Now that you’ve figured out why you blog, it’s essential to have a vision for your blog!
What does it mean to have a vision? In my definition, it’s a plan for the focus and direction that you want your blog to take and how you intend to get there.
New, aspiring and more experienced bloggers need a vision! Sometimes your vision will change over time, so I believe the following tips can be helpful for people in all seasons of blogging.
How do you create an effective and tangible vision for your blog? There are some simple steps you can take. Whether you’re a new blogger or more seasoned, ask yourself these five questions:
- What do I find myself talking about most often with my friends and family (or wishing I could talk about)?
- If there were just two or three things I could talk about with others, what would they be?
- What topics do I have the most experience with or what things am I willing to share by “learning as I go?” (Health, mothering, fitness, homeschooling, etc)
- Who do I want to reach or minister to with these topics that I enjoy talking about?
- What is the best way to reach those I want to help?
Don’t feel like the process of finding a vision has to be down to a perfect science! Creating a clear vision is something I am currently working on with my own blog and it takes time to figure out what works and what doesn’t, what readers respond to, what my strengths are as a blogger and writer and more! It’s a work in progress so don’t allow yourself to be discouraged if you aren’t quite sure about the details of your plan just yet.
It IS helpful, however, to write down your vision or your ideas for that vision. Putting something on paper helps me clear my head and it seems as though things begin to make more sense at that point. If you write in pencil, you can sketch a rough draft and then make revisions as you go along or think of other ideas.
Once you’ve answered those questions, you may go in two different directions.
The first direction is for the new or aspiring blogger and it includes thinking through practical aspects of a vision such as the following:
- What times of day can I fit in blogging?
- What I can cut out of my schedule if I am serious about blogging?
- What avenues can I use to educate myself about the blog world?
- Do I want to make money with my blog or just share my thoughts?
- Who is my target audience? (Who do I want to reach? – think about this in more detail than you did the previous time you asked this question)
- How real and personal do I want to be? Can I handle criticism if people find out information about my personal life? (We’ll talk more about how to answer this question properly and deal with criticism in a later post!)
If you have been blogging for awhile and are looking to refine or refresh your vision, perhaps it is helpful to ask yourself these questions:
- Am I reaching my target audience in the best way that I can?
- Am I being real with my readers and genuine in my efforts to reach them and help them?
- Does my blog have a name and a tagline that effective communicates my vision?
- What types of posts have my blog readers responded the best to so far?
- Am I becoming more experienced in certain areas (building a niche) so that I can refine my vision even further?
- Is there a particular focus or two I can take on (or continue writing about) that will strengthen my blog and make it even more appealing to readers?
- Am I using social media or is social media using me?
- How can I make my blogging schedule work for me so that it doesn’t control my life? (This is something I feel I have to evaluate constantly!)
- Are my posts consistent? That is, am I building a brand and focusing on my niche? (See this post at Land of Sweets for more in-depth tips about building a brand.)
- If I want to make money blogging, am I doing this in the way that works best for my blog?
So many questions, so little time! Once you’ve asked yourself these questions and written down your answers/ideas, take a step back and relax :) No perfection required here!
If you’ve never thought about your vision for your blog and how you want to get there, take a couple of days to muse about it. We’ll talk a little later in the series about some practical tips for implementing your vision.
Does your blog have a vision? If you have even a general idea about what you’d like your blog to be, feel free to share in the comments! Any questions are welcome too, because I want to answer your questions as we move through this series!
Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to create an efficient and effective blogging schedule so you can find time to implement your vision and still put your family first!