So, you heard about the concept of blogging and how that it can boost your marketing, went on to install your favorite blogging software and even wrote a few blog posts to get you started, right?
Excited that you’ve started a new blog, you broke the news to your network and even got a few Twitter followers to check it out.
But 3 months… 6 months into the journey, all you have now is an inadvertently abandoned blog, isn’t it?
And you’re blaming it on the time, lack of content, and all that jazz, huh?
Yeah, we understand all that. You’ve been planning to update the poor, old blog for weeks now but just that you’re already swamped up with too many “other projects” on your to-do list.
But hey, let’s look at something here! Why did you start the blog in the first place? Wasn’t it for the purpose of getting results? And if you really want to get results, how serious are you about it? How serious are you about blogging?
Here’s the truth:
Blogging Is a Project…
And must be treated as such!
In my escapades as an entrepreneurial writer, I have come across dozens of company blogs— some which have been left abandoned, some which haven’t been updated for more than six months, and some which are being updated but with content that lack direction.
And the simple reason behind this? These companies treat blogging as a petty activity.
The cold hard truth is, if you want to get results from your blogging endeavors, you’ve got to treat blogging as a serious project just as every other business project your company is running.
What is a project, anyway?
A project is an undertaking or a planned program of work that requires a large amount of time, effort, and planning to complete or carry out. And that’s the way serious blogging should be done.
Learn to finish what you start.
Don’t leave blogs abandoned. If you don’t have to blog, please don’t blog.
Not sure what you’re thinking, but it just doesn’t make sense to me putting in all that energy and resources into something you’re not sure to finish.
It isn’t that I’m trying to discourage you from blogging or trying to establish a sort of autocracy in the blogosphere, but I want to help you get serious about your business; I want you to stop wasting your efforts, time and resources on trivial things; I want you to focus on your strengths and give your attention to things that matter, things that will get you tangible results, things that will help you achieve your goals fast.
If you want to do something, really do it. If you don’t have to do it, then just don’t do it at all. If you have to blog, then really really blog; if you don’t have to, then do not blog at all. Actually, that should be life for you, and not just about blogging. There should be no sitting on the fence; if you’re in, really be in; if you’re out, really be out.
If you haven’t yet gotten the point I’m trying to make here, here’s a one-piece, hit-me-right-on-my-face summary:
What is worth doing is worth doing well. Only serious bloggers get serious results from blogging! (Tweet this!)
Want to get serious results from blogging without being serious? You can’t be serious!
But the good news is, you can become serious. If that’s you, here are some questions to get you started:
Questions That Will Help You Become a Serious Blogger
1. Should I blog?
This question comes before every other thing, including purchasing a domain name for your blog. It’s the question that will help you know if you even require a blog in the first place or not.
It’s about your motive power for wanting to blog.
Whether you’ve installed a blog already or not, you need to calm yourself down and answer the following questions with deep thoughts: Do I really need a blog now? Wouldn’t it be better to invest my time, effort, and energy in other things other than a blog? What will I achieve if I blog?
If you cannot identify one key thing you will achieve with a blog, then blogging isn’t for you.
Truth is, most people (and businesses) blogging today do not really need to blog; well, simply because blogging isn’t the best tool for them to achieve their goals.
They only started blogging sentimentally because “everyone was blogging.”
Don’t know about you, but I don’t like being sentimental when it comes to business. I’d rather take a data-driven decision and triumph. Whoo-hee?!
So, should you blog? Do you really need a blog at this time? If you cannot answer those questions with a strong YES, then you should stay off blogging.
Conversely, if you identify the need to blog, the next question is just as important.
Why should I blog?
In a sense, this question is proportionate to the question above because in answering the first question, you’d need to identify your reasons for wanting to start a blog.
Different people blog for different reasons, yet there are those who consciously do not know why they’re blogging.
You shouldn’t be found amongst the latter group but should have a solid reason for blogging.
If you don’t have any reason up in your head just yet, below are the reasons people blog:
- To teach and inspire others
- To share personal experiences
- To keep the public (say customers) posted on the latest developments in their organizations
- To attract people’s attention; for instance, a company blogging to gain new clients
- To become authorities on a particular field
- For religious purposes
- To make money etc.
Every serious blogger I know has at least one solid reason for blogging, and if you say you’re serious, you shouldn’t be at variance here.
Think deeply, use the list above to identify at least one reason for desiring to blog.
What are my goals?
So, the next question is about goal-setting.
This will be based totally on your reason (or reasons) for blogging.
For instance, if your purpose for blogging is to attract people’s attention (say new clients), you might want to set your focus on the blog metrics—traffic, subscribers, page views, comments etc.
Setting goals for your blog will help you measure your progress, keep you motivated, and help you stay focused and serious.
How will I meet these goals?
You also have to come up with definite, unambiguous steps and strategies on how you will achieve those goals. When it comes to goals and strategies, it’s advisable to write down what you’ve decided on.
Action Points That Will Help You Become a Serious Blogger
Let’s now look at some action points that’ll help you get serious with blogging.
Change Your Mindset
Here’s the secret of change: Whenever you want to change a thing or a situation, you must first modify your frame of mind. (Tweet this!)
You have to change the way you see the thing or situation you want to change (that is, your perception of it).
It’s a kind of mental shift; it’s like taking off all the junk and trash from a room, cleaning it thoroughly, and then bringing in new and fresh things; and hey, it’s pretty easy.
The import of this is that it’ll help you to really change. You can’t change on the outside without first changing on the inside.
It’s the same here with transitioning into becoming a serious blogger.
(And by the way, one of the ways I like to define seriousness is that “seriousness is a state of mind.”)
If you’ve been playing around with blogging for a while, but now want to become serious, it means change must take place. So, become serious first on the inside; make up your mind to stick to it and do everything you have to do to get the stamp of a serious blogger on.
Approach blogging with a new mentality; see things differently.
Write in Advance
Writing in advance will help you maintain a regular publishing schedule especially when you’re overloaded with too many things on your to-do list to the extent that you can’t immediately churn out a post.
Serious bloggers don’t miss their posting schedules, right? O yeah, you’re smart!
Writing in advance will also give you time to work on an article to make it worth reading.
Follow a Publishing Schedule
Serious blogging requires that you stick to a posting plan. You just don’t have to publish whenever you feel like or whenever you have the time to do so.
Serious bloggers have found that maintaining a regular publishing schedule aids traffic boosting and sustenance.
Readers will get to know when to visit the blog for a new read. You can choose specific days of the week to be publishing new content.
Have an Editorial Calendar (AND Stick to It)
What I do is to plan out my articles at least one month ahead. I’ll tell you my reasons for doing that.
First up, there are just too many ideas up in my head and plenty in the folders in my computers.
Before now when I never had an editorial calendar, I would often find myself in a situation where my ideas will be battling each other right in me:
“Master, you have to work on me first.”
Another will say:
“I’ve been here for long and I’m pretty good. I really have to get out there for the world to see.”
Those were the battle rants.
And the worst part? I sometimes ended up not writing at all; not because I couldn’t write but because I didn’t know which idea to get out first.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t unique to just me; it happens with many other writers and bloggers. All of those battles ended the day I decided to plan out my articles ahead.
So, if I’m going to publish 4 articles on my blog this month, I will have to decide on those articles and decide on their publishing sequence.
In a nutshell, always plan out your posts at least a month ahead; you can do this by having a well-thought out editorial calendar. Every serious blogger does that.
Strategize on Ways to Drive in Your Targeted Traffic
And diligently follow through to implement it.
A serious blog is not a blog with no readers; as a matter of fact, a blog without readers is not worth being maintained.
Or would you be doing all these things for nothing?
Strive to drive your targeted traffic to your blog.
There are many ways to do this:
- Guest blogging
- Blogger outreach
- Social media etc.
Pick the ones that work best for you and fly.
A Few Other Things about Serious Blogging
Your Domain Name
If you’re still using a free wordpress dot com or blogspot dot com domain, you need to get serious for once and get a custom domain.
Personally, I don’t take people who don’t invest in a paid domain serious.
If I googled up something and had a free wordpress site popping up in the search results, I mostly wouldn’t click on it. Don’t ask me why!
Your Blog Design
Same goes for your blog design.
A shattered-looking blog is an expression of your inner man. It simply shows the state of your mind.
I’m not saying you should buy the most expensive theme ever, but get something professional, something presentable.
And of course, you can always start with a beautiful freemium theme. There are many of them over at WordPress.org.
Whatever you do, don’t blog sentimentally.
Establish a solid reason for blogging, set goals, come up with action steps that you will follow to actualize those goals, write them down, follow to the letter, and of course, make sure you triumph.
Business must be operated on solid principles and guidelines; without that, no business survives or succeeds. Same goes for blogging.
But this is not just about blogging, it’s a solemn call to become serious and diligent in business, it’s a solemn call to stand up and face life squarely, it’s a solemn call to fight for what you believe in and do what you ought to do… rightly.