There are two loose paths you can take with your blog and I think it’s actually really important to have a think about which one you want to follow. Of course you can decide on the hop, and things often change as you find your way around blogging, but I reckon you’ll save yourself a lot of angst if you get clear with YOU from the get-go about what you’re really trying to achieve.
Not only will you be able to expedite whatever you are trying to achieve if you focus in from the get-go, you’ll also be able to relax a bit about your direction (rather than agonising back and forth about your goals, as many bloggers do!) So let’s talk about the two paths you can follow…
Path One – I want to grow my blog, grow my traffic, in the hope that I can make some real money from it or create a platform to promote myself and the things I do.
Path Two – I want to document my life, express myself and maybe make some friends along the way. (I might want to run a small, like-minded ad or two, even, to help pay for my book addiction…)
Sounds simple enough, right? It’s really not. For those who are in the Path Two group (or suspect they might be), there’s often a lot of looking over the fence, wondering whether Path One might be a better approach. For those in Path One, it’s often confusing trying to work out how to commercialize and grow your followers without making it all seem a bit icky. Not as simple as it all seems, huh?
I’m fairly sure that you’ve probably thought a lot about this stuff and the good news is that not only can you do whatever you like (as long as you remain transparent with your readers and feel good about your choices and make careful, ethical decisions), you can change tack if it’s not working out.
The problem with not thinking about this stuff is that you’ll listen to every little morsel of info about blogging, trying to work out if it applies to you. That’s all good and well, in the gathering info stakes, but it might be a bit of a time suck and it might actually distract you from the true purpose of your blog.
So ask yourself, when you have a spare 15 minutes or so, are you Path One or Path Two? Or a confusing combo of both? Which bits are the MOST important? Are you a bit shy to say you want readers or exposure (but really that’s what you DO want?) Or maybe you want to document and express, but you feel a bit lonely at times and really want a little gang of readers/pals to help you get excited about blogging each week? Get tough and work out how you really want things to be.
If you decide which path you want to follow, write it down and start working on it, you can unapologetically focus on the direction that you choose. The trouble begins when you’re a bit wishy-washy, when you don’t quite know what you want to do.
I’ll be back with a mini-action plan for the Path One AND the Path Two gangs. I’m going to tell you a few great things you can do to relax into your blog and get it doing the stuff you want it to do.
See you back here soon!