Tips to navigate the road to success...
There's no doubt about it: there are different paths to the road of success when it comes to blogging.
Some bloggers become "bodacious" by landing guest posts on prominent sites in their niche. Others are able to grow their readership to a cult-like following through consistent, clever, quality content that has "viral" appeal. While others are blessed by the "blog gods" to have an agent or editor "discover" them, and in so doing, a book deal is born.
Perhaps one day it could be you.
But unfortunately, many of us are detoured because we lose our way, are not clear on our focus, take unwise short cuts, "lose steam" or fail to heed the proper directions to move forward and ultimately go the distance.
With this in mind, here are the most important questions you'll need to explore to break through your blog fog, have a more strategic approach, and get more mileage for your efforts.
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. If you don't know where you're going, how will you get there?
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.
6. How often should you post for optimal results?
Frequency varies depending upon the type of blog you have, your readership, your lifestyle and your goals.
Word to the wise: never just throw up a post for the sake of maintaining consistency. If you have nothing noteworthy and valuable to share, then you probably shouldn't share until you do.
7. What will you do differently this year to become more progressive in your journey and to extend your reach?
Perhaps it might be sponsoring contests, or conducting more interviews, or developing a marketing plan, or analyzing past mistakes. Assess and apply.
Follow these timely tips to experience fewer detours and stay in the "write" direction in your blogging journey.
Questions? Thoughts? Do you feel you're on the "write" path?