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What Do You Want Your Blog to Be Known For?

Here’s a little exercise that I do periodically to help me keep my blog on track.

It’s based upon a typical life coaching-type exercise where you’re asked to visualize your own funeral and write your own eulogy—to think about what you want to be known for after you’re gone. But in this exercise we’re going to do it with your blog.

What do you want your blog to be known for?

I remember doing this exercise on for my first photography blog (now no longer active) six years ago. At the time, that blog was simply aggregating camera reviews from around the Web for readers. It was reasonably successful (it made enough to make me a full-time blogger) but something didn’t feel right about it to me.

So I began to ask myself, “What do I want my blog to be known for?”

I projected ten years forward and began to visualize what kind of photography blog I could have at that point. I made a list (or rather something of a vision/manifesto for the blog)—one that I came across yesterday.

The list was pretty long (quite a few pages) but included the following points:

  • a place where new cameras came to unlock the secrets of their cameras
  • a place where people came to share their images
  • a place where readers would encourage one another in their photography
  • a place where readers would share their tips with one another
  • a place which people see as being original in its thinking
  • a place that was renowned for its advice to all levels of photographers.

There was a heap more points like these—but you get the idea.

At the end of my vision document I also wrote the following observation:

“What I am dreaming of is nothing like what I am currently doing.”

My realization was that my dream looked nothing like the current reality. I had a blog at the time that was largely aggregating and rearranging other people’s content. While it was useful to my readers (as I made sense of the masses of info out there) it wasn’t doing any of the things I dreamed of doing.

I began to toy with the idea of evolving my current blog into this dream, but quickly realized that it would probably be better to just start afresh.

Digital Photography School was born through these realizations and this dreaming.

By no means have achieved even half of what I set out for, but, having these goals and dreams in mind, I’m so much closer than I ever was with my previous photography blog.

Your turn

In the life coaching exercise when you write your own eulogy, you’re supposed to take the eulogy and compare it with how you’re currently living, so you can identify how you need to change your life to take you to that place.

For example, if you want to be known for being a generous person, but you live an insular life where you never give anything to anyone, there’s an obvious change that needs to be made.

The same comparison can be very illuminating when you do this type of reflection about your own blog.

  • If you want your blog to be known for its original thinking and you only ever regurgitate the ideas of others, you need to make some changes.
  • If you want your blog to be a place of community and interaction, but you never invite interaction or interact with your readers, you need to make some changes.

You get the picture, I’m sure.

What do you want your blog to be known for—and what changes need to happen if you’re to achieve that?

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. Alberto says:

    “a place where new cameras came to unlock the secrets of their cameras”, really funny :-P
    I think that this is a really fundamental exercise, that everyone should repeat during the life of his/her blog (or even during his/her life).

  2. ibrochure says:

    I’d like my blog to be know for having made a LOT of money, Heres hoping, I need to keep focussed.

  3. I can’t wait to do this tonight. In ten years, I want my book review blog paying the mortgage while I read books and comics all day for more reviews.

  4. Where thousands of people interact with one another and are always wanting to return again and again for more good news!!

    Lawrence Bergfeld

  5. George Tee says:

    Most blogs are made to share interest and information with the readers. It is a community where everyone can interact. As for myself, I made my blog for the purpose and love of affiliate marketing. I want to help people who want to start to make a website, do business, make money online.

  6. Colin Smith says:

    While I agree with the sentiment: “If you want your blog to be known for its original thinking and you only ever regurgitate the ideas of others, you need to make some changes,” is true in essence, the topic is first provided, in general, by authority domains, such as this site, mashable, techcrunch, etc. You can build your own slant for sure, but it’s the professional writers that are key to initiating industry news. So, good research is vital.

  7. I know this is the issue at http://thisoldbrain.net . My challenge has always been to define what my blog is about in order to find a business model that will fit the bill. Oh, well, it’s only been 3 years.
    MK

  8. Questions are the best way to begin reflecting and focusing in on what your goals are. I am inspired to ask the question now, thanks to your blog.
    Although I understand that this process is fluid and unfolding, asking the question begins to funnel that energy into a more conscious decision and then action.
    Thanks.

  9. Paulo says:

    Good points as usual Darren. Reading problogger has really shown me how many factors need to be considered and how much of a long term approach is needed.

    Cheers.

  10. I would like to provide useful informations to my readers, and to be known as good source of informations. Money comes after that. I think also that all bloggers need to be little more flexible in determining the goal. Sometimes you go with the flow, and true purpose of the blog often can be something we did not count on when we started.

  11. mikael says:

    not to have to many guestbloger…

  12. ruzanne says:

    Hello Darren! I’m a BIG, BIG fan! In fact, you made a dream real for me. Because I’ve always wanted to help out and at the same time seek gigs as an online writer. With the greatly helpful info I get from here, I finally pushed by butt out of the dreamers’ cleopatra chair and started my blog.

    Now on to the other point. I want my blog to be know as a venue where would-be virtual assistants could learn the ropes; and for those who need to outsource, they’d have an idea how things work because it’s a VA herself who’s talking personal about how it does. :)

    But there are times, I admit. I get sidetracked and write about my deep pride for our small team of VAs. And so I write of nothing much related to our services, tips and ideas, but the real world and lives we live in. Still, it’s about us virtual assistants.

    Anyways, continue inspiring others like me! God bless, Darren! Cheers to you and your great team!