I can’t remember many details of that April day, the one that marked my debut as a blogger.
The only thing I remember is that I got an email from my contact at the university with a link to the post. Below my name, the words “guest author.” Not long after that, the guest designation disappeared and I officially began my work as the writer, developer, and promoter of that blog.
Since I started this blog on my own — and only a few weeks ago — the details of the launch are fresh in my mind, especially my last minute scrambling to get basic design elements in place, with help from several very talented and generous friends.
Do you remember your blog beginnings? Did you plan and prepare for months in advance or jump in with both feet on a whim? Did you have a careful plan for your launch, with clearly articulated ideas for promotion? Or did you start your blog hoping that people would find you organically?
When I began promoting the other blog, I had some ideas and plans in place. Some of my ideas worked great, while others flopped. I enjoyed the experimentation process, though. Over time, I found some methods that worked well. I stopped doing the ones that didn’t seem as useful.
If you want to increase your influence as a blogger, you will likely need to go through an experimentation process of your own. Considering a plan and goals is a great place to start. In my last post, I encouraged you to identify your objectives as a blogger.
Once you have identified your objectives, you can begin to:
- Think strategically about how to accomplish your objectives
- Identify specific action steps to take as you work toward your objectives
In the next posts of this series, I will share some methods that have worked for me and offer suggestions of how you can implement them to increase your influence. To prepare, consider these questions. Answer here, in the comments, or answer in a post on your blog and link in the comments here so we can all learn from your ideas.
What has worked well for you so far in growing your blog’s influence?
What has not worked well?
What resources are you willing to invest in order to see your blog grow in influence?
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Becky, I wish I could answer what has worked for my Blog in terms of influence with a sense of certainty, but the honest answer is I am not sure what impact it has had (scale). I will chat to friends who will mention a particular Blog and why it resonated with them, but I have no sense of the experience my audience is having as a whole. I still consider myself fairly new to Blogging, and only started having a more structured approach to it in October (last year). Prior to that I was confusing my objective between a point of view that is mine versus a point of view that must be seen as that of our business. The desired outcome is the same, but the positioning is important to me. I have now gone with my personal brand in the Blog as it is after all my views of life. I would say I am flying blind from a Stats perspective currently but do have a gut feel as to what is working and what is not. Commenting on posts I read and creating links to my Blog has created a new momentum in getting my Blog noticed.
It’s been a long time since I started blogging – and so much of the landscape, tools, tchnology and stuff is changed. I did some planning, trying to be smart about what I wanted to write about and arraning the blog at the time to best support that, as antiquated and manual as those efforts would seem today nearly 7 years later.
Then, now, or 7 years from now though, the advice in this post is timeless. Think about your objectives and design and write to them.
Thanks for a thoughtful post – a reflective one for me.
I look forward to the next installment.
Even though I jumped into blogging as a lark, a far better plan is to identify goals and the overall strategy, as you have suggested. My first word of advice to people considering a blog is this: if you con’t love to write, then don’t start a blog. Period. There are many other ways to create influence, both online and in person.
Luckily, I love to write, so it all turned out OK 🙂
Becky–I did the “blog on a whim” launch some time ago. Results are predictable: zero. It is now one of the many pieces of space trash floating around the Internet. What i learned is thatdo blog well, you need to plan it, and spend time doing the work. I look forward to reading this series, as I consider whether I should make another effort at blogging.
Have a great New Year!
I’m a “secret blogger”. So far I mainly blog for me. A couple points along the way I’ve had big ideas and even once or twice I’ve promoted a specific blog because I said something I felt like sharing… but I’m a connecter, a curator, a promoter of serendipity. Linking is more critical to me than originating. Maybe that will change and I’ll have great models like you to follow in promoting my blogs – but for now I’ll keep sending people to yours!
I have found that the following are all helpful in expanding the reach of my blog: networking, syndication, tweeting, posting in discussion groups, RSS News feeds and news postings via Care2 Front Page news service.
None of these make a huge difference, but all of them together does increase the visibility and thus the impact of my green living blog.
Good luck out there.
Thanks for taking the time to share your ideas. Care2 is a new one for me. I’ll have to check it out!