Have you set your blogging goals for 2013?
What do they look like?
Have you been taking notes to help you out? Did you read any life changing books, threw away your old list and vowed to start afresh?
Did you decide to do away with your list altogether to see where the year will take you?
Or are you still undecided.
Whichever side of the fence you are on, it is hard to start January without giving some thought to setting some goals for the New Year.
I have been doing some soul searching of my own. For a long time, actually.
And today I thought I’d share with you my plans for Writing Happiness in the year 2013.
I actually only have one main goal for this year.
But before I tell you what that is, let me tell you about my biggest a- ha moments for the year.
My A-ha moment:
You cannot compete with the leading blogs in your niche on the basis of educational content alone.
Let that sink in for a while.
You cannot compete with the leading blogs in your niche on the basis of educational content alone!
You want to be a successful blogger, right? You want to stand out, viewed as an authority and have a memorable brand. You want a decent sized audience. You want people to like and trust you.
Guess what, you cannot have all that if you just publish educational content.
If you publish how-to content, list posts, ‘mistakes to avoid’ type posts only.
If you teach others only.
This is the number one reason why most blogs will struggle to increase their readership.
Think about this for a second.
You want to learn about content creation and content marketing: You go to Copyblogger.
You want to read about social media: Social Media Examiner.
You want to master conversion and online marketing: Social Triggers.
You want to learn about blogging: Problogger, Boost Blog Traffic, Think Traffic.
Grow your business/marketing? Seth Godin, Marie Forleo.
Unless you have unlimited hours in your day, you are likely to go to the experts in your field.
I do the same.
And yet, we go to these other blogs that are not huge and don’t teach all the time.
We actually go there for the blogger. We want to hear their thoughts. We want to know what they feel about certain issues.
Let’s say, you also want to start a blog where you want to advise people on using social media to grow their business, for example.
How are you going to stand out against heavy lifters like Social Media Examiner, Social Mouths and Social Media Today?
You do this by publishing other type of content on your blog, not purely educational one.
The opinionated one!
You publish your thoughts on important subjects in your niche. You want to be seen as a thought leader.
You let your personality shine through. You want people to like you – and remember you.
And most importantly, you want to get rid of vanilla presence – stand for something.
What to expect from Writing Happiness
In a recent survey I did with my email subscribers, the vast majority said that they want a mix of opinionated and educational content on Writing Happiness confirming what I have been thinking.
And this is what you can expect from me in 2013.
- I will be publishing a lot more personalized and opinionated content (after being here for a while, I have earned the right).
- I will be sending my (email subscribers only) insights and personal a-ha moments. If you are interested, you need to sign up.
- I will be doing ‘content curation’ type posts on a regular basis – with one difference. You see a lot of bloggers doing a round-up of interesting posts on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Most of them send you a ton of links and the result is: Eyes glaze over. There is another – much better – way of doing this. Stay tuned and find out. *evil grin*
- I will be working on my brand – which is kind of ‘meh’ at the moment.
To give you an example, this is Marie Forleo’s brand:
Straightforward business advice
Extroverted – Marie TV
Personal development junkie
Author of book Make Every Man Want You
Hip hop diva
My goal for 2013
My goal this year is to build a strong brand for Writing Happiness and publish a mix of personal and educational content.
So when somebody asks you, what is Marya all about? You don’t have to scratch your head mumbling … oh she writes about blogging, and online content creation … and … ????
2012 for me was about building authority. I did this by getting published on some of the biggest blogs in my niche, and will continue to do so.
And this is my number 1 goal this year:
To build a strong brand for Writing Happiness
What about you?
What is your brand? Can you define it? Could your audience define it?
Your brand is what others say about you when you are not in the room.
Without going into too much detail; here are some ideas to help you build your brand from day 1.
Basics & visuals
- Spend some time on your title and tag line.
- Choose your brand colours, fonts, logo and get yourself professional looking design. (Notice I didn’t say necessarily to buy one).
- Be consistent with your choice of images.
Persona & voice
- Decide some personal aspects that you would share with your readers. Try to be as relevant as you can. (I have chosen my obsession with business self-help books and the Internet, Pakistani food and perfumes to show that this content could only be created by me.)
- Include past experiences to make your point.
- Be deliberate with your writing style. Develop a specific lingo. Use some words or expressions that only you would use. (I have coined a term ‘guesting’ as in guest posting or guest blogging. Let’s see if it catches on.)
The bigger picture
- Your core message: What you stand for. All of your content must be closely tied to this message.
- Your mission: What do you want to accomplish. Think about publishing your manifesto. (Note to self: Write manifesto.)
- Your tribe: Make profiles of your ideal readers. You can have more than one. These are who you are looking to attract. These are the people who will support your message and mission.
These are the ones who will strongly agree (mostly) or not (occasionally) with you, but still love you to pieces. These are the kind of people you want to make up your community.
And this is the kind of traffic you want to attract. The only kind that matters.
So there you have it. This is my goal for 2013.
Building a brand takes time. And it is an ongoing process.
But it doesn’t have to be that hard.
I will be building my brand alongside you. We will both be working togther, You and I, both supporting each other.
What say you?
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