Thursday, November 14, 2013

Do you know where your blog is going?





When we start blogging we don't really know what our blog is going to be about. Sometimes we start it because we just want to "try it", other times we start a blog because we already have a small business and we think it's a good way to promote it. It can also happen that we have something to share with the world (maybe you take very good photos, or you're very good at painting). Whatever the case is, what our blog looks like the day we start it and the way it looks like after a year usually don't have anything to do. That's a good thing, it means that your blog evolved, and in the best of the cases, that it found its own place in the blogging world.

However, sometimes we might have the feeling that we don't know where our blog is going: One day we post about one thing, and onother day about another, without following any kind of criteria. In here I have to add a clarification: there's a difference between a lifestyle blog that posts about multiple things (cooking, photography, fashion, etc) and a blog that doesn't know where it's going (one day takes a meme because they don't know what to post about, the other day they'll take something from another blog and link to it, the third day they'll decide to post the content of their bag, and then maybe take a one month hiatus, to then come back with photos, assuring that they're back, only to disappear next week after sharing another meme). 

Try to answer these questions:

  • If somebody asks what your blog is about, can you give them a clear answer?
  • Do you know exactly in which category your blog falls? (recipes, fashion, DIY and Crafts, home life, shop owner, photography, decoration, lifestyle, etc?)
  • Checking your posts from the last four weeks, do you see a pattern in the topics? There's topics that repeat often, or you only can see a miscelanious of posts that are not really related?
  • Do you know what kind of readers are you trying to reach?
  • Do you know where you want your blog to be in one year?

All these questions are supposed to help you know where your blog is really standing. Sometimes it can be easy to confuse a blog without a clear goal with a lifestyle blog. Actually, lifestyle is a word overused on the Internet these days. A lifestyle blog is about a way to live, it's a personal blog in which the blogger talks about the things they do, the things they buy, the things they cook, the places they visit. But to be honest, it doesn't really matter in which category you fit, most of bloggers fit in more than just one category. What is really important is that you can define it, that you have the limits of your blog clear, and that you really know what you're posting about, and what you wouldn't post about. The blogger that knows their blog knows when to say no if somebody suggests them to feature something on their blog that doesn't really fit the contents, while a blogger who doesn't know where the blog is going will just say yes to feature anything, because they never know what to post about anyway.

Now, what to do if you don't really know the purpose of your blog? 

  1. SET THE LIMITS OF YOUR BLOG. Think about what content you want to post about. It doesn't matter if it's just one topic or several of them (the more the better), what really matters is that you know which are the limits of your blog. Make a list of all the topics you feel more comfortable posting about, and keep it close to you. Every time you make a new post it should be able to fall into one of the categories. 

  2. USE CATEGORIES. Use the list of categories that you made on the last step to create links on your sidebar to each category (for example: Crafts, Decoration, Parenting, Traveling, Spotlights)  Not only it will make your blog content extremely easy to find, but it will give your visitors a quick glance on what they can find on your blog, and what you post about. 

  3. DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE. Once you know which are the limits of your blog, define what kind of audience can be interested in what you have to say. You don't blog only for yourself, you blog for others to read your blog. Defining your audience will also help you to define your blog, because as long as you know what others look for in your blog, you'll know what to post about.

  4. PLAN YOUR CONTENT: Once you have your blog content and audience clear, you'll have to plan your posts according to it. To stick to your blog content something really helpful is doing themed days. For example, in my blog I alwyas posts Etsy treasuries on Sunday. You don't really have to set specific days if you don't want to, but knowing that a certain day you have to post about a certain topic will make finding a post idea way easier, because the possible topics will be more limited. For example, if you decide that each Monday you'll make a review with photos of the past week, when Monday arrives you won't have to think about what to post about that day, you'll just have to set the post. Which means that half of the job (thinking about what to post) is done.

  5. EVALUATE: Every now and then (every half a year, or every year) you should avaluate your blog content. Are you posting about all the topics you wanted to post about? There's some topic that can be eliminated from your blog? There's some topics you'd like to add? For that check not only the comments (see if there's any topic that always gets more comments than others), but considerate if you're still enjoying posting about that or not, if it's easy to create content for that topic, or if you're having problems with it. You can also make polls for your readers to answer about their content preferences. 

The basic thing to remember is that when it comes to blogging you need to know where your blog is standing, and where it's going, which is its content, and which are the limits. Because that's the only way to really enjoy the blogging experience, and to create a blog that others will really want to visit.

2 comments:

  1. This is very useful, I'll keep it bookmarked, specially now that I'm planning to start blogging more seriously. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Lisa, glad you found it useful :)

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