I’ve said it before: a blogger without a plan is a blogger destined for failure. (You can expect to see that countless more times here.) Knowing exactly who you’re blogging for and why you’re doing it from jump will help you avoid any competition with other bloggers that’s usually more demoralizing than inspiring.
After you’ve figured out what your blog is about, it’s time to pinpoint who your blog is for.
Pick Your Perfect Fan
Create your blog for one person.
Sounds crazy, right? If I’m trying to reach a large audience, why would I build my brand around one person?
Because writing to/selling to/marketing to one person will give you a focus that’s essential to building a successful blog. Trying to please everyone will be absolutely result in failure, and marketing that’s too broad isn’t memorable enough to stand out from the crowd.
You want to create a loyal following who knows you’re speaking directly to them every time, so take about 20 minutes and brainstorm exactly who you want to reach. How old is she? What does she do for fun? What blogs does she visit daily? etc. Be as specific as possible.
When you’re planning, keep that one person in mind. 9 times out of 10 she will stop you from second guessing the next move you want to make.
What Problem Will You Solve?
This may sound odd, but your blog should solve a problem. Readers are coming to you because they’re looking for something. What are you going to give them?
Examples. This blog gives black women the tools necessary to create compelling, sustainable blogs. For Harriet provides women with empowering, thought provoking content and a community they won’t find on other blogs.
Figure out how you will be of service to your readers.
What’s Your Mission?
Now it’s time to write out your mission statement. A good mission statement will keep you focused and motivated.
Example. Black Girls Blogging provides Black women with guidance and support as they build compelling, sustainable blogs. The blog community is for women of all ages who have a voice to share and a story to tell. Here women will find my personal blogging insights as knowledge from other established Black women bloggers. We want each woman to feel free to connect, share, and learn.
Go back and take a look at your goals and your passion. Now combine those with the reader you want to target and the problem you want to solve. That will comprise your mission statement.
When you’re tempted to compare yourself to the countless other bloggers out there, refer back to your mission statement and remember why you began blogging.
Note: Remember to be as specific as possible. There’s a story that only you can tell—a purpose only you can fulfill. Find it.
You see how we’re building? It’s simple! Well, it’s not exactly simple, but taking the time to think through these questions will help you build a strong foundation for your blogging future.
What’s your blog’s mission? Share with us in the comments!
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Kimberly N. Foster is the founder of Black Girls Blogging and Editor of For Harriet. Email or Tweet her.