Saturday, 5 April 2014

Do You Have Vision?

Do you have a Vision?

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc 

A blog is an organic representation of yourself. It will continue to grow and mature, as you grow and mature. At first you take a few baby steps. You pick a platform, Blogger, Wordpress etc., and you start to experiment with different layouts. You try a few, hit the preview button, until you come across something that catches your eye.

A blog is an organic representation of yourself . . .

Maybe you've already thought about what you want to blog about, or maybe you just knew it's something you really wanted to do, but you haven't given a niche a whole lot of thought yet. Whatever the case, this is the start of  a new journey for you.

Once you're done experimenting with different layouts, and you've sort of figured out a niche for yourself, you're ready to give it a try. You type away like a mad little hatter, really excited to get this first post published. Finally, it's done! You hit publish, and there you have it! You're an author. Now what?

More often than not, most bloggers start by publishing sporadic posts about whatever comes to mind. That's fine if that's what you want to do. This is your blog after all, you can publish whatever the heck you want! But if you have greater aspirations, if you want to become a professional blogger, you need to develop a vision for your blog.

But if you have greater aspirations, if you want to become a professional blogger, you need to develop a vision . . .

Sounds simple enough, but it's harder than you make think. We are by nature curious animals. Always exploring new topics and new interests. It's very easy for your mind to wander.  As I sit here right now I'm also thinking about an evening out with some close friends tonight that's been planned for the past couple of months.

You're blog can be quite like this if you don't keep it focused. Always wandering, not sticking to one theme or another. As I've said above if you want to take this approach that's fine, but don't expect to create any kind of consistent readership - other than, perhaps, your friends and family.

So how do you come up with this vision? To start with, I suggest looking at some other blogs to see what their vision is. Generally, most blogs have an about section. This is normally where you can get a sense of the vision of the blog. Looking to others that have already had a little success and experience is always a good place to start.

For example, in my about section you'll quickly see that my purpose, my vision, for this blog is to provide advice and positive inspiration. I don't believe in discussing all the negative things going on in the world. There's a place for that, it's just not here.

Staying focused

Once you've developed your vision, it's important to stay focused and consistent. If you want to truly develop a dedicated "tribe" of followers you have to consistently provide them with what they're looking for. 

If you want to truly develop a dedicated "tribe" of followers you have to consistently provide them with what they're looking for . . .

Would you go back to you're favourite restaurant every time, if you weren't sure what you were going to get? Maybe some days they make the best southern fried chicken you've ever tasted, but on other occasions it's charred beyond recognition. You'd soon start looking for another restaurant if this continued.

So make sure you stay focused. I'm not suggesting you can't mix it up once in a while, but you have to be someone your readers can depend on. Revisit your vision every once in a while. Read it over. Think about what it means to you. Then refocus and get on with  the blogging!

Do you have a vision? If not get started on it today. Leave a comment, I'd love to hear how your vision has worked for you. Has it helped you gain the dedicated readership you've been looking for?