This post is by Clare Lancaster, of WomenInBusiness.com.au.
Ever since I read Chris Guillebeau’s manifesto, 279 Days to Overnight Success, I’ve been inspired to create one for my own blog. The way that it communicated the message of his blog, packaged in an attractive, shareable, valuable asset that cemented his place as a niche leader, was enough to make this blogger gush.
After nine months of blogging I decided to create a manifesto for my blog. I can honestly say it was one of the best things I’ve done.
It’s helped me:
- communicate the purpose and mission of my blog (which has helped keep my posts consistent in their message)
- attracted the “right” people
- built community and solidarity with those “right” people
- spread my message to the networks of “right” people, attracting them to my blog.
It’s been blogged, shared, tweeted, emailed, and printed out. I’ve received emails of thanks, one woman wrote to tell me she had printed it out and given it as a gift to her (all female) staff.
So, what exactly are blog manifestos, and should you create one for your blog?
What is a manifesto?
A manifesto traditionally communicates the values and beliefs of a group of people or organization. The most common form of blog manifestos are ebooks.
A manifesto that offers special value for your readers can act as a viral marketing tool for your blog. It gives the reader an idea of the bigger picture and purpose of your blog, and empowers them.
A manifesto is a method of structuring your message in a way that your audience finds relatable, desirable and, most importantly, attainable. It communicates a set of ideals and invites a reader to join you on your journey.
How to create your own blog manifesto
Like any trend, the more popular manifestos get, the harder it is to break through the noise. Look to see what’s being produced in your niche and do something different. Be original: think about what your particular audience wants, needs, and will find irresistible.
I created my manifesto as a one-page poster designed to be printed and stuck to a wall. Find the best way to communicate your message to your audience. It doesn’t have to be an ebook. It doesn’t have to be a long story. It just has to have impact.
Give your manifesto away freely—you want it to spread. You also want it to be linked to your blog, so brand it strongly, but not obtrusively.
Don’t forget about your own assets when promoting your manifesto. Link to it from your email signature, add it to your navigation bar and your mailing list welcome email, and blog and tweet about it.
What’s your message?
Here’s the catch; you need a strong message before you even think about creating a manifesto.
If you haven’t already, taking the time to think about your message will improve:
- your branding
- how your audience relates to you
- your value offer and niche positioning with your readers
- your editorial direction and overall purpose
So my question to you is: what’s your message? How does your message help your readers? What’s going to make them share your message with their network?
Clare Lancaster offers blog reviews to help improve the business performance of your blog. She is passionate about helping people make their own path in work and life and can be found on Twitter most days (@clarelancaster).