This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.
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.
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.
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.
Read the rest of this series at Strategic Blogging Series.