From what I’ve experienced working with business and their blogs as a copywriting consultant, it is VERY easy to get sidetracked and allow your blog to drift away from its original purpose. If an unexpected direction is working for you, then great!
But if your blog has become a drain on time that isn’t serving the purpose it was intended for, then perhaps it’s time to restrategize.
Here are 5 suggestions to get your blog in line with its original purpose
#1 Define or Redefine Your Goals
Not everyone is blogging with a financial goal in mind, but unless you’re Ghandi, you probably started a blog to achieve some sort of goal. Goals might be:
- Selling more products and services
- Networking and meeting like-minded people
- Building your level of authority/brand
- Directing more traffic to your website
- Generating ad revenue
- Getting feedback for your ideas
A lot of blogs don’t achieve their original goals and a lot of bloggers stop posting because they begin spending their time instead on endeavors that will meet their goals. You don’t have to give up your blog, just utilize it in a way that meets your goals.
#2 Define your Target Audience and Speak to Them
It SEEMS that most people who read blogs ARE bloggers. However, if you’re getting natural search engine rankings, there are probably people reading your blog that AREN’T bloggers, but they may be “invisible” because they are less likely to comment.
If you assume from this that your audience is only bloggers because they are the majority of commenters, you could begin to write content only for them and turn off your actual target audience by writing content specifically for bloggers.
It’s fun to write for bloggers because they “get it.” Bloggers know how to leave good comments. Bloggers know how to subscribe to RSS feeds (my friend David has done polls and the VAST majority of non-blogger do not even know what an RSS feed is).
But if your target is not bloggers, and you write content that appeals only to bloggers, how are you connecting with your intended target audience?
#3 Define ROI for Your Blog
When writing a blog, you are investing your time – time that you could be using to accomplish your goals in some other way. Are you getting a positive return on your investment?
ROI for a blog is different from ROI for a website. I think Pat Schraber of The Lonely Marketer said it best in this interview that I did with him about “Business Blogging for Success” for the Create Business Growth blog:
If you’re at a traditional company, no doubt the boss will ask “what’s the ROI on this blogging thing?” Pat says the businesses must define an ROI on engagement. “An ROI on engagement might mean number of comments, inbound links that help the site’s optimization, bounce rate vs. high click through rates, or number of subscribers.”
I would suggest taking caution when defining ROI for your blog based on subscribers and comments only. Comments and subscribers alone may not be a profitable measurement depending on your goals. If your goal is to reach a target audience of people who aren’t bloggers, seeking comments and subscribers may make you feel like you’re failing when you’re not.
#4 Don’t Be Afraid to Promote Your Products and Services
One some of my favorite blogs is “Building My Company” – a documentary of one entrepreneur’s (Erin’s) trials, tribulations, and successes as she takes her company Durtbagz from concept to launch.
There is no denying the purpose of this blog and Erin will definitely have a sale from me when these bags finally roll off the production line.
Bob of Plan B is another marketer/blogger who outwardly promotes his products on his blog. After 30 days of blogging, he has already made an important contact that he talks about in this post The Power of Blogging.
#5 Don’t Let Other’s Influence Your Writing Too Much
As soon as you start worrying too much about what other people are going to think of your posts, the closer you become to losing your purpose. Certainly, it’s nice to know what’s working and what’s not working on your blog, but a lot of what you write has to come from YOU.
People come to your blog to get your perspective on things – not to read something so generic that it will appeal to the lowest common denominator. I love to read passionate blogs, whether I agree with everything they say or not. I don’t require people to be exactly like me in order to consider them interesting.
So what if you lose readers, you still have your pride and you’ll probably enjoy blogging a lot more. I guarantee you that if you’re blog shut down tomorrow, all of those readers would quickly find something else to occupy their time – so stay true to yourself because you need to be your own biggest fan before anyone else can be.
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