The Art of Blogging
I started blogging regularly because I felt like I had a treasure trove of stories to draw from and share. I had written twenty or so blogs that had received a little attention and I felt myself starting to get in a groove. I had found a place to hang my hat and I settled in. I think it was the challenge that kept me going. You may have heard this story, but when I first started on this blogging adventure, I was telling a friend about my plan and what my ultimate goal was. I was going to write Monday through Friday for the next two years – no holidays off. Now, this friend is a straight-shooter, he rarely minces words. And after I was done with my excited diatribe of how I would conquer a daily blog, he leaned in, our noses almost touching, and I swear he looked both ways, then with a piercing stare over the top of his glasses said, “You’ll never be able to do it.” Hello. Impetus found. Gauntlet was laid down…
Finding Your Goal
Once you establish your voice and to whom you want to address, you need to further clarify your goal and what you want to achieve,what you hope to accomplish with your blog. Every time you sit down to write requires this train of thought. Are you hoping to engage – meaning drive conversation? Do you simply want to expand your network? Do you want to motivate and inspire? Do you want to teach or educate about new technologies or practices? Do you want to draw attention to your business and ultimately drive traffic back to your company site? Do you want to fulfill something within you? Do you want to find you? Do you want to clarify your life’s purpose? Perhaps you simply want to find your life’s purpose.
A Message is Required. So, rambling doesn’t work. Have a point, establish it in a paragraph or two. Define it with a story or example. Reflect and finish.
Write for Your Intended Audience. Write what you think they might want to hear Gear your message toward them.
Delivery Method. How will you deliver that message? Will it be straightforward? Conversational? Cloaked with a surprise ending? Will you use profanity for impact? What are the risks involved with the message, and it there are any, will they be worth it? Is there a message?
Create an Editorial Calendar or Topic Schedule. My first several months of blogging, I maintained a regimented topic/subject schedule.
Monday – Time Management
Tuesday – Candidate / Client Control
Wednesday – Headspace: Why we do what we do
Thursday – Interviews with industry professionals
Friday – The Butterfly Effect
Having and maintaining a set schedule helped me achieve my goal of writing every day. After that, it became a way of life. My work has become very intensive and after five years of writing so regularly, I have loosened my schedule. Now, I go with the flow and write a series here and there, as well as interviews and reviews. The goal of the schedule was to get me going – to help me create a good habit of recall and introspection.
If blogging is really something you want to do or if you are having trouble getting it going, if you are worried about your follow-thru or commitment, give yourself a schedule. Write once a month or once every other week or once a week or twice a week. A schedule will help you maintain and keep a commitment!
And finally –
Personal Reward. What do you want to get out of blogging? What if that doesn’t happen, what if you don’t get that reward?
Each of these points are meant to help you find what your goal of blogging is. When you have achieved an understanding of that, all points are open for modification.
Blogging has become a mainstay in modern marketing. It will not be going away any time soon. I don’t intend to ever stop writing. Of course it will evolve, just like any other form of communication or education. It is a way to give back to customers, to find new customers or partners, to share interesting information about your industry, as well as build a confidence base in you or your organization.
**This is part 2 in the three-part series, The Art of Blogging