This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.
Having thought about our mission (or why we blog) it’s time now to turn our attention to the values that we have that help to shape how we’ll achieve our overall mission.
There are many means to an end and many ways of achieving a mission. For instance if your mission is to make a living from blogging you could do so in many different ways ranging from blogs that rip off the content of others, to blogs that are purely original in content, to blogs that explore topics of purely a ‘family nature’ to blogs that are quite explicit and ‘adult’ in their nature etc.
These decisions come out of our values as a blogger.
What values determine our behavior?
Our values will come out of many different places including our family, culture, experiences and perhaps even personality type. They are worth naming in the early days of our blogging as there comes times in the life of any Blogger when the temptation to step outside the boundaries of behavior that we believe in comes a knocking. Having previously named (privately or even more powerfully – publicly) these values helps us to resist the temptation in the heat of the moment. Values are also important in helping others understand how or what we blog.
So what are the values that shape your blogging behavior? What are the boundaries that you’d be not willing to cross? What are the topics you’d be not willing to blog about? How will you treat those around you (other bloggers, your readers, suppliers of information etc)? Take a few minutes to write a list of the values that you want to shape your blogging. These might include things like:
- I value the work of others and when I build upon it I acknowledge them
- I don’t blog about anything sexually explicit, gambling, drugs or concerning Harry Potter
- I create an environment where everyone can have their say without fear of censorship
- I respect the privacy of others in my blogging and don’t reveal private conversations or contact details
- I only publish fact and will state if I’m speculating
- If I make a mistake I publicly acknowledge this and correct it
- I will always make it clear if I’m benefiting from something that I write
- I value people and will not blog about them in degrading ways
Of course such a list will always cause discussion and debate simply because one person’s values will vary from another person’s values. In a sense we’re talking ethics here.
Perhaps it would be appropriate to write up a set of values like these as a public blogging value statement of manifesto to promote the type of blog/s you’re keeping and to give your readers permission to keep you accountable to what you’re on about.
With your mission and values in place you’ll be ready for the next stages of actually mapping out how you’re going to move forward in your blogging.
Read the rest of the Strategic Blogging Series.