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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I remember doing this exercise on for my first photography blog (now no longer active) six years ago.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. Hi Darren,
    This is a great reflection exercise!
    I want WeBlogBetter to be known for being a place where bloggers come to learn how to make their blogs better. I want it to be an inspiring place that provokes thought and refreshing ideas. I want it to be a community where bloggers from around the world can add to each other’s knowledge. I want the writing that I publish their to be known for it’s engaging quality, it’s eureka-moment inspiring analogies and just a pleasant place where discouraged bloggers can leave feeling a bit more hopeful about the difficult task of running a blog.
    I’ve always got work to do – producing high quality content is a task that can always be improved upon. I’d like the information I offer to be of great value… you just made me realize that I’ve got a huge to-do list.

  2. Nathaniel says:

    Seeing as my blog is a photoblog I want people to leave thinking that I had a great design and, most definitely, I want to have my blog known for great content. I want other photographers to be inspired (if that’s even possible) by the content on my blog.
    I probably need to spend more time working on my blog. Though it’s a big priority in my life, I haven’t put as much of my time into it as I could have.

  3. Darren,

    The idea of what you have wrote here is extremely basic and simple, but as with the all simple things things in life, we just tend to ignore it, people need to do that sort of self questionnaire/judgement for self-awareness.

  4. Great post. However i believe that a blog should evolve from the basic plan you have a the start. So long as you make some key choices at the start like domain name etc then your blog should be able to go where ever you want it to

  5. Emmanuel says:

    Great question Darren,
    I want Incomescene to be the go-to place for information on bloggers.
    I want to make guinto a community where leading internet entrepreneurs share beine the scene details on tehr blogging endeavours.
    Peace!

  6. Tim Croteau says:

    Enjoyable post, Darren, and an interesting take on the “plan first” mentality I like to promote in clients looking to blog or otherwise engage in social media.

    I like the idea of having some type of mission/value statement to check in on and to make sure that current efforts are still working toward the same goal I started out with (or if my goals themselves may need to be re-adjusted).

    Thanks!

  7. Pankaj Gupta says:

    That’s a great observation. Now I will think about it. Currently I have a tech blog and want to make it popular in next few year. Now, I have to think differently as you suggested. Thanks for this great post.

  8. I want to help designers business thrive through insights I’ve learnt in running my own graphic design business and also through experienced designers telling their stories too.

    My last post was all in a similar vein to this blog post. The title is “Finish this sentence – Before I die I want to design… ” It’s got 18 comments so far!

    Deep down I believe we all want to be known for something, leave something productive behind.

  9. I want my blog to be know for the place to go for niche marketing advice. For people wanting to build out niche websites and be the main source of information for that specialty.

    The changes are happening everyday. I am building out my own niche sites and my main blog is the place I share my successes and failures.

    brandon

  10. Tom says:

    * I want my blog to be known as a sales training resource.
    * I want major service contractors to use my blog as part of their new employee training.
    * I want to share timeless articles, and work on selling my own ebooks

  11. Sarah says:

    I think my blog may be too new to think about a eulogy this early on. Right now, it is on track to being what I want it to be. My problem however is that it is such a saturated market and not having a product/service to sell currently, I do not have the funds to invest in its growth.

  12. Wow this is a wonderful article. I’m going up go through this exercise with my own blog and see where I truly stand.

    Are there any other life-coaching type exercises like this that can be translated to a blog? I’m looking to really get a grasp of what my blog is and what I want it to be.

  13. Mr.G says:

    I want my blog to be known as the primary site for information about immigration to Canada, a place where readers can find original ideas and unique point o views and a place where readers interact with each other enriching the information already posted by the editor.

    I’ve already accomplished that in my Spanish blog. I just need time and work in my English blog but I know I’m getting there. It’s all about patience and hard work.

  14. Darren:

    Good point – what to be known for …

    For now, I’ll be happy if my blog is known for rockin’ tunes. I’ve just started an ongoing series of Daily Downloads, to appear each morning. Each will recommend a song for the day, to get everyone’s day started, drawing from it a small message to inspire in some way. Nothing too profound – just something good and enlivening to wake up to. It’s my little gift to the world.

    Then, if people hang out and read one or two of my posts, or go to one of my pages – like What’s this blog about? or What is RPM4? – then all the better. Ultimately I think we all want the same thing for our blogs: to make a dent in the universe in some meaningful way. I’m just grateful for the chance to be doing this now. It was a long time coming.

    Great post. Thanks.

    Susan

  15. Helping people help themselves become successful by been prepared..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  16. Jeff Goins says:

    I want my blog to be known for setting a new standard of writing, creativity, and living in a digital world.

    Great post, Darren. Thanks for the challenge. I needed it.

  17. Great post. This is a great way to visualize what you want to achieve with your blog or website. I want my blog to be known for providing effective Facebook Marketing Tips and Strategies for Free.

  18. Nicky Spur says:

    I like the sentiment here, especially as this is something that arose out of your own experience. Having short, mid and long term goals for anything is key to success, blogs included. Good stuff.

  19. I want my blog to be known as a community of tiny business owners, sharing and interacting with the best practices of running a very small business.

    Great post Darren! Thanks for writing this!

  20. John says:

    It’s cool post:) I Need my blog to be acknowledge for the place to go for corner all kind of education info and advice!

  21. Rison Simon says:

    Wow, that is a very good question. The beauty of the question is that it helps me to think in the right direction and not in terms of which niche you fall in.

  22. Jenny says:

    I want to be THE pet photographer in Pittsburgh. Not just one of the few that are available, but people’s primary choice. I’ve decided on a niche, but need to advertise that I’m not just doing a personal blog, but that it is actually to be a business with real packages and prices.

  23. Gabriel says:

    Hey Darren,

    Excellent post as usual. It really makes me think for sure. I want my blog to be more interactive, as I only receive a few comments here and there. My blog is branding me as myself, so I want my blog to be know for ‘that guy, Gabriel’ who teaches online marketing/network marketing methods and principles.

    Thanks for the post,
    Gabriel Johansson

  24. I want my blog to be the place to go for amateur photographers – I want my readers to be people who didn’t read the manual, who want to learn and share photography tips, discuss photography drama, and learn/share photography challenges.

    Since that’s what I want, that’s what I’m putting out there. I’ve also started guest blogging on sites to gain new readers. What I love about guest blogging is that I don’t have to contribute to only photography sites, but I can tie most topics to photography, bringing new readers to me. I’m a regular contributor on 2 sites now.

    And I invite guest bloggers to write on my site – my readers love reading a fresh perspective. I have one monthly contributor and I’m hoping to grow that to 5 by summer.

  25. This is a great exercise Darren. It can help me stay on track when I get pulled in differing directions because of all the cool things other bloggers are doing.
    Living the Balanced Life is to empower people to take care of themselves so as not to burn out. I write from the heart, from personal experience, and that is a big part of my success so far. I will definitely do this exercise to determine which direction I want to head next!
    Bernice
    Speeding through Life

  26. Andrew Hill says:

    Thanks, Darren, for your thoughts about vision. The two points you mentioned: original content and community interaction, are pretty much my vision for my two blogs.

    I started those blogs a couple of months ago, and am finding that generating original content is time consuming because of the research and personal reflection required, and rather drawn out because of the commitments of my current “day job”.

    I am concentrating on original content as my first goal. I expect that community interaction will become more of a focus once I manage to get some momentum up with drafting and publishing posts.

  27. I want my blog to be known for the place where people can find the tools and resources they need to find their voice as writers and performers. Great blog post, this seems like a simple exercise but it took me about 3 years to figure out what I really wanted the blog to be known for and now that I know it has given me direction

  28. Hmmm… Interesting post Darren. I agree with what you’ve just explained. For me, I want my blog and forum to be a source of help to everyone. With that mindset, I developed a business plan for both. I listed all I want for my blog and forum and how to achieve them and this had been my guide and I do review it every time. Having the end in mind has kept me on track. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post Darren.
    Guys, if you don’t have a business plan yet for any of your ventures/businesses, read why its necessary here; http://www.entrepreneurshipsecret.com/why-do-you-need-a-business-plan

  29. Brandi says:

    Good point I need to sit down and make a list.

  30. Jennefer says:

    Thank you for sharing some of your thoughts about the development of DPS Darren. I think the biggest challenge for me is to not get stuck planning and dreaming and focus on more actual doing! But even still here I go…

    I want http://www.Practicex3.com to be:
    A place of high quality thoughtful and insightful information about the life skills that can be gained by being an active person

    A place to help people to think about their running/exercise as an opportunity for personal growth

    A place to encourage non active people to be active

    A place to help people build confidence, focus, clarity, discipline, goal setting skills and more through their running/exercise and then apply it to their lives

    A new kind of community for runners/active people to connect based on their shared experiences of personal growth instead of speed or performance

    Now off to write some awesome content that reflects these ideals! :)
    Thanks for the opportunity to share Darren!
    xoxo
    Jennefer

  31. Tim says:

    Darren this post must make you feel good. This post was not only informative but also extremely engaging. Look at how many people have taken the time to comment on how they would like their blog to be remembered.

    I want my blog to be known for helping kids with Crohn’s Disease become more confident and successful in college. I also want it to be know as a way to get the word out about the disease and let the world know that this disease existes. To make that happen I need to devote more time to my blog and less time doing things are are not productive in any way.

    Thanks for the post Darren! I always get excited when it says written by Darren Rowse under the title.

  32. Brad says:

    Great exercise for myself as a rookie blogger.

    I want my blog to be entertaining as well as valuable by giving newbies like myself a road map of ideas and suggestions to attract an audience. to basically learn as I go and show others what I did right and wrong.

    Thanks for the great information you share.

    -Brad

  33. blogtips says:

    Just give latest tips that help to people. Give complete guide for particular niche or topic.

  34. Delle says:

    Hi Darren, thanks for this post. Just what I need. I’ve been contemplating of deleting my blog because it is just not the blog that I’ve been dreaming it to be. The domain name is just so limited. I haven’t thought much about the importance of laying out what I want my blog to become, what I want it to be known for and what I want it to offer to readers before acquiring the domain name and publishing posts. I’ll give myself a day to think things over. Again, thanks for this eye-opening and reassuring post. :)

  35. Scrollwork says:

    The truth is, my blog is not a resource. It is not a digital water cooler. It is not a roundup of everyone else’s expert advice. It does not strive to be practical and useful, but it always aims to entertain while provoking thought.

    I tell stories from personal experience. Each one illustrates a point. Some stories reveal the injustice and frustration at the hands of employers; others revel in the deliciousness of reinvention. I make observations as an expat baby boomer. I take sarcastic potshots at pompous practices.

    The comments tell me I either gave someone a much-needed chuckle or I self-disclosed the quirkiness that runs rampant in my head. Either way, I’ve done my job. They’ve escaped to my cabana, gotten into my head, and they feel refreshed when they leave. That’s what I want my blog to be remembered for.

    Oh, and the money-making aspect? I have a little button on top of the sidebar that invites them to my online handmade shop. I don’t plan to sell e-books, offer free “reports” in exchange for subscriptions or any of that, thanks.

  36. Rory Mullen says:

    My ultimate wish for my blog will be to make it the best online area for people who wants to make money. I am not into making money off of other people,but to teach users how to make money properly so they can have a flow of passive income each month. I have never understood why people ruin their online name so they can make quick cash.

    I have been working on Squidoo and now started making decent cash , starting with my number 1 Lens. I created a Lens that shows users how the can make money online and what to watch out for.

  37. Thanks for the question. I must say. I want people to know my blog for – a place where people (most especially Nigerians) comes to learn what it takes to make real money online legitimately, build online business, create wealth and also do what they learn on their own

  38. Silvia says:

    This is a great blog post. I think all bloggers think about this all the time, in the corner of their minds. But sometimes it takes such an exercise to make your blog better.
    I would like my blog to help girls in being more confident about themselves. Skincare and make-up tips should help them enhance their natural beauty. Aikido is a great martial art through which a great physical and psychical balance can be reached. That is what I want to share with others. I want to talk about aikido because it changed my lifestyle for the better. I want other people’s lives to change to better also. Aikido is not just a sport but a way of socializing and teaching yourself new things about yourself.
    What I do to make my blog better is interacting with people on youtube for example. As watching videos on youtube is my hobby it is a pleasurable pass-time for me. I watch both beauty videos and videos with aikido techniques to perfect my skills. I share my genuine comments and invite people to become my friends. I still have to work in making my voice more heard and coming through to people. I read your blog for that and hope to carry on.
    Thank you for your valuable tips and for this one especially, as I find it a great exercise! Will think about it some more.

  39. This is a great exercise to help keep your blog focused. I’ve been having trouble nailing down my specific niche, but this is a great way to help narrow it down. If I known what I want people to get from my blog, it will be easier to know what to give them. Thanks for the advice!

  40. se7en says:

    I love a challenge and it isn’t just an easy answer. I have thought about it and there is just no focus on our blog at all … that’s what appeals to me though, an eclectic mix of stuff mums would like to read… I think if I was too focused it would maybe be too boring same old mothering/homeschool stuff day after day could really be Dullsville… but a mix up throughout the week seems to be working… How about being remembered for “The eclectic mom blog, with bits and pieces of kid/family/stuff giving moms ideas on how to get through the day, any day” …

  41. Nice post. I’m going to try this exercise, for both my blog and my life. It’s something I ask myself on occasion, but I’ve never actually taken the time to write down what I want my blog to be known for.

    I know that I want my blog to be a place readers can trust will provide intelligent and thought-provoking insight, not just bland news and predictable opinion. I find that my niche is shifting. I started blogging primarily about technology. But I find myself posting about philosophy, sociology, and science more and more.

    Thanks for posting. You’ve got me thinking.

  42. Hey Darren, I actually just did this exercise recently. It gave me a lot more clarity in my business and more drive as a result. I didn’t quite go to my own eulogy (that’s too far away…I hope) but I looked ahead 10 years.

    I found that it really helps to put things in perspective and focus on the right activities that will get you where you want to be. (whether it’s with your blog, business, life, anything)

  43. Well obviously you want your blog to be known for guest posts!

  44. Amy says:

    I’m starting to think you’re a Magic8 ball or something. :) I ask a question or start thinking about something, and *poof* here it is on ProBlogger. I would love it if my blog could do that!

    In my opinion, you can only really do something well if you begin with a bigger picture in mind, and that picture needs to be about what you can give, not what you can get.

    Great post, and I’ve started my list!

  45. Michael says:

    I guess I never really stopped to think about what I want my blog to be known for, I just kind of wrote and left it at that. I’m going to have to give it a little more thought now.

  46. Inspiration!

    Inspiration to action!

    Helping others to be inspired – but at the same time equipped with strategies that when applied will change their life for good.

  47. Brad says:

    I want my blog to be known for its tech news…I know that sounds stupid since there are tons of other tech news blogs…but there all covered in ads…mine isnt.

  48. Mansi says:

    Good things about blogs is that unlike children they will never turn themselves into brats if you did not want them to be one.

  49. Great post, I’ve started my list myself. Hopefully I will be able to change my parked domain into something I always wanted it to be.

  50. Shane says:

    You bring up a very interesting point here. For example, I have a blog that I started nearly a year ago for work at home dads. I liked the idea and put some good articles on there. However, at the end of the day…it really wasn’t me. So I kinda stopped blogging there.

    You also strike right at the core of the very reason why I have not re-joined facebook. I had an account a couple or 3 years ago. However, after I viewed my wall posts and my friends I spoke with, it turns out the brand I really wanted was not being portrayed online. So I closed my FB account nearly a year ago and haven’t went back since.

    Which leads me to a question I’ll have to answer myself. “What do I have to offer people that I would like to share with them online?”

    Hmmm…I’ll get back with you on that.

    Peace