Jeremy has an interesting post over at Ensight where he looks at a recent ‘downturn’ in blogging after some of the recent controversy over character blogs.
To be honest I’ve kept out of the debate and really don’t see it as a particularly useful one (maybe I’m missing the point but I find it a bit of a bore) HOWEVER while I was reading Jeremy’s blog I was drawn to the following four questions that he has for bloggers to ask themselves:
1. Why did I get into blogging?
2. Am I still blogging for the same reason as when I started?
3. What do I want blogging to become?
4. Are my current attitudes and actions the kinds of things likely to bring about my goal for blogging?
These are some questions I’m going to ponder over the next few days – particularly the last two.
I guess at the crux of it Jeremy is asking people for their blogging goals and then challenging them to ask if their current strategy is taking them closer or further away from these goals?
Warning – Tangent Ahead….
I was recently talking to a guy (in his late 40s) and the topic got around to parenting. He told me the story of finding out that his wife was pregnant with their first child. After the initial excitement wore off he and his wife were hit by the enormity of having a child – particularly the responsibility that it was. They starting thinking about the type of children that they’d like to have and over the next few days they set some goals for their kids. Not tight or controlling goals about their children’s gender, looks, future occupations or anything – but goals about the type of characteristics or values that they’d like their kids to grow up with.
They compiled an interesting list of characteristics. At this point they then decided to take a look at the way that they were living their lives at present – the way they related to each other, the way they spent their time and money, the way they communicated, the way they made decisions etc.
The conclusion that they came to was that their goals and their current reality were incompatible. If they were to raise the type of kids that they wanted to have they needed to change the way they currently lived their lives.
Ok – back to blogging…..
Sorry for the tangent – but there is something about Jeremy’s four questions that triggered the memory of this conversation with my friend.
You see I have many wonderful opportunities to talk with bloggers. One of the questions I often ask is about their blogging goals – where do they want to go with their blogging? The goals are often amazing. They are big, bold, inspiring and sometimes a little lofty. There are goals of fame, fortune, influence, making a difference, sustaining a lifestyle, meeting wonderful people – goals of all shapes and sizes.
The problem for most Entrepreneurial Bloggers is not usually about goals not being big enough – rather the issues are usually that their current blogging practices are not working towards these goals being a reality.
• Someone yesterday told me he had a goal of 10,000 visitors per day on his blog – only problem was that his blog only had 13 posts on it and he was updating it only twice per week.
• Another person told me about their goal of being a full time blogger – only problem was that they had been blogging on a topic that just wasn’t performing (over a year of blogging) and were not willing to diversify and start a second blog on a new topic.
• Last week a friend told me that they wanted to join the ranks of A-List bloggers and be known for the quality of his blogging – only problem was that he was engaging in spamming and other dubious behaviors to get his blog rank up.
My advice is simple – dream big, but be willing to adjust your behavior to reach it.
What are your Blogging Goals? What are you doing to make them a reality?
Darren, tangents are great!
If all you talked about was blogging on this site, I think it would become quite boring after a while. The beauty of blogging is sharing anecdotes and personal experiences that help support what you are trying to say. They also speak a lot about your own background and what makes you tick. At least for me. It’s fun and helps me get to know you as a person instead of a just another blogger.
Keep the tangents coming!
Yup, having something for us to take our mind away for a second is a relief sometimes. As for the questions, well, I’m coming up with a business plan but to what extent it will progress one it would depend on the authors I can garner for the project. :) Until that project is on the way, then I’ll be prepared to answer those questions from a personal view.
I’ll have to say that I know many bloggers who post once a week and have big expectations for their blog. You can tell when the passion for the blog subject is not really there. I’ll try to get them to read your blogs, and maybe get inspired.
Is it possible to link to Jeremy’s post instead of the homepage?
Oh and this is a great post that should bring reality back to many people’s lives.
Now you got me all curious about the couple in your anecdote – what about their life was incompatible, what needed to change. You just left us hanging in the middle of the story. :)
My goal has always been that my blog act as a creative outlet for myself while hopefully encouraging people to explore the great variety of rock and roll that exists out there outside of the mainstream labels and around the world. It is not where I would like it to be content-wise but as I approach my 2 year anniversary it is still fun, ocassionaly frustrating but always rewarding. Since the start of 2005 I have slowly been tweaking the revenue side of things, ensuring that they would compliment the site while hopefully paying off my expenses (Typepad, domain name registration, etc.) and with the help of Problogger I have met that goal. Would I like to do this full time? Sure! Will it happen? Maybe. For me the bottom line is I will continue to publish the Rock and Roll Report becuase I enjoy doing it. Any revenue that it generates is a direct result of my focusing on content and not “get rich” schemes and it is slowly paying off both literally and figuratively. Blog for fun, all the rest will follow in due time.
We need goals for blogging? Since when? :)
thanks for the comments. Here are a few responses…
Glad you like the tangent Ken.
Scivs – I’ve changed the link. Not sure how that happened.
Jennifer – there were many things they decided that they had to change. One example – they wanted their kids to be generous – and realised they might have to model that with the way they spent their money. They wanted their kids to be physically active and not spend too much time in front of the TV – so they decided that they should change their own habits in this area (they got rid of their TV all together) – etc…
Nicole – yeah – goals for blogs seems a bit of a weird concept – but I guess anything ‘professional’ could do with a goal or two… :-)
Most people I have met wish to become successful in their lifetime. To each one, success has its own connotation. One person may just want to live comfortably, while another is looking for millions of dollars. I have always had…
Hmm, I didn’t really see this as a tangent, more as an example of how goals and what we do each day may not always match up. Isn’t that what happens to most of us, anyways?
“Dream big but be willing to adjust your behavior to reach it”
is advice more valuable than money. Though I’ve also heard this expressed as, “reach for the sky but keep your feet on the ground,” your way helps get the feet airborne! Thank you
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Planning everything you do is the key of any success, in my opinion.