Blogging Bootcamp: Determine Your Purpose
Our Blogging Bootcamp Workshop is almost here so I wanted to continue our Blogging Bootcamp series on the site to help those of you who are blogging or thinking about starting a blog.
It is important when you start your blog that you have a clear purpose or plan ahead of you. If you are blogging knowing you will need to make money then be sure to spend some time learning how to do that. If you blog with excellence, your blog will begin to earn money via private ads, affiliate marketing, products, ebooks or relationships you develop with companies (we'll talk about these in a later post).
The purpose of your blog will determine your name, your content, your audience and just about everything in between. I'm not saying I starting off knowing all of this but it certainly was something I quickly figured out.
Determine Your Purpose
1. Determine Your Content: What are you writing about? Why? Is your content compelling enough and changing enough to become a blog?
2. Determine Your Audience: Who are you writing to? Picture these people every time you post and visualize if your content is meaningful to them.
3. Determine Your Purpose: Are you writing for fun? Are you trying to make money while blogging?
I firmly believe content comes first. On my website, a deal is a deal and what attracts people is the content. If you lack good content on your blog, you'll lack readers and if you lack readers, you will most certainly lack funds as well.
Real Life Blogging
A good blog takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of hard work and patience to grow a blog. You don't want to quit your day job just yet, wait until the blog has developed a steady stream of income first. That means, you may feel like you're working two jobs for awhile to get it going and in fact, you are.
That's the hard part about blogging, it is perceived as something part time or do-it-for-fun kinda thing. Which is true for many people but then there are some that are full time professional bloggers. My blog is a business developed out of a passion. It is very real and true to myself but there's a whole other side to it that is completely unseen. Those things include design, maintenance, volunteers and staff to help maintain it and many other things at work to keep it updating 7 days a week.
Keep in Mind the Cost
We did not start off that way at all though. It began with just me and an idea. That's all you need. I did plan for growth asking myself, 'what will I do if I have X amount of readers one day?' That was because when I did start making money, I had to set some aside to plan on hiring help at some point or pay for better design, hosting or a new laptop. Hiring people was far down on my list but I did know if I wanted to keep this up, I would have to pay money on design and get better equipment.
I also found out that the bigger the blog became, the more expensive the hosting for the site was as well. These are things we forget to think about as bloggers, especially since you can start a blog for free. But they are good things to keep in mind if you're looking to use your blog for business. And, again, this won't happen overnight so don't get scared. Blogging is hands down the most exciting and ever-changing job I have ever had on top of that, I'm completely passionate about it and love what I do.
Before your blog, think about the why behind your blog. Sit down and get a plan and set some goals for yourself. Since it's just you, it is easy to relax and let things slide. Don't do that! I actually think I work 10x's harder because I constantly try to outdo myself or outdo the last goal I met. I compete with me and trust me, it ain't easy.