This guest post is by Alden Tan of Alden-Tan.com.
So you got your blog started up. It’s time to put everything in place.
You start to study the market and conduct all the research needed. You read up on other blogs, scout forums, and buy an ebook that’s supposed to help you succeed.
Having bought into the hype, you actually force yourself to apply all the tactics you learnt, even though you don’t have a good feeling about them.
You’re basically basing your work on others’ success!
Already you’ve fallen into the category of tired bloggers who’ve tried everything and yet not seen any success. And then you’re attracted by other “gurus” who advertise “the real deal”. It’s a vicious cycle.
What’s lacking? What is that one, invisible quality that the top bloggers all seem to have? You may be spending too much time doing what others are doing, when the real problem is this:
Your blog lacks your “why”
How much energy are you expending on your blog? I don’t just mean writing, designing, optimizing SEO, or using social media.
I mean how much of yourself are you putting into your blog?
The power of your self, injected in your blog, can take you far. It’s about bringing forth your beliefs to the world and sharing your vision with people.
And it all fuses together to create your “why”.
The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”—Simon Sinek, Start with Why
This attitude goes beyond merely following your passion and showing people you’re doing what you love. It’s also a step ahead of putting personality in your writing.
It’s the belief and vision you need to create your purpose. And with purpose, you’ll never be lost again.
How to find and express your blog’s essence
1. Find your own purpose in person
In order to find your blog’s essence, you’ve first got to find your own purpose in life.
Remember, your blog is you. You aren’t a ball of marketing tactics and business strategies. You need to continually express yourself in your blog to get all that essence out there.
I found and fine-tuned my purpose with this little exercise I did at RyzeOnline. This powerful exercise can help you to zoom in on your very being, building the strong roots needed for both yourself and your blog.
Furthermore, one of the things the exercise teaches is to be fully proud of your essence and loudly proclaim it to the world. You can easily do that by writing and portraying that on your About Me page, and in all your articles.
Ever since I completed this exercise, I’ve only written with purpose. To put it another way, I don’t write if I’m not inspired. I stopped churning out content just for the sake of having an update for my blog. Not only does it feel a lot better, but my articles have been receiving greater response in terms of comments.
Do the exercise now to create your blog’s roots.
2. Find your one person
Now, with your purpose and essence found, you need to as yourself: who will I bring this to?
Forget about finding a target audience or a demographic. Ask yourself this:
“Are you being completely you when having an intimate conversation with someone or when you’re addressing a large group?” You should be.
There is a fantastic article on finding your one person (or customer) over at Firepole Marketing, complete with a free worksheet.
Finding your one person makes it a lot easier for you and your blog to communicate your essence. It relieves the pressure of marketing and managing your entire blog.
For me now, when I write, everything is directed to my one person. And combining it with the first point—my why—I know for sure I’m on the right track.
So find your one person now, and write, blog, and talk to them.
3. Find your blog’s one true design
Every blog has a layout and design—otherwise it’s just a wall of words.
But does your blog visually scream your essence?
Good marketing for a blog would mean readers would know what you’re all about within just three seconds of landing on your page.
Your content and writing definitely plays a big role, but the fact is, people’s attention span fluctuate a lot, so you definitely have to get your blog’s look alone to grab attention. And when you do grab it, make sure the right messages are going through.
I just went through a blog revamp myself. When I started out, I thought of taking pretty pictures of myself with a good camera, thinking that it would look good anyway. Now, the pictures of me easily tell of my life. Let me know if you get that.
Does your blog visually tell your story? If not, tweak it!
People will recognize your blog for you
When I started my own blog, I just thought I’d write and see what comes along, because I knew I was a good writer. But I ended up writing random articles that were at most entertaining.
It was only when I dug deeper into myself and find out why I wanted to blog that I found real purpose in blogging.
Not only does it feel good doing what I do everyday, but people eventually recognized me for that. I got personal emails from readers asking me for real advice. And all my “winning” strategic platforms thrive on their own—now I have more Twitter followers, more Facebook likes and more opt-ins.
Are you a little sceptical in the importance of essence? Essence is not some magical, cosmic energy at work in which the universe rewards you for the passion you have. It’s just building a strong foundation in your blog or business.
Remember, with strong roots, your blog will bear great fruit. And what better way to build your roots than by being yourself, being passionate, and being original?
Alden Tan is a rock star blogger who writes about personal development, passion and inspiration. He gets most of his essence from doing what he loves despite what others think of him. If you want to learn how to get your own essence out, check out his email series on learning how to stop caring about what others think and start living!