What do you do in a world inhabited by well over 200 million blogs? Why’s anyone going to read yours?
Every niche, every topic, every angle has been covered. The competition for attention and traffic is fierce. But there’s still room for your blog . . . if it’s amazing.
A blog is trivially simple to start, but not so easy to keep rolling. There are so many factors — traffic, social media strategy, design, monetization. If you try to absorb everything at once, you’ll be too overwhelmed to keep going.
It’s important to learn and grow, but you also want clarity more than anything else. You need a plan.
If you make sure you don’t stray too far from these three points, your best path will get a lot easier to find.
Step 1. Know your readers
Your blog is not about finance or real-estate or politics. Your blog is not about your topic at all.
Your blog is about your readers.
Whether you’ve been blogging for 1 day or 1000 days, you need to know who’s showing up to read, watch, or listen to you.
What do they care about? What are they interested in? What’s worrying them? What makes them smile? Who/what do they lust after? What do they fear? What do they loathe? What do they cherish?
What do they secretly wish someone (maybe you?) would write about? What kind of content would feed their minds, their pocketbooks, or their souls?
You never have to pander to your readers. You’re not their slave. But you do have to know them.
Step 2. Do not give up on yourself
Blogs are about expression, and if you don’t show up in all your glory, there’s not much point to the whole exercise.
Shoot your mouth off, ideally when you know what you’re talking about. Rant, rave, shout from the rooftops.
And when you’re totally clueless, ask a million questions. Engage, pursue, reach out, investigate.
While you’re at it, go ahead and look like an ass once in awhile. Confess all the oddity and foolishness you’ve been trying to hide since junior high.
You’re the prism that your readers want to look through. Don’t try to create some kind of quasi-journalistic cloak of invisibility. You’re the point.
Step 3. Adapt. Improvise. Learn. Repeat.
What could you do that would make your job easier?
What are the current trends? What is the world moving towards?
Amazing blogs, and amazing bloggers, evolve.
Blogging is about challenge and mystery. It’s about never knowing who’s going to show up, or link to you, or what exactly you will do when your post gets featured on Discover and you receive some four thousand visitors in two days.
Blogging’s all about how you take the curves.
Just make sure you have a rough plan and a few grounding principles. Then get out there and have fun. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.