESSFULLY, long term? That’s a horse of a different color. Will you accept guest posts? Conduct interviews? Share book reviews? Provide links to quality content around the Web? Take periodic breaks? Form a blogging team? Post weekly?
Maybe all of the above? It’s up to you. Again, it all depends on your goals, lifestyle, blogging personality, and reading audience. However, the more specific and clearer you are, the greater the odds of future success (and the less stress)!
5. Who will serve as blog role models?
Sure, you could go it alone. But why would you? Learn to “work smarter, not harder”.
Even the Good Book says that “the wise seek counsel”.
Shorten your learning curve by studying the big dogs in blogs!
Darren Rowse, James Chartrand, and Brian Clark are a few good examples.
As you continue to embark upon your blogging journey, keep these five questions in mind. 'Cause if you haven't got a clue, you haven't got a chance. :-)
Your turn. Feel free to share your questions or feedback.
Image Credit: Andrea Brill