You can work, or you can work with intent. If you want to experience blog growth, take an honest look at your intentions. Why, exactly, do you blog? Three quick tips to help you discover your intent.
You Should Start a What?
“You should start a blog,” my sister told me.
“A what?” I asked. Her voice sounded tinny over a poor cellphone connection. Had she said, ‘blog,’ or ‘frog?’
“A blog. I’ll send you an article about blogging.”
I glanced at the link to an article she sent me and filed it under, “Older Sister Wisdom I’ll Probably Never Follow Through On” (sorry, Sis!). I worked full time, had two tweens, and could barely handle Facebook and texting, much less some sort of online journal.
Fast-forward eight years, and I sat in my newly renovated office staring at my computer screen. I had a forty-sixth draft of a book manuscript a friend and I had worked on for the past two years at my side.
“You should start a blog,” the platform building guru said. “Without a blog, you can’t build your platform (I thought ‘platform’ had to do with building, speech, or drama). And without a platform, you won’t attract an agent or a publisher.”
Why do older sisters always know best? I had six months left in my sabbatical and the experts said I should start a blog. And, so I did. I had no idea how, or what, or much of anything beyond that I suddenly needed one. I had no intent.
My goal? Build platform. My plan for achieving it? Do whatever anyone suggested. Unfortunately, no one suggested that I start with a small goal for a small period of time (aka, short-term goal). No one mentioned learning a bit about stats and how to use them to grow my traffic.
Three Tips for Creating Intent for Your Blog
1. State Your Intent
What intent do you have for your blog? Do you want a creative outlet? Maybe you hope to monetize and make money. Perhaps your end-game involves platform building to support a different aspect of your writing. Did someone tell you you should start a blog? Do you hope to encourage or nurture others? Maybe you just want to keep friends and family updated on your life.
When you know your end-game, you’ll find it easier to define your intent. Go ahead, write the intent for your blog down on a piece of paper. “I have a blog because_________________.”
Don’t forget to write it down. The act of writing your intent down lets the cat out of the bag (if only to yourself). Once you can state the intent, or purpose of your blog, you can move on to step two.
Take time to assess your current status. Check your basic blog stats (see this post for what to look for) and write down a list of possible goals.
These questions will help you formulate your goals.
- Do people regularly respond to your blog posts in the comments section?
- What evidence do you have that people visit your blog?
- Do people share your blog posts on social media? If so, which platform?
- How easily can people interact on your blog (post comments)?
- What role do graphics play in your posts?
- How do people find your blog?
Use the SMARTER goal format found here. For example, “I want to double the number of social shares on Twitter in the next three months.” Don’t try to reach all of your possible goals at once.
Pick one or two metrics and set goals for them. When you reach your goal, circle back and set a new SMARTER goal. Rinse and repeat.
3. Wear Blinders
Having a professional design your website or create a favicon for you sounds tempting. It sounds like something that ‘real’ bloggers do. Resist. Wear blinders and don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
Celebrate each goal you check off for your blog and don’t wallow in envy of someone else’s progress. After all, you can’t see their stats and don’t know if their professional-looking blog and fancy favicon have paid off in increased blog traffic.
Mind your own business, and you will make progress. Don’t let someone else’s progress rob your joy.
For Growth to Happen, You Must Plan It.
In order to experience blog growth and increased traffic, you have to take an honest look at your intent, check your stats to set short-term goals, and keep your blinders on.Check out these three easy tips for improving your blog and sparking growth. #blogger #amblogging #write28days Click To Tweet
Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about bringing joy back to your blogging experience.