The other day, a friend asked, “Is blogging making a come-back?” which started a conversation about whether or not it ever went away in the first place.
Spoiler alert: I don’t think it did.
What happened? People just got lazy. They got greedy. And many communities went elsewhere — to Facebook, Instagram, Voxer.
How do I know this? Because for a time, I was one of those people. My first blog began in 2006. Then for the next six years, I had failed blog after failed blog. The main problem? I was lazy. I wanted thousands of fans without really doing the work of thinking about how I could serve them.
What finally changed for me was I gave it another shot. Goinswriter.com was my ninth blog. My ninth attempt at trying to build an audience. And guess what? This time, it worked. Because the way I approached blogging completely changed. I stopped worrying about what I could get out of this and started trying to figure out how I could serve people more. How I could help. How I could give.
And believe it or not, that made all the difference.
I’ve been doing this for a while now — writing on a blog and teaching other bloggers how to succeed — and I can tell you that blogging is still very much alive and well. Not just because I’ve been doing it for a long time and seeing great results (more traffic and better response than ever, in fact), but also because every year, I see bloggers start from scratch and build massive online communities that help their work spread. All it takes is some intentionality and a little generosity.
All it takes to succeed at blogging is some intentionality and a little generosity.
So, I want to share with you how they do it, as well as how you can emulate their success. What does it take to succeed in blogging today? Just four honest answers to four simple questions:
4 questions to help your blog succeed
There are four questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to blogging.
1. What is this about?
What is your message? What do you want people know or hear about?
To simply say your blog is about you is not enough.
What compelling message can you share that will get people excited to read your writing and experience your content?
2. How will you communicate your message?
So often we read writers and listen to podcasts not just because of what they say, but how they say it. Voice matters. So what does yours sound like? Are you a teacher? Will you chastise your audience or coach them? Will you get personal or keep your content prescriptive?
Good writing is about choices, and until you make some, your message will feel bland and uninteresting.
3. Who is this for?
You cannot create something for everyone. It doesn’t work that way.
Something for everyone is effectively something for no one. Because we, the audience, don’t want to feel like we’re part of everyone. We want to feel special, and the way you can make us feel that way is by communicating a unique message for a specific group of people.
This is your tribe. Who are they? How will you reach them? Knowing your ideal audience is half the battle. The other half is simply finding them.
4. Does this add value?
Are you creating so much value for your readers that they would be willing to pay you? Of course, not all blogs have to be monetized, but it’s a good question to ask as it indicates how much value you’re actually adding.
And if you want to become a full-time blogger or author, then having some idea of what you want to sell is a good idea. And if you are building a community that will be hard to monetize, that would be good to know at the outset. It will help you have the right expectations.
Here’s what it comes down to. You need four elements to create a successful blog:
- A clear message
- A powerful platform
- A committed tribe
- A product to sell
Those four things will help you clarify your message and grow a large audience that you can eventually monetize. If you want to learn exactly how to do that, sign up for one of my free trainings happening this week.
Which question above do you need to answer next for your blog? Share in the comments.