Wait… you already have one?
Well I’ve never read it.
How’s it working out for you?
If you answered “not well,” “not sure,” or “not what I’d expected” to the above question, it might be time to rethink your blogging strategy. This post is for you.
If you answered “I don’t have one yet,” this post is also for you.
Why this post is for you
Well, for starters, I feel qualified to talk about this topic. For once, I’m running a blog that’s actually focused on a topic I’m passionate about, and one that’s actually able to help people as well.
I’m tired of seeing blogs that are well-written, have great content ideas, and even awesome headlines, but no readers. Every day I get an email or two from people who’ve stumbled across this blog, asking me “how do I figure out what to write about,” or “how did you get people to come and read your content?”
There are a few answers to these questions, but the best one (and most frustrating one) I can think of is:
I learned how to ask the right questions.
That’s right–I asked myself the right questions, and only after that was I able to uncover the answers to those questions. From there, relaunching this blog and creating content that people love was easy.
The right questions
So, if you’re struggling with these things, I might be able to help. Before we jump in, though, let’s be specific. I’m not going to be able to help you if:
- All you want to do is make money.
- You have no interest in your topic, and are just doing it because of money/work/God knows what.
- You have no interest in helping people.
Duh. Well, it needed to be said. Still with me?
Ok, here’s what I can help you with:
- You know you have a passion for X, but can’t seem to get people interested in listening to you talk about it.
- You love helping people figure out X, but can’t get anyone to pay attention.
- You have a great blog, and great content, and lots of readers, but you don’t know how to make it turn into an income stream.
If any of these are an example of the type of thing you’re struggling with, I can help.
Why? Well, because, I’m doing it. No, I’m not making my full-time income from this blog (not even close). But I’m making more and more each month, and have doubled my subscriber count in less than one month.
But I’m not bragging–I’ve got a long way to go. I just want to be clear up front that I’ve been able to do all of this because I’ve been asking the right questions.
So, you ask, what are the right questions?
First, you need to ask the why questions:
- Why do you want to blog?
- Why do you want to write about your topic?
- Why do you need your blog to be successful?
- Why will people listen to you?
- Why will you be able to help them, and not someone else?
Second, ask the how questions:
- How are you going to maintain both your blog and your current lifestyle?
- How are you going to organize your time?
- How are you going to get people to listen to you?
- How are you going to monetize your blog?
- How long will it take to get “there?”
Finally, ask yourself these when questions:
- When will you find the time to blog?
- When will you post?
- When will you launch?
- When will you decide you’ve reached “success” or “failure?”
- When will you stop blogging?
Obviously, there are many more questions
But the point is, the answers aren’t right or wrong until you answer them.
I can’t answer them for you–I can give you guidance, or help finding them, or point you toward resources, but I cannot answer them for you.
Other bloggers (who make money giving answers) might tell you they can give you the answers, but they can’t. They can only give you the answers to their version of your questions.
Does that make sense?
If you ask me how often you should blog, I’ll only be able to tell you what’s worked for others, and what’s worked for me (2-3 times a week, but only if I have something important to say). I can’t tell you what will work for you, because you might be able to write consistently awesome every single day, and therefore can get away with posting every day.
If you ask me what “success” means, you’ll get my version of “freedom” and “location independence,” but it would still differ from everyone else’s version.
So, the right answers are unique to your persona
In a nutshell, the right answers are the ones you’ve answered about questions you made up.
They’re the answers you know deep down, but second-guess.
The best advice you can get is the advice you actually use, so by creating these questions and actually answering them for yourself, you’ll be one step ahead.
How I can help
I mentioned before that I can help. Here’s how: over the next few weeks, I’m going to be launching some awesome stuff that people have been asking about. If you’ve emailed me, DM’d me on Twitter, or otherwise stopped me on the street asking, you might have heard me mention something about it.
First, I’m releasing a new book. It’s basically a “manifesto,” filled with 101 questions you should be asking yourself before you get too far into blogging.
It’s short, sweet, and very to-the-point, but it also features some great questions thrown in by these guys:
- Joanna Penn of TheCreativePenn.com
- Jeff Goins of GoinsWriter.com
- Dan Blank of WeGrowMedia.com
- Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com
- Sean Platt of TheDigitalWriter (previously of Ghostwriter Dad fame)
- James Chartrand of MenWithPens.ca
- And more…
As you can see, it’s a pretty sweet list of guys and gals who totally get blogging. Most are making their full-time incomes from writing online, and all are considered “successful” by most other bloggers in their fields.
So if you don’t want to listen to me, you’ll at least listen to them maybe?
Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to be the first to know about the book–it’s going to be cheap (like less than a cup of coffee), but it’s going to be awesome. I can feel it.
Second, I’m thinking about starting some kind of consultation service. Many of you who have graciously shared with me your stories, struggles, and desires have had a lot of ideas for what you’d like in a service like this.
I don’t feel “expert” enough to provide solutions for the vast majority of these problems, but I do have some specific experience that I think will translate well and that we could measure and improve:
- Building a platform
- Setting up social networks
- Creating a website
- Writing content that people want to read
- Generating traffic
- Gaining attention
- Creating streams of income from your writing
- yada yada…
I’ll be writing more about each of these things as the weeks roll on. I hope that throughout it all, you stay encouraged and motivated.
Further, if you have any specific ideas about what might help, send me an email directly ([email protected]) or just leave a comment! I read and respond to each one!
This is a great post! Asking the right questions is extremely powerful. This post reminded me why I blog in the first place. I blog because I want to inspire others to follow their dreams. I write my content because I am hoping to get people to question their current approach to life and to start making changes.
There are about a billion other blogs that address those exact same concepts so the questions I need to start asking myself and being able to answer are: Why should anyone listen to me when there are thousands of other blogs that address that topic?
Right now, I am in the process of learning that answer. I am willing to take years to identify this answer (though I am hoping to comes MUCH faster) because at the core I just want to help people change their lives… If I can learn how to do that via blogging that would be incredible.
I know what you mean–with the vastness of the internet, there’s always going to be another blog that seems like yours–rather than focusing on that, though, focus on the few things that you’re doing differently. For me, rather than focus on just the writing process, or creative stuff, I try to bring in my background in blogging, in order to provide a look into the world of internet marketing that’s actually useable for us writers.
Even still, I’m sure there are plenty of other blogs out there doing that as well, but then it’s a matter of just doing it better, more consistently, for longer!
Hope that makes sense!
Hi Nick, Thanks for this. I enjoy blogging but constantly feel that my limited time would be better spent writing my next book rather than blogging. I haven’t thought about monetizing my blog or what question/problem I can specifically answer for my readers. I find most of my readers are other authors and also feel that ought to change…how to reach out to READERS? Asking the right questions always helps.
Yeah, I know the feeling–I feel like I can spend the whole day blogging and connecting, and then my poor novel gets forgotten…
However, when I remember the advantages of maintaining and growing a blog (gaining attention, readership, etc.), I know that it’s going to make the book that much more successful when it finally is released!
It’s definitely a balancing act, though, for sure!
Thanks for the comment–keep me posted on the book,
Nick, wonderful and informative post. Thnx. I’m planning a launch next month, so I’m, taking in all the great advice I can get, and you have plenty
Awesome, Neal–what’s the launch going to be on?
Awesome post on blogging! I’ve launched a blog and didn’t even realize I was asking myself these questions. Great way to break in down for anyone thinking about blogging.
Yeah, most people will ask themselves these questions without realizing it–the point of the book I have coming out is to flesh out these questions/answers further and provide deeper questioning processes that will help focus and build a blogger’s mindset.
I’m excited about it–hope you’ll check it out!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting as well!
I thought, there is no Requirement to preparation to start a blog because blogging is a method of expressing our minds/thoughts towards the world. so simply start to write
Mahalo Nick! Though I’ve having start my blog, your deep, mindful questions gave me a starting point in the right direction. Mahalo again.
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