Unsure of your blog's future?
I've been there, just as I'm sure every "big time" blogger has been, too.
Sometimes your niche just never takes off. Sometimes your content just isn't focused enough to gain a faithful community.
And sometimes your content just lacks passion.
Regardless of what state your blog is in at this very moment, there are 3 things you can do:
- Quit trying to milk a cat and find a cow instead. (Meaning, stop and try again in a more profitable niche.)
- Step back, re-assess, and repair the damage.
- Start over—the right way this time.
As someone who's done all of the above in business, I can tell you that business and blogging, both, have a similar core.
They both need the following 5 must-haves to succeed:
- A passion
- A focus
- An audience
- A goal
- A plan
Read on to snag my simple blog blueprint to get your content (re)started on the right track.
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1. Discover Your Passion
Your blog won't succeed if you're not in love your topic.
Sure, many businesses focus on the profit first. Many are driven by profit over providing a solution for customers or clients.
But I can tell you after several failures experienced and witnessed from businesses motivated by profit—it's not a solid, long-term business model as a solo entrepreneur.
Okay, profit motivation hasn't been all that wonderful for companies like McDonald's either.
What I do know, for sure, is that you should be so passionate about your content that it has an igniting power within it that you can barely keep contained.
Something so volatile that you get excited to write for it and for every person who'll ever read it.
That is contagious. Your passion is your power.
But, without profitability, passion's power can be easily extinguished.
So, to start you on the journey of discovering your passion (especially for the multi-passionate like myself), answer the following questions:
- What's a topic you could talk about excessively?
- What's something (an activity or hobby) you love to do?
- How do you spend your free time?
- What do you enjoy actively learning about?
And here's the biggie:
If there was only one thing you could do for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Your passion answers can define the platform in which you'll use to grow your business and/or blog from.
2. Find A Focus
Have you ever stumbled upon a blog post that just rocked your socks off?
Let's say, hypothetically, you enjoy traveling.
A passion of yours is to travel the world, documenting your journeys and building a blog around that, plus you want to offer tips for single women who are traveling alone.
So, you're reading this incredible, inspiring post about travel from a fellow female author.
You cannot stop gobbling up this author's words.
By the time you finish, you're pouncing on her "Suggested Posts" listed at the bottom of that extraordinary piece of transit gold. However, you get there and your excitement vanishes.
The suggested posts are on training your dog.
But, you don't have a dog... You want to travel.
The travel post's author writes about training and caring for large breed dogs, and seemingly just decided to write about her vacation this one time.
What the what?!
You feel cheated. Maybe a little angry.
You wanted to read more travel posts just like that one.
The point is, don't do that to your readers.
The longer you blog for, the more you'll be able to expand your topics out. However, you should always keep a narrow focus.
So, what will you blog about?
Pick one topic and dissect it into smaller fragments.
These fragments can become your blog categories.
For example, I could've just called our example reader-slash-soon-to-be-blogger a "travel blogger". But the longer you write for, you'll find it more and more difficult to be vague about those kinds of details.
Instead, our example travel blogger wants to focus on traveling as a single woman.
To specify that even more, she could create a whole niche on "backpacking as a lone woman across Europe" as her premise.
That's a much more specific focus, don't you think?
Finding a focus is about speaking to one group of people. That one group could be in the hundreds, thousands, and possibly even millions!
Just because your focus is on making one group of people (really, a focus on one person) happy, doesn't mean you're leaving people you want to appeal to out.
It's quite the opposite, actually.
In the case of narrowing down your niche, one is not the loneliest number.
*Cue guitar riff*
3. Who Wants It?
Here's where that whole "group" part comes in.
Because the hundreds, thousands, or even millions of your potential readers out there need to want what you're going to dish out.
And the only way you can figure out what they want is to ask, research them, and study your direct niche competitors's audiences closely.
On another note, I created a full Workshop on this (which includes the 45-page Content Planner and 6 other growth and maintenance-focused worksheets).
4. Set A Goal
Stagnancy isn't an option once you've gotten your blog off the ground (or re-focused).
You need to set a goal, then go out and make it happen.
No, blogging isn't an overnight success.
It takes time.
The journey is the best part.
You'll learn and takeaway so much from your time, discoveries, failures, and successes. But, you have to have a goal to actually know what you're trying to achieve with your blog.
Just like you set a goal for your business (which may be the same goal for your blog), you need to set one up for your content, too.
5. Make A Plan
Everything else is done.
Now, it comes down to a plan.
An unshakeable roadmap to your blog's success.
Take your passion, your focus (your niche), your target audience's problem, and your goal and create a plan.
How will you use your passion to stand out?
How will you use your niche plus your target audience's problem and provide a die-cut solution for them?
And how will it all come together to build your plan?
How will you follow or grow:
- your passion (even if you have multiple passions)?
- your product (even if you sell someone else's, you need your product to stand apart from everyone else's who sells the same thing)?
- your profitability (how, where, and why do they all come together?)?
- your goal (plus how to see it through)?
- your education (what do you need to learn to make your goal a reality?)?
- your plan (create a step-by-step plan to success using this step-by-step plan to your S.M.A.R.T. version of success)?
Does your blog have the 5 keys to success?
If not all, no worries.
Because now you know. And now you can begin the journey to creating a stronger blog with a solid foundation for success.
This post is an introduction to the 5 must-haves in every successful blog. Be sure to subscribe to get the next posts delivered directly to your inbox each Tuesday this month.
Thanks for reading!