Feb 8, 2010
Defining ‘Success’, Because Your Blog Can’t Succeed Without it… Posted by Jamie Harrop - 10 Comments
Photo by Madeira
A funny thing happened tonight. As I sat here contemplating my next move within the blogosphere, I suddenly found my light. My light to follow to lead me to success. To lead me to great things. To lead me to what I want in life.
But before that light appeared, as I sat here contemplating my next move, I realised within myself there was actually no move for me to make. At least not until I knew where I was going. I realised, very suddenly as though a light had been shone inside, that I didn’t know where I was going. I was lost on a road, with a map in front of me, but no idea where to turn. A map can only lead you where you want to be if you know where that place is.
Finding a Purpose to Your Blog
You’ve heard it all before. “Your blog needs a goal”. “You must know what you want to achieve”. “You must set yourself milestones and targets and blah blah blah blah blah…”. You’ve heard it all before. But the problem is, most people don’t listen. I didn’t listen. I’m a man. I wouldn’t be a man if I listened (Don’t go there ladies. ). So I’m here today to make you listen. I’m going to ram it down your throats so hard it’ll bounce back up and hit your brain. I do that not to be clever, I do that because it’s the only way your blog will succeed. Because you can’t possibly ‘succeed’ if you haven’t defined your own ‘success’.
I ask people all the time what their goal for their blog is. I just asked it again on Twitter, and not one person responded to tell me they have a specific, measurable, achievable, life-changing, ultimate goal for their blog. There are always plenty of people who tell me they have goals for the next week or next month or next year. But it’s rare I come across somebody who has a final goal. A goal, that once achieved, will be ultimate and final.
Far too often when discussing goals for blogs I hear the phrase “I’m working on it.” That phrase makes me cringe. Don’t work on it. Do it! Step back from your Twitter account. Step back from your latest article or seminar in the latest ‘Cool-If-You’re-Part-Of-It’ Internet marketing course. Step back from the cyber world and in to reality for just a minute. I promise your Twitter buddies and seminars and info-products and ebooks will all still be there when you return. Just for a minute, step back in to reality, and contemplate your goal. Not your goals for 2010. Not your goals for February. But the one goal, that once achieved, allows you to slouch in your chair, breath out a long, hard, sigh of contempt, and speak the words “My blog is now a success.”
“I want to make a living from blogging…”
When I pose the question of final goals to bloggers, most of them have no answer. The thought of something ‘final’ related to their blog is scary for them. But some people do have an answer. Unfortunately, the answer is usually this…. “I want to make a living from blogging”.
(Bare with me while I walk out of the room, bang my head against a wall, scream, and then calmly walk back to my desk. Arrrrrgh!)
Goals must be measurable. I can’t stress this enough. ‘Making a living’ is not measurable. How much money a month is ‘making a living’? It’s only be defining this that you start to get a meaningful, measurable goal. And at what point in time do you want to achieve this so called ‘goal’ by? Are you prepared to work until two days before you die to achieve this goal? Apparently you are, because you haven’t set any timescale. You’ll be happy to work for 50 years to achieve this goal, then pass away peacefully as an old man, knowing in your heart you did achieve what you set out to achieve, if only two days before old age crept up behind you.
Should a Blog Ever End?
I lot of the difficulty in setting a ‘final, ultimate goal’ lies in that word ‘final’. A final, ultimate goal suggests there has to be an end to your blog. A day, a time, a place when your blog comes to a close. And in some ways, I think that is true. There does have to be a time when it comes to a close. Maybe it will be as simple as when you hit X subscribers and you decide to sell your blog. Or maybe it will be something more complicated, like when you pass away, or when you decide to hand it over to your children. Whatever the method, there will be a day when your blog isn’t your blog anymore. A frightening thought, isn’t it?!
So What’s Your Goal?
So I’d like to pose a question to you, and I want you to think long and hard about your answer. What is your ultimate goal for your blog? What do you want to achieve that will ultimately allow you to say “My blog is a success”? What is it that is going to provide you with the motivation to blog and interact with your community of readers and friends when you’re having a bad day? What’s the one thing that is going to provide a sense of focus to your blogging efforts?
Step back from the cyber world and in to reality. Your Twitter buddies and seminars and info-products and ebooks will all still be there when you return. Because remember, a blog without a purpose, without a measurable, achievable goal, is like a map in the hands of somebody with no destination. You can walk forever, but you’ll never get where you want to be unless you know where that place lies.
Do you have an ultimate goal for your blog? How do you know when you’re blog will be a success? Let us know in the comments!
This is my second post in a series discussing my cornerstones of blogging. Previous posts in this series include Kids, Girls, Zip Wires, Soldiers & Self Belief! The Story that Will Transform Your Blog…. Look out for more posts in this series later this week. I’ll slowly progress up the scale, until we hit what I believe to be a cornerstone so important, you can’t build a successful blog without it. Subscribe today if you haven’t already done so.