When people start a blog I often ask them, what is the purpose? What is your goal? Why are you writing and what are you wanting to accomplish? You might think that everyone has a clear idea about this, except you. The reality is, most people do not really know what they are wanting to accomplish with their blog. They just feel that they have something to say and want to say it. Or they feel that they could have things to say and want to make money. Either way that is not a real purpose. What ever your goal is, defining your purpose will help you reach it.
When you have a blog you need to know what your goal is, but first you need to know what kind of blogger are you?
- Are you wanting to share you life? (personal blogger)
- Are you wanting to participate in a community? (mommy bloggers or niche bloggers)
- Provide information to clients, potential clients or peers (industry blogger)
- Write about up coming technology and write tutorials (tech blogger)
- Provide social commentary (political or activist blogger)
- Share photos and travel experiences (photo blogger or travel blogger)
- Give reviews and share pictures of food (food blogger)
There are more categories than just these, but you can see that their topic is the first step in defining their goal. Once you have your niche established you can decided what you want to do from there. Are you wanting to relate to your peers, provide information for a client base, or appeal to a mass audience? Are you wanting to write for the sake of writing and provide information or would you like to eventually monitize?
I can tell you this for certain. People who only write a blog to make money will fail. Though I am sure their are a few who could prove me wrong, generally speaking the people who are successful are the ones who write because they are passionate about their topic. That passion will pull and audience and eventually they might be able to make money off of affiliate content or ads. But the money is not the primary driver.
When I started this blog, the purpose was to provide information about social media and tech developments for my clients and/or potential clients. This is why I had it associated with my consulting business. The blogsite was designed with this purpose in mind. But over time, my audience grew and I realized that there was more interest than just (potential) clients. I had to re-clarify my purpose.
This is not uncommon. Often when you really get into blogging it takes you in a direction you did not initially anticipate. That is ok. Just take in that information and adapt as needed. In my case, I redesigned the site and set it on a new URL (laurenmacewen.com). That way the blog was more personally branded, as was becoming an apparent need and designed to promote itself more than the consultancy.
Your audience will be integral in shaping your blog. Ultimately they might redefine your original goals. But when you start our, make sure you know your purpose and you will be able to reach your goals. Or set new ones!