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A Clear Blog Purpose Will Make or Break Your Blog

Articles about blogging tipsBlogging Bits offers “A Beginner’s Teeny Weeny Guide to Blogging”, a simple step-by-step resource list of articles from around the blogosphere covering a variety of blog tips and techniques. The list includes:

  • Setup
  • Promotion
  • Monetization
  • Miscellaneous good practices

The comments include other recommendations that are worth tracking, too.

While the list is small on purpose, here are a few of my recommendations that I would add to the list for Blog Planning and Purpose. Without a strong blog purpose, and a plan to fulfill that purpose, a blog soon dies and the blogger is bored or floundering without a path.

  • Set the Blog Subject Matter: Without clarity about what you are going to blog about, you will lose interest and enthusiasm, not to mention readers, if you don’t stay on track and cover consistent content consistently.
  • Blog Editorial Calendar: Set deadlines six months to a year down the road for your blog so you are always pushing towards your goals, and content will continue to flow.
  • Whose Blogging: If you are the only blogger, it’s important to know who you are, your blog persona, which establishes your writing style and voice. If there are multiple bloggers on the blog, each one must be clear about their responsibilities as well as the tone they will take on the blog.
  • Blog Demographics: If you don’t know who you are writing to, then how can you write? I’ve always had to have a clear picture in my mind of who I am writing for, and then write for them and their needs. A blog is no different. Have a clear picture of who your blog audience members are and serve them and their needs.
  • Blog Goals: Do you have goals with your blog? What do you want to do with your blog? Do you want it to make money? How much? Enough to pay for hosting or more? Do you want it to establish your reputation? Give you a voice to have your say? Or be a resume to help you find a job? There are many reasons to blog, just be sure you know what you are working to achive with your blog.
  • Clarify Blog Purpose: Be very clear about your blog purpose and focus. If it is covering car races, then don’t start blogging about your favorite flavor ice cream unless it has something to do with car racing. Become the expert in your niche, the one people come to for the help and community they need by clearly identifying who you are and what your blog is about.

Once you have your plan and purpose defined, then the choices you make for promotion, monetization, and good practices will automatically follow suit. The clearer your purpose, the better choices you will make.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

13 Comments

  1. Posted May 24, 2008 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Right before I started my blog, I already established my purpose. You’re right. Without that purpose, I don’t think I would have gained readership.

  2. Posted May 24, 2008 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    As everything also blogging needs planning to be effective. In blogging the goal is to get as many readers as possibile so we need to know what we’re saying and to who we’re talking.

  3. Posted May 24, 2008 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Wholeheartedly agree. Blogging with purpose is like following a road knowing where you’re going. And without purpose, it’s like running in a vast field hoping that you’ll luck upon your destination.

    Thanks for the kind mention. :)

  4. Posted May 24, 2008 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    great topic, I ended up splitting my blog up into “subject” areas. I found that when visiting other blogs that had subject matters all over the place I didn’t stick around. I think it is important to find a focus for the blog and stick with it. If you want another focus perhaps looking at starting another blog might be a good idea.

  5. aminhers
    Posted May 24, 2008 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    yup, great posting !

  6. onebagnation
    Posted May 24, 2008 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m feeling like my blog is somewhere between a personal, journal-type blog and a blog where you can find encouragement and inspiration.

    I’ve been worried that my purpose wasn’t clear enough, but hope to solve that by having different days being devoted to different kinds of posts. Some will be more “show and tell” and some will be more introspective, and they’ll all focus on the topic of gaining control of my stuff and my life.

  7. bradstinyworld
    Posted May 25, 2008 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    There are a few things I am going to have to disagree with here.

    Subject Matter> If you have been watching the trends you will find many of the big blogs are going to expanded coverage because the niches they have been blogging for a long time are becoming over saturated and/or dry wells for them. While the days of just blogging whatever you want to certainly aren’t back tight niches aren’t going to make it either. If you vary to widely talking about blogging, your exciting trip taking the dog to the groomer, SEO, cooking, your kids, then back to blogging you will certainly have trouble keeping readers. On the otherhand if you are just rewriting what as already been said by yourself in the past or countless other bloggers on recent trends you will lose people just as fast.

    I will agree with you that your blogging persona is important especially in multi-author blogs which is certainly becoming a popular trend.

    As far as demographics go new bloggers should be thinking of target a certain demographic rather than a particular niche. This was Darren Rowse own advice on last weeks video post.

    You definitely need goals and you need to write them down. Even if you get into blogging with the goal of making money, then you need to write it down with a plan on how to make it. For me this has become the case. I want to blog less so I put together a blog network http://www.hartblognetwork.net I can write on my own blogs less because I get adsense revenue sharing from all the blogs in the network and all I have to do is cover hosting, admin, and promotion.

    Clarifying your blogs purpose. You need to be careful with this one. Too many popular blogs who have done this well over the years are now shark jumping because they have said pretty much everything that can be said. you can only write about how to increase your PR, entrecard drops, or diggs so many times before you just repeat yourself. If set a clear purpose and start running out of new material it is time to either expand your subject pool, change your subject altogether, or bow out gracefully. If you are going to bow out flipping your blog isn’t a bad option

  8. Posted May 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, this message just can’t get repeated enough. It needs to be shouted from the rooftops even louder. Thank you for adding another voice to the chorus. Really, this is the oldest necessity in the book: if you don’t know where where you’re going, how will you know when you’ve arrived?

    The problem is when you’re really new to blogging, you don’t have the perspective and experience to really have internalized this. That’s why I recommend a starter blog that you don’t get too invested in. Don’t think of it as your “real” blog. It’s a practice blog on which you learn the ropes. After you get more of a feeling for what blogging really is to you, then you can get serious about a topic and have a purpose for your blog. This way, you won’t regret your earlier steps as you learned.

  9. Posted May 26, 2008 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    I got the point now, i just create my blog a month ago. till now i still confuse what is my blog about.
    last week i want wrote about WordPress tips, this week i want write about ashlee simpson,haah..

  10. Posted May 27, 2008 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Although I partially agree with your comment “Be very clear about your blog purpose and focus. If it is covering car races, then don’t start blogging about your favorite flavor ice cream unless it has something to do with car racing,” I think occasionally it’s good for your readers to have something completely different from your niche subject.Perhaps a joke or funny video you’ve found, or even a link to another interesting post you’ve come across on another blog.

  11. sudipta
    Posted May 30, 2008 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Agreed, but the question is what is the purpose? Does it cater to a large viewer/reader base or is it for a niche audience? Whatever maybe the purpose, to make a blog successful you need to get folks visiting your site. With a wide variety of choices available to them, it is very difficult to develop the right kind of strategy to make ones blog a success.

  12. Posted May 31, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Oh we had purpose and foucus alright, but is that enough? I found this article after googling something about why we stop blogging. I stopped just the other day after 13 months and have been struggling to understand why I stopped. Many factors contributed to this even though there was still much purpose to my posts. It’s dawning on us that apart from the common factors that contributed to the decision to stop, things like lack of time and new work priorities, fact is, if the blog earned me a dollar I would not have stopped. Not that it was ever a goal to earn money from it, just something for the 10-12 hrs spent weekly to cultivate the blog and write/research the posts. Effective monetization is important but in our case it proved elusive. This is a good site you have here…

  13. Posted June 8, 2008 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Uh….thank you. Very great working for you give me post and comments. Absolutely, this is very usefull to me. Thank you very much.


5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] A Clear Blog Purpose Will Make or Break Your Blog (Lorelle VanFossen) [...]

  2. [...] A Clear Blog Purpose will Make or Break Your Blog at Lorelle on WordPress. [...]

  3. [...] your goals are not realistic, fuzzy, and unclear when it comes to your blog content, then maybe you are blogging about the wrong subject, or at [...]

  4. [...] blog, see: http://www.myuniversalfacts.com/2006/08/definition-and-purpose-of-blog-what-is.html, and http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2008/05/24/a-clear-blog-purpose-will-make-or-break-your-blog/ . There’s a nice introduction to blogging on the WordPress site: [...]

  5. [...] A Clear Blog Purpose will Make or Break Your Blog at Lorelle on WordPress. [...]

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