I’ll go ahead and assume that, the fact that you’re reading this article, you’re either seriously considering to start a blog, or you’re already blogging but you want to do it more purposefully.
Maybe you’re feeling a little lost or overwhelmed that you don’t know where to begin.
Maybe you’re feeling frustrated that your blog is not as successful and profitable as you imagined it would be.
Maybe you’re this close to throwing in the towel and giving up on blogging altogether.
If you can relate to any of the above scenarios, I want you to know that your feelings are valid. Blogging is no small feat. From choosing the best web host (FYI: Siteground is the answer) to launching a blog to monetizing it, there’s just too much information (and noise!) online about blogging and how to do it right.
The struggle and (the overanalysis paralysis) is real. Where do you even begin?
You begin with purpose.
I’ve worked on countless blogs in my life—for myself, for clients, for employers, for churches, for friends, for friends of friends. For the past 10 years, I’ve practically built a career around blogging (read my story here).
Through the years, I’ve seen many of these blogs (that I helped launch) take off and accomplish what it was set forth to accomplish, but I’ve also seen many of them get abandoned, forgotten, eventually disappearing from the face of the internet.
Trivia: Do you know that 95% of all blogs end up being abandoned?
One thing I observed about what sets successful bloggers apart from the ones who eventually quit is their clear grasp of what their purpose is for their life AND how that purpose translates to their blog.
Sure, many of us will begin because of passion (or for the fun of it!), or with the intention of making profit. These are all good reasons to start blogging, but if there’s anything I learned about blogging and launching online businesses this past decade, it’s that,
Purpose precedes passion, performance, and profit.
It is purpose, after all, that keeps you going even when passion is running low, performance is meh, and profit is fluctuating.
It brings meaning to your craft and gives you a conviction that’s bigger than yourself.
It keeps you from chasing vanity metrics and focusing instead on stats that actually move the needle.
It motivates you to hustle when you need to hustle, to slow down when you need to slow down.
It gives you clarity and direction, and therefore a more intentional approach to creating content and monetizing.
And all of these put together allow you to connect with the right readers and make a greater impact.
THIS is why I believe that any blog (or any endeavor for that matter) should begin and operate from a place of purpose. (And why I launched an entire blog dedicated to it. Why, welcome to The Purpose Blog!)
If you’re starting a blog with the intention of turning it into a full-time job or using it to grow your business, you HAVE to start with knowing your purpose.
Your BIG WHY.
Your reason to keep going.
Your motivation to be one of the 5% of bloggers who actually succeed.
Everything else eventually follows (or can be outsourced!) 😉
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Now that we’ve established how important it is to blog from a place of purpose, here are practical ways on how to actually start blogging with purpose. Let’s begin!
1. Align your blog goals with your life goals.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been doing this as a profession for the past 10 years. I’m launching blogs for clients and organizations, creating blog content strategies, designing blogs, analyzing blog statistics, and implementing best practices so that the brands I work with can utilize their blogs to achieve their business goals—you bet, the whole 9 yards of blog marketing.
And yes, I do make good money for it! Surely God has used this career as a channel to provide for our family, and I’m grateful! I wouldn’t know so much about blogging if not because of my professional experience.
But I’ve also come to a point in my life where my goals have become more than just making money or furthering a professional career.
I have 5-year-old twins who are growing way too fast and needing more time and attention.
Every day it’s becoming more and more important for me to work intentionally so I can have more time for the people and the causes that truly matter.
To focus on work that makes more impact on our bottom end while also making an impact to the bigger community.
These are my life goals.
Now think about your goals in life.
Maybe you’re a college graduate who has your whole life ahead of you, but you don’t see yourself joining the corporate workforce. You want to blaze your own trail and start a location-independent career.
Maybe you’re a writer, stuck in an office cubicle writing marketing copies when all you really want to do is to travel the world and write a book.
Maybe you’re a mother (like me), who have so many stories and lessons to share to the world, and you dream of doing this while making an income from home and without missing out on your children’s growth.
These are your life goals.
And dare I say, these are the things that should reflect on your blog.
Where do you want to see yourself in a year? What kind of legacy do you want to leave the future generation? How do you want to spend your days? What activities do you want to fill up your calendar?
And if you must work hard and hustle, what kind of work do you want to put all of those precious hours and energy into?
This is your sweet spot. This is your purpose for blogging.
This is what’s going to keep you going.
2. Creating content that serves yourself first and foremost, before your readers.
I see some people raising eyebrows.
I know what you’re told. I know somewhere you read that if you want to be successful at blogging, you have to stop talking about yourself and start talking about your readers. “Your blog is about them, not YOU,” some blogging “gurus” would say.
And okay, maybe there is some truth to that. And for the record, I’m also one to say that you have to keep your readers in mind when you’re creating content.
But I also believe that in order to keep a blog going, it has to SERVE YOU FIRST before your readers.
Does blogging make you feel fulfilled? Are you passionate about your blog topics? Can you confidently help solve your readers’ problems because you care about the topic and you’ve demonstrated expertise in that area?
Does your blog quench your thirst to create, to weave words together, and to tell stories?
Look at some of your most favorite bloggers and tell me why they’re so good? I’m willing to bet that your daily reading list is made up of bloggers who dared to open up about their lives, their thoughts, their stories, their experiences.
Think about this when you start a blog (or when you go back to blogging!). Strike a balance. Your blog is about YOU. Your readers are free to read your stories and learn from your experience. 🙂
3. Establishing a clear profit strategy, and being unapologetic about it.
Since we’re talking about how a blog should serve you, this is our cue to talk about making money from blogging.
Bloggers from the olden days (*ehem* those of us who believe that the golden age of blogging is that period in history –lol– when blogs served as a documentation of life, honest and fearless, with no agenda to rank in Google, gain traffic, get viral, or make money) will find this topic a little bit awkward to discuss.
We, bloggers from the 90s, find it odd that blogging has become so commercialized, that every post is sponsored by some brand, or that everyone is selling some e-course of sorts. This is what blogging has become, and well, it’s really not that horrible. 😉
If anything, this change in the blogging landscape has opened up a wide gate of opportunities for many of us to truly embrace blogging as a livelihood and a way of life.
As one of them old-timers, it took me a while to embrace the idea that I should monetize my blog. But now as a proponent of modern day blogging, I am one to attest that, yes, you do have to unapologetically monetize your blog.
Having a clear monetization strategy is important to blogging with purpose. You can’t just choose to blog full-time and not get paid for all of that effort. To sustain a blog, to have creative freedom, and to reach a greater audience, blog monetization is essential.
There are many ways to monetize a blog, and no, you don’t have to lose yourself and your voice in that process. This is a post for another time. 😉