We’ve all heard that blogging would be helpful for growing our audience and increasing the number of eyeballs looking at our website. It makes sense that we’d want a piece of this action so we decide to jump into the blogosphere.
Why? you may ask. The statistics undeniably support business blogging:
- Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30% (Source: TrafficGenerationCafe).
- Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not blog (Source: ThinkCreative).
- 68% of consumers are likely to spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in (Source: CMA).
The business reasons to blog are to increase your exposure, establish your expert status, and share juicy information. You feel a surge of that “can do” spirit.
Hold your horses, cowgirl! Before you put fingers to keyboard, you must ask yourself three questions which will be critical to your success.
One: What’s your goal for a blog?
Skip this step at your peril. Without a goal, your blog is likely to wander off the path, get stuck in the sagebrush, and poke around the waterhole. In other words, it won’t move you or your business forward. The last thing you want is just another task on your to-do list, and one you avoid because it doesn’t add value.
Here are questions you can ask to hone in on your goal: Do you …
- Want to inspire people to take action;
- Want to teach;
- Want to share information;
- Wish you share your unfiltered observations; or
- Want to share your art, such as photographs, painting, etc.?
Once you’ve established your goal, you can brainstorm topics and subjects to support it.
Two: What’s your blog’s theme?
Every blog ought to have a theme, which helps the writer focus on delivering quality content for their readers (a.k.a. ideal clients). Without that focus, you may be inclined to toss all kinds of things into your blog (especially as you scramble to write a post at the last minute). For example, let’s say your business is in the health coaching industry. Your blog might have a theme about overall wellness or one focused on healthy eating or one about making good choices while traveling. If you choose to focus on healthy eating, sharing recipes fits in nicely whereas getting to the gym twice a week does not.
Here’s a hint: review the goal you established in step one. This will guide you in establishing your overall theme.
Three: What’s your viewpoint?
The focus of this step is to establish your blog’s point-of-view (POV), which can be an extension of your own POV or not. What do I mean by that? First, most blogs are written from the first person POV, but we need to dig a little deeper than the literal POV. Will you write from a world-view or a personal viewpoint? Deciding what your POV is from the get-go will be the third leg in establishing your blog’s personality.
Here are a few examples for you to consider:
- Andrea Moss (http://mosswellness.com/) is a health coach whose blog has a worldview: everyone can be healthy.
- Chris Guillebeau (https://chrisguillebeau.com/) is a writer and traveler whose blog has a personal bent: he shared his world travels and how to accomplish seeing the world inexpensively.
- Jill Smokler (http://www.scarymommy.com/) is a blogger whose focus is on her personal observations about motherhood.
You may be scratching your head, asking, “But I didn’t know all this before I started my blog. Do I have to scratch what I’ve published and start over?”
Before you start a massive deletion, take a breath. Congratulate yourself for stepping out in a big, bold way! Woohoo! Then, reassess your existing posts after you complete the three-step process outlined in this post.
Your existing content can be evaluated as follows:
- If the post aligns perfectly with your goal, theme, and viewpoint: Keep it.
- If this post is in the ballpark with your goals, theme, and viewpoint: Modify the original post to bring it into complete alignment.
- If the post has nothing to do with your goal, theme, and viewpoint: Trash or Unpublish it. (Note: keep a copy of the post because it may contain seeds for a future publication.)
Now you’re ready to saddle up and blog! Happy trails to you.