This guest post is from Adam Gottlieb of The Frugal Entrepreneur.
These days, if you go on a search for the magic formula that will make your blog successful, you’ll find no shortage of advice. Plenty of people are all too happy to tell you how to run your blog. But, while some of this advice may be helpful, you may find that a lot of it simply is not.
Before you start wondering what you are doing wrong, let me tell you a secret. Blogging successfully is not really about how well you write, nor how often; it’s not about sales funnels, nor monetization, nor SEO, not even passion, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Now, don’t get me wrong; these factors are all important. But they by themselves won’t make or break your blog. The truth is that the most successful pro bloggers are all very good at one thing.
They are very clear about the purpose of their sites and direction they want to take them.
Never forget where you’re going
This may seem like such simple common sense, but many bloggers get it wrong. It is oh-so-easy to get caught up in post quotas, Google Analytics reports, Adsense and affiliate earnings, and social media.
The result is bloggers can become so distracted by all the blogging “musts” that it gets harder to sift out those actions that are really contributing to the success of their blogs, rather than detracting from them. They can even forget why they’re blogging in the first place.
And that’s a problem.
If you don’t know where you are going with your blog, then realize that none of those “success factors” I mentioned above will matter. You can always outsource the things you are not good at, or have neither the time nor interest to do. And you can always take it upon yourself to learn about the areas you don’t know, such as how to monetize your blog if you’ve never done it before.
But if you lose sight of why you are blogging, then rest assured your blogging days will be numbered.
Blogging is kind of like setting out on trip. If you have a destination, then there are signs, exits, and turns that will help to get you there. Maybe there are even several different routes. You can try for the fastest route, the scenic route, or maybe you need to pick something up along the way so you’ll take a functional route.
But if you forget where you are trying to go along the way, then for all of your driving, for all of your time and effort and the money you’ve spent on gas, though you may have gone somewhere, it’s not likely the place you wanted to be.
Just as a business needs some kind of mission statement to keep its strategies focused, every successful blog will have an overall purpose or mission. This mission could be public knowledge or it could be something you know privately.
Perhaps you are using your blog as part of your business’s sales funnel; as a revenue generator, earning money from Adsense and other forms of advertisement; as a way to build up your personal brand; or maybe you’re trying to flip the site for profit. Whatever the case, realize that each mission will require a different focus and a different mix of strategies to be successful.
Lose sight of your mission, and you’ll quickly lose the path to your blog’s success.
How to write your blogging mission statement
Now I know the term “mission statement” sounds very formal, but don’t let that scare you away. Creating one is pretty simple. The process may only take you a few minutes, yet it can save you countless hours and money down the road.
This isn’t an official document that you need to broadcast to the online world (though you can if you want to). It is meant, first and foremost, to be a personal statement of intent that is there for your reference.
To start off, you need to take a few minutes and think about why are you blogging. This will involve asking yourself several questions: what is the main purpose of the site? What do you personally hope to get out of it and why? How will you go about actualizing these goals?
Once you’ve done this, try to think of one or two sentences that summarize your answers, and write them down. You shouldn’t use this statement to get into too many specific goals or strategies. The shorter and more focused it is, the more useful it will be to you.
So, for example, the personal mission statement for a guy who is trying to build up and flip a blog might be something like:
“I want to make blogginproz.com an authority, revenue-generating website on blogging tips within one year in order to sell it for $20,000.”
A mother who wants to start a blog about home schooling as a hobby and a source of side income might write:
“On homeschoolers.org, I wish to provide useful information, resources, and tips for those interested in home schooling and use the site to generate a moderate stream of revenue.”
Each statement is specific to the situation. If you were to try to mix them up, the results would be disastrous. If the blog-flipper sets his site up like he’s doing it for a hobby, he probably won’t make much money. If the home schooler spends too much time and energy on optimization and monetization, it may come at the expense of producing quality content, and that is her primary goal for the site.
Yet, this is precisely what happens to so many bloggers and their sites.
Benefits of a blogging mission statement
Any blogger who has been blogging for some time will tell you that there are no constants. There may be times when readership is low and earnings are even lower, or there are lulls in advertiser interest. Sometimes you may have difficulty staying passionate and productive, or you may find yourself being distracted by other events in your life.
What you do in those down times can make or break your blog. Your actions will mean the difference between coming out stronger, or closing up shop.
Having a blogging mission statement will help you to stay clear and focused so that you can make productive moves to get over those bumps along the way, as well as sift through distractions and capitalize on any new opportunities that may come up. You’ll be in a better position to know what questions to ask, what statistics to look at, who you could unite with, and what to learn about.
The bottom line is that every blog needs a mission statement. If you already own a blog and have never really thought about it, stop and figure it out now. Once you have it, write it down, tape it to your computer, or on the wall, send yourself email reminders—whatever you need—but never lose sight of where you are going.
Your mission will help to ensure that all the time, energy, and money you are pouring into your blog will eventually lead to success.
Adam Gottlieb has spent over a decade helping small and home-based businesses improve their image, increase sales and better manage their resources (both the animate and inanimate ones). He currently blogs at The Frugal Entrepreneur, a resource for small and home-based business owners in need of frugal business resources and money-saving business tips.
As a new business blogger, this information is right on time. I’m going to add a mission statement page immediately.
When writing a mission statement it is not set in stone and can be changed. You can keep your statement private and to yourself. I personally never show my readers my mission statement, but it is helpful if hiring contributors to your blog so they know your vision
Good points… A blog’s mission statement can for sure change along the way. But if those changes are coming every week, then it won’t get you anywhere.
And, a blogging mission statement is a lot like a business one. When employees and other contributors to the business are on the same page, then the whole organization benefits because all efforts are focused on the same goals.
On my site, it’s called Vision and Values, and I do have it posted.
I go back to this statement when I feel I’ve been extremely busy or when I’m a little discouraged.
The reason I have it posted is because it makes my About Page unique compared to most other about pages that are really just resumes. When others are looking to hire or work with someone, resumes are important, but the final decision usually rests on the question of: Do I want to work with this person? Are they ethical? Do I have to worry about whether or not they’ll do the right thing and what’s best for the group? Will they work hard and take pride in what they do?
At this stage in my career, my resume is short, but my Vision and Values are deep.
In-between approach is to show part of your Mission Statement to the public and the rest should be kept close to the chest because on the basis of that you develop your strategies to achieve your targets. To keep competing with peers it is necessary now show the preamble of your strategies to them in advance. It won’t be helpful for your success in any way.
However I appreciate your attempt that you elaborated your view point so strongly and convinced the readers if you don’t have any fear of competition you may publish your mission statement.
Very nice post; thanks for sharing dude
I actually feel that whether or not you publish your mission statement really depends on your unique situation. There are situations where it could actually be harmful to the site to openly state the mission (as in the case of the person looking to sell it).
But, as you can see from the comments, there are definitely times when exposing part or all of that vision is a plus- for the owner, the readers, and any contributors to the site.
Hi ! Superb post very much inspired with it. now i will follow your mission statement. i am 100% sure it will work.
thanks for sharing such a nice concept.
Amazing post. This is the subject hardly any blogger raises. The truth is (as you say) that this is a very important thing. I think it applies to different ares of business (or even life to be more general). If you want to be successful, you must have clear goals (i.e. clear mission statements). If you have your mission statement, you know where you are going. Moreover, I think that it’s better to keep our mission statement to ourselves.
This is a great idea! Having some goals is always a positive way to start a blog. There have been many cases where the new blogger forgets these things!
Sometimes I think it’s that the blogger forgets. But many times what happens is newbie bloggers get so disoriented from all the responsibilities required to make the blog successful that they just lose their way… and then eventually fizzle out. If bloggers are in touch with where they want to take their sites, then they’ll be more likely to bring others on board or cut out certain unproductive activities when things get overwhelming.
Wow, this is a really great post and I couldn’t agree more. I got started with internet marketing 7 years ago. I didn’t have a purpose for starting an online business other than that I wanted to make money online.
Over the years, I’ve had many ups and downs in my personal life that’s hindered the growth of my business and for a while it was at a stand still. However, going through those personal experiences really helped me realize what I wanted to achieve in my business and in my life.
I’ve just relaunched my blog with a renewed vision and mission only a few weeks ago and the response has been amazing. It’s funny how rapidly things can change once you’ve become specific with your goals.
Thanks for sharing this with us!
Very true… And I just want to point out that it took some time (and experience) to really narrow down what you wanted to do. Sometimes that happens, and it can’t be forced- not in blogging and not in life.
Hm. That’s an interesting view. It’s like putting a thesis on your essay, something that holds the entire blog together. Given that blogs are literally thousands and thousands of words…
And now I just realized I need to buy a new domain name…
Excuse my ignorance but is a mission statement the same thing as laying down a list of goals? I don’t have a mission statement but I do have a list of goals that I alter when I achieve them.
It’s certainly related. But that list of goals are like chapters in a book. You are going to need a book title also, and maybe even a brief synopsis of the book. *That* is the mission statement.
I like to do 90 day mini-mission statements. As I learn and grow as a blogger, I find my focus for my sites can shift and my overall goals can change. Thus, every three months I reevaluate not only what I should be working on, but also what my overall goal for a particular site should be. Reevaluating every few months also helps keep me excited and focussed.
Beautiful. Go with it.
Thank you Adam for dropping this just on time. I look forward into applying fro a mission statement in my blogging business. You are actually right about blogging advice we do get, just plenty of them but only a few of such advice seem working. Very true, thanks a lof for sharing!
Wow! I have to confess I never thought of that before. I am definitely going to include a mission statement page right after this on my blog. Thanks a lot!
I completely concur with you about this Adam. A mission statement is a very important factor when it comes to blogging! I could recommend mini-mission statements because apart from we bloggers growing, we are also in a dynamic world which changes with time; their flexibility will enable their change quite easily. I give credit for this post and thanks for the good write.
yes tasks with vision and mission helps a lot
HI Adam! great post and certainly for me mission statement is what how you blogging and what you’ll do in the process and that’s for me no need to tell everyone or your reader rather you should be focusing on producing problem solving and quality content for your readers.
Mission statement is a great way to keep check and balance to your growth but it’s totally up to the blogger whether to show to your reader or keep them private.
Nice article. Absolutly make sense. Another way the mission is not always static. Like..You have to reevaluate and proceed which would bring postive results. Thanks
Have attempted a bunch of blogs, but have always struggled with “why” I am doing it. It makes absolute sense what you’re saying. We just decided a few days ago to start a new project (blog) and your post is perfectly timed. Thank you.
I would like to know if you feel this is good to add with your advertising rate information? I have a media quick sheet and then am working on a separate rate sheet for advertising. I thought it may be a good idea to include the mission statement with the ad rates to give advertisers an idea what the blog’s mission is about. thoughts ?