Finding a Place and Purpose For Your Blog. And How To Succeed Once You’ve Found It.

 

One question I’ve asked myself from the very beginning is “What is this blog going to be and what am I looking to get out of it?”  There’s only so many posts you can do about not knowing what to post, am I right?  It certainly seems to be a common theme amongst new bloggers.

There must be hundreds of thousands of posts, e-books, courses and probably other super cool types of media that I’ve never even heard of out there offering tips on blogging.  “How to grow your blog”. “How to get more followers on your blog”. “How to convert views to reader engagement on your blog.” But has anyone ever noticed that these “tips” are very much geared towards people who are selling something?  An e-course, e-book, or service?  I have nothing to sell.  That’s not what I’m here for, and neither, I suspect, are a majority of bloggers.  While some of these tips can easily transcend different niches, most of those are common knowledge.  Things like “post consistently” or “use proper tags and categories.”   I have read post after post that promised to help me and my blog grow, and unfortunately, I have yet to find my golden nugget of knowledge that will transform this blog into something more.

Here’s one of my issues:  When deciding on topics to blog about.  Do you rely solely on your passions or do you find yourself leaning towards a genre you know is heavily populated with followers?  For example: Two of the most preeminent niches for blogging is fashion/beauty and travel.  Those niches are filled with amazing blogs that have some of the best content and subscriber stats in the industry.  Sadly, for my, I am neither a trend setter or a jet setter.  I’m more of a couch setter.  As in, I’m gonna set on this couch and binge watch “This is us” all weekend so as to get mentally prepared for the upcoming second season.

As I have said many times at this point, I started this blog because I needed a creative outlet.  Parts of my life were in complete chaos, and I longed for a way to free up some valuable head space that was essential in me functioning as adult human.  As the days went by, and the posts published, lo and behold, this blog achieved just that.  And as I went along, my blog took its shape.  I was finding my niche.  In time, my posts became less and less about a traumatic event that occurred to a family member and they became about different aspects of family relationships, recipes, blogging, and life.  And while I have nothing to sell, I like to think that people may enjoy reading what I write regardless.

So, here’s my plan.  You’re welcome to follow along with me if you’d like.  I make no guarantees that this will help you and your blogging endeavors but it’s good to have a plan nonetheless.

Now that you know your niche, and even if you’re not quite there yet: Figure out what do you want to get out of this blog? What is your desired outcome?

This may very well be the most important thing of all.  But, you need to be honest with yourself.  If you say something like “nothing really, I just want it to be like a diary.” Then you have your answer. However, If that were the case, than presumably you would have your posts set to private, not public…  But that’s none of my business. Moral of the story is, if you’re not honest with yourself about your goals, you’ll never reach them.  Let’s say, you’re writing just to write.  Doesn’t matter to you if anyone reads it, likes or comments on it.  That’s fine, then base your goals with that in mind. But, I’d be willing to bet that once you see those stats moving, your blogging ambitions will change.  And it’s ok if they do.  Don’t be ashamed, or afraid of saying what you really want.  Do you want to write amazing content and become the next Jenny Lawson or Arriana Huffington? Who doesn’t!?!?  While those are some super lofty goals, whose to say you can’t achieve them?

Speaking of goals… Set some!

I’ve actually been putting this into play the last couple of months.  Go to your Stats and click on insights.  Those stats are what I base my goals on.

  • For the month of August, I had 2 short term goals
    • Reach 100 WordPress followers by the end of the month . I kid you not, I achieved that at about 11pm 2 nights ago.  I have 122 followers in total.
    •  Get more than 241 views this month in order to beat last months.  I surpased that goal by 46.
  • Long Term Goals –
    • Do at least 1 blog post every week for the rest of the year.
    • So, something I really love delving into is conversion rates.  This isn’t laid out for you in stats.  It’s an equation you can do on your own if you like analytics.  If you go under your blog post tab, it will show you all of your published posts, their number of views, likes and comments.  I measure how well a post did by dividing the number of views, by the number of likes.  For example, If my latest post has been viewed by 11 people so far and it received 5 WordPress likes, I consider that to be a pretty good conversion rate.  I could go on and on about these sorts of facts and figures, but I digress.  By the end of the year, I would like my view to like conversion rate to be 50% or better.
    • Try to get a total of 200 followers between WordPress, Email subscribers, and twitter.

As of right now, that’s my plan.  What’s yours? Any tips or insight to you’d to share?

 

 

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18 Comments

  1. Such a great read an so many of the things I’ve been thinking about as I really dive into blogging. Your question about following the audience vs following all of things you are really interested in is a great one I struggle with. I seem to get more traction with my baking posts, but in my heart I’d love for my blog to be centered around creativity and beautiful creative projects of all sorts. Ahhh… what to do?

    Also, any advice on growth of WordPress followers? I’m really just getting started here but am at a bit of a loss on how to tackle this goal! 🙂

    Thanks again for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much! It is a tough question! I’d say to do both types of posts. I think that’s what I’d do if I were you. And in regards to geting followers. As you can tell from this post, I love analytics and stats. Every couple moths I’ll go in and see how many followers I’ve got in a specific period of time (week, month, quarter) and compare it to the number of posts I’ve done in that same time. What I’ve found is my number of new followers seems to be more directly related to my engagement level with other blogs than it does to when I do a blog post. So I guess my advice would be keep doing what you seem to be doing. Engage with other blogs you like. Thank you again!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t have goals, but I’ve been thinking a lot recently about whether I need anyone to see my blog for it to be a meaningful experience. In other words, is it worth doing if hardly anyone sees it? The short answer, for me, is yes: I’ll enjoy doing it even if only a few people look at every post. But it’s also true that more exposure and interaction makes the experience more meaningful. I think the challenge is finding people who share some of your interests and appreciate your work, and the stats will follow.

    Like

    1. Oh my gosh! When I saw your name “bpurinton” pop up, it sounded so familar. I just went and looked at your blog. and immeadiately remembered. I LOVE your page!!! The old photo’s are so much fun, and those ones from Maine with the 4 friends and chocoluate are amazing!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I sure did notice it! I love digging in antique store bins of old photo’s. One of my favorite photo’s in my my house is a very small, super old photo of a clam digging woman named “Dot”. that’s all I know about her, nothing else is written on it. And I love it so much. Thank you again!! Can’t wait for your next post!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I appreciate the way you’ve set yourself goals in regards to growing your blog without losing the passion of why it drives you to write in the first place.
    The goals make sense and they’re realistic about the fact that your not a blogger like he majority of those out there, nor are you trying to sell something.
    I may implement the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Do you want to know something crazy? Today, I realized that I was lagging a little in where I wanted to be views/followers wise for the month. I’ve spent the day engaging with other blogs and have gained 7 new followers just today. How amazing is that?!?! Thank you again for your comments. I’m so glad Susie made that post. I’m on my way to your site now to check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Engagement builds actual engagement, so to speak. I find it’s the one thing that sets blogging platforms apart from other social platforms. Bloggers are genuine, as of such, typing a comment on someone’s post isn’t done so without honesty. It’s meaningful.

      Like

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