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?