Blogging is quite an introspective art.
Sure, we write for other people (sometimes thousands of them) but we also spend time looking inwards and asking ourselves important questions about who we are and what we are doing.
And as your blogging career progresses there are a few really big questions that you will need to ask yourself.
This post is a bit of a depart from my usual 2,000+ word essays. I’m just going to show you seven questions that I have asked myself over the last 5 to 10 years.
Hopefully you can jump ahead and learn the lessons now – some bigger than others.
What questions do you think are important to ask?
The questions to ask yourself
As always, jump in on the comments and let me know if you disagree or, more importantly, if you have asked any tough questions yourself.
7. What is my point of difference?
How is your blog different from the billion other blogs out there?
What are you doing differently and how will that impact on people?
A lot of new bloggers start up a blog because they have a passion to write or make some extra money, but not everyone thinks about what their point of difference is going to be. This is extremely important if you want to have long term success.
6. Is my blog secure and backed up?
If you rely on your blog as an income asset you need to make sure that you have it secure and backed up. A hack can cause you a lot of problems and distress.
This is the kind of thing you think will never happen to you, but hacking is getting more and more common. Try to take some steps now to prevent it or minimize the damage if it happens.
5. Is my writing style improving?
A blog is primarily a written medium. Sure, we have videos and podcasts but for the most part it is about words.
And you need to be good at putting words together.
You need to get people interested even when you have been writing on the same topic for years on end.
The best way to improve your writing style is to read a lot and write a lot. Practice makes perfect. If you want to give this pro blogging thing a real shot you need to make sure you are practicing every day. And improving.
4. Do I have a long term product or income stream plan?
Something that really amazes me is how many bloggers go into “business” without knowing what they are going to sell.
You see, a blog is all about converting people into an outcome. And if you want to make money that outcome needs to be an affiliate product or some kind of product that you have made yourself. I am in favor of a mixture of both.
You need to make sure you have some long term goals. How is this blog going to make money in 5, 10 or 15 years? Figure it out now before you are up the creek without a paddle.
3. Is my reader engagement improving?
There are many types of blogging but the style that I am really interested in is the one where you grow an engaged community. And if you have been blogging for a long time and still aren’t getting that reader engagement then there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself.
Some of the ways you can measure this engagement include:
- email open rates
- the number of comments you get on articles
- the level of discussion on Facebook and Twitter
Make sure these measurements are increasing steadily. Grow that community if you want to have a long term and sustainable business.
2. Am I happy?
A lot of us get in to pro blogging because we want to get out of the rat races. That was my goal. But somewhere along the way you might find that you aren’t really that happy. The “work from home” lifestyle might even become a little bit depressing.
It is really important to ask yourself whether you are happy. All the freedom and money in the world is useless if you aren’t looking after yourself and those around you.
What do you think happiness is? Can you get it from work alone?
1. Am I helping people?
The most important thing to ask yourself, in my opinion, is whether or not you are helping people.
You see, I really believe that at the end of life you want to have no regrets. And I think the biggest source of regrets will be when you look back and realize that you didn’t really make a difference to anyone.
The wonderful thing about a blog is that you have a great opportunity to help people with whatever it is that you write about. Make sure every article that you write is motivated with the wish to help your readers and you will make your life and the lives of those around you more meaningful.
Photo credit: rolands.lakis