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Starting A Successful Blog Is Like Planning An Invasion

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This post was written by Alan Skorkin. Alan shares his thoughts about software development, people and teamwork on his blog skorks.com.

Every blogger wants to be successful, it is only natural. We often start out blogging about something that is our passion and we want everyone else to be just as excited about our passion as we are. It is therefore surprising just how many people have no concrete plans regarding what they want to achieve with their blog (let alone how they are going to achieve it) beyond vague dreams of grandeur. I understand that it can be difficult to set yourself concrete goals, you may not really know what you’re capable of and so much is simply beyond your control. But, I have a trick that you can use whenever you’re starting a new blog (or want to kick-start your existing blog) that will help you focus and put everything in perspective.

Think of your blog as a country that is planning an invasion. What does an invasion have to do with the internet, I hear you ask? Well, consider this. What you want to do with your blog is to take over the internet (i.e. be successful), but the internet is a big place and you probably won’t be able to hold the whole thing, so what you’re really trying to do is carve out a little piece of the internet for yourself (being the supreme ruler, god and emperor of it is strictly optional :) ) and that is exactly what an invasion is all about – at least in the classical sense. Whenever you’re planning an invasion you don’t just send your troops out to ’see how they go’ and ‘play it by ear’ the first thing you need is…


A Strategy

Every grand strategy starts with a grand objective. Where do you want to end up and at what point will you pronounce yourself a success? You need to know what you’re working towards, it gives you your general direction. Once you have a direction, you need to map out – in broad strokes – how you will achieve your grand objective. What are the steps on the road to your goal – these are your milestones. Get 1000 subscribers, have at least 100 blog posts published, guest post on 10 of the top 100 blogs, get at least 300 visitors per day from Google, these are all great milestones and can form part of your strategy. And don’t forget to set yourself some deadlines, you’re invading, not going for a leisurely stroll, you don’t want to be at it forever. This is all well and good, I hear you say, but how do I reach each of those milestones? For this you need…


Superior Tactics

A grand strategy is necessary, but invasions are not won with grand plans, it is all about having superior tactics from battle to battle. In the blogging world it comes down to:

Even with all these efforts it can still be tough, you’re targeted and you’re timely, but the terrain is vast and there is just so much ground to cover. Plus the more ground you cover, the more you leave your flanks exposed, not a good situation. You will need some help, you have to find yourself some…


Allies

Often you get stuck in a rut, you hit a stalemate, you and the internet are just equally matched. This is where having allies comes in really handy. It sometimes makes sense to band together with another invader, you’re both after the same goal and there is more than enough territory for everyone. You can help promote each others content or provide a fresh voice on each others blogs, and you don’t have to band together with just one, sometimes a coalition is a good idea – everyone benefits. You might even try to get the support of a major power (a top blogger), that can be a real bonus, all you have to do is be creative and persistent in your approach (a little luck doesn’t hurt either). And of course don’t forget the local powers (the social media power users), these can make the outcome of some of your battles a foregone conclusion. A successful invasion can be largely about relationships and the internet is no different. But of course, no amount of allies will help you win your battles if you don’t…


Win The Skirmishes

Skirmishes are the bread and butter of any invasion. They are not glamorous and there are lots of them, but together they combine to let you succeed when you fight your major battles. In blogging the skirmishes are your daily (or at least) regular periods when you produce your content. It is not a glamorous time and it is not very social, but it is the bread and butter of a successful blog. You need to make time to regularly produce content, it doesn’t have to be daily, but you do have to keep doing it. The more skirmishes you fight the more you wear down the enemy, or in the case of blogging the more content you get out there the more chances you have of being noticed. There is one thing though, that will always jeopardize your chances of winning your skirmishes (and battles)…


Getting Distracted By The Scenery

There is always more to learn in the blogging world. There is a lot of info, much of it free and you can keep reading and learning indefinitely. But while you might get knowledge or satisfaction from watching the scenery, it is also how you get ambushed. You look around at the beautiful trees (or helpful blogging info) and before you know it you’re ambushed and have lost the skirmish (not writing content) and ultimately the battle and the war. You have your strategy and you know what tactics to employ, these may or may not be the latest and greatest, but they’re tried and true and they do work – stick to them. And if you really want to give yourself some motivation and kick this invasion up a notch try…


A Blitzkrieg

In a blitzkrieg you hit the enemy fast and you hit them hard, and you keep moving before they get a chance to recover. This means you brainstorm an idea for several successful posts or a series of posts, then you write them all and then you release them in quick succession and go all out promoting each one. I don’t mean release them one minute after each other, but instead release them judiciously. Build some hype around the first one and before it starts dying down, you release the second and build hype and promote that one, and then do the same for the third. Don’t give them a chance to recover. A blitzkrieg series of posts can really allow you to move far in short period of time. The allies you built before will really come in ha
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This entry was posted to Pro Blog Tips on Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 at 7:57 pm and is filed under... General Interest. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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