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Declaring War on Blogger Apathy II

Over the next few posts I’m going to be posting a few thoughts on how to defeat apathy in your blogging – here’s a few to kick us off.

• Start a Series – it gets hard to constantly come up with new topics to blog about each day so why not pick a larger topic to break down over a week or so. I find that once I’ve got a topic to work on I often get the creative juices flowing – a series can fast track the process. The past few days have definitely lifted my own interest in ProBlogger (not that it was too low) – simply because I’ve been in ‘series mode’.

• Invite questions from your readers - get your readers involved in your blog by setting the agenda for you to write about over the next few weeks of your blogging. Once again this is about stimulating ideas for topics.

• Revisit old Posts – if your archives are anything like mine they are full of posts and articles that you’ve put hours of work into. Keep in mind that many of your newer readers would not have read your old posts and so from time to time it might be worth either reposting old posts, updating old posts or simply bouncing off old posts and continuing old streams of thought.

More posts to come on how to defeat blog apathy over the next day or so. Feel free to add your own tips in comments below.

Declaring War on Blogger Apathy

Ok so now it’s time to talk about something that has the potential to KILL your blog….

Apathy

A blogger can have the best strategic plan in the world but if they have no motivation, passion or drive for their blogging it will almost always amount to nothing at all. One of the keys to the success I’ve managed to have as a ProBlogger is that I’ve taken a long term approach to my blogging which calls for constant work over 2.5 years (so far).

Whilst there have been times where my spirit has been low and the drudgery of researching, writing, networking and dreaming has threatened to put a stop to what I do – I’ve continually pushed myself to find new and creative ways to beat down the blog killer of Apathy. I’ve seen other bloggers not been able to break through this and as a result their blogs today either don’t exist or have become something like the ghost towns of the Western Movie with breezes blowing around the tumbleweed of comment spam and out of date content.

So for the next couple of days I’m going to declare war on Blog Apathy and will post 10 or so of the things that have helped me keep my motivation up in blogging. Feel free to add your own experience and tips in comments or write your own post on the topic in your own blog and let me know about it so I can link up.

Read the rest of this series of post at:

Strategic Blogging – Action Plan

This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series. It’s the last one!!!

We’ve reached the last step of the strategic plan and now we finally get to a time of planning (and doing) some action.

In each of the ‘activities’ break down your strategy into achievable tasks. You might like to break it down into some sort of a timeline.

  • what will you do in the next month?
  • what will you do in the next 3 months?
  • what will you do in the next 6 months?
  • what will you do in the next 12 months?

Your action plan should contain very specific tasks.

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Strategic Blogging – Strategy

This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.

We’re almost at the end of the strategic Blogging plan now – this is the second last post – phew!

You’ve analyzed your current position and have looked into the future to how you want your blog to be in each of the activities of your blogging – now you basically need to compare one with the other. How does your current reality and future vision compare? Do they match up? If they do you’re either a brilliant blogger, you’re lying or you’re not aiming high enough.

For most of us the current reality doesn’t match what we want to achieve.

What major changes do you need to make to get to your future vision?

Albert Einstein defined insanity as ‘doing the same old things the same old ways and expecting to get different results’ (paraphrased). The only way you’ll see changes in your blogging is if you change your approach. Which of your ‘activities’ needs to change? How?

You might find that some of your activities are doing well and don’t need too much changing – but the reality will be that we can all improve in all areas – and that in some areas more than others we might need a complete overhaul if we want to really achieve something. Make a list of the changes you need to make.

Once again I’ve included a diagram that hopefully illustrates how this might look (in a very over simplified form).

Strategic-Blogging-2

Read more of the Strategic Blogging Series.

31 Days to Building a Better Blog – Day 2

Here are the latest tips that readers of ProBlogger have written in the last 24 hours as a contribution to the wider community’s learning on the topic of Blogging. It’s part of our 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Project. I hope you enjoy:

  • Syntagma wrote a post titled Blog Tips for August that tells the story of a new blog they are setting up.
  • Marlene suggested we take a look at an article over at Inc.com on The Top 10 Things You Should Know Before You Blog – an article written with some solid advice on blogging.
  • Markus has written a post titled Blog to Learn (it has an english version below the original) that gives some worthwhile experiences from his blogging experience on blogging about German Soccer.
  • Andy has submitted a report on keyword reseach (which I’m yet to read)

As I’ve said before – feel free to write your own Blog tips – just let me know via comments about your own post and I’ll link up to them for the duration of August.

Strategic Blogging – Issues, Present Position and Future Direction

This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.

Issues

If we want to design a strategy to help us reach our goals we need to identify the areas in which we need to work. At this point in the strategic plan we take time to break down the task of blogging into activities or issues that we face.

What are your main activities?

The answer to this question will vary from blogger to blogger depending upon their focus and current approach to blogging – but they will probably include some of the following:

  • finding content
  • writing content
  • blog design
  • marketing and publicity
  • administration (monitoring comments, processing cheques, book keeping)
  • finding and managing advertisers
  • managing other authors
  • search engine optimization

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Strategic Blogging – Vision and Goals

This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.

Vision

Having answered questions about why we blog (mission) and setting some boundaries for our behavior in doing so (Values) it’s now time to be a little more concrete in our big picture thinking. Where are you headed with your blogging? More specifically:

What is your objective for your blogging in the next three years?

Now three years might seem a long way away (and perhaps one or two years might be a better time frame to set objectives for in the ever changing field of blogging) but look beyond the near future and ask yourself questions about vision.

We’re now narrowing down the mission that we have into some more measurable and specific things to aim for in the long term. Don’t get too specific (we’ll get there) but make it concrete.

For example – your mission might be to make a living from blogging but your vision for three years time might be to be a full time blogger that need not do any other work.

Make your objective/s (don’t come up with too many) big enough to be inspiring but realistic enough to be achievable. They should probably come out of or at least relate to your mission.

Take some time to plot some longer term objectives for your blogging.

Goals

For each objective that you’ve mentioned you now should be breaking things down into smaller achievable goals. Perhaps this strategic plan is a little pedantic here and adds too many steps (hence I’ve added Vision and Goals together) but the basics of what we’re doing with goal setting is breaking down the big picture into smaller achievable parts.

In setting goals you might like to ask:

How will we know we have achieved our objective (vision)?

For each objective there will probably be multiple goals that signal it has been reached. For example if the vision is to be working full time in blogging in 3 years the goals might be to ‘quit from current job’ (once a certain earning level from blogging is reached), be earning $XXXX per month regularly by a certain time.

In a sense we’re breaking down our objectives into bite sized parts that can be ticked off one at a time as they are reached as stepping stones to a larger vision.

Read the rest of the Strategic Blogging Series.

Strategic Blogging – Values

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.

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Strategic Blogging – Mission

This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.

13 years ago when I started studying my Marketing degree the focus of many of my first year lectures was ‘Mission Statements’. I remember writing mission statement after statement – to the point where I started to dream about them. It was obvious that my lecturers through they were a pretty important starting place for any good business venture.

Whilst perhaps ‘mission statements’ are not quite as much of a buzz phrase as they were in the early 1990s I still see asking questions around mission as a worthwhile task – especially when it comes to blogging.

‘Why do you exist?’

This is the key question that my friend’s strategic process asks in the area of ‘mission’. I don’t think it’s asking us to ponder the meaning of life – it’s not quite that deep – but it does ask a business (blog) owner to try to get back to the basics of what they are on about.

‘Why do you blog?’

Take a few minutes (or better still a few hours or even days) to ponder this question. What is it that you blog for? What are your core motivations? Be honest as you answer this question because it’s important to nail it down as much as you can as everything else comes from this.

Some blogging ‘missions’ might include:

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