Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

A Helpful Writing Exercise to Focus Your Blog Content

355 Flares 355 Flares ×
Camera lens focusing

Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)

I’m getting a lot of questions about blogging these days.

Friends and strangers are all emailing me, asking the same thing:

Am I doing this right?

Most of the time, unfortunately, the answer is no. But not for the reasons you might think:

  • Not because they’re not good writers.
  • Not because they don’t have a good design.
  • Not because they aren’t promoting their work and getting their name out there.

The simple reason a lot of blogs struggle to succeed is because of lack of focus. Many bloggers haven’t taken the time to develop a unique purpose for their blog, and as a result they’re just writing — with little thought as to what they’re hoping to accomplish.

Hence, the frustration and insecurity. They’re moving in a direction, but not sure where they’re actually headed.

This a natural tendency (confession: I did this for four years). But eventually, it’s time to get serious. And every serious blogger eventually moves away from a lack of focus and starts to tackle blogging more intentionally.

So what do I tell these people?

I share with them one easy exercise that has helped thousands of people (I walk them through this lesson and others in my free blogging course).

Before getting started

My basic rule of thumb for writing (especially blogging) is this:

The more you narrow your focus, the more you broaden your audience.

Most bloggers think they have a focus for their blog. They don’t. Really, all they have is a subject.

It’s important to identify three core areas of focus for your blog to succeed. Here’s a nifty exercise I learned from a speaking seminar. It was intended to help us write a speech, but it works for writing, too.

Before you begin writing, consider your subject (what you want to write about), then boil it down to a theme (your specific angle and area of focus), then an objective (what you want to accomplish).

Subject

The subject is the broadest area of your writing. It can be stated in a word or two, probably, but most bloggers struggle to identify it. In order to find your subject, try asking yourself:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • In what topic do I have expertise or a desire to learn?
  • What could I write about for a year without running out of ideas or energy?

Exercise: Spend 10 minutes brainstorming one-word answers to the above questions. Don’t take too long. Let intuition guide you. Then, pick one (and only one).

Example: Writing

Theme

The theme is a narrower version of your subject. It’s like a subset of your main topic — a particular area of concentration. To find it, ask yourself:

  • How can I break this subject down into its various components?
  • What do I want to concentrate on?
  • Is there a specific manner in which I want to attack this issue? What will my writing “voice” be? (e.g. Humorous, sarcastic, practical, anecdotal, etc.)

Exercise: Spend 15-30 minutes mind-mapping or listing out key phrases that describe various angles of your topic. Then, pick the one that makes the most sense and immediately inspires 10 writing ideas.

Example:
How writers can use the Internet to build a platform for their writing.

Objective

The objective is the main takeaway; it’s the goal. If everything else fails, this is what you want your blog to do. If you’re not sure what yours might be, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish with my writing?
  • What impression do I want to leave?
  • What’s my goal? How do I measure it?

Exercise: Spend 5-10 minutes answering the above questions. Think hard about what you really want to do. Wanting visitors is not enough. What do you want to do with the traffic once you get it?

Think about what would make the time you’re spending blogging worth it. It should be an actionable verb.

Is it making money? Increasing your influence? Growing in authority?

Write it down.

Example: To establish credibility as a writer and land freelance writing gigs.

As you begin to practice this exercise (if you’re not doing it already), you’ll find that it’s easier to come up with ideas for specific posts. While it seems very limiting, it’s actually quite freeing. It’ll also make it easier for you to connect with your readers and call them to action.

Ironically, the more you focus on a single objective, the more possibilities for writing emerge.

It’s counter-intuitive, but it works.

Recommended Resource: If you need getting started with a blog topic or theme, check out my online course Tribe Writers. It’s helped over 1000 writers start a blog and find an audience.

Does your blog or writing have a focus? I’d love any feedback you have. Share in the comments.

355 Flares Twitter 77 Facebook 47 Pin It Share 215 Google+ 11 Buffer 5 355 Flares ×

About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. To get updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

Become a Better Writer in 31 Days

Ready to take your writing to the next level? Sign up for my free email newsletter, and you’ll immediately get entered in the My 500 Words Challenge, a 31-day series that will help you build a regular writing habit. Enter your email below.

  • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

     Looks familiar… ;^)   This is a great exercise and I’ll be doing it today.  Thanks again for a great informational and inspirational blog.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, Dave! I look forward to seeing you apply these concepts and the impact it has on your blog. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

     Very good points, Jeff. I think a lot of writers encounter resistance doing exercises like this because they have deadlines or just want to publish something. But what happens if you don’t take time to think critically about your content is it gets watered down and unfocused. I try and do a similar exercise to this once  a week. Indispensable. Thanks.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, David. You’re right — it’s a tension between planning and shipping. I’ve found that a little more intentionality at the beginning of your blog’s lifespan can actually empower you to ship more often.

  • http://shawnsmucker.com Shawn Smucker

    Good stuff Jeff. I need to think through some of these concepts. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, Shawn! Let me know if you have any questions.

  • http://jonfulk.posterous.com Jon Fulk

    This is exactly what my poor little blog needs me to do! Thanks for breaking it down!

    • http://about.me/jeffgoins Jeff Goins

      yeah, man. no prob.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Glad to hear it, Jon!

  • http://www.mustardseedyear.com Jason Wert

     Duh……..

    Seriously…good stuff, Jeff.  

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Guess I asked for that, huh?

  • http://thewholedangthing.wordpress.com Ben Emerson

    I notice that when I encounter blogs where the title has something like “random thoughts” or something like that, I am less likely to want to read. I want to know what the blog is about so I know what I am getting myself into.

    I guess that could potentially make some people not interested because they don’t care about the topic but you probably aren’t really looking to reach out to them anyway.

    So yes, I think this is great stuff. Narrow your focus and find broadened appeal. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      That’s right, Ben. You can’t write for everyone, but you CAN write for someone. The irony is that when you try to write for everyone, you end up writing for no one. Everybody wants to feel special and understood; that’s what you accomplish when you focus your writing.

  • Tracy

     Good stuff, Jeff.  Are you sure you weren’t a business process consultant in a former life?  

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Positive! I’m terrible at process, but this is a must-do!

  • kevin

    Great stuff, Jeff.  Definitely helpful.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Kevin!

  • http://www.marianneworley.com Marianne Worley

     This is very interesting and helpful Jeff. I am just about to start writing my very first guest post, so I’ll be sure to test out this technique. I know I already do some of these things, but not in an organized way! :-)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Thanks, Marianne! Hope it helps.

  • http://www.messiahmom.wordpress.com Kristinherdy

    I don’t think I want to be a serious blogger. I might have nailed down my own coffin with that, but I don’t want to be a slave to my content. Sometimes I want to be funny. Sometimes, I have a tender piece in me. Other times, I need to share something God has laid on my heart or I might burst. Still other times, I want to try something new.

    I want my blog to be a place that challenges the unbeliever to believe and the believer to become a disciple and the disciple to step up and DO something. But, I don’t want to lose sight of why I created the blog – and I think it was about capturing the little things and keeping myself honest about my spiritual growth.

    Still, I think these are great ideas for serious bloggers. I just don’t know that I am. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Hey Kristin – I didn’t phrase that very well. I didn’t mean “serious blogger” – I meant someone who is serious about blogging, who cares deeply about connecting with their readers and connecting them with their content.

      I should’ve used “dedicated blogger” maybe. I think humor and levity are important to communicating with your audience.

      It sounds like you already do a lot of that intuitively.

      If this helps organize your thoughts, great. If not, no sweat. Use what works. Blogging is the medium, as is your content. The end is connection. I’m trying to connect people with ideas, so this process often works for me. Thanks for the comment!

      • http://www.messiahmom.wordpress.com Kristinherdy

        I can understand that. I heard from a seasoned journalist once that journalism was supposed to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I adopted that long ago as the mantra for my blog. It’s not all that specific, but it’s a good measure of how I’ve made those connections.

        Thank you!

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          That’s a great theme!

  • Jan Perley

    I blog about animal species identification; I choose an animal, identify 2 or three keys by which to recognize each species or subspecies, do a post on anomalies of that animal, and sometimes add a fun video. Is that narrow enough or too narrow? I almost never talk about myself, so maybe it’s not personal enough? (www.ispyanimals.com)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Hah! Well, that’s certainly focused enough, Jan. (I’m thinking your the exception to my generalization about “most bloggers.”) That said, it would be good to be more personal. People want to relate to other people. I’ll be sharing about “voice” in another post soon.

      Thanks,
      Jeff

  • http://www.thechurchofnopeople.com Matt @ The Church of No People

     Hey Jeff, great post!  I suppose I’ve done just about all of these steps, though probably not in that formal of a thought process.  But it is really important that bloggers do something like this.  “Musings,” “Ramblings,” and “Randomness” are not themes, and are practically guaranteed that I won’t visit a blog that much if it has one of those words in its title.  Bloggers need to think of themselves like newspaper columnists of yesteryear.  No one hires an editorialist to write about just anything under the sun.  People know what they are going to read from Ann Landers or Billy Graham or whoever.

    I think the one exercise that really focused my writing was asking myself “what value am I hoping a reader gets from this?”  Am I trying to entertain, inform, inflame, inspire, persuade, piss off?  If a post doesn’t do any of those reasonably well, it’s not a good blog post and shouldn’t be written.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Exactly. Well put, Matt.

  • http://douglasryoung.net Douglas Young

    Thanks for the Stumbleupon reference of this for me. I look forward to reading the most in more depth tonight, and working on the exercise.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Doug. Let me know your thoughts. I want it to make sense and add value. Feel free to disagree.

  • http://allyspotts.com Ally Spotts

    Well, I can identify with the people who are asking you, “Am I doing this right?” because that is pretty much what I find myself wondering all the time. 

    I mentioned this to you on Twitter, Jeff, but one of the things I have
    done is allow my “focus” to be dictated by reader interest, which has
    been both a positive and frustrating experience.

    It’s positive because
    its inspiring to see conversations come to life in response to something I have written. At the same time it’s frustrating
    because sometimes the subjects that are most interesting to me don’t generate much reader interest.

    I try to read, learn, shift and alter my approach as often as appropriate and possible, but if I’m honest I have to admit that the learning curve is steep and sometimes I feel like washing my hands of all it and saying, “Ah! All I want to do is write!”

    Ha, does that even make any sense?

    I love that you are challenging me to think about my own objective as a writer. Not that I haven’t thought about it before, but if I’m walking away from your post with one challenge, that is it.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Great. That’s the most important part. And I’m right there with you!

  • http://www.AnnieAndre.com Annie Andre

    Hi Jeff,
    It’s only natural to feel that nagging self doubt. Everyone has their tehnique. I cast a wide net and then start narrowing.  Trial and error. Moving quickly. I don’t always know what i’m doing until after i’ve tried it and then i know.  Sometimes when i think things out in my mind and do them, they lead me in a different direction.. Maybe i’m just scatter brained. I just feel comfortable experimenting and failing and getting up to try again…
    Thanks for another wise POST. :) 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I think you have it right – just keep hacking.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I think you have it right – just keep hacking.

  • http://twitter.com/ladyketo Ladyketo

    This was super helpful.  Thanks Jeff!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re welcome.

  • http://twitter.com/ladyketo Ladyketo

    I’ve just sat down and completed the exercise.  It has totally connected the dots for me.  I’m excited.  Thanks again!  Woo, two comments for the price of one blog.  Love it.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Cool. Glad it helped!

  • http://peterpaluska.com Peter Paluska

    Excellent stuff, Jeff! I am saving this one for rereading later, and will sink my writing teeth into the exercise.

    Thanks!

    Peter

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Let me know how it goes!

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t believe you, until I went through and answered all these prompts. Now I believe you. My brain is POPPING with ideas. I mean, POPPING

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Mandy – just read your write-up. Great job! You really applied this well. Thank you for taking the time to do it. I hope that it benefits you.

      • Anonymous

        More than that, I hope it benefits “my ideal reader!” Thanks for stopping by, Jeff. :D

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          definitely.

  • TheMorningstarProject

    I found your blog through ProBlogger, both this post and “Finding your Voice” were extremely helpful. Simple, straight-forward tips. I’m a lifestyle blogger so I’ve fallen into the trap of just writing about things that come up, which is not the best plan.  In fact it means I don’t have a clear plan or mission, which doesn’t make a successful blog. Thanks for this, my writer’s block is already disappearing.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Glad to hear it!

  • Jessica Paterik

    Jeff- Great post!!  I’ve been charged with helping the team I work with start a company blog.  This article & the “Finding your Voice” article have been incredibly helpful in finding a frame for each person.  Thanks for writing practical steps that banish the terror of a blank page :)

  • http://backintothecave.wordpress.com/ Travis Adams

    I used to read and write a lot, but I had gotten away from it all. I decided to start a blog as a way to get back into writing. Because I’m new to blogging, I really don’t have enough knowledge or experience to contest your ideas, but my intuition and my desires as they relate to my blog won’t allow me to fully embrace them.

    My intention is to make it a sort of lifestyle blog, posting reviews of of my son’s toys, recipes ideal for busy families, book and movie reviews, but at the same time I have a passion for politics and I’m an avid sports fan. What’s the thumb rule on “off-topic” posts?
    I’m most qualified to speak on politics (more specifically political theory) but that can often be very heady stuff and if I can be more enriching by writing on a good book than politics a certain week, I feel like I shouldn’t restrict myself.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Hey Travis. no rule really. just do what feels right and use your audience to gauge what’s appropriate.

    • Carole Caprice

      Well, I for one, would be interested in what you have to say about politics ~ it’s been a passion of mine too since I was about 7 believe it or not, and as the years have “learned me well”, my political affiliation has swung completely from one side of the spectrum to the other since then! (won’t tell you which way til I see a sample of your writing ;D

  • Pingback: Difficult Task for a Webby Over-Analyzer: Deciding on a Domain Name and Blogging Platform | eat it up

  • http://www.donnamerrilltribe.com/ Donna Merrill

    Thank you Jeff.  This post gave me a new perspective in writing my blogs.  I tend to go all over the place when I write and then have to do so much editing.  Following the steps above will surely help me.  This post is bookmarked and printed out so I can follow the details.  I appreciate you helping bloggers to be the best they can be in writing.
    Blessings,
    Donna

  • erind90

    My blog tends to be more my “ramblings” than anything focused, and I don’t plan on becoming a serious blogger anytime soon, but I’ve got this link bookmarked just in case I change my mind.  Thanks!

  • Annette Skarin

    I have most of this down…except writing the raw stuff…I keep tiptoeing around the edges of my blog (memoir) throwing out tidbits of who I am.  I’m a little stymied by my angst about – who’s going to finally notice that I’M A WRITER. I find myself lifting my hand and saying “Hey, out there, do you see me?” Your posts have encouraged me…and the fact that my story will help many people who, feel too imperfect to be accepted by their Maker, and find it hard to believe that grace (Jesus) is actually a free gift. I’ve been at the starting gate far too long. 

  • http://twitter.com/LMarni Marni Gallerneault

    This is practical and helpful. I definitely do not read those blogs that have ‘random musings’ and ‘stuff’ in their titles. Sometimes I wonder if I’m a bit spread out on my blog, even though it’s all defined (none of that rambling junk). I’ll use this exercise to help me find my focus!

  • Diana

    Jeff,

    Thank you for pulling all this information together and sharing it. As an up-and-coming writer I beleive it will help me tremendously to focus and get unstuck in my blog and in my salable writing projects. I especially like your statement that narrowing my focus will broaden my audience. I had not thought of it in those terms. It is this narrow focus that will help me to glean from the world around me, and my own experiences, only the things that will add value to the story rather then trying to tell the whole story, and getting frustrated.

    I appreciate what you are doing and look forward to the rest of the lessons.

  • http://www.theendfocus.com/ Wendy Brooks

    Well ironically my blog is entitled “The End Focus” – its about focusing on what really matters in life. I too am involved in international missions, and a common thread in all my posts is my faith in God. So although I could probably narrowing things down a bit, I’m not sure if I need to or not.

  • http://twitter.com/sarardell Sara Smith

    What happens when you know your subject, theme, and objective but you still can’t gain traction?

  • Lynn

    Hi Jeff,
    It’s so generous of you to send these free and informative lessons. I’m considering writing a blog, and so these posts are exceptionally helpful and timely for me. I will look forward to reading your other ideas. And, by the way, don’t be reticent to use words like foci! :-) A little pretentiousness never hurt anyone. Seriously, why must we dumb down our writing? Our lanugage is varied and nuanced and rich. You use it well.

  • Libby

    I am enjoying my writing more.  It’s exciting to hear someone else describe their writing experience.  Please don’t scold me but…shhhh,  I really am not a writer.  Not an English major ,(a payroll  tax administrator) but love writing and get compliments for it. I stumbled across you thru Donald M. and you have blessed me thru your testimony.  I’m reading “Wrecked” right now.  BTW, I do not write about taxes.   :)

  • A Adams

    Thanks for all of the great insight. I am one of many blogs and in the process of lasso-ing my many selves into one format, if that is at all possible. You have given me quite a bit to think about ~  exciting!  

  • Tourguidepenzance

    Just joined your blogging course.  Blogging is totally new to me and I have been thinking about it for a while for my new business.  The first session has really helped me to focus on what to write
    Thank you
    Anna

  • http://propreacher.com/ Brandon

    @jeffgoins:disqus
    Enjoying the lessons so far. Just getting going on my new blog. I’m focusing on preaching. Sharing my thoughts on how to engage people and not bore them with sermons and inspiring and equipping young preachers to preach better. Soaking up everything I can on blogging right now. Thanks
    propreacher.com

  • Jay Tyson

    only on lesson three but already i can see how important these ideas are. I have been a bit of a rambler but now I see its not even necessarily about dismissing your random thoughts but using them constructively within the framework to make them more accessible and cogent! Thanks

  • Carole Caprice

    Thanks so much Jeff for putting this together for us (at no charge, I might add! – very helpful for me at this time!)

    As another beginner here, I really needed help & guidance on
    how to get started & must say on the one hand, I’m pleased to know that, at
    least, the software side of it is a lil easier than I expected, but trying to
    pick just one subject is a little bit more challenging now that you’ve told us
    the focus needs to be pretty specific. My original thought was to create the
    blog as a “Comical Commentary Center” – sort of memoir-based comical stories on daily life & mishaps for the sheer entertainment of it, interspersed with my thoughts & perceptions on my areas of interest (Music/Musicians/Jazz,
    Art, Religion, Comedy/Comedians, and my writing focus – comical yet conscience-based Children’s books & TV/Screenplay Comedy scripts). I’m no expert on the writing formats yet, but with a few strong story lines in the works, I’m in the process of getting myself educated in those areas.

    So what would you recommend? Should I create a few different blogs – - one memoir-based, and the other focusing just on my writing goals for books & TV, or…. ???

  • Maria Fox&Arrow

    You sir, are brilliant! Thank you so much,

  • Juliette Nolan

    I love the idea of having a focus for my blog and I know that it will centre around the idea of helping women to heal by creating a spiritual legacy of love and wisdom for their children. This will be done via the process of creating a Memory Box in which they share of themselves, from the heart. Our true wealth lies in the lessons that we have learned, we become rich in the sharing of those lessons with future generations. Thanks for helping me hone my focus. Loving this course, thanks Jeff!

  • http://www.cloudstaff.com/downloads/contentmoderation Thelma Case

    This is a great post about blog content. The exercise is truly helpful in improving such. Thanks for sharing.

  • James Bradrick

    Jeff, just started your course and I’ve been blogging for about a year. That year got me to the point where I answered the questions in the lesson on focus. So now I know what I want to accomplish and what I want to write about (and study) to accomplish it. Thanks for helping out people who as yet aren’t able to afford expensive classes. When I’m ‘there’ I’ll return the favor.

  • http://sarahannehayes.com/ Sarah Anne Hayes

    Working on figuring this out while working through your Intentional Blogging series. And boy, is it hard! The three individual words I’ve been drawn to the most are faith, relationships, and stories. For me, these three things have always intertwined, so I’m working through how they all mix together to create an actual blog focus. Definitely gonna take some time, but I think it’ll be worth it. Thanks, Jeff!

  • Lis

    My theme is “be happy.” Less of a self-improvement blog and more of a get-off-your-rear-and-do-what-it-takes-to-be-happy blog. I prefer to highlight the positive outcomes of taking action rather than dwelling on statements affirming that we’re all broken (we are, but let’s not dwell, shall we?)

    Looking forward to more lessons!

  • http://ManCaveZen.com/ Scott Kelley

    I’m running into a quandry here with a new site.

    I’ve had Graywolf Survival for a little over a year, and it’s been doing awesome. I’m an authority in survival situations and it shows when readers keep coming back for more.

    I started Man Cave Zen a month or so ago because it’s just difficult to come up with interesting and useful topics to write on week after week for such a focused site.

    My problem now is that MCZ is too wide. It’s REAL easy to come up with a topic to write – every day if I want. I just see that I can’t really become an authority in much of it. Without being an authority, it’s difficult to build a following.

    I’m starting to think I need to break MCZ into 2 or 3 sites now (which is a TON of work) or just pull something good out of it and let it slide for a while.

    Your blog focus series has given me a lot to think about. Thanks for that.

  • http://www.visherink.com/ William Visher

    I am going to be starting a new blog about education. I have taught for many years and in a variety of settings and feel like it’s a topic I can sustain. I have taught early childhood through college and enjoy the teaching and learning process at all ages.

  • Sarah Lentz

    I have three subjects I’m considering: relationships, writing and anxiety. Is it all right to have a dual objective for a blog, or will one naturally take precedence over the other? I do want to establish credibility as a writer and to land freelance writing gigs, but I also want to help people to write better and to replace anxiety with trust in God’s love and help. It’s something I still struggle with, though, so I’m not exactly an expert at “beating anxiety.”

  • Erica

    The focus of my blog/website is my ebook writing journey – what I’ve gone through since I started working on my ebook over a year ago.

  • Kelvin

    The focus of my blog, “A Father’s Heart,” is to share insight and wisdom about real life to a “fatherless” generation.

  • http://www.getsmoreoutdoor.com/ Brett Traudt

    The focus of my blog is to inspire others through my love for the outdoors to reestablish a connection with nature for their emotional, physical and spiritual well being.

  • Cat Charissage

    My blog is called Mysteries Unfolding: Making Meaning, Making Soul, and its focus is on the Depth Dimension of Life, what many people call their spirituality. Its theme is how all of us can plumb the “deep and real” issues of life, whether or not we are involved with an established religion. My objective is to inspire people to live a deep and meaningful life through using art, dreams, writing, and the works of others to find and express what is within us, healing wounds and traumas while we find commonality with others who have gone before us.

  • Brenda Huddleston

    Can’t thank you enough. Struggling writers need help and encouragement, and you do just that. I feel like I am so far behind having just started my Blog, but you give me faith in myself that I will be okay.

  • Joy

    As I read through the post and did the exercises, I was surprised when I got to the example under the Objectives in the email. It is very close to what I was determining for my own blog.

    My focus: To create awareness and inspire people with my stories and testimony of God’s Work as a missionary and in the people of China, encouraging them to get involved with this ministry.

  • obiagelin

    I started my blog to create awareness to the plight of marginalized African women through short stories-fiction and non-fiction. Most of the characters in my stories desire a change in their lives and to be empowerment. I also have a sub theme of motivation for those in difficult conditions…

  • http://www.ryangaskill.com/ Ryan Gaskill

    I blog to encourage youth and youth leaders to Chase Awesome and be World Changers. I would love to speak to students and share with them how I have decided to chases awesome and give them encouragement and tools to discover their passion and chase after it.

  • http://adventuresintheballpark.blogspot.com/ Mare Ball

    I started off not as focused. But,over the last two years of blogging…I’ve become more focused. I write about faith, caretaking of my folks, and will be promoting my book, The 12 Days of Christmas Adventure, It’s a project we’ve done for 21 years. It shifts the focus from consuming to giving, and gets the whole family involved. I’m very much enjoying your writings, Jeff!

  • Beth Coulton

    This is good stuff. I think I’m starting to realize something- why I haven’t felt much like blogging lately. It’s because I’m tired of the melting pot my blog had/has become; it definitely lacks focus, direction and a theme. Actually, it has about 3 themes- family, becoming a picture book author for the first time, and my own journey as a Christian woman. That all worked for a while, but I am so ready to take the next step and narrow my focus so I can broaden my audience. Thanks for this, Jeff, it makes a lot of sense. This is why when I think about what I want to write on my blog, I really have no idea because for me, the blog author, I need the focus and direction as well, so I’m not nilly willy all over the place. It makes it harder to write on a blog like that. This has been eye opening- thank you!

  • bradblackman

    Subject: art/painting/entrepreneurship.
    Theme: My journey as an artist-entrepreneur
    Objective: Sell enough art for my family of 5 to live comfortably on, probably in the $60,000-$70,000 range after taxes and expenses (so probably double that amount.)

    I’ve been blogging for years, actually, but the past year or so I’ve been posting something at least once a week. However, I feel like my quality is tapering off, so I’m trying to refocus.

  • Emily

    My blog is about improving creative writing skills.
    Objective: Helping others to write well and recording my writing journey.

  • http://www.disentanglinggenius.com Gill Scott

    I’m coming into blogging a little reluctantly because there is so much noise out there I didn’t feel I could add anything distinct enough. However, having worked on my OPUS through The Deeper Path process I have more clarity than ever which has given me the confidence to start blogging a few weeks ago. I just started Jeff’s blogging course this month and I found this exercise very useful. My results this afternoon are below. Should you wish to check in I would love to hear your thoughts about them.
    Subject: Significance
    Theme: The convergence of chemistry, courage and character
    Voice: reflective, contemporary, “prophetic”
    Objective: To stimulate existential yearning and satisfy the appetite for meaningful conversations, relationships and influence (spiritual significance)
    Measures: Reflective conversations

    • Sage Harema

      im interested to read more. have you got a link i could check out : )

  • http://planwellfinishwell.com Anne Elizabeth Denny

    My blog’s subject is: preparing for end-of-life decisions. I have three themes: Plan well. Live well. Finish well. My objective is to inspire people to proactively plan for end-of-life decisions and to have meaningful conversations with loved ones about preferences. Having a plan that loved ones understand and can honor creates peace of mind now and for the future.

    • http://au.linkedin.com/in/anaikalcasas/ Anaik Alcasas

      Anne, this sounds interesting, and also probably targets a niche not being covered much. Look forward to hearing more.

  • Angela Wagner

    Really loving this intentional blogging course! This was a very helpful exercise, especially as I feel I’m being swallowed up in all my ideas. I’ve been blogging since 2008, but now that I’m getting serious about my writing I know I need to get serious about my blog. After a lot of sorting, I know my objective is to provide encouragement, comfort, and guidance to women who want to serve God daily, but are sinners too! ;) How do women embrace Home Building (creating a HOME for their families and themselves) [subject] with God’s help [theme]? Lots of prayer, scripture, and realistic expectations for themselves and their families. Let the blogging continue!! Best wishes to all of you!

  • Rhoda

    My blog is anecdotal and it’s about finding meaning in our everyday lives. I call it my world, my voice,finding meaning in everyday existence. I share the meaning I draw from my everyday experiences and hopefully my audience can learn something from my life’s lessons.

  • http://garymorris.org Gary Morris

    Hey Jeff, great post. I cannot tell you how much you have inspired me to reconsider blogging.

    My confusion is that since wrapping up college soon and all my concentration being in Biblical Studies, I am confused where to being with such a broad topic such as Christianity.

    The market is saturated with great thinkers. How in the world can I contribute to such a broad topic? Or how do I narrow it down without watering down the content?

    • Phil Bryson

      Hey Gary, as you say Christianity is a vast topic and also very controversial. Think about why you want to do this, also have you ever been to the Holy Land? Many years ago I worked on a kibbutz and took time out to travel and whilst in Jerusalem I tried out the Western or Waling Wall, the Dome of the Rock & the church of the Holy Sepulchre. Those being Judaism, Islam & Christianity. I also went to Bethlehem & was guided by a monk on the stations of the cross. I thoroughly enjoyed it and really wanted to stay on a kibbutz but times change and kibbutzim are no longer the same, as money has reared its ugly head. So there you have it.

  • http://www.janemanthorpe.com/ Jane Manthorpe

    Gosh! do love this Intentional blogging series, and here is my input of blogs intention, direction and purpose:
    I might have repeated myself a bit in the text below, but this is my first draft and is based on how I live my natural holistic lifestyle, now for 16 years or so, that freed me of a severe case of illness and unhappiness due to a toxic lifestyle full of artificial processed foods, stress, drugs and alcohol.

    Subject

    Happy Healthy Fit Woman living natural holistic life’s

    Theme

    How active health-conscious woman can live Natural Holistic Lifestyle’s via being connected with nature and her resources, to find ultimate body nourishment, inner health, fitness and flexibility, happiness and natural beauty and radiance.

    Objective

    To guide, inspire, and empower active health-conscious woman to live free of illness, injury and ooze with consistent daily energy, vitality and glowing with natural beauty and radiance.

    To form a tribe of Happy Health Fit Woman who live a Natural Holistic Lifestyle’s via being connected with nature and her resources, who guide, inspire and empower other woman to do the same, and join the tribe to continuously grow and blossom into a vibrant community, who support each other and their families to live natural holistic lifestyles.

    The purpose is to start a movement of Natural Holistic Living that allows woman and their families to be empowered on how to live with nature and her resources, for ultimate nourishment, inner health and fitness of the body. Allowing them to lead happy healthy lifestyles free of illness and injury, and the stress caused by artificial toxic lifestyles.

    Measurement of my success is the number of woman in my tribe that continues to grow and prosper, giving a ripple of effect of expansion of vibrant happy woman who pull in and empower other woman to join the community, which expands to form a movement.

  • elisabetta carrara

    I come out of blogging 201 on wordpress with a new idea of myself and what I want to express through blogging. I decided to blog intentionally, and this series is going to help me improve. I thank you for this occasion to learn.
    my focus are technology, crochet and drawing, in a word creativity
    my theme is about left and right brain hemispheres and their peculiar way to be creative and express themselves.
    My objective is to create a platform to share/spread the creative process around and make money from that

  • Todd K Marsha

    Learning. Living. Growing. Self awareness.

  • Heidi Cogdill

    I started my blog to bring awareness and education to Endometriosis sufferers. At first the blog began using creative arts to help heal, but recently I’ve realized my true objective is a bit different.
    Subject: Endometriosis
    Theme: Living with Endometriosis
    Objective: Help women reconnect with their bodies, their power, their femininity and sisterhood as whole.

    • sageharema

      wow, have you started this blog. i recently found out that i could have endometriosis and am being reffered to begin the nescessary checks, kinda scared : (

      • Heidi Cogdill

        Yes, I’ve been blogging about Endometriosis since October. I’m here if you have any questions or need anything. You can find me at endopals.com

  • http://www.generationgrit.com/ Laura Hale

    My focus on the blog of my company Generation Grit: to share a behind-the-scenes look at our company in a way that inspires and encourages parents as they raise their sons

  • Guest

    My focus for my writing is to offer solutions to career professionals in the area of strategic career planning. I want them to have the confidence they need to pursue the career they REALLY want, instead of settling for some JOB doing things they don’t really like doing.

  • http://www.wendyjay.com Wendy Harvey Robinson

    My focus for my writing is to offer solutions to career professionals in the area of strategic career planning. I want them to have the confidence they need to pursue the career they REALLY want, instead of settling for some JOB doing things they don’t really like doing

  • http://joshheyward.com/ Josh Heyward

    For me, the focus of my writing will align with my passion for helping others. In particular, helping others succeed in life. I hope to do this by focusing on the theme of Living Intentional.

    Living an intentional life really hits close to home for me- I am learning and working through this right now. I have to confess that for many years I just coasted through day by day- I was content letting my life live me rather than me living my life. After a culmination of life circumstances hit me in the face, I realized the danger in going through the motions while life passed you by and I knew I had to make a change. I hope to share this with others so that they too can live an intentional life.

    http://www.joshheyward.com/blog/2014/5/6/focus

  • Doris Swift

    Hi Jeff! Thank you for direction in being more intentionally focused on our blog voice. My blog is Walking Deeper. Subject: Spiritual Growth; Theme: walking deeper in faith, and growing in Christ; Objective: to encourage others to walk in the plan and calling God has personally established for them.

  • Adam Collings

    This was helpful to get me thinking about my blog.

    Subject: Stories (in whatever medium)

    Theme: Chatting about stories that I love
    (with a little about the creation of stories (my writing journey, or review writing craft books) on the side

    Objective:Build a platform for my fiction writing.

  • Erika

    Lack of focus on my blog is probably its biggest problem. I’ve known before that the narrower your focus the better, but before this course I had never read a post on *how* to create that focus. Thanks for the step-by-step!
    Here’s mine–

    Subject: creative writing
    Theme: How cw is a process (made up of imperfect steps)
    Objective: To gain an audience for my creative work.

  • Kate Lawrence

    Ah, its so hard to commit, even after doing this exercise! As soon as I say ‘this is what my blog is about’, there is a little death for all the other things it might have been.
    Despite all that here goes!
    Subject: Women’s lives.
    Theme: How to live a life of meaning, joy and love and
    balance.
    Objective: To stimulate women to rethink how they live, so they are
    have more meaning, joy, love and balance. To build an audience and credibility to encourage women to take workshops and programs with me.

  • Maddie Miller

    since i had my sports massage derby it has made me feel so much better, i can get back into working out without worrying about injury and focus back on getting to my weight goal.

  • Judy Hagey

    I’ve been blogging, albeit sporadically, for about a year on grammar, usage, etymology, etc. And I hope to continue that angle, but putting it in writing is a good exercise:

    Subject: Communication

    Theme: Communicating with excellence

    Objective:

    To encourage/teach others the rich diversity of our language
    (etymology) and how to use it correctly (grammar/usage) as a way to demonstrate
    my own ability as a writer and editor.

  • Phil Bryson

    I hope I’ve taken on board what you’ve said Jeff, initially I wanted to blogg to promote my book and I started blogging by putting down a few ideas & asking people if they have any thoughts about it. Having read your article I am just going to put down bits about my travels which now as I am an old codger are not what they used to be. Thanks for the advice Jeff.

  • http://caitlynch.com Cait Lynch

    “The rule of thumb is this: The more you narrow your focus, the more you broaden your audience.” Fodder for this long weekend in Canada…Thanks, Jeff!

  • http://www.rhondamuse.wordpress.com Rhonda

    I have been blogging for a number of years but ready to get intentional.
    Subject: Women over 40
    Theme: Support and encouragement for Christian women over 40 in the workforce and the challenges they face.
    Objective: Provide a community of ladies that can encourage each other through this life process, provide wisdom and friendship…a sisterhood.
    Thanks Jeff for using your gifts, you are a blessing!!

  • Kristy L

    This is really helpful, thanks. I’ve just gotten back into blogging but can’t seem to figure out my focus. I don’t really want to commit to anything just yet, because I’m not sure I can keep up one area of interest for any amount of time. :/ But, I’ll try to use this advice to help me. :)

    http://kloudenclear.blogspot.com/

  • http://joeandkimstanley.com Kim S

    yes. this is helpful. and also scary. subject; worship, theme: how does my life as a worshiper affect _____? Objective: to provide community for inspirational conversation and to serve by increasing influence. thanks Jeff!

  • Greg Van Antwerp

    I found a hobby that I had been doing for a while and began writing about that. http://videomartyr.blogspot.com/ (Urban Archeology)
    My focus has been too general and lately I have been narrowing it down to finding restoring and returning the items from the past I have found. I need to create a dedicated url because the one I have been using is confusing.

355 Flares Twitter 77 Facebook 47 Pin It Share 215 Google+ 11 Buffer 5 355 Flares ×