Are You Blogging Naked?

Naked Blogging
Are You Blogging Naked?Did you ask yourself “how did he know?” Relax, I am not trying to peek inside your private life or get in your business. I am just using using a metaphor to both grab your attention and to make a point.

In my experience it seems to be a fairly common trait that bloggers often start a blog without any real sense of purpose or end result that they are trying to achieve. They want to do well, they just don’t know how well or how they are going to go about it. They change direction often and the blog seems to have no “mission.”

These kinds of blogs often achieve a moderate level of success but rarely do you see this kind of blogger make it past a few hundred subscribers. The reality is they often give up and quit blogging altogether.

Blogging Naked

Strategic PlanIf you don’t have a “strategic” plan for your blog, then you are essentially “blogging naked.” What I mean by a strategic plan is where do you want your blog to be in 6 months, a year, 3 years? How are you going to achieve these goals? What are the steps you are going to take?

These are all questions you should ask yourself both when starting your blog as well as when you progress. Every serious blogger should have a strategic plan for their blog.

My niche is the MMO niche which is clearly loaded with blogs that have no clear end goal in mind. They exist simply to try and make some money. They don’t have any idea how they are going to accomplish that or even how much they plan to make, yet they blindly blog away hoping to hit it big.

Unfortunately in this niche, it is quite common to run across what I call a “dark” blog. What I mean by dark is a blog that might have been started with the best of intentions, but after a month or two of blogging, the posts get further and further apart. Eventually they grind to a halt. The lights go out, nobody is home. It’s a dark blog.

Another naked blogger bites the dust. Keep in mind it is especially important not to blog naked if you happen to be a video blogger. Fortunately Mark is top notch.

Blog Backwards

Blogging backwards is a great idea.

Set Blogging GoalsWhen I say you want to “blog backwards” I am saying that you want to determine where you want to go first. What is your end goal? Make 2k a month? Increase 200 RSS subscribers? Hit 10k visitors a week? Whatever the case may be you need to define your actual goal and then work backwards to determine how you are going to get there.

A well thought out strategic action plan should almost always include the factors I have listed below.

  • Content Creation – What’s your mission? What do you intend to give to your readers? Why should they come back?
  • Theme Design – An attractive theme will encourage readers to give your content a chance.
  • Branding – How are you going to “brand” yourself. What will separate you from the 2 gajillion other blogs in your niche? How will people remember you?
  • Social Media – A good Social Media strategy should be a critical part of your plan. Social media sites like Digg and StumbleUpon can send you hordes of visitors and potential subscribers.
  • Networking – Who are you going to partner with? No question that a network of bloggers helping each other out would be much more effective than a lone wolf. Travel in packs.
  • Marketing – How are you going to market your product? You can’t just build a blog and expect people to start lining up to read it. Some would argue that you are better off to be a great marketer than a great writer. John Chow would be a perfect example.

I am sure you might be able to add to my list but these that I have listed should be considered the cornerstones of any good plan.

Course Corrections

compass.jpegIt will to take time to find the strengths and eliminate the weaknesses of your plan but that is to be expected from new bloggers. If you monitor your success monthly then you can adjust, adapt and make changes to ensure you stay on your plan.

It would not be uncommon to make adjustments to your plan several times as you progress. Very few of us are blessed enough to nail our goals the very first time we try. These small setbacks are normal and shouldn’t derail you from your plan.

The Wright brothers crashed an untold number of planes before finding the right combination that kept them airborne. Persistence paid off. Most of the A-Listers you see writing today started out on other blogs and cut their teeth there before hitting it big with their current blogs. Stick to it.

Summary

In my niche, you often read comments such as “nobody could become the next John Chow” or “John got in at the right time” or “he couldn’t do it again today” or “the niche is saturated.” I have no doubt the origin of these kinds of statements come from frustrated MMO’ers that are not experiencing any success.

If truth be told they are likely frustrated because of their own failures. Rather than placing the blame where it belongs, they make unfounded excuses to justify these failures. They are Victims.

The fact is that you can make it happen, you could be the next whoever, it could be done again. You could choose to hope that it happens to you or you could MAKE it happen for you. Success is a Choice and it all starts with a goal and a plan to get there.

So…confession time…..how many of you are naked right now? Come on, fess Up.

If you enjoyed this post then please make sure you check out my own blog at The Blog Entrepreneur. You can find a lot more content just like it including “Are you Destined to Be Mediocre?” Otherwise, you can find me back here each and every Friday, with new advice and thoughts on the blogosphere.

12 thoughts on “Are You Blogging Naked?

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  2. Caren

    I used to be naked for my first oh…4 or 5 blogs 😛 However I did eventually learn my lesson (without anyone telling me) to blog about something whose future I could see. Now I have plans, lists, and all kinds of things to help me stay on track and reach for my (humble) goal of hopefully 30 real readers a day by the end of May.

    Yes, very humble. I want to set goals, but I like to increment them over time. When I reach this goal, I’ll set another one.

  3. BillM

    @Caren – Very smart to use “incremental” goals. If you set the bar too high all at once then it can become discouraging if you fail to get there quickly.

    Isn’t it so much easier to write about something you are really involved with. It makes it so much more fun and worthwhile.

  4. Caren

    @Bill.

    Yes it does. I think part of what clouded my ability to think ahead in my previous blogs was that I was only semi-interested, and thought that was enough.

    But slowly (very slowly….) I realized it’s much easier to write, and come up with topics, and to talk about “why my blog is great” if I actually really enjoyed my own blog. It also makes my will to research stronger. A lot of people don’t do research when they blog, especially if it’s a topic they don’t really care for.

  5. Petra

    I think I am probably a prime example of your post. Being as I typically am a doer versus a planner, I think you bring up some very valid points that affect the success (or lack thereof) of my blog. Thanks for the insight. I think its time I learn to plan.

  6. BillM

    @Petra – I think most of us are at least partially disrobed. 🙂

    I know I am but it’s getting better the harder I work my “plan.”

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  8. Fogofeternity

    On a professional basis, yes I agree. But I don’t think that every blog needs a strategic plan. These days far too many people are overlooking the reason why blogging became popular in the first place – that just writing about things you enjoy, and getting feedback from a developing community, is *fun*.

    If every blog was going out there with a genuine mission and a strategic plan then I think there’d be less interesting writing, less of the wierd and wonderful, and a lot of the things that make the medium so exciting would be lost.

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