Starting Over by Guest Author, Sandra Lee
Is your blog a failure or a success? This question stopped me dead in my tracks.
When I started blogging, I definitely had a purpose in mind, but it was a limited one with a narrow audience. As time went on, I found myself slipping over the boundaries of my topic. Taking time to roll the above question around in my head made me see how I was driving on a dead end street. I might see a few people on the way, but it would hardly be a major hop around the planet. These insights gave me the impetus to revisit blogging basics and rejig the entire vision of my blog.
Asking the right questions
In the beginning, I had skipped so many of the crucial steps for creating a new blog! This is not unusual when we first plunge into blogging, but it’s never too late to pause, re-evaluate, and give proper attention to the fundamental questions that shape the vision and viability of your blog.
- What is the purpose of your blog?
- Who is your audience?
- What do you have to offer that is unique?
- How would you describe your blog in a few sentences?
- What are your blog’s goals?
These are just some of the important questions to ask, the very one’s I skipped entirely when I first pushed the “create a new blog” button. I didn’t rush through them the second time around, but instead gave them due consideration.
As a result I took these four major steps:
- Chose a new blog title
- Changed my URL and purchased my own domain name
- Developed a new tag line
- Honed my About page
Understandably, I felt some resistance to making a change and fear about losing the momentum I had built up during my first three month’s of blogging. However, once I made the decision I went full bore ahead without a second thought. This was due to the new blog vision, shaped around the title Always Well Within, which fit like a glove. This very sense of congruence and clear purpose was like a wellspring of energy and enthusiasm.
The new blog title was broader in nature and far more likely to resonate with the wider audience I wished to reach. It took me longer to fine-tune the tag line, about a month, but this again was another helpful process in re-clarifying the mission of my blog. Changing my url and purchasing my own domain name was the most significant decision, since it meant losing any Google Page Rank that had been built up to date. However, there are so many benefits to obtaining one’s own domain name, it would have been foolish to pass up that opportunity in the midst of my other changes. Lastly, I honed my About Page to more clearly reflect my vision and articulate the broader focus of my blog: personal development, health, and transforming the mind.
All these steps are about clarifying your blog’s identity. Without a clear identity, it’s near impossible to attract the right audience and leave your mark upon your chosen segment of the world.
Time for blog promotion
With a clear vision and sense of identity established, it was now far more useful to put into practice some of the blogging and promotion tips that I had been reading about, primarily on One Cool Site Blogging Tips, for example:
- Focusing first and foremost on creating quality content. The first month after changing to the new url, I posted almost everyday. This gave me a leg up in helping search engines find my content.
- Commenting on other authority blogs in my niche. Instead of commenting chaotically all over the place, I sought blogs that really speak to me, where I could contribute in a meaningful and sincere way.
- Making connections with other bloggers in my niche. There are some bloggers that I am naturally drawn to and, just as in life, connections are gradually developing.
- Making optimal use of keywords and tags. This is not difficult, but it will make a significant difference in terms of bringing targeted readers to your site.
There’s far that can be done to promote your blog; these are just initial steps that I have taken.
A wise decision
In my case, starting over was a wise decision. I didn’t lose momentum at all. In fact, the number of clicks has tripled in half the amount of time. Understandably, starting over is a far bigger decision the further along you are in blogging.
The best approach is to take the time to establish a clear vision and plan early on, and then to regularly evaluate every few months and make adaptations accordingly. When you do make changes, think comprehensively so you are making them holistically and intelligently. Don’t hesitate to make changes simply out of fear. The resulting congruence can have a major impact on drawing the right audience to your blog and nourishing your passion and therefore your endurance.
Do you have a vision, goals, and a plan for your blog? Do you have a story of starting over again?
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