Are you aware that most bloggers do not know why their blog exists? It's true. I saw that statement in a report and then went on to conduct my own research.
I find that a lot of the confusion that exists among business owners is that there is an abundance of tactical and strategic information out there, but not much in the way of a big picture view. If you know WHY you are engaged in an activity, or why you are going in a certain direction, it makes both your strategic and tactical decisions a lot easier.
It is sometimes easy to forget to take the time to determine and plan why your blog exists. What are you ultimately trying to achieve?
Statistically speaking, I found that most blogs are utter disasters. The odds of failure for blogs are high because there are a lot of places it can break down.
The strategic planning of your blog will have three elements:
A primary purpose
A primary approach
A primary attribute
In this post, we are going to look at your primary purpose.
Your primary purpose is the quantifiable outcome you are hoping to achieve.
The answer to this question must be measurable using numbers. Traffic can be measured. Email list sign-ups can be measured. Sales can be measured. A higher standing in the industry, better relationships with customers or building a great community cannot be measured.
So your first element, your primary purpose, is your ultimate quantitative desire. Something like: “I blog mainly to increase the size of my mailing list.”
Three reasonable selections for the primary purpose of your blog are:
To do any one of these well, you will take a hit in the other two, but that is acceptable.
If you select traffic as your blog’s purpose, you’re going to have to make a call between SEO and social media sharing. To get more SEO action, you will sacrifice some social media appeal. To get more social media attention, you will have to compromise a bit on SEO. This is not negative–just necessary. For example, Starbucks sells coffee and food. They decided to make their primary sales on coffee; therefore, they devote most of their marketing muscle to coffee and treat the food as a bonus.
If you select list building as your blog’s purpose, you need to optimize your site for converting readers to subscribers. That means less focus on getting traffic and more focus on converting the people who are showing up organically.
If you select sales as your blog’s purpose, you need to divert the majority of your focus towards converting readers to purchasers during the short time they are on your site. That creates a completely different blog than one focused on list building or traffic attraction. You will take a hit on list and traffic, but you will increase sales.
The important thing to remember is that if you focus on one of these purposes the way Starbucks focuses on coffee, you will get the best returns your business is capable of because everything you do will support your blog’s main purpose. If you try and evenly balance everything, you probably will not get traction on anything.
Remember, a blog is only part of your business—not your entire business. It is a tool and, if you are investing a lot of blood, sweat and tears in it, you should get clear on the specifics of what you are using that tool for.
For a more detailed report, see the Discover 6 Blunders series.