(If you’re blogging for pleasure or your own entertainment, skip this post and read any of these wonderful stories.)
Is the purpose of your blog easy to define? What are you aiming towards accomplishing with it? How are you testing whether or not you’re reaching your desired effect?
My blog has changed a lot over the years. At first, I blogged just for pleasure. Then, I realized that I was developing a community, and that my community wanted some consistent, useful information, so somewhere around a few years ago, things started to make more sense. Here’s a little bit of the backstory.
My Blog’s Many Faces
When I started my blog many years ago (it skittered across several domains before I landed in “real” blog software), it was for fiction. I wrote stories. Then, I wrote about fitness and nutrition. Then, I wrote about self-improvement. Then, I wrote about new media. I went from that into writing about social networks and social media, and then eventually, I moved into how businesses could use social media to improve.
What am I writing about these days? Human business. It’s essentially the idea that relationships and human-shaped experiences serve business much better than cold marketing and afterthought customer service.
What will I write about next? I’m planning some changes to [chrisbrogan.com] in the near term. My redesign by Snowy Day Design is just the beginning, and you’ll be invited along for the ride. That said, I won’t change direction too far afield. You’ll most likely still like it.
Keeping a Focus and a Purpose
Your blog is a media property. It’s also a tool that allows you to build relationships (should that be of interest), to notify and inform (if you like telling the news), to reflect and react (if you like being a commentator), to report (if that’s something you enjoy doing), or a tool to educate, instruct, or establish thought leadership. It can be a call to action, a lead generator, a showcase for your talents, and many other things.
The question is: what will you choose as your focus, and how do you define its purpose?
Can you blog without purpose? Absolutely. Can you unfocus your blog? It happens all the time.
But your community (or your audience, if you’re not as close to them) are there with an expectation. They are seeking whatever it is you’ve been offering along the way. They want your best, and they want your material to enlighten, entertain, inform, inspire, or any of several other functions.
With that in mind, and accepting that things change over time, my question remains: what is the focus and purpose of your blog?
Photo credit respres