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Strategic Blogging – Issues, Present Position and Future Direction

This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.

Issues

If we want to design a strategy to help us reach our goals we need to identify the areas in which we need to work. At this point in the strategic plan we take time to break down the task of blogging into activities or issues that we face.

What are your main activities?

The answer to this question will vary from blogger to blogger depending upon their focus and current approach to blogging – but they will probably include some of the following:

  • finding content
  • writing content
  • blog design
  • marketing and publicity
  • administration (monitoring comments, processing cheques, book keeping)
  • finding and managing advertisers
  • managing other authors
  • search engine optimization

In a sense what you’re describing here are the areas that you need to achieve in to make your blog successful (the above list is only partial). The list may include tasks that you already do well, don’t do well or don’t yet do at all.

In identifying these issues or activities you define areas that you’ll need to consider some strategy in.

Present Position

Having identified each activity that you need to engage in to be successful in achieving your objectives and goals you now do a little analysis of how you’re currently performing in each activity. The question you want to answer with each are is:

Where are we?

What am I doing well in this area? What am I neglecting? What is working and what isn’t working? These are all good questions to ask. You may want to do a ‘SWOT’ analysis here (look at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and assess the current reality. Be honest with yourself – if you’re anything like me there are some things that you’re doing very well and other things that you’re ignoring.

Whilst it may not be pleasant to acknowledge current short fallings it’s vitally important as your blog will only ever go as far as your weakest area allows you to.

Future Direction

Now you’ve described the current reality you again should look in to the future in each of the activities that you’ve identified and ask yourself:

Where do I want to be in this specific activity in a year?

You know where you are now but what are you going to work towards? For example you might have identified marketing as one of your ‘activities’ an in analyzing it find that you’re great at marketing to other blogs in your niche but that blogs outside your niche and non bloggers have never heard of your blog. As a result you might say that in a year you want to be known outside your niche and be getting exposure in the wider media.

In a sense you’re again setting mini goals, breaking down your overall ‘vision’ into specific areas of your blogging.

Go through each of the activities that you’ve identified already and come up with some future direction. Be specific enough in each one that you can measure your success in each area. Don’t write how you’ll achieve this direction yet (that comes next) – rather try to paint a picture of the future in each of the areas of your blogging.

Below you’ll see a table that illustrates how each of the above three steps might look if you put them into some sort of spread sheet. Of course I’ve completely oversimplified the process here in order to illustrate the point. Each ‘issue’ is likely to have a multifaceted description of the present position and may in fact have a number of ‘future directions’ for each.

Strategic-Plan-1

Read the rest of this series at Strategic Blogging Series.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Personally I would love to sit down and do all of what your saying, however. I just got five minutes to type this little blurb. I am a stay-at-home dad with 3 kids. So I have to blog from the time I get up til now which its about 11:32 at night here. I get interrupted quite a bit during the day. When those kids go back to school in twenty days I will have more time to devote to blogging more. But its great that Darren is providing this resource so that the rest of us can learn problogging.

  2. I think one important strategy decision to make early on is whether or not you’re going to be a linkblogger or take the time and effort to create original content. Linkblogging is easier in some ways, and can be quite successful if you choose your sources well. You can assemble a collection of feeds and links and put your spin on things that could potentially be very valuable to someone who doesn’t want to bother with hunting down feeds for themsevles.

    However, people are becoming more aware of automated spam blogs whose purpose is AdSense revenue by hook or by crook. You don’t want your blog to even remotely resemble a blog like that.

    Original content may provide more value to the reader and you’ll eventually be in more of a position to have the kind of blog that others want to link to. Original content increases the possibility of you becoming a thought-leader in your niche.

    The deeper into a specific niche you go, the easier it is to come up with concrete original content. The more general you are, oftentimes, the more you’re competing with other generalists, and it’s hard for anyone to stand out.

    You certainly can do both, as Darren does here. He strikes a good balance between linking and writing original material. The links he offers are of high value and he adds his own extensive commentary, rather than just acting as a repeater. His original material is also of high value, so overall it’s a good mix. (Just so I don’t appear to be a complete brown-noser, I will say I’m not crazy about the color scheme!)

    Making this decision early on will have a definite effect on your blog design process, as well. Link and RSS-based blogs often have a more complex, multicolumn layout than original content blogs, which can be as blessedly simple as you like in their design.

  3. Yep, publicity is the big thing for me – wider media coverage is tops on my agenda next 12 months. My theory is that for a blog to really take off it needs to get mentioned in the Mainstream Media (MSM) and better yet on a regular basis.

    For me, I’m working hard on developing relationships with selected journo’s from Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc., and Fast Company.

  4. john damaeon says:

    We are concerned about blogs often semi-automatically generated on the www. designed to obfuscate or partly hide, shame make fun embarras etc . minority opinion, and monority acadmeic opinon. Such blogging is very often dircted at controversial scholars, others-similars, and often at indivudals. Index on yahoo-google the faliled idea scholar Brent Kennedy to see a good example.

    Blog companies-related include, Draknet.com, Mercury Web Solutions , Witchschool.com’s outsourced companies on their leadership persons links, 4 of these, and others similar. Two of these named companies are blog designers in the Brent Kenney situation as of last week.

    Damaeon

  5. wapa says:

    Very helpful…thank you you are helping me find my way around this blogging. Is there such a thing as editors on line for bloggers?????

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  3. [...] Darrin at problogger, had this helpful point to make, “Whilst it may not be pleasant to acknowledge current short fallings it’s vitally important as your blog will only ever go as far as your weakest area allows you to.” [...]