Last night we had a great time gathering at Land of a Thousand Hills Roastery in Roswell Georgia. Mike Singletary made us delicious coffee and we got to work learning from John Saddington and each other. We shared what we write about, and where our focus is for our blogs.
These are all the reasons why we write.
-A passion for story telling
-To move career forward
-For branding your business.
-A teacher asking her students to write, so she writes as well.
-It scratches a creative itch.
-It started as a requirement for work or a project, and then built into something to be passionate about.
-Wanting to do something that adds value.
-Blogging gets to be a way to share how our differences knit us together with others.
What about you? Why do you write?
After hearing all our various reasons for writing, John tailored some tips for us based on our specific needs. We could have been there for hours listening to him share his experience, but we walked away with some really helpful tips, and I wanted to pass them along to you as well.
Ask “why do I continue to do this?”
Once that question can be answered, it will provide clarity to your goal, so you can actually reach it. Always be moving towards clarity. Do this by taking The Category Challenge. Do you have more than 6-8 categories on your blog? You have too many. Narrow your focus. Don’t dilute your efforts. Remain focused on a few areas, because the internet favors specificity. Exhausting one topic is GOOD because it is helping you to continue to define your efforts. It’s good to evolve and change over time, but do it by exhausting topics. Really dig in. No matter how creative we are, boundaries help us. Know what your purpose is in writing, and dig into your purpose.
Tagging causes [for some complicated reasons] google to see your content as spam in some cases. Unless you really understand tagging and can tailor it within your site to really help you, don’t do it. Delete your tags.
Answer “How are you creating value?”
Are you educating your audience? It’s not enough to just exist in your writing, if you’re not creating value you won’t keep readers. Always be educating your readers about something. At the end of each post ask what someone might have been able to learn. It will continue to create clarity. Challenge yourself to be educating through your posts.
After we discussed these 3 things, John left us with 5 pieces of homework.
1. Do the Category Challenge. Narrow your categories down to 6-8.
2. Delete all your tags.
3. Create a schedule for writing, and then tell someone so they can keep you at it.
4. Be consistent. If you know you don’t have time to write 7 days a week, then don’t commit to it. Do what you can commit to, but be consistent about it.
5. Have fun. If you’re not having fun with it, it might not be worth it.
How does this change what you’re doing? What other questions would you love to have answered for what you’re pursuing with your blog?