July 21st, 2009 by
Want to make your blog’s articles much more compelling and valuable while saving time and money?
Here’s a five-step method that has worked well for my consulting clients.
- Step 1: Envision.
- Step 2: Evaluate.
- Step 3: Plan.
- Step 4: Work.
- Step 5: Review.
Let’s get into each step in more detail.
Step 1: Envision your future blog content and its awesomeness.
Just imagine for a minute that you’re Po, the Kung Fu Panda, basking in a sublime vision of your pure awesomeness. Bask in it … ah yes … okay, that’s long enough.
That totally raging awesomeness springs from a single source: your blog’s carefully crafted connection to its target audience.
Consider your target audience – the folks for whom exactly you chose to create your company’s or organization’s blog in the first place. What was the pressing problem or question they had that you had a solution or answer via the blog? And how did you begin to present the content and design of your blog so that they would respond favorably to it?
Now think about your blog as it may become 12 months from now, or perhaps five years from now. What utterly vexing problems will you be solving for your visitors? Picture yourself changing this world a little for the better through your careful rearrangement of electrons that’s represented in the form of a simple blog.
Let the glorious vision fill your hopeful mind before you come down from the lofty clouds for Step 2. That way you’ll be able to withstand the temporary trials your blog will surely face, knowing you’ve got the potential to reach someday, as Po might say, totally insane mastery of your corner of the universe.
Step 2: Evaluate your current blog content in gory detail.
I mean gory. I mean zooming in so close to the skin (yup, that’s human skin in the pic above) that you see every area as rough and craggy, riddled with potential for smoothing out. I mean scouring dozens of aspects of your blog and really insisting on giving it a complete, honest, fair review. And I mean asking other people to take a close look
It’ll get icky at times. You’ll force yourself to admit that that blog post you always thought of as generating “mass amounts of traffic” actually reels in an average of only 27 visits a month. You’ll come to terms with what your blog really is like. You’ll know the reality of your blog, here and now, and what it looks like from every angle, in every light.
How else can you expect to make it what it can one day become?
Step 3: Plan carefully to take your blog from Step 2′s reality to Step 1′s potential.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
– Robert Frost
Here’s where you make those promises that will keep you on the straight path to blogging success, regardless of what fascinating things lie deep within the forests you encounter.
This step consists of creating a written plan in which you tell yourself exactly what you will do every hour, day, week, month and/or year in order to advance directly from where your blog is at to the pure awesomeness nirvana that you want for your blog someday. The more detail, the better.
Step 4: Work, work, work like a banshee.
Diligence is so critical to the Visionary Blogging method. This is where so many of us get stuck. You’re either working effectively, working ineffectively or not working at all. The very best bloggers and social media users aren’t always among the most intelligent. But they are always among the most diligent.
So when the going gets tough, be one of the tough who gets going. Refuse to give up on your blog after trying to increase its traffic or build its subscriber lists for just a few days or weeks. Don’t even think about abandoning your hard setup and launch work for at least six months. Give the blog time to germinate and flourish according to the daily water and soil and sunshine you’re giving it.
This is the secret sauce bloggers sometimes hate to taste, but love to remember. Guzzle it. All day. Every day.
Step 5: Review Your Progress Regularly
Look at the spiral staircase image at the top of this article. Think about how it would feel to be forever ascending, always reaching a higher plane. To get higher, you just have to go around and around, up a little bit at a time. You’re always revisiting the same angles, the same walls.
This is why constantly reviewing your progress is the capstone of blog content improvement.
So take a few minutes each day, a half hour a week, an hour or two a month, and maybe a few hours each year to pause and reflect on what you’ve been working on to improve your blog content. That 2% of your time will work wonders for the other 98%.
Your Homework: Do Steps 1-3 Right Now
If you’ve got 10 minutes, you can do a quick and dirty version of this method right away. If you want to get into it more thoroughly, set aside an hour later today or tomorrow. Let us know how it goes and what you discover.
What do you think? Will you try this method once for me?