This blog post is part of a series of blog posts focused on how to blog more effectively.
This week, I am examining an issue that has cropped-up since I started this “Effective Blogging” series. All the tips I offer are meaningless, when they are not put in proper context. Defining your motives at the very beginning helps to shape the trajectory of your blogging exercise, and to some extent, determines your strategies. It helps you determine what blogging tips to adopt and not what not to.
Bloggers are every day people with different backgrounds. The wide spectrum of bloggers varies from university professors who are at the epitome of knowledge through journalists who have a good command of language/communication to students who are still grasping the concepts of life. In essence, it is impossible to define a set of rules that would apply to every blogger. It is thus necessary that whilst you are reading tips from this blog or other sources, be selective with which strategies you implement. The tips you choose should fit into your ultimate motivation for blogging. So, why do you want to blog?
You want to make money from blogging?
You are not alone. A sizeable chunk of bloggers are professional bloggers. They blog with the sole motive of generating huge traffic and monetizing that traffic. Some are internet marketers whose sole aim is to sell learning materials on “how to make money online” or similar concepts, and there are professionals who are skilled in an area of specialization, and share their knowledge for free, with the aim of monetizing the blog traffic. They display advertisement and get paid for it. There are many tips necessary to make money from blogging. This type blogging requires deep-root skills, time, consistence and some healthy dose of aggression. In this genre, blogging is an end in itself and the activity must bring direct gratification in the form of money. It is the most challenging as you have to make enough money to offset the bills for setting-up a professional blog, web hosting and related fees.
You want to build a following?
Perhaps you are an author? A motivational speaker? An entrepreneur? A media/showbiz celebrity? A politician? When you are engaged in a public activity that revolves around your personality, you really should build an online followership. Blogging can be a very effective means of building the followership you need to market yourself to a potential buying audience or network better with your existing fans/buyers. In this type of blogging, you can be more relaxed and even funky, but not trivial. In this genre, blogging is not an end in itself but only a means to an end. When you have a huge number of people reading from you on a daily basis, you can easily market that new book, the next event you would be speaking at, announce your latest CD/DVD, or make a case on why you should be entrusted with public office. The set of tools for building a followership are different. I would share these in future.
You want to publicity for your company or organization?
Yet another type of blogging is by corporate institutions, non-governmental organizations and government departments.
These types of blogs tend to be more formal and might even be less interactive and the main motive is to pass information.
I should point out that there are no strict rules that dictate what type of blog you run. You can indeed combine building a followership with making money from the blogging activity itself.
Having defined your motive for blogging, you can then proceed to defining your blogging style. Whatever strategies you choose to adopt, be consistent but open to innovation that can make your blog better and draw you closer to acheiving your objectives. This, my friend, is at the heart and soul of effective blogging.
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