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Strategic Blogging – Values

This post belongs to the Strategic Blogging Series.

Having thought about our mission (or why we blog) it’s time now to turn our attention to the values that we have that help to shape how we’ll achieve our overall mission.

There are many means to an end and many ways of achieving a mission. For instance if your mission is to make a living from blogging you could do so in many different ways ranging from blogs that rip off the content of others, to blogs that are purely original in content, to blogs that explore topics of purely a ‘family nature’ to blogs that are quite explicit and ‘adult’ in their nature etc.

These decisions come out of our values as a blogger.

What values determine our behavior?

Our values will come out of many different places including our family, culture, experiences and perhaps even personality type. They are worth naming in the early days of our blogging as there comes times in the life of any Blogger when the temptation to step outside the boundaries of behavior that we believe in comes a knocking. Having previously named (privately or even more powerfully – publicly) these values helps us to resist the temptation in the heat of the moment. Values are also important in helping others understand how or what we blog.

So what are the values that shape your blogging behavior? What are the boundaries that you’d be not willing to cross? What are the topics you’d be not willing to blog about? How will you treat those around you (other bloggers, your readers, suppliers of information etc)? Take a few minutes to write a list of the values that you want to shape your blogging. These might include things like:

  • I value the work of others and when I build upon it I acknowledge them
  • I don’t blog about anything sexually explicit, gambling, drugs or concerning Harry Potter
  • I create an environment where everyone can have their say without fear of censorship
  • I respect the privacy of others in my blogging and don’t reveal private conversations or contact details
  • I only publish fact and will state if I’m speculating
  • If I make a mistake I publicly acknowledge this and correct it
  • I will always make it clear if I’m benefiting from something that I write
  • I value people and will not blog about them in degrading ways

Of course such a list will always cause discussion and debate simply because one person’s values will vary from another person’s values. In a sense we’re talking ethics here.

Perhaps it would be appropriate to write up a set of values like these as a public blogging value statement of manifesto to promote the type of blog/s you’re keeping and to give your readers permission to keep you accountable to what you’re on about.

With your mission and values in place you’ll be ready for the next stages of actually mapping out how you’re going to move forward in your blogging.

Read the rest of the Strategic Blogging Series.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. […] e you enjoy. The posts written in this series so far are: Strategic Blogging – Mission Strategic Blogging – Values


  2. […] ries for August about Building A Better Blog, Darren Rowse has asked the question today – “What Values Determine Our Behavior?” Some […]

  3. I had a good chuckle when I read that line about not blogging about Harry Potter. The review/spoilers post I wrote about Harry Potter 6 a few weeks back has driven the majority of my google traffic the last couple weeks. Not that it generates any AdSense revenue, but it’s an interesting study in the impact of choosing a popular google topic to write about I guess.

  4. Jason, I think that’s what Darren was getting at. If you’re philosophically opposed to the Harry Potter books (and a surprising number of people are), then by expressing it in your values statement you’ll help yourself to resist the temptation of blogging about it just because it’s popular. No matter how much extra traffic it would bring, it’s something you’ve decided ahead of time not to do because it’s against your personal values.

    Of course, your particular poison might not be Harry Potter – it might be porn, or Paris Hilton, or South Park, or US politics, or whatever.

  5. I actually had forgotten about the amount of anti Harry people out there and was using it as an attempt at humour. But you’re right Darren, for some this will be against their values.

  6. [..] two of the Problogger 31 days to a better performing blog, and today it’s all about values. Darren has suggested writing down and displaying, in a public forum if you’re feeling brave, the core values of your blog(s). So I sat down and had a think about it. [..]

  7. As we’re all trying to make some money out of blogging my big thing is being loyal and upfront to my readers. Remember, credibility is hard to establish and hold onto, but oh so easy to destroy.

    So when I include an Affiliate link (cj.com, Amazon etc) I want to let everyone know that’s it’s an affiliate link and that I’m going to benefit from it.

    I would not feel comfortable merging editorial and advertisements together without a clear line.

    And guess what : in one of the business forums I post on I was approached with an offer to place a pre-arranged post (an already written highly praising review) on my blog for wait for it …. $5 paid via PayPal. Even if it was for $500 and I took it I might as well pack up my blogging bag and never look back. I really fear/can see PR agencies infiltrating blogs for positive mentions for big name clients.

  8. I am wondering… Since I plan to blog to add value and growth to my business, I am obviously not going to be against using anything that sells. But for explicit, vulgar displays, stealing content etc. I will keep away from tactics. I’d rather have strategies. Will work better in long run. But I will use Harry Potter. Irrespective of the fact that I have read it, I like it or I have an opinion on it.. OR NOT. Its selling. So I will cash on it.
    I will always try to strike a balance between useful content, easy language and popularity of topic. NO necessarily in that order, though.

  9. […] With this illustrious track record to bolster my ego I paid a visit to my favorite blogging guru for some insights on how best to proceed from here.  I thoughtfully considered banning Harry Potter and going straight for world domination, but have decided to keep my goals both more reasonable and attainable. […]

  10. […] With this illustrious track record to bolster my ego I paid a visit to my favorite blogging guru for some insights on how best to proceed from here.  I thoughtfully considered banning Harry Potter and going straight for world domination, but have decided to keep my goals both more reasonable and attainable. […]

  11. I think it is important at the start of any persons blogging career to have a goal in sight and strategies to achieve this goal. A blogger should know themselves and should be able to answer the question “why they are blogging?” as well as this they should have aims to help achieve their long term goals.

    Great article.

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