This post was guest blogged by Steven York of seopher.com.
Every blogger (irrespective of their popularity) needs to consider the future implications of their actions; this is true of any discipline within blogging, be it SEO, monetization or traffic. It’s a fact of life that you won’t reach your destination if you don’t know where you’re going – so why would it be any different online?
If you’re driving from A to B, unless you know where B is and how to get there you’ll never arrive; and the same logic applies online. If you’re not mindful of what the future holds then you’re driving blind. Rather than get overly cryptic let me explain how to make your blogging roadmap:
#1 – Have a business plan
You don’t need to be a business to have a business plan – it’s just a document defining your objectives and timescales. So if you want to have 1,000 RSS subscribers by January 2009 that’s your business plan (because you’ve marked your objective and timescale). Once you’ve written your business plan you know where you’re going – that’s the easy bit.
#2 – Understand where you are now
Anyone can write on a piece of paper “I want to make $100,000 next year blogging” but if you’ve only got 5 RSS readers and no income it’s unlikely to materialize. The roadmap doesn’t have to be completely realistic but it has to be rational: you can aim high provided you can explain how you might get there. Aiming wildly at the sky and hoping for stardom isn’t a good way to meet your objectives.
#3 – Plan your resources
How many of the famous bloggers got where they are without promoting themselves? How many did it without spending a penny? How many did it without dedicating any time? None of them – that’s how many. To get anywhere you need resources because getting your name out there is the hard part. Competitions with desirable prizes are a great method provided you have something to offer (not necessarily an item, maybe a service). Just look what Unique Blog Designs [http://www.uniqueblogdesigns.com/] have done by offering their services as competition prizes… Time and money are resources and you’ll have to spend at least one to meet your objectives.
#4 – Find your inspiration
It’s all well and good aiming for somewhere but why are you doing it? You need to know your inspiration otherwise you won’t make it. Blogging on a regular basis (and producing high quality content) while trying to balance a full time job, friends, family and other commitments is not something that is easy to do. Yet you don’t need to know much about it to know how important regular updates are. Blogging becomes a lifestyle and without your inspiration you won’t make it.
Blogging is a very difficult thing to do well; just look at John, Shoemoney, Problogger (and more) and you’ll see that it takes more than good content to make it in this lucrative business (there’s that word again). January is a great time to do your roadmap because you can work out where you are, where you need to be and dedicate resources towards your goals. Rich and famous bloggers are still people, hell, sometimes they write down their advice and publish it just to help you out.