Monday, April 02, 2012

Know Who You Are

The thousand dollar question is often: “What am I going to blog about?” and that's a great question.

Click here for more post on making your blog work for you.
Last week we talked about knowing the purpose of your blog rather than having a niche blog—its something that has helped many of us. Even if you know the purpose, knowing what to blog about can be daunting. Here's an idea to help get some post ideas...

  • Brainstorm. Take ten minutes and write down every single idea that comes to mind. Do not toss any ideas out, no matter how far-fetched or stupid they sound.
  • Study the list and look for threads that tie your ideas together. Are there a few main themes?
  • Are there ideas you could expand on, maybe turn into several posts and not just one?
  • Keep your list and use it.

Blogging is not just what to write about, it's a matter of who you are to your readers. No, I don't mean you have to rank with the stars at all. I'm talking about how you present yourself to your readers. Are you a cool-voiced, professional one week and a down-home country girl the girl the next? If you're just starting out, trying on voices, that might work until you settle into your stride, but once you find that, go with it.

Want an example? Jeannie Campbell is a therapist and her blog, The Character Therapist, is consistent with who she is. She stays in character because it's her. Sure, she may post on personal things occasionally, but she maintains her professionalism in her posts. In contrast, I'm just an ordinary country girl and often use non-words like 'yanno' and 'hafta' because... well, lemme tell ya, they're me. I don't have a professional voice or professional post topics and if I were to try it, my readers might double check the url to see if they were in the wrong place. Both Jeannie and I know who we are and we stay consistent—in fact, our brands mirror who we are. Jeannie's brand: “The character therapist.” Mine: “Finding the extraordinary God in our ordinary lives.” Consistency pays off.

Knowing who you are will help define what you post about and it will dictate your angle on topics. You may write about many of the same things as others, but it's your angle and voice that makes it unique.

Another key to making your blog work for you is to get it in front of as many people as you can, reasonably, without being a streaming advertisement for your site and without doing constant self-promotion. How can you do this?
  • Link your blog to Facebook via Networked Blogs and have the feed post automatically. Facebook taps into readers you probably wouldn't have otherwise.
  • Comment on other blogs. Yes, this takes time and time is at a premium, but if you just leave 5 comments a day, it adds up. (When you do, remember their comment section is not your advertising grounds.)
  • Use keywords that people might use in a search engine.
  • Use the post labels wisely, for topics, not for key words.
  • Offer rss and email subscriptions so people can follow you in a way that work for them to find their way back.
  • Invite them to comment and encourage their responses.
  • Interact with commenters. The comments section can take on a life of its own. Want an example? Seekerville. The comments there are like a 24/7 party and through it all, they're tossing out nuggets of help, encouragement, and things they've learned over the years.

Get yourself out there so people can see you and let your blog work for you.

3 comments:

  1. Great ideas. Thanks so much for this series, sweets.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As I'm reading this all I kept thinking was that I'm chaos at best. Somehow I think that won't work. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. LoL. I know the feeling, Christina. I wonder, though, if you study all your chaos, if you'd find connecting threads...something that ties it all together...something that will give you an angle to approach it all from on your blog. Make sense?

    ReplyDelete

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